About the Book
Genre sensuously erotic sci-fi romance novel
Author Name Linda Mooney
Book heat level (based on movie ratings): R
A hundred years ago, the last people of Earth landed on planet AR617b. It was their only hope after being forced to flee the dead planet that was once their ancestral home
The native inhabitants of AR617b, known as gerons are sentient creatures that resemble a cross between dragons and griffins of old Earth lore. When they initially tried to destroy the settlers, a deal was made to ensure both species' survival. It was decided that each year, every five-year-old human child must take The Walk across a hundred meter field. If they don't stop or run, they will arrive safely on the other side, and be allowed to grow up and have families of their own. But if they break the rule, the gerons will kill them unless, by a strange quirk of fate, a geron decides to Pair with the child, taking and raising the human as its own.
Emmala took The Walk, and found herself adopted by one of the older gerons, an immense silvery-white creature named Zonaton. For the next fifteen years, he cared for her, protected her, and loved her. But now Emmala's real family wants her back, and they will do everything they can to have her returned, even if it means killing Zonaton, and starting an all-out war with the gerons.
What neither the settlers nor gerons realize is that there is another alien species watching and waiting for the two combatants to go into battle. Because when they do, that will be the aliens' cue to destroy everyone, and claim AR617b for their own.
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Interview with Linda Mooney
Why did you write this book?
By accident, I ran across a piece of artwork on the internet that hit me like a two-by-four. I have no idea who the artist is, but it's a picture of a human-like dragon/griffin protecting a naked young female. The picture is in sepia tones, mostly silver in color, and I just couldn't shake the image. It was too powerful and beautiful, and I knew I had to write a story around the piece.
What is your favorite genre to read?
Believe it or not, I love to read mostly horror. As for romance, I'm very eclectic. Whatever gets my attention, I'll read.
What is your favorite character from fiction (not including your own characters)?
I love the Comte de Saint Germaine, by Chelsea Quinn Yarbro.
Do you enjoy films and/or TV shows? Which are your favorites?
I watch mostly horror. Right now I'm a huge Walking Dead fan. I also watch Ghost Adventures, From Dusk 'Til Dawn, and Sherlock.
What are you working on at the moment, and what are we likely to see from you in the coming months?
I'm jumping back and forth between several books. Once I retire from teaching in June (after 35 years), I hope to "settle down" and get a few more books completed, including AEquana's Quest, HeartStorm, Runner's Moon: Yarrolam, Every Battle Lord's Nightmare, and an independent story called UnderSilver.
Please tell us about your latest book.
Zonaton is a geron, one of the sentient creatures inhabiting an Earth-like planet. A hundred years ago, the survivors of Earth landed on his world and began to colonize. But, as humans do, they began to ravage the planet, forcing the gerons to try and curb the destruction. As the gerons, who resemble dragon/griffin-like humans, are much more powerful, they nearly killed all the survivors, until one man managed to broker a truce between the species. As part of the treaty, every year, all 5-year-old children have to take The Walk across a barren plot of land. Those children who run or refuse to go are taken away and killed. Those who follow through survive to grow up.
What the humans don't realize is that gerons are extremely sensitive to human tendencies. Gerons can tell which child will grow up to become vicious and possibly a severe danger to their own kind. What the gerons actually do is cull the human population of any future danger.
Emmala is old enough to take The Walk, but her situation is drastic. She is a severely abused child, both physically and emotionally. During the trial, Zonaton realizes she will not live to grow up if her situation doesn't change, so he "adopts" her, and takes her away to live with him.
The only problem with this is that he is well into his elderly years, and doesn't have many left to live. All he can do is hope he remains around long enough to give Emmala - whom he has come to cherish - enough knowledge and support so that she can survive on her own after he is gone.
What neither of them realize is that Emmala's abusive parents decide they want her back with them, and they will do everything in their power to have her returned to them.
At the same time, some rogue aliens, who have caused trouble before in the past, have landed back on the gerons' planet, and it won't be long before they're expected to pose a major threat to both the humans and gerons.
She knew she had hurt Zonaton when she'd confessed she wanted a human male. She knew she had hurt him in the deepest way possible because he believed that once she found a human companion, she would no longer need him. No longer want him.
When that was the furthest thing from the truth.
"What I want is you," she whispered into the dark corners of the cave. Speaking aloud without him there allowed her to be open. It gave her the security of knowing he wasn't able to hear her because as long as she kept these thoughts, these wishes within herself, she feared that one day she would inadvertently send them to him. And that possibility frightened her like no other. She had no way of knowing how he would react, other than be wounded in ways she could never forgive herself for inflicting.
"The truth is, every time my phantom lover came to me, I imagined it was you. I dreamed and hoped it was you, but I was too afraid to say so."
She sniffed and wiped her nose on a corner of the blanket.
"I love you, Zon, like I've loved no one else. But I know there's no way we can be mates. No way we can be lovers the way humans do. But that doesn't stop me from dreaming."
He had known of her need for physical love, and he had created the silvery human lover to take care of that need. Although they had all been dreams, the emotional and physical release she'd gotten from her ghostly lover had been real. Real enough to temporarily satisfy the craving for more intense interaction.
Which was why Hawse had appealed to her. An unspoken wish that appeared, as if in answer to her secret cravings. A real person, a real human man, and one she'd known in the past. How could she not have wanted to have sex with him?
It had been a terrible mistake, and one she would never make again.
She had Zonaton. With him, she had security, and happiness, and fulfillment. More than anything, she had love.
"Keep sending me my silvery, ghost-faced lover, Zon. If I can't have you, then let me have the false you. The you that can make me feel joy inside and out. Keep sending me that, and I can be happy for the rest of my life."
The confession left her with a bright warmth enveloping her heart. He may not have heard her words or thoughts, but through whatever miracle connected them, that miracle Zonaton referred to as their True Pairing, he understood she had reconciled with herself and with what had occurred with Hawse. She would not suffer nightmares, or be made to deal with horrific flashbacks because of the man. And Zonaton had sent her a loving sense of peace as solid as if he had held her in his arms and caressed her.
Closing her eyes, Emmala allowed herself to drift to sleep.
Linda loves to write sensuously erotic romance with a fantasy, paranormal, or science fiction flair. Her technique is often described as being as visual as a motion picture or graphic novel.
A wife, mother, and retired Kindergarten and music teacher, she lives in a small south
town near the Gulf coast where she delves into other worlds filled with daring exploits,
adventure, and intense love.
She has numerous best sellers, including 10 consecutive #1s. In 2009, she was named Whiskey Creek Press Torrid's Author of the Year, and her book My Strength, My Power, My Love was named the 2009 WCPT Book of the Year. In 2011, her book Lord of Thunder was named the EPIC eBook (formerly Eppie) Award Winner for Best Erotic Sci-Fi Romance.
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