~Author: Brenda Hiatt
~Published: January 24th, 2014
~Genres: Young Adult, Sci-fi Romance
The Starstruck adventure continues…
Marsha Truitt spent the first fifteen years of her life as a nerdy nobody before discovering her true identity as the long lost princess of a secret civilization. Now M is dodging extraterrestrial paparazzi while trying to keep the truth from her adoptive aunt and uncle and everyone at school. At least she can be herself with her boyfriend and literal soulmate, Rigel. Whenever they’re together, it’s easy to forget the responsibilities that will eventually come with her new status. But when a new boy arrives at Jewel High, everything M thought she knew about herself and her future is turned upside down. Now the very destiny that lifted her from obscurity threatens to tear her away from Rigel and their happy ever after. But when two planets conspire against you, where is there to run?
~Published: September 22, 2013
~Genres: Young Adult, Sci-Fi, Romance
Nerdy astronomy geek Marsha, M to her few friends, has never been anybody special. Orphaned as an infant and reluctantly raised by an overly-strict “aunt,” she’s not even sure who she is. M’s dream of someday escaping tiny Jewel, Indiana and making her mark in the world seems impossibly distant until hot new quarterback Rigel inexplicably befriends her. As Rigel turns his back on fawning cheerleaders to spend time with M, strange things start to happen: her acne clears up, her eyesight improves to the point she can ditch her thick glasses, and when they touch, sparks fly—literally! When M digs for a reason, she discovers deep secrets that will change her formerly humdrum life forever . . . and expose her to perils she never dreamed of. Yes, the middle of nowhere just got a lot more interesting!
Brenda Hiatt has published fifteen novels with Harlequin and HarperCollins, including six traditional Regency romances, one time travel romance and eight historical romances, most set in Regency England. She is now indie publishing her backlist as she continues to write in these and other genres, to include mystery/suspense and young adult romance. In addition to writing, Brenda is passionate about embracing life to the fullest, to include scuba diving (she has over 60 dives to her credit), Taekwondo (where she recently achieved her 2nd degree black belt), hiking, traveling, and pursuing new experiences and skills. She is an active member of Romance Writers of America, the Society of Children's Book Writers and Illustrators, and Novelists, Inc, an international organization of multipublished novelists, where she served as President in 2006. For the past dozen years, Brenda has also collected data on writers' earnings, which she shares at her website.
*Provided by Grapevine Tours
Welcome, Brenda! Starcrossed, the second installment of your YA Sci-fi Romance series, is now released! How are you feeling?
Very excited, and I guess a little nervous. I love these books SO much that I’m super anxious to share them with as many readers as possible! With each release I feel a little like a new mom launching her baby out into the big, unpredictable world!
• Please describe Starcrossed in five words.
Romance, adversity, destiny, determination, adventure
• Please summarize the Starstruck series in three sentences.
A nerdy nobody discovers she’s the long-lost princess of a secret underground colony on Mars. Together with the hot new quarterback, who happens to be her bonded soulmate, she works to save both that colony and Earth from unimaginable threats. But as events unfold, it looks like she may have to choose between true love and the fate of all humanity!
• What inspired the idea behind the series?
When I was in elementary school, a girl I knew used to tell everyone that she was really a Martian princess. Of course, everyone made fun of her, but years later I remembered her and started thinking (with my weird writer brain), “What if her stories really were true?” The idea for the Starstruck series was born from that thought.
• How many installments do you plan on there being?
At the moment, I’m expecting the series to be four books. Of course, as I was writing Starcrossed (book 2), I thought it would be a three-book series, and I’m still revising the end of book 3 and haven’t started #4, so . . . who knows?
• Tell us about the romance—what can the readers expect?
The romance is strong with these books. (Nerdy Star Wars reference, sorry.) Starstruck stands alone as a teen romance with science fiction elements and plenty of adventure. In Starcrossed, M and Rigel have their happy-ever-after tested by outside forces, but that only strengthens their bond. Whether that bond can withstand future events, time will tell! (But I’m a die-hard romantic at heart, which should give you a hint!)
• So far, what has been the most challenging part of this series?
Though I’ve written linked books before, like my Regency historical “Saint of Seven Dials” books, this has been my first attempt to write a REAL series where the plot and characters continue over several books. Keeping all the threads straight has been a challenge (I keep lots and LOTS of notes!) It’s also my first time writing young adult fiction, so capturing the voices and sensibilities of my teen characters was a challenge, especially at first. But once I started channeling my own inner teen, it became way more fun than difficult!
• Your favorite line or scene from the book:
My real favorite is near the end and would contain spoilers! But I love the bits where M gets weirded out by everything seeming so normal on the surface when really half the people around her are from Mars, pretending to be regular people for the benefit of all the Earthlings who have no clue.
More about you …
• What do you enjoy and dread most about writing?
I enjoy going back over a scene and making it better. And better. I most dread the blank page!
• Besides writing, what other artistic talents do you have?
Over the past couple of years I’ve become competitive in Taekwondo forms, which is sort of an art.
• Are you currently writing another book?
Oh, yes! I’m currently revising the last several chapters of book 3 in the Starstruck series (tentatively titled Starbound) and making lots of notes for book 4 (no working title yet).
• Best piece of advice you’ve received and would give aspiring authors?
Read, read, read! Especially in the genre you want to write in, but also in other genres.
** FLASH Q&A **
• Current obsession: My daughter’s upcoming March wedding!
• Last thing you Googled: How to keep berries fresh longer. (Answer: vinegar!)
• You’re stressed. What’s the first thing you do or reach for? I’d like to say I meditate when stressed but I’m more likely to reach for chocolate.
• You write best with: music playing (mostly Muse) while walking on my treadmill (and) in comfy jeans or shorts.
• Inspiration hits, but you're not home or near your computer. You: grab the tiny notepad I always keep in my purse and jot down enough to remind me later.
• Best writing resource: Nowadays, the internet!
• Guilty pleasure: I already mentioned chocolate, right?
• Automatic buy-list author: J.K. Rowling (wish she’d write more Hogwarts books! A prequel series would be so much fun…)
• Favorite YA Sci-fi novel or series: So far, THE HUNGER GAMES but I’m always looking for new favorites!
~Prize: One (1) $10 Amazon or B&N gift card
Ends Feb 10th, 2014
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