Kailiri Summers, what would you like to tell readers about yourself?
* I came from a mining colony on Dearleth. It’s not the type of place that would make anyone teary and nostalgic after escaping from that frozen desolation either. I’m an artist and writer at heart, but my talents haven’t paid any bills to date, so I became a junior assistant librarian at our settlement’s library and all was well. That was until I had to leave because my parents were conspiring with some isolated miner that I’d never met in a clandestine arrangement to marry me off.
* My family—like most of the colonists there—came from traditionalistic, insular Old Terran cultures and the practice of arranged marriages was alive and well on my birth planet. There wasn’t any place else to run on Dearleth except off it. And that’s exactly what I did: I took my meager job savings, a few possessions, and escaped on a passenger spaceliner to Harnaru. That’s where I ended up working as a bartender near the local space port—and praying my family didn’t want to spend money tracking me down and dragging me back to honor a marriage contract I’d never made nor agreed to.
Does your author ever try to take over the story? And how do you deal with it?
* Yes. She thought my story was a straightforward modern fairy tale wherein all my problems would end when I recognized I’d found my handsome prince. But he possessed some mysteries I had to solve first. I had to make my author understand by refusing to cooperate until she allowed me to search into Matt’s background before I left Harnaru with him. My author hadn’t realized how much mystery he had hidden inside him either until then. Then she backed off with the script orchestrations and started letting me tell my story.
What was the best sexual experience you’ve had?
* My wedding night with Matt—if you can call getting bespelled into marrying someone immediately after kissing them for the first time a wedding! But what a night! There might be something in his insistence that I was his soul mate. I’d never felt so bound and connected to a man before Matt. In truth—after escaping an arranged marriage, I never thought I’d ever enter a marriage contract after fighting for my independence and freedom from the old customs on Dearleth.
What’s your take on Matt Lorins?
* What an attractive male specimen! And his mannerisms are so smooth, steady, and unflappable. He has the beguiling tongue of a poet, but he’s resourceful and capable. I think he can handle anything thrown at him in his own quiet way. That quiet manner of his is deceptive, because after you spend a little time in his company, you soon realize that he’s not someone you’d want to have as an enemy. And did I mention that an aura of prosperity and success surrounds him—like he’s a winner? When I first met him, I thought he was just one of my Real Quiet bar customers and that he was only passing through during a ship stopover at the port.
* A portside bar attracts a lot of troubled spacers, but something about Matt—despite all the brain-numbing stuff that I was serving him—seemed to cast a deep sadness over him. It drew me to him and I wanted to reach out and lift it from him. An after work dinner with him became something else entirely. I never dreamed that Matt Lorins and his mysterious past would become my destiny.
Now for some author information!
* My author is D. Martin. D. Martin likes science and finding out how things work. She was one of those annoying kids, who drove her mom and teachers nuts with continual questions of “Why?” Her career as science researcher gave her the opportunity to play in labs and create some pretty neat stuff—and maybe advance technology a little.
* She believes a person can never have too many books. She reads everything, but is fond of science fiction, fantasy, and romance. World cultures fascinate her. She loves science fiction movies and once wanted to be an astronomer to find out what’s ‘out there’. She lives in the Midwest with her husband and daughter, who are both very understanding when she’s off the planet writing.
* Kailiri Summers narrowly escaped an arranged marriage by fleeing to another planet. She has artistic ambitions, but life isn’t cooperating. Bartending seemed like a good option to stay afloat. She thought her future bleak until Matt Lorins walked into her bar.
* One dinner with the charming and wealthy space trader binds her into a passionate marriage bargain. But he’s a man surrounded by mysteries that she can’t unravel. It's while she's traveling alone with him on his star ship, isolated far beyond all help, that he reveals a terrifying secret. She must choose between battling the darkness—or losing Matt forever.
* It was more of a statement than question….
* I grabbed a towel and busied myself with ambitious swipes at condensation that the flimsy napkin coasters provided under the patrons’ drinks hadn’t absorbed. I figured if I kept quiet, he’d go back to his blue study. I had no desire whatsoever to talk about my aspirations and heartaches.
* He took the hint and became quiet again for the next half hour or so. In the last half-hour stretch remaining in my shift, however, he fixed an intent stare on me and spoke. “Would you care for dinner at a Sauran restaurant?”
* No disarming preamble about my looks or charms—or other opening gambits most men resorted to before a meal invitation. Just that dead serious, quiet voice and an intense stare fastened upon me.
* I stared into the green-gold glitter points swimming in those black eyes as I considered the offer. I didn’t accept patron invitations. A lot of unwary—and also very wary—barmaids on Harnaru ended up missing or horribly abused in the aftermath of dinner-after-work offers if their companions turned out to be nut cases….
* A lot of girls end up with some pretty exciting romantic stuff to hang in their memories, to shake out and smile over whenever life gets grim, desolate, and plain unkind….
* My Real Quiet One unwaveringly met my questing stare….
* Then I, Kailiri Summers, made up my mind to sample a little indulgence. Life had been pretty grim, desolate, and unkind as of late—and he seemed to be the strong, steady-going type… I continued studying his relaxed expression and peering into his fireworks eyes.
* I nodded slow acceptance. “A Sauran restaurant it is.”
* He smiled and indicated his empty glasses needed refilling.