Friday, May 31, 2013

Operation Earth is proceeding according to schedule.

Yes, as any well-plotted invasion should, Operation Earth is keeping its time table. It is a scifi romance, and hopefully I'll be able to share the cover soon. Since time moves faster and faster the older I get, the release date in August should be here in about a week...

My editor is both excellent and funny. We had a comical discussion about what the grouping of aliens come to invade us might be called. Like, "You're now a part of the... something something."

Picking a word for the "something" isn't all that easy. Every expression I could think of was already used.

Star Trek has a Federation. Star Wars has an Empire and an Alliance. Firefly has an Alliance. Andromeda has a Commonwealth. I think both Babylon 5 and Battlestar Galactica have councils, but I might be mistaken. I think the Jaffa in Stargate are also run by a council. 

To complicate things further, I use a Confederacy in the Embarkment books, an Alliance in Kidnapped, and the Borealis series have a Protectorate. Can't use any of those. 

I was stumped. 

Luckily, editor's husband came to the rescue with a great idea. The Earth is invaded by the "United Galactic People's Republic." If you see a space ship marked UGPR you'd better take cover. They are here to assimilate us!

High Five!

Thursday, May 30, 2013

Edit one is done...

Operation Earth. The aliens are coming!
I've passed one more milestone on my to-do list for this spring: I've gone through and returned edit one of Operation Earth (will be released in August). I'm sure edit two will be back in no time, but that one is usually much easier than the first one. =)

I have a wonderful editor. She makes my thoughts seem coherent and my writing brilliant. I am also fortunate to work with some fantastic cover artists. Hopefully, I can reveal the cover for Operation Earth in not too awfully long.

Here's an excerpt from my draft. =)

Up on the ship, Peter followed yet another line of men. He did his best not to think as he stepped into the mission room along with all the other ground commanders. They had a job to do, and it wasn't his place to question the fleet's methods. The man next to him murmured, "Same drill as last time."

"Same drill as every time."

June stood in the center of the room and lifted her arms to bid for silence.

"Global EMP has been deployed. Nuclear power plants are enclosed, and the risk for radiation flooding the surface is deemed minimal. We have some unrest, but nothing unusual."

Peter tuned out. The planet's ground forces would try to strike back, they usually did. His brain-tip informed him people here were feisty and prone to war. Great. Skirmishes would only delay the inevitable. The first days on a new planet were always intense, but gave some spice to the job.

The man next to him nudged him.

"Is it true that you and the Commander... well..."

"It was a long time ago."

"What happened? Did she ditch you?"

Strange how even the most informal words in the new language sounded natural.

"She wanted to go through the ceremony. I would not put my fate in her hands."

The man chuckled.

"I bet she was good in bed though."

Peter shrugged.

If you want to know, find out for yourself.

June talked about ID cards, building health centers, sorting out the nutrition and infrastructure, but he couldn't pay attention.

It's all the same, over and over again.

A man whispered, "Maybe they won't struggle."

There were worlds where re-assimilation went easy, where they were welcomed, but this would not be one of them.

"Are you kidding? Did you see the amount of junk they had floating in orbit?"

June's voice rang loud and clear.

"We're behind schedule, and everyone knows what to do. Gather your troops and move out."

Unexpected house hassle

I've been renting a little house for the past three years, and a couple of months ago, the owner decided to sell. Now there's a large For Sale sign in the yard, people crawl by in their cars, ogling, and others snoop around in the yard trying to get a glance of the inside. Yay.

Besides the skulkers, the realtor keeps calling about showings. I didn't think it was all that bad at first, then it started to get to me, and today they made me angry.

The first time they wanted me to show the house at three in the afternoon I explained that I work until five, and they've written that down on a little note. So far so good.

The problem begins when they reason a 24 hour notice should be more than enough preparation for me to show the house. Often, they give less. Yesterday they called around nine in the evening to ask if I could show it today.

Here are the problems - which they are completely unable to understand:
  1. Dog.

    Boo Bear will defend this house, his mommy and his daddy against any threat, perceived or real. He can not be in the house when strangers come to walk around and look at it. Or, well, I guess he can but there will be an abundance of barking, possible biting, and the prospective buyers will probably disappear quickly.
  2. Life.

    Believe it or not, I don't go right home from work every day to twiddle my thumbs and wait for someone to show up. My schedule is usually planned weeks ahead, not 24 hours.
  3. Life.

