Sharon Lynn Fisher
1. Tell us 5 random fact very few people know about you?
- I dream sometimes about things that end up happening the next day. Stupid things. Never anything like winning lottery numbers. And I once saw a ghost (more like felt).
- I use my daughter as an excuse to stop for ice cream and french fries.
- I love to play card games, especially canasta.
- I worked as a reporter at a small newspaper for a while and have been less than ten feet away from Al Gore, Bill Clinton, and