LOVED IN SPACE Anthology Authors Reveal Their Story Inspirations

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When six topflight science fiction romance authors come together to do an anthology, that’s exciting for readers in the genre and a good opportunity for people who may not have sampled any SFR as yet to give the collection a try.

I was delighted to ask the authors what inspired each of their stories, beginning with Mina Carter, who also addresses a few questions on the anthology itself. Please note most of the authors are British or Canadian and use British spellings.

The blurb: Six brand new stories of love and romance among the stars by NYT & USA Today Bestsellers Mina Carter, Eve Langlais, Cara Bristol, Donna McDonald, Susan Hayes and J Thompson.

Mina Carter, author of Kissed by the Alien Mercenary: 

Woken by a kiss, she didn’t expect her prince to be a handsome alien warrior.

VS for ASM.: What was the inspiration for the anthology itself? 

MC:  It was a random idea sparked by a conversation with a friend (as all the best ideas are!). We both write SFR and realised that we have a fair amount of readers in common. Since we love to share and introduce readers to other great stories we contacted some friends with the idea of new stories in their favourite series so we could introduce readers to great new worlds and series.

ASM.:  Who did the eyecatching cover? 

MC: I did. I’m fortunate (or batty enough if you’ve ever used photoshop) to have been a cover artist for many years.

ASM.: What was the original ‘spark’ or idea that inspired your story in the anthology? 

MC: It’s a sleeping beauty story with aliens! The heroine has been asleep for months with an unknown virus and is woken finally when she’s kissed by the hero.

ASM.: Which other book of yours are you dying for a reader to discover and why? 

MC: Alien Lord’s Captive. It’s the first Alien warriors book and introduces the Lathar and why they’re after human women. Definitely go back to the beginning to explore the world and the characters. While each book is a standalone romance, there is a series arc so it’s best read in sequence.

ASM.: What was the first book you read in the SFR genre? What did you like best about it? 

MC: Oh my, I can’t remember. I literally devour books. I love scifi so I’ve been reading it for over 30 years.

ASM.: What’s on your To Be Read list? 

MC: Cavas, Laurann Dohner, Operation Fury, Susan Hayes

And now to hear from the rest of the authors: 

Eve Langlais, author of Mate Abduction: 

Clarabelle isn’t about to take orders from anyone. Especially not the hot lizardman.

Inspiration for the story: Clarabelle, the heroine in this story, actually shows up in some of my other Alien Abduction books, and I’d always wondered about her adventure. In Mate Abduction we finally get to live it.

Which book of yours should readers try next if they like the anthology story?

Mate Abduction is based out of my Alien Abduction series, so if you enjoy alien encounters, humor and romance then definitely check it out. If you want something sci-fi but a little more Earth based, then try my brand new Dystopian romance, The Deviant Future that starts with Toxic Dust.

First book read in SFR genre? What did you like best about it?

My first sci-fi romance was Johanna Lindsey’s Warrior Woman. I devoured that paperback until it fell apart. I couldn’t help but be fascinated by the idea of sexy aliens.

Your To Be Read list: I am always waiting for the next Ilona Andrews book, they are an auto buy for me. And I can’t wait for the next Murderbot books, by Martha Wells.

Cara Bristol, author of KRASH: Dakonian Alien Mail Order Brides:

When a dating agency claims to match Earth women with extraterrestrials, fraud investigator Cyan Blue goes undercover as a client to expose the scam. She’s not interested in finding love and certainly not with a pretend alien! 

Inspiration for the story: When you read a sci-fi romance with an alien hero and a human heroine, as a reader, you suspend your disbelief, and say, oh, okay sure. But in real life, you wouldn’t believe that a human would or could date an extraterrestrial. In Krash, a dating agency arranges matches between human women and aliens. The heroine, Cyan Blue believes alien visitation is an urban myth and that the agency is running a scam.

Which book of yours should readers try next if they like the anthology story?

Krash is a light, funny sci-fi romance. It’s a spinoff of two other series of mine. So readers should check out Darak: Dakonian Alien Mail Order Brides and Alien Mate (Alien Mate 1). In the Alien Mate series, Earth women go to planet Dakon as mail order brides. In the Dakonians, the alien men come to Earth.

First book you read in the SFR genre? What did you like best about it? 

I have no idea which one was the first, but Eve Langlais’ cyborg romance, C791 (More than Machines) stands out in my mind. I loved the hero. It inspired me to write my own cyborg series!

Your To Be Read list:

I can tell you what’s in my Kindle: The Good, the Bad, and the Cyborg by Honey Phillips, The Lionman Kidnapping by Eve Langlais, and Dragon Next Door by Terry Bolryder.

Susan Hayes, author of Chance of a Lifetime:

When time runs out, she’ll have to make a choice that will change her life forever – keep running, or turn to the one man her heart tells her she can trust.

Inspiration for the story: Chance of a Lifetime started out as a poll to my reader group, asking them what secondary character they’d like to see get their Happily Ever After. They overwhelmingly voted for Erik, a character who had popped up in several books in the Drift series over the years.  Erik is a cage fighter and security for a fight club out in the Drift, so the moment I knew who the hero would be, I realized he’d need someone special, a woman strong enough to deal with his rough edges, while still in need of a protector (because I love protective heroes.)

One of my favourite story themes is secrets, and this story was a chance for me to write in all sorts of secrets, surprises, and revelations, one of which was a surprise even to me!

Which book of yours should readers try next if they like the anthology story? 

Double Down is book one of the Drift series, where Chance of a Lifetime is set. This series has cyborgs, aliens, passionate lovers and occasional explosions, along with a cyberpunk sci-fi feel and enough suspense to keep you up past your bedtime.

