Series: Starstruck #2
Genres: Romance, Science Fiction, Young Adult
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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?
Interview With Author Brenda Hiatt (from Grapevine Tours)
Welcome, Brenda! Starcrossed, the second installment of 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!
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 diehard 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.
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.
Who was this Sean O’Gara guy, really, and why was he here?
I was close enough now that I could see the scattering of freckles across his nose and cheeks. His smile seemed open and friendly and he didn’t look more than seventeen or eighteen. According to Rigel and his parents, even though Martians typically lived at least twice as long as “normal” humans, aging didn’t slow until full adulthood. So maybe he really was just a teenager. Or maybe—
“Come on,” Rigel murmured, cutting into my mental babbling. “Might as well make nice since it’s too late to hide.”
This evidence that he was worried, too, didn’t exactly soothe me.
As Jewel’s star quarterback, Rigel had enough social status, even as a sophomore, to make the crowd part before him. As Rigel’s girlfriend, I had enough that people grudgingly let me through, too. A moment later Rigel was face to face with the newcomer, oh-so-casually shielding me as he stuck out his hand.
“Hey, welcome to Jewel.”
“Thanks,” Sean replied, shaking his hand. He seemed even taller up close, at least six-six.
Maybe it was the press of people or maybe he just hadn’t been concentrating the way we were, but it was obvious Sean didn’t realize until he touched Rigel’s hand that he was another Martian. But the second they gripped hands, his eyes widened, then narrowed, though of course he couldn’t say anything in the middle of the cafeteria, any more than we could.
“Let me guess,” he said, releasing Rigel’s hand like it had burned him. “Stuart?” He had a slight Irish lilt to his voice, but not as strong as I’d’ve expected from someone who grew up there. I wondered if he really had—or if he was just good with accents.
“Rigel Stuart. That’s right.” Rigel’s voice didn’t give anything away, I noticed.
But then Sean’s gaze slid past him to me and his eyes widened again. “Then this must be—”
“Marsha Truitt,” I said quickly before he could say something he shouldn’t in front of all these witnesses. Those tourists yesterday weren’t the first to get stupidly obvious in town and I definitely didn’t want it to happen right here in the lunchroom. “Everyone calls me M.”
“M,” he repeated, his surprise giving way to a perfectly charming smile. “It’s really great to meet you.” He extended his hand.
I hesitated for just a fraction of a second before doing the same, hoping I didn’t look as nervous as I felt. He seemed harmless enough, so far.
But the moment our hands touched, I nearly jerked away and had to clamp my teeth together to keep from exclaiming aloud. Sean’s hand gave me a zap almost as intense as the one I’d felt the first time Rigel ever touched me!
Urgent MARSTAR Bulletin!
The Echtran Council is pleased to announce that Princess Emileia, long believed to have died as an infant in the Earth accident that claimed her parents, has been discovered alive in Jewel, Indiana, USA. Her identity has been positively confirmed by four members of the Echtran Council, along with two respected Echtran Scientists. The ancient and traditional foare rioga, smuggled from Mars by Council member Allister Adair, unequivocably proves her to be the daughter of Mikal, son of our late Sovereign Leontine, and Mikal’s Consort, Galena.
While the Princess was recently threatened by a group loyal to the murderous Nuathan dicator Faxon, we are happy to report that she was successfully defended by a small Echtran force led by Council member Shim Stuart and his family, and is now safe. Boyne Morven, leader of the would-be assasins, is in custody awaiting sentencing and questioning.
Many Echtrans will understandably wish to visit Jewel, Indiana to pay personal respects to our long-lost Princess, but we request that you act with all discretion to avoid arousing suspicions among the Duchas. Bear in mind that the Princess was raised Duchas herself and has only recently learned about her Royal identity. In due time, of course, she will be fully informed about the expectations and responsibilities of her future role. Meanwhile, we join you all in celebrating Princess Emileia’s survival and know you share our hope that she will become the rallying point our people in Nuath need to finally throw off the yoke of the vicious tyrant Faxon.
One $10 Amazon or Barnes & Noble gift card. Ends 2/10/2014.
One eBook copy of Brenda Hiatt’s Tradition Regency Romances, which are teen-appropriate. Ends 2/10/2014.