    I know, I'm listing this one twice. I'm a busy bee, and I'm always doing something. That means housework is put on the backburner. Combine this with point number one - an abundance of doggie hair and toys - and the house needs to be cleaned before letting strangers come in. Every time.
From my point of view, I've done my best to be accommodating. Whey they call, I'm usually not home at the time they suggest. My life just doesn't work that way. I always suggest another time, it might be later the same day or the very next day. From my point of view, this is extremely accommodating. It's not my house. I pay rent to live here. I don't care if they sell it or not.

From their point of view, I keep sticking my foot out to trip them, consciously ruining their efforts. Today, I have been lectured at great length how realtors schedule a numbers of showings at the same time, and how other people have lives too. Clearly, I must understand that I have to respect these other people's lives and times.

Two different people have called me and yelled at three different occasions today. Why? Because I needed to work after five. "But, you've said that you work until five. Why aren't you home after five? You have to understand that we need to show the house."

I have also been told, many times, that my lease clearly states the owner has the right to put the house out for sale at any time. To this I answer, "I know, I have a copy of the lease and I've read it. It doesn't state anywhere that I have to wait at home to let strangers in at your beck and call."

That hit a sore spot: the last time realtor number two called she got so angry she hung up. The conversation with realtor one earlier in the day ended with her telling me I wouldn't have to worry about showing the house if I bought it. I said, "I don't want to buy this house."

I've told her that before, but I don't think the words really sunk in the first time.

From my point of view, they're saying I'm not allowed to plan to work overtime, I'm not allowed to plan to leave the city, I'm not allowed to plan to spend time with my friends, go see a movie, or anything else that will take me away from the house after 5 PM. Because they might want to show it, and if I say no, or try to postpone, they're going to yell at me.

This probably seems quite reasonable to them, and my standpoint is reasonable to me.

I suggested that if I'm supposed to be a doorman they should knock a little off the rent. They answered with quoting the contract to me again. I read it back. Standoff.

I tried another angle and attempted to put them in my shoes. Maybe they'd feel the same way if they payed rent to live somewhere. I could just as well talk to a rock.

The comical thing is that when the people come here to look, they almost run away. The longest showing has been 4.5 minutes. The house is listed for $89,900. Around here, houses cost around $60,000. For 90, you expect something really nice.

People come here, look at the wall AC unit, and say, "It has central air too, right?"

I say no. Because it doesn't.

They take two steps further in, see the stains in the ceiling from the leaky roof and look at the 50 year old kitchen. Most of them don't get any further. A few have made it to the bedrooms, and thus far no one has stayed long enough to see the 50 year old bathroom.

I've been pretty content here, because it's a good area and the house has a large, fenced back yard. That's all I need. I'm renting, though.

What do you think? Am I unreasonable? I know this will only last for two more months, because after that I'll be free from my lease, I'll move, and they can do whatever they want with this place. Am I wrong standing my ground?

Thursday update: The realtor called with a peace offer today. I wonder if she reads my blog, LOL. She asked me to pick a couple of days each week I'd be willing to show the house, and she will put them in the listing. That way I won't have to have people here all the time, and I'll be able to live life as normal most of the days in a week. I can get down with that. I understand that both the realtor and the owner wants to show the house to get it sold, and I do want to help them. Just not... when I have to be somewhere else. =)

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Is Twitter ruining language?

Developing technologies don't crawl. They tend to leap one giant step after another. Social media isn't an exception; a few years ago many saw making friends online with skepticism. Today, everyone except my mom are on Facebook.

I generally think change is good; it forces new ideas and new ways of doing things. Twitter... I'm not sure. 

Twitter was originally started in 2006 and has always imposed a message length of 140 characters. Why? Well, it was intended to work over SMS on cell phones, and a standard length SMS has a length of 160 characters. Twitter reserved 20 for itself, and let users play with the remaining 140.

Some people think this is great. I've read many times, "If you can't say it in 140 characters, say it somewhere else." I recently read a blog post where the writer spoke about "The simplistic beauty of Twitter." 

Sure, we get brief updates and share links. Great. Does anyone really care about the links? 

I guess. According to Twitter has 554,750,000 users. Around 135,000 new users sign up every day. Of all these people, around 115 million are active each month, and send out 58 million tweets per day.

I am personally on Twitter because I have to, and I almost only use it to tweet other people's blog posts from Triberr. Isn't that sad?

