Welcome to the Summer Science Fiction Romance Brigade (SFRB) blog hop July 11-15 2016. There’s a sweet giveaway at the bottom of the post! Plus I have my own giveaway that is extra. 🙂
Something I learned while writing Liberation’s Vow is how much I love the late fashion designer Alexander McQueen.
Alexander McQueen is famous for his vibrant imagery, technical skill, and incredible execution of dresses that defy reality. Although he is also credited with making low-rise pants popular back in 2001, his exotic outfits composed of feathers, crystals, spray paint, or really odd things like gummy bears and razorback clam shells stand out. These mystifying couture “fantasies” are simultaneously disturbing and beautiful, sticking in your memory long after you’ve turned away.
Unfortunately, he committed suicide in 2010 at the age of forty, so his current work is all we have in the world.
I am not a follower of high fashion, but for book research I get to learn all sorts of neat things! My heroine Resa grew up in the tough, dirty world of mining and obsessively watched the 9000-episode-strong futuristic TV soap opera “Alien Warlords.” She longed for the rich lifestyle, and the alien warlord drama, because it was so different from her origins.
Now reborn as an “emotionless” android, she can’t allow herself to be seduced by beautiful gowns, no matter how strong her craving.
Hero Aris designed dresses before taking on the mantle of planetary governor and future heir to ruling the solar system. He would love nothing more than to reawaken Resa’s old dreams by clothing her in gorgeous, exotic dresses of the richest materials. So, what kinds of crave-able dresses would he design?
For inspiration, I searched Pinterest and discovered some truly amazing designs. However, the gowns I continuously found myself drawn to were all made by one visionary creator: Alexander McQueen. I adapted, remixed, and wrote several of them into scenes of Liberation’s Vow. A particular favorite is a butterfly dress I put on Resa just before she infiltrates Aris’s rival’s stronghold. Another good one is the peacock-feather-and-crystal dress she wears when rescuing Aris from an exploding floating dome.
In addition to the blog hop giveaway, I am also hosting my own New Release giveaway! Enter for the chance to win a $25 Amazon gift card. All entrants receive a small prize. Get the details and enter here: Liberation’s Vow New Release Giveaway.
She is the grand prize winner of the $25 Amazon gift card.
Congratulations to all entrants who receive one free copy of the new, exclusive, sexy companion story Liberation’s Mystery featuring an all-new couple, Brielle and Kristof!
The giveaway is now over. For new release announcements, fun behind-the-scenes secrets, and lots of freebies and a free introductory book, sign up for my Reader’s Group. Thanks for reading!
I’m giving away one $25 Amazon gift card to a lucky winner in celebration of releasing Liberation’s Vow! Everyone who enters will receive a small prize (to be decided – a picture or a short story related to Liberation’s Vow). Please follow these steps:
New Release newsletter subscribers got an easy one-click entry back in June, and all of my VIP Readers are automatically entered. (Note: No purchase necessary; one entry per person; void where prohibited.)
The big winner will be notified via email on July 31 and also announced here on my blog.
This post is part of the SFR Brigrade Summer Cafe Blog Hop. Check out the other blogs featuring short story appetizers, main dish novels, and sweet swag desserts all about Androids & Aliens this week. Scroll to the bottom of this post to enter to win!
Edible hair dye and pink flamingos
Question: What color are flamingos?
Answer: Flamingos are gray!
Perhaps you only know pink flamingos? Gray flamingos turn pink because they eat pink shrimp. (Mostly brine shrimp, also known as sea monkeys.) And shrimp turn pink when cooked because they eat caroteniod-producing planktonic algae. You see the food chain in action every time you look at a pink flamingo.
Eating your way to a new color is nothing new to the animal kingdom. Cardinals are red because they eat tasty berries containing carotenoids, and finches metabolize these same carotenoids into yellow. If you keep them in captivity and feed them a diet without the tasty red berries, their colors will fade after a few molts, and you will no longer have vibrant birds. Similarly, zoo keepers and salmon farmers have to supplement diets or else their pink flamingos and salmon will revert to dull gray.
Melanin pigments our human eyes, hair, and skin, and the amounts and ratios of the different types of melanin determine whether we are blue-eyed blondes, mysterious brunettes, or ravishing redheads. This is generally controlled by genetics or Lady Clairol. But Lady Clairol has a ways to go to catch up to nature! Box colors and spray tans can take hours, color contacts rip or fall out, and as soon as you stop the applications, you too will revert back to your normal color.
