Hey bloggies – let’s give a warm welcome to my fellow author at Total-E-Bound Publishing, A.B. Gayle, here today to celebrate her new release with them, “Isolation”. First off, I want to say that this cover is GORGEOUS. But I always love the covers at TEB – they have such amazing artists. A.B. has a very unique erotic romance with the Sci-fi story “Isolation”, and I encourage you to check out what she has to say. There’s also a GIVEAWAY, so be sure and read the details on how to enter.
Thanks so much, Morticia, for inviting me to chat about something that makes my newly released sci-fi romance, “Isolation” a little bit different.
Heroes of romance stories are expected to be tall, strong and handsome, right? But I’m hoping readers will - like the heroine, Dana Sinclair - fall a little bit in love with Ethan O’Reilly who, for various reasons does not meet these high standards.
Dana turned at the sound of the lilting Irish voice behind her. She was tall, but she still found herself staring at the man’s chest, and what a chest it was. The only problem was that it was covered by an army uniform. Her gaze travelled upward, and her initial smile of welcome faded as she caught sight of the scars that covered one side of the man’s face. She couldn’t help herself, she winced in sympathy.
The smile vanished instantly.
“Now, if you’ll excuse me, I have some work to do.”
Dana stepped back. There was a slight jerkiness in his stride as he walked past. Shit. She should have recognised the man, but he’d put on so much weight.
How had the mission’s PR blurb described him? ‘Retired from active service due to injuries incurred during the latest UN-Merc war and now appointed second-in-command of the Saa’ar space mission, Lieutenant Colonel Ethan O’Reilly is a certified war hero, renowned for his bravery and courage. His participation in man’s first journey outside the solar system gives the brave venture a virtual stamp of authenticity.’
Injuries… A simple word for having to have both legs amputated below the knee after he stepped on a land mine. Yet, despite this disability, somehow, his mere presence reassured the world that if he was prepared to accept the alien’s invitation, it must be safe.
Later on, we discover that five years before the story opens, Ethan was literally a poster boy as Gabrielle Lagarde, the deputy to the Chief of Security explained to Dana when she opened up her locker:
Inside was a famous UN recruiting poster. Photo journalist, Simon Read, had won the2045 World Press Photo for a candid shot he’d taken of a battle-hardened soldier leading his men along the road from hell. In the background, black clouds pierced by flames hovered over the ruins of squat, ugly concrete buildings and the blackened corpses of cars. In the foreground stood a young Ethan O’Reilly. In those days his hair was jet black and his tanned, flawless skin was split by a wolfish smile of triumph. Behind him was the elite Ranger squad who’d accompanied him in the rescue of ten UN aid workers from the destroyed prison complex. It wasn’t the first rescue mission the squad had undertaken, nor the last. But it had been the one captured on film.
“He was my idol. I joined the army because of that poster. Look at him now. How could he let himself get like that?”
As Dana gets to know Ethan and learns about his past, she realizes that his problem is not so much his disability, but his inability to forgive himself for not living up to his own high standards.
Being less than perfect is very difficult in a world where there is so much pressure to live up to ideals. Yet, so many people have a flaw or a disability of some form or other. Those that do not let their disability define who they are or restrict what they do are heroes to me in real life. People like the South African double amputee runner, Oscar Pistorius and all the athletes that take part in the Paralympics and other similar activities.
The disabled aspect of “Isolation” was inspired by a friend of mine who lost half of his leg when a truck collided with his motor bike. I met Frank through canoeing, and the sight of him detaching his prosthetic limb, negotiating the tricky path to the water on his crutches, stowing them in the back of his kayak before awkwardly manouvering himself into his seat and then reversing the process after the race is inspiring.
To me, though, the best part is how his fellow competitors just take it all in their stride. They help him when it’s needed and don’t when it’s not. His disability doesn’t define who he is and how they treat him. This is how it should be.
Life isn’t easy for Frank. His prosthetic doesn’t fit him as well now and they’re very expensive to replace, but he refuses to let that stop him from being as active as possible. He cycles, kayaks and has a thriving business as a photographer. He laughs off his injury as a “flesh wound” compared to some of the disabilities he’s seen.
“Isolation” doesn’t dwell on the fact that Ethan is disabled. However, his emotional journey in coming to terms with the fact he is no longer the poster boy he oncewas is an integral part of the story. In the book, a character quotes Kurt Hahn’s advice: “Your disability is your opportunity.” Dana accepts him for who he is now. The question Ethan has to answer is: Can he?
I’m giving away an ebook copy of my novel. All you have to do is leave a comment (with your contact info) on the blog before 21st March, and Morticia will choose a lucky winner.
If you don’t win the free version, you can always buy a copy here:
Thanks A.B. Gayle for joining me here today – I can’t wait to read this inspiring and sexy story. I might be falling for Ethan already ;-)
To find out more about writer A.B. Gayle, please visit her website: http://www.abgayle.com
And to read a sexy excerpt from “Illusion”, see below. Don't forget to comment (with contact info) to get your very own FREE copy!
Copyright © A.B.Gayle, 2012
All Rights Reserved, Total-E-Ntwined Limited, T/A Total-E-Bound.
A quick scan of his room didn’t help. Bed, desk, chair, cupboard, small bathroom. He’d spent half his life sleeping in quarters like these. Bog standard demountable army room, the same in every fuckin’ UN base on Earth.