I follow over 3,000 people on Twitter, and have over 3,000 followers. Some of them tweet my stuff, egotistical as I am, I love that, of course.

Of all these Tweeps there are a handful whose tweets I enjoy. Most who tweet me just say, "Buy my book." "Did u buy my book yet." "Hey, did u see my book?" "My book is on sale 2day." "Did u dwnld my book yet?" Really? Is there nothing else you want to talk about? Anyway, I won't buy it until you use real words.

Some ignore the 140 character limit and write enough for a short story, spacing it out over 40 tweets or more. It's not a good idea; it's pretty annoying. Write an e-mail instead.

So, why don't I like Twitter? Well, the 140 character limit makes Twitter unique, no doubt about it. It also leads to completely incomprehensible abbreviations, and people start mangling their language on Twitter and never stop. 

Maybe I'm old, but I require words. Messages like "How R U 2DY, WRUU2" just don't do it for me. Especially not when people leave Twitter, sit down by a computer and write the same incomprehensible gibberish in an e-mail. That message, by the way, is supposed to mean, "How are you today, what are you up to" - and it took me hours to figure it out. 

I recently learned the abbreviation #ASMSG means "Authors Social Media Support Group." I couldn't figure that out for myself. I assumed it meant something really dirty. Guess I have a dirty mind... LOL

Anyway, I dislike when people write U instead of you. It's normal to many people, but in my eyes it looks so bad. Especially in e-mails. If you think I'm worth the time and effort of an e-mail, I should also be worth the time and effort of real words.

Now, I'm not complaining over people writing on their phones and tablets. These are completely valid reasons for abbreviating, but when you're sitting by a computer, come on! It takes a split second longer to write You than U. 

I think Twitter language will carry over to more areas of real life. Soon we'll see novels along the lines of "I thnk U are 2 #sexy 4 #designer #clothes #naked" It will make complete sense to the Twitter generation. People like me run a definite risk of being left behind.

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Flashback, coming soon!

I can finally show the cover of my new novel Flashback! It will be released on June 21 by Desert Breeze Publishing, and I am excited about this book.


Steve Petersen is a Very Troubled Man. Sole survivor of a Taliban POW camp, he often thinks only parts of him returned; his sanity appears to have been left behind. He seeks solace in alcohol and drugs, but nothing helps block the images from his mind for more than minutes at a time, and he is trapped in horrifying flashbacks.

He is more than surprised when he wakes up in a bright and merry bedroom that turns out to belong to the widow Anna, a woman he has rudimentary memories of meeting. Knowing he should leave isn't the same as doing it, and before he knows what's happening, he finds himself pulled into a world with real life problems, such as folding laundry, and what's for dinner.

Whiskey is no longer his first priority, and not being alone in his waking nightmare is a relief. That is, until Anna disappears. Steve finds himself forced to return to Afghanistan, a place where he'll have to face both external enemies and himself.

Curious yet? We have an excerpt too:

When they came home, Steve sank down in the sofa without even taking off his jacket. Life outside could sure be exhausting. Anna went into the kitchen, and he rested his head back and closed his eyes. Listening to her hum a song, just a little out of tune as she loaded the coffee maker soothed his nerves.
A hard rattling sound made him open his eyes again. Gunshots, and they were close. Anna still sang, and she would be an easy target.
He ran through the apartment, making sure to stay away from the windows. Peeking around the corner, his beautiful fiancée was oblivious to the danger.
How did they survive?
He sprung out from his hiding place behind the wall, shoved her down on the floor, and threw himself over her. After all she did for him, protecting her with his own body was the least he could do.
Anna wheezed, clearly trying to draw a breath.
"Sssh, they're coming."
She lay on her back, and the question in her eyes was clear. Have you lost your mind? Of course he had, a long time ago. She should know. When she opened her mouth, he covered it with his hand so she couldn't draw attention to them.
"Don't you hear them? The shots?"
She shook her head and closed her fingers around his wrist, attempting to pull his hand away.
"I think we're safe, but be very quiet."
Anna nodded, and as soon as he removed the hand, she whispered, "Please get off me. I can't breathe."
He obeyed, she endeavored to sit up, and he pulled her back down.
"Don't make yourself a target."
Why did she look so exhausted?
"Sweetheart, there's nothing there."
"But..." He had heard them.
"That noise? Remember the crazy people upstairs? I don't know what they're doing, but it's definitely them."