In the science fiction future, I think we will definitely control our colors with more fun and ease. Leloo in The Fifth Element discovered a makeup device that applied perfect color with one click, and the receptionist for Mr. Zorg spent hours instantly changing from one nail color to another.
I like the idea of changing hair color by eating. (I like food!) On the run from pursuers, my characters in Liberation’s Kiss go under cover like flamingos and cardinals: by popping melanin pills.
In this excerpt, reprogrammed assassin android Xan has just returned to his injured love Cressida’s tiny hotel room with food, medicine, and a strategy for keeping her safe for one more night…
His confidence filled her with confidence. They had already survived this long against incredible odds. She filled her belly with the delicious protein noodles, then watched him testing the water in the shower. New exciting thoughts shivered through her. Him, naked. Washing her, equally naked. And then, touching…
“Um, what are you doing in there?” she asked. Her voice sounded too loud for the small room.
He shut off the water and returned with a brown bag. Putting away her leftovers into the delivery cart – keeping it fresh and warm for later – he drew out cosmetics for changing her appearance. She swallowed a slow-acting melanin pill and a second pill that directed some of it to the stroma of her irises, to increase the Rayleigh scattering shifting her eyes from blue to green.
He held up a tub of Bruisease. “This has to be kept away from water. I know it’s going to hurt, but how about changing the rest of your appearance in the shower first?”
She swallowed the sudden dryness. “You’ll need to help me.”
His eyes remained steady as a rock. “Anything.”
She rotated her feet to the ground and then eased out, putting slow pressure on her heels. Pain shrieked up her legs. She sucked in a breath through her teeth.
He eased an arm around her bare shoulder blades and helped her to stand, supporting her into the tiny room. She shivered on the cool tile. He adjusted to a comforting temperature and detached the nozzle from the wall. The stream eased down her sore back like a warm caress.
She rested her hands on the tile while he rinsed her body, then had her lean forward, hands against the wall, and scrubbed the depiliatory cream into her scalp. Her hair dissolved like a color; she watched it disappear down the drain, careful not to get any splashes on her brows or lashes. Gentle hands stroked her head, tracing the soft lines of her bare skull, sensual. Under his relaxing ministrations, hair regrowth formula adhered to her scalp, and he rinsed the layers away, revealing the first bit of fuzz. She touched it tentatively. Red. In a few hours, it would grow as long as her finger tips, and in a day, it would reach her shoulders. She swallowed a calcium tablet and an E supplement, trusting him as he remade her into a new person. Without those minerals, her new hair would turn brittle and break away, fragile as strands of spun glass.
His eyes traced the fuzz as his hands did, an odd expression on his face.
“You’re sad,” she guessed.
He flashed to her in surprise. She had been correct. “I like you as you are.”
“It’ll come back,” she said. “In a few days.”
His thumb stroked her cheek. Absent, like he didn’t notice. “Real hair takes so much longer to grow.”
She swallowed. “Then you’ll just have to wait with me until it’s all back.”
His eyes skipped up to her scalp again. He rubbed the softness, pressed her briefly to his chest – making a wet print on his flight suit – and shut off the water, allowing the warmth of radiation to dry her naturally and fully. Her chemise and panties puffed out, made fluffy by the warmth. He scooped his arm under hers and helped her back to the bed…
– From Liberation’s Kiss, available July 1 (Pre-order now for a special price 80% off!)
If you could change something about yourself with one easy pill, what would you change?
Thanks for stopping by! Check out the other blogs and enter the Rafflecopter below to win free ebooks, gift cards, phone wallpaper, pens, and notebooks!
My guest post is live today on Snarky Mom Reads. It’s about libraries remembering 9/11 and about my sincere wish for world peace, mostly via happy romance novels.
I checked out 8 comic books/manga/manwha from the library yesterday, and all had graphic murder, violence, and rape scenes in them. If this is one facet of the world, we need more reflections of the beauty, hope, and kindness in it too.
And that’s another reason I write romance novels…
The post also includes a rafflecopter for a free ebook of I’ll Be Waiting, the 6th of the San Juan Island Stories. a Rafflecopter giveaway