He groaned again.
He wasn’t on Earth.
He wasn’t even on a planet that resembled Earth. Instead, he was stranded on a freakin’ space station. The familiar surroundings always confused him.
It was the Commandant’s fault. Before all the personnel were woken from their coma-like sleep, she had inspected the section that the Saa’ar had cleared out for their use. When she’d discovered how primitive and bare it was, she’d ordered Ethan and Tinker and his small team of engineers to temporarily transform the empty void with the flatpacks and wall linings that they’d brought for their new colony. She claimed it would prevent the personnel from becoming homesick while they waited for the Saa’ar to return. From what he could gather, the ship that had brought them from Earth was just a shuttle, but their big starship was more like an ore tanker and not equipped to take ‘beings of their size’ on the inter-stellar jump, so another vessel, more suited to their needs, was coming to get them. Or, at least, that’s how she explained it.
Personally, he’d have preferred leaving the dark alien walls with their patterns and symbols uncovered. That way he wouldn’t wake up every morning and wonder where the bloody hell he was, especially after having too much to drink the night before.
Ethan groaned and rubbed his head again. Boy, although it tasted vile that Skootch sure packed a punch. Carefully, he stretched all the kinks out of his body. Reality flooded through his brain like it did every time he awoke nowadays. These standard-sized beds used to cause him grief because his legs jutted out way past the end of them. Stepping on the land mine sure fixed that. How fuckin’ ironic.
Ethan closed his eyes and idly stroked his morning woodie. Unfortunately, ever since the explosion, sex had become a distant memory. Pity, because given the chance, his cock still performed perfectly. He spat on his hand and resumed rubbing. It seemed like years since he’d been able to bury his shaft into some tight, wet pussy. Even an amateurish blow job would make a welcome break from Mrs. Palm and her five daughters. He shouldn’t be griping, though. At least he still had his hands. Not being able to give himself relief would have been a fate worse than death. Though, come to think of it, maybe death would have been a better alternative. It was only when under the influence of the grog or at least lost in lustful fantasies that he managed to push the memories away.
His hand stilled for a moment as screams from the past intruded…his screams. In a way, the fact that his mates never knew the missile was coming was of some small consolation.
Taking a deep breath, he replaced that nightmarish vision with one of a room full of naked women, screaming with pleasure at the sight of him. Ah, that’s better. Now which one should I pick? The slim blonde beckoning him to join her on the satin covered bed? Judging by the pale curls covering her pussy, the colour didn’t come out of a bottle. Yep. Blondes were definitely more fun, but this one reminded him too much of his ex-wife. Fashionably thin. Tanned skin like leather. He preferred women with curves in all the right places.
Shoving that image out of his brain, Ethan replaced it with a wide-eyed brunette who was gazing up at him with adoring eyes as she sucked on his cock. He wet his hand again, trying to kid himself that the moisture was coming from her mouth. The girl gagged slightly as she tried to swallowed him all the way down, giving him an apologetic grin before going back to her task. Nah, she’s too young. He liked his women more mature. Ones that knew what they were doing.
Over in the corner, another naked woman posed provocatively, leaning over the edge of a nicely padded sofa, showing off the soft, pale skin of her delicious arse. Now, she’s just begging to be fucked! When his fantasy female realised she’d captured his attention, she cupped her boobs in her hands and gave him a smoochy air kiss. Ethan groaned and increased the speed of his masturbation. As he did, the image wavered slightly, the blonde tresses turning russet red and her features morphing into those of the uptight, snooty Doctor Sinclair. Where the fuck did that come from?
Ethan snorted and forced the unlikely scenario away, concentrating instead on the way the woman’s breasts spilled over her slim hands. His own were itching to take their place. The speed of his rubbing increased, and all the different strands of tension that had been bugging him for weeks transformed into rivers of blood that funnelled into his cock. Boy, was he hard! Fucking someone as hot as that doggie-style woman had to be his ultimate fantasy. Maybe she was the one he’d choose. The slick wetness of his cock couldn’t wait to delve into that tight c—
An ear-piercing screech rang out, driving the images away. Damn. Ethan lifted his head and reached across to shut off the alarm.
Big mistake. The walls threatened to collapse in on him as the room spun crazily.
With a groan, he collapsed back onto his bunk, both hands pressed against the sudden pain in his stomach. Shit, Abu said I was drinking too much!
The softly voiced warning rang in his head again, ‘You’re getting a stomach ulcer, Ethan, and your liver has been compromised. If you don’t stop drinking, you won’t live to see forty.’ Except it wasn’t Ethan who had died, but Abu.
The rivers of blood halted as if they were snap frozen—in this case, chilled by memories of a more recent tragedy. All had been going well until most of the aliens headed off in the shuttle to join their starship, leaving only a few to look after them until the replacement ship arrived. Shortly afterwards, the remaining aliens started dying and nothing Abu or his team had been able to save them.
Then Abu had died.
All the MedPath personnel who had been looking after the aliens were immediately isolated in strict quarantine and the rest of the contingent had been ordered to stay in their quarters as much as possible. Now all they could do was wait until Dana Sinclair determined if Abu had caught one of the aliens’ diseases. If so, all their lives might be at risk.