Monday, May 27, 2013

Legally Wed by Patty Froese

I read this book a while ago, and I think I forgot to post my review here on the blog. Bad Maria! At least I posted it on Amazon, and that's what matters, right?

Let's start with the blurb:

When Rich McConaughey comes back to town, divorce papers in hand, he's in for more than he bargained for. Lisa Young, the woman he was married to for six months, hasn't changed a bit. His mother has though... she's gone from matronly to meow, and his father has taken off with the secretary. Does anything last anymore?

Lisa Young feels chained to the hardware store her family has run for generations. How can she tell her father she hates the family business? When Rich walks back into her store asking her to finalize a divorce she thought was behind her, she thinks the answer is to sign on the dotted line and move on. Except, Rich isn't making it so easy... and God has other plans.

For better or for worse, when you're legally wed, things can get complicated.

Here is my review:

Legally Wed by Patty Froese follows Lisa, single woman and owner of a hardware store in Charlbrook, a small town where everyone knows everyone. Her life seems planned and straightforward. Not necessarily exciting, but safe. That is, until her ex-husband walks in and claims they're not really divorced.

This is a Christian romance, and Christian readers will not be disappointed. Lisa and several other characters go to church and talk to God. It is also humorous, endearing, and entertaining. The fate and happiness of several people are at stake, and Froese makes you care about the characters. I read through the book in two sittings; I HAD to see what would happen to everyone.

I give Legally Wed five stars out of five, and warmly recommend it to anyone looking for a sweet, humorous, and entertaining read.

Saturday, May 25, 2013

Recently read: Bayne by Misa Buckley

I recently read the scifi romance novella Bayne by Misa Buckley, and enjoyed it greatly. I gave it four stars out of five, and here is my review:

Malia's life could definitely be easier. Her parents are dead and she lives with an uncle who thinks women are only good for one thing: having babies. Whenever she can sneak away from her chores, she crosses into the "old town" and its ancient station filled with technology far out of reach for her people. She has been teaching herself to repair the panels and consoles, and is starved for more knowledge.

One day when Malia fiddles with the foreign devices, a space ship lands. It is Bayne, the Overlord, come to collect taxes far overdue. Malia panics; there is no way her people can pay, and Bayne didn't get the epithet "The Destroyer of Worlds" for nothing. She offers herself in exchange for the colony's safety, and is temporarily relieved when Bayne agrees.

Not until Malia finds herself in Bayne's quarters does she realize the impulse to sacrifice herself might be somewhat ill begotten. Bayne is as much machine as man and has a violent temper, and their relation is off to a rocky start. There might, however, be more to him than meets the eye.

I enjoyed the book and loved the characters Malia and Bayne. Their relationship is fascinating, and the story reveals interesting secrets and twists as it unfolds. I give it four stars instead of five because I would have liked to see some more "meat" on the bones. I would have loved to see more elaboration on the events, smoothing out transitions, and filling in the gaps. The book could have been twice as long with the same story arc without losing tempo.

Overall, Bayne is a great short read that contains mystery, danger, and sweet romance. The characters are well rounded and likeable, and I would love to read more about them in the future. I will definitely keep my eyes open for more books from Misa Buckley.

To read Bayne, click here.

Friday, May 24, 2013

The hidden light

When I was researching Afghanistan for my upcoming novel Flashback (TBR June 21), I stumbled over this fantastic video from Ted Talks. It gives an image of the country different from the one in mainstream media, an image of the people behind stereotypes and fear. If I do one thing right this year, it's sharing this.

The SFR Brigade Presents: A Shadow of a Man

Good news for scifi romance lovers: it is time for a new issue of the SFR Brigade presents! 

Today I'm presenting a snippet from my upcoming novella "A Shadow of a Man" - number XII in the Borealis series by Desert Breeze Publishing. It's not quite done yet, but the release date isn't until November or something like that, so I still have time. =)

Click here to check out excerpts from more science fiction romance authors!

Theresa walked between Dominic and Geo. How could anyone be expected to believe she and Giovanni were siblings? She was short and dark haired, and he was tall with a mop of fair hair crowning a face that looked nothing like hers. Adopted, maybe… Or with a different mom or dad, maybe from different planets… 

At least no one questioned them.

At least she still remembered her new name. Riza sounded enough like Theresa to be feasible for her.
Her eyes darted around. The station wasn’t as bad as she expected. She had imagined the place to be busy, dirty, and smelly. She wanted to grab Dominic’s arm and ask about it, but he was already wandering off to the side.

