Monday, February 9, 2009

The Cat Star Chronicles: Rogue!

It's no secret now that the March releases have been released in February, and since I received my author's copies at about the same time, many of my friends are now in possession of a signed copy of Rogue. When my friend Natalie got hers, she read through half of it in one night, and last night, another quiet one in the ICU, she finished the other half. She was a big fan of Slave, but had a little trouble getting into Warrior, but this one, she really enjoyed. That's the odd thing about this series, when books are written in first person, either you like that person's voice and personality or you don't. My sisters both preferred Warrior to Slave, while other readers have devoured every installment.

While this is just one more example of the old axiom that you can't please 'em all, Rogue offers something a bit more risky than that initial foray into erotic science fiction romance; it has a threesome. Only one scene, but while some people absolutely love the idea, others are appalled by it. Our editor isn't a big fan of multiple partners, but after she read it, she told me, and I quote: "I wouldn't change a word of it." So, with that recommendation, I think it's probably safe for most romance novel enthusiasts to read. In fact, one reviewer has stated that she wished I would have taken it even further, while another was so afraid I wouldn't "go there" and was very pleased that I did.

But now that you've been warned--or dared!--here's a little more about the actual story.

Rogue is the tale of two Zetithian brothers, Trag and Tychar, alien warriors who were captured and sold into slavery near the end of the war that resulted in the near extinction of their kind. They have been the pampered pets of a Darconian queen for the past twenty years, and though their lives haven't been hard, being the lone humanoid males on a planet populated by lizards hasn't allowed them much in the way of sexual gratification. However, the progressive Queen Scalia has hired a human female, Kyra Aramis, to give piano lessons to her daughter.

Alone on a world filled with intelligent, but fearsome dinosaurs, Kyra is understandably nervous, and the discovery that she is not the only humanoid on the planet offers only a brief comfort. When Tychar is assigned to be Kyra's personal attendant, and though he and Trag are both irresistible, there are two of them, and worst of all, they are slaves to the Queen. What's a girl to do?

Just when things get interesting, rumors of unrest begin flying, and the peaceful planet of Darconia undergoes a major political upheaval, with the offworlders caught in the middle.

In the previous books in this series, the heroes had both endured a life of harsh slavery. However, in Rogue, I took a different tack, giving them to an owner who not only treated them well, but cherished them for their beauty and individuality. The two brothers are similar in appearance, but Tychar is a charming rogue, brought up on his homeworld of Zetith, while his brother, Trag, is a restless renegade who was raised offworld by his uncle, the captain of a space freighter. I wanted to explore the different personalities in an effort to demonstrate that even though Zetithian males all exude sexuality, there are still differences, and even when two of them are hers for the taking, a girl can still make a choice.

Just as my heroes are different, so is my heroine. In Slave, Jacinth was tough, space savvy, and never at a loss in difficult situations. Warrior's heroine, Tisana, was a powerful witch with a sharp tongue and a dry wit. Kyra, however, is a musician, and her tendency to be a bit timid makes her decision to take up a teaching post on a distant world surprising to her friends and family alike. But like all good heroines, she gets the chance to grow in strength as a person and as a woman in love.

Many of the supporting characters are aliens. Some are from Darconia, while others are slaves from distant worlds, and each of them have their own peculiar characteristics and personalities. There were plenty of opportunities for humor, from the Darconian guard who is smitten with Kyra, to the piano-playing youngest son of the Queen. There are new characters who have some spin-off potential, as well as a surprise visit from some old friends.

This being the third in the series, it also marks the last to be written in first person. The next book, Outcast, which is due out in June, will be the first I have published in third person. I've heard the full gambit of opinions on which POV is best, and though first person has served me well, many readers have been disappointed that they couldn't get into my hero's heads. Well, from now on, they will, and in the meantime, I'm finding it a very fascinating place to be. . . .

18 comments:

  1. Looking forward to reading Rogue, Cheryl!! (And since I've already seen the racy scene, I will echo Deb's sentiments--spot on!)

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  2. Thanks, Marie!
    I hope everyone else shares your sentiments!

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  3. I found 4 copies in B&N here, and one went home with me, but I've got to check Hastings too and report back!

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  4. Cheryl--

    I read Outcast this weekend, and combined with Rogue, I really love the directions you are taking as the series progresses. Can't wait to see what's next :)

    Best,
    Danielle

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  5. Cheryl, you know how I love your imagination and it sounds like you'be done again.

    Can't wait.

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  6. Cheryl, first person is so immediate. It’s told in your main character’s voice and as with real people we either like them or not. It depends upon how well the author can convey what is seen and done with that character.

    I prefer reading third person, but I’ve read some excellent books told in first person. The story is so well constructed that I forget what POV is being used and I’m caught up in the story. I think the main thing for me, as a reader, is how well I can relate to and get to know the main character so I’m no longer thinking he/she is TELLING a story but has made me part of the story. I think it takes some real skill to write first person effectively.

    When I choose a book, especially a new author (for me), I look at the cover art and title then I read the back blurb and inside flap excerpt. If the premise catches my attention I usually buy it. Your premise in this series sounds really interesting. I love the sci-fi tone of it.

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  7. My B&N only had four copies, too, Terry. I guess they're being more cautious about the number of copies they buy, too. *sigh* Sometimes it isn't much fun living in "interesting times!"

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  8. Ah, Danielle, So THAT'S what you did this weekend! LOL! How is Z?

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  9. Thanks, MM!
    This one has lots of different kinds of aliens, so, yes, my imagination had plenty of room to take flight. I hope you enjoy the fun!

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  10. Hi Sia!
    I loved writing in first person, mainly because my favorite authors--Mary Stewart and Daphne DuMaurier--wrote that way. But, I'm branching out, and, like I said, taking the hero's POV can be a lot of fun!

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  11. hahaha, Cheryl! Z is in a band, and while they were practicing, I was reading :)

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  12. Ooo, Danielle! Can it be that you are dating a rockstar, perhaps??? What does he do, play or sing?

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  13. This sounds fabulous, Cheryl. And count me among those glad you "went there"! I've gotta see who Kyra chooses. I should probably send a copy to my sister, too, since her name is Kyra...she'll love it!

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  14. Hi Kendra,
    See, there's a whole lot of people who like that three's company idea. I hope you and Kyra both enjoy it!

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  15. Cheryl~

    I can't wait to finish my Rita books, my book due in less than a month, and the several critiques I have to do just so I can sit down and dive right into Rogue!

    Robin :)

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  16. I'm a huge fan of the Cat Star Chronicles. I won a copy of Slave at my RWA chapter raffle for charity, and devoured it! I loved that it was so different than anything out there; mainstream but with a definate edge not found this side of straight erotica. Can't wait to get my hands on this latest one!

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  17. Hi Robin!
    I'm fixing to dive into Sharon and Linda's new books. Just got them yesterday!
    Hope you enjoy Rogue!

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  18. Thanks Kat!
    I hope you enjoy Rogue. So far, I've gotten lots of good feedback on it, so, needless to say, I'm PUMPED!!!

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