First book read in the SFR genre? What did you like best about it?

It was so long ago I can’t be sure, but it was either Laurann Dohner’s Ral’s Woman, or Mina Carter’s Cyborg’s Price. Then I discovered Eve Langlais’ sci-fi romances… and I loved them all. Strong women, steamy romance, and alien worlds and customs. I was hooked. (and now, I get to write with two of these ladies!)

Your To Be Read list:

Contact by Susan Grant and then I think it’s time to re-read an old favourite, Ann McCaffery’s Freedom’s Landing series.

J Thompson, author of Betraying Ko’ran: 

Bethany Walker lost everything. Trapped in a bitter cycle of loneliness and grief, the arrival of a gorgeous cyborg with a familiar face changes everything.

Inspiration for the story: Well you can safely blame the talented Mina Carter for this one. I am lucky enough to meet regularly with her and it usually involves a hot tub. Since our joint venture (Dragon Men Do it Better) had been released, she had opened my eyes to writing within the Sci Fi romance world.

My cyborgs were born from a combination of warm bubbles, tea and a wild imagination as well as inspiration from some of the amazing authors I met at Romancing the Capital.

Which book of yours should readers try next if they like the anthology story?

My main genre is PNR, so if you are game I would definitely recommend Ebony Book 1 in the Trinity Series. When Ebony thinks her life couldn’t possibly get any worse, it does, and the darkness calls to her.

Yet salvation arrives in the unlikely form of two beautiful, mysterious women and a man willing to fight to be her saviour.

As a new world is suddenly and unexpectedly thrust upon her, Ebony, whether she’s ready or not, is about to find out who she really is and exactly what she’s made of.

First book read in the SFR genre? What did you like best about it? 

One of the first books I ever read in the Sci Fi genre was Grim by MK Eidem. I was hooked. Just like PNR, Sci Fi has a way of reeling you in and keeping you prisoner. Scifi gives you alpha males that are out of this world and a way to escape, not just reality but the planet too. Who wouldn’t love that?

Your To Be Read list: 

What am I going to read next?? Well first off I need to catch up on Susan Hayes-The Drift series. I’m part way through book one Double Down and I’m absolutely loving it.  I also have The Frost Maiden by Michelle M Pillow to devour along with Zoe York’s Vikings in Space series.

That being said Mina Carter’s Lathar series do have me foaming at the mouth and I eagerly anticipate every book she releases.

Donna McDonald, author of Ashland 297: The Alien Agenda:

Astronaut Dia Daniels went searching for her missing cyborg husband and found an alien instead.

Inspiration for the story:  When Mina Carter talked to me about being in the Loved In Space anthology, she suggested I write an original story based on my long-running cyborg series. The final book of that series—or at least a storyline wrap-up book—released in December of 2019. My Cyborgs: Mankind Redefined series is not set in space, but rather on a post-apocalyptic earth ten years after World War III has ended. I dug through the Urban Fantasy/SciFi themes in the series until I found a space-related twist I could play up.

I think Ashland 297: The Alien Agenda will greatly please my long-time readers and be a fun introduction to my work for the fans of the other anthology authors who might not have heard of me.

I love aliens in general, but I tend to write spoofy ones when I create them. However, Ashland 297 is not spoofy in the least. Instead, this storyline delves into current alien astronaut theories about genetic manipulation and a galactic plan to keep humankind from destroying itself. While I’m not committing yet to a full-blown spin-off series, Ashland 297 was definitely fun to write. And I totally owe Mina for the inspiration!

Which book of yours should readers try next if they like the anthology story?

If readers like Ashland 297: The Alien Agenda, then they will likely enjoy the whole cyborg series. Peyton 313, Book 1 of Cyborgs: Mankind Redefined, is a free series starter at the moment if they want to try it. I can’t promise how long the free first book offering will last, but definitely through the release of this anthology and a bit beyond.

First book read in the SFR genre? What did you like best about it?

Wow, this is a tough question for me. Years ago, I wanted something different to read in Sci-Fi so I went looking for books in the SFR genre. I found Eve Langlais, SE Smith, and Evangeline Anderson at about the same time. What I liked about all of their work was the way the authors blended great action and adventure stories with humor and romance. The books were fun to read and real page-turners. At that point, I’d already written a six book, mostly SciFi series that had heavy romantic elements, but it was not strictly SFR. Their work was heavier on romance and I loved that. I think the first title I read was C791 by Eve Langlais which was Book 1 of her cyborg series.

Your To Be Read list:

I’ve been reading a lot of Urban Fantasy lately because I’d like to do a UF series. In general, I prefer stories with strong romantic elements which I define as a committed couple, so I specifically look for that in whatever genre I read. In UF, I recently found Ilona Andrews’ work (a husband and wife writing team). Their Kate Daniels series is wonderful, but the SciFi geek in me is absolutely enamored of their Innkeeper series. It has an incredibly unique SF premise and is not like anything else I’ve ever read.

As far as SciFi Romance goes, I’m reading SE Smith at the moment and working my way through her Alliance series and Dragon Lords of Valdier series (think alien dragons). My TBR list is large.

Believe it or not, I have to give a TBR shout-out to most of the other authors in the anthology because I buy and read their books all the time. I’m a huge fan of Eve Langlais, Mina Carter, Cara Bristol, and Susan Hayes. My kindle was loaded with their books long before I even met these authors in person. I’m totally fan-girling my way through being in this anthology with them and feel absolutely no shame admitting it. J. Thompson’s work is new to me but I’m excited to check her out because I love finding new authors.

 

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