Geo had apparently developed a knack for reading her mind.

“The top floors are the nicest. The further down you get… Well, you’ll see when we go to Korn. You won’t want to wander any further down than that.”

The upside of being rich; even with false identities, money gave better treatment.

The stress was getting the better of her. She wanted to wipe her palms on her clothes, but she couldn’t do that. Could the guards see how nervous she was?

“Well, how bad can it be? It’s not like they eat children or anything, right?”

Geo didn’t answer. She didn’t think Dominic paid attention to her, but he gave a huffing noise.

It could mean anything, but sounded an awful lot like “yes.”

Thursday, May 23, 2013

How much is just right?

I sometimes blog about the balance of science and fiction in science fiction. A while ago, I read an interesting blog post about the balance of "real" science and fiction. That is, how much research writers should put into their material, and how factual any facts need be.

Interesting subject. I normally say that science must be real enough to be believable. The problem with that statement is, of course, that believable differs from person to person.

My point of view is this: as soon as we take just one step beyond the everyday knowledge most people possess, we’re all writers and readers; not scientists. 

With that I mean, we don’t know exactly how stuff works. The science we meet in TV, journals, and books is simplified to appeal to a layman, and reality is usually infinitely more complicated. To make it even more interesting, some “truths” don’t stay true, and others we pick up from media where someone else made them up.

I used to think I knew a lot. I have a high IQ, I read a lot, and I have a curious mind. The more I learn, the more I realize I haven’t even scraped the surface. Most the things I thought I knew are no longer true, were too simplified, or were fiction in the first place.

As an example, how many here thinks a human dies pretty quickly in space? I used to think so.

I’ve read about the swift and painful death of space in dozens of sci-fi novels, not to mention TV shows and movies where people’s eyes pop out and humans turn into popsicles within seconds. In reality, a human would survive around 90 seconds. That might not be plenty of time to send out a rescue team, but it’s significantly longer than I imagined.

Is there friction in space? Would a ship eventually slow down on its own? I used to say “no” but then I thought of solar sails and theories of travel between planets. That line of thought led me to this article.  Now I don’t know. Another example of all the things I don’t know.

Besides photons, there is matter between the planets and stars. There’s various debris of course, like rocks and asteroids, and space holds large amounts of molecules, they’re just spread out over a really large area. Traveling at the speeds we can achieve, this matter doesn’t pose much of a problem. At higher velocities, we don’t know. Will a bullet harm you if I toss it to you across the room? Probably not. Will it harm you if I shoot it from a gun (give it higher speed) and hit you? Definitely.

If writers were to be completely scientifically correct, the books would be boring enough to put readers to sleep within a page. It’s supposed to be science fiction, right? The word fiction implies “making stuff up.”

When looking at the sub genre of science fiction romance, large parts of it would be doomed if we were to stick to scientific facts. How many books have you read where a human falls in love with a funky looking alien and they have kids, just like that? In reality, assuming there are aliens and we met in spite of the vastness of the galaxy, this would be very unlikely. 

For two beings to have offspring, they have to be closely genetically related. (I’m not talking related as in a family, but as in a species.) Looking at the physiology behind romantic love, our happy little pheromones and stuff are based on the urge to procreate. An alien developed on another world without genetic connection to us would be so different we might as well try to fall in love with a jellyfish. 

Luckily, authors like myself write fiction, not fact, and we can ignore science when it’s convenient or fits the story. My heroines generally fall in love with aliens, but since taking a class in astrobiology I tweak it so they’re all fairly human, and we have common DNA somewhere in the background. I don't mind reading stories about a green being with tentacles making it with a human; it's still entertaining. I just don't find it believable. 

Don’t get me wrong. I think any writer is obliged to perform research for their books, whether they write something historical, contemporary, or set in the future. Science fiction is hard to research because it theorizes about things that hasn’t happened, and inventions that don’t exist. Truth is, we don’t know much about the world outside this planet. That’s a good thing; we can make it up. =)

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

I'm celebrating yesterday

I'm the kind of person who has a million things going on at once and don't always take time to appreciate life as it happens. I'm trying to get better at it, but it's a work in progress. Going along the line of that thought, I will now celebrate yesterday.

What was yesterday? An ordinary Tuesday in May? Yes, but it was also special, I was just too busy to enjoy it at the time.

Yesterday I submitted the final author-approved read-throuh of Flashback to my publisher. After sending the email I scurried out with the dogs, attempted to put on some mascara without getting it all in my eyes, raced to work, and forgot about it. I should have sat down, put my feet up, and patted myself on the back for a job well done.

I enjoy writing all my books and every book is a process, but Flashback is different. I've been working on it for four years and it's barely 50,000 words. I haven't written on it constantly for four years, of course, but it has had periods of resting in the computer and periods of working in a frenzy.

The book is about a war veteran who comes home and has enormous problems with re-adjusting to society. He loses everything and considers taking his own life just to get it over with. Luckily, since it's fiction, he meets a girl, enters a relationship against better judgement, and manages to turn his life around. And, since it's fiction, she of course gets kidnapped and he has to rescue her while facing both external danger and himself.

The thing is, when I wrote the first draft I thought I made it all up. Then, my publisher said, "I didn't expect you to write a book about PTSD."

"I wrote about the what-and-the-what now?"

Sinking feeling: if this is a real thing I should probably put some more effort into researching and learning about it. Before this point I had spent time researching other aspects of the book, but the idea that my poor hero's affliction could be something affecting scores of people in real life hadn't crossed my mind.

This might sound incredibly naive, but please remember that I'm Swedish. We haven't been in a war in modern times, we have low crime rates, virtually no natural disasters, and not much happens. PTSD can stem from any traumatic experience, not just a war, but as a nation I believe we've been fortunate enough to suffer through less traumatic experiences than the US.

Anyway, I researched. It's still a work of fiction, but I wanted to at least sprinkle some truth in there. My editor made a fantastic job helping me put the finishing touches on it, and when I read through the manuscript, making some final minor tweaks, I caught myself thinking, "Wow, this is a real book." I scolded myself; all my books are real books, but there's something special about Flashback. It's different. It might only mean something to me, and that's okay, but today I will celebrate sending in the final read-through.

Yesterday is gone. Tomorrow is a promise, but doesn't exist. Today is all we have. I'm going to make an extra effort to enjoy today!

Monday, May 20, 2013

Great reviews for Undercover!

The website Faerie Tale Books has kindly featured Undercover with a spotlight and review. Check out these kind words:

"Undercover is James Bond meets Stephanie Plum! Jenny Moore lives a pretty normal life, does pretty ordinary everyday things like gossip with her girlfriends. She dreams of having adventures and getting lost in a romance. One day she gets a client that will change her life forever. Alexei Roshenko is a very competent spy and assassin. When he comes to America he doesn’t expect to meet the girl of his dreams. The instant heat and attraction between Jenny and Alexei is swoon worthy. The two are caught up in a whirlwind romance that leaves them both breathless. When Alexei’s trip comes to an end he goes back to Russia with a heavy heart. He can’t get Jenny and their time together out of his mind. Jenny is just as bad, except for once in her life she decides to be impulsive and follows Alexei to Russia. Their reunion is not what she expected.

Maria Hammarblad has written a faced paced, quirky romance that combines action, adventure, comedy, and danger. From the first page to the last the reader is caught up in Jenny’s life and her adventures that follow after leaving America for Russia. The suspense and drama bring the character’s closer together.The character’s worm their way into the reader’s heart, while the plot ensnares the reader’s interest page after page. Will Jenny and Alexei get a chance to be together? Sit back and hang on for the ride of your life!"

The following comes from the website Bookworm Babblings. Thank you!

"Jenny Moore starts the New Year with high expectations of great things.  Little did she know that it would happen right in her office.  In walks Alexei Roshenko, a Russian Captain, man of mystery with a sexy accent.  The chemistry is instant, they’re inseparable. Will she still love him when she finds out his secrets?  How far will he go to keep her safe?

There was quite a bit more romance than I’d expected in this book.  It starts of a little slow in the beginning, but if you can stick with it, it certainly picks up the pace about halfway through.  I thought it was interesting how committed Alexei was from the very beginning.  Jenny seemed very trusting, when Alexei gave her a glimpse of his past. After hearing it, I’d personally would have run and not look back.  It was very exciting in the second half of the book and things get really interesting.  All in all, a great novel filled with romance and suspense."

The Universe - or is it Fate - is fickle.

If someone had told me yesterday that an asteroid would collide with Earth, that we'd have a flood of Biblical proportions, or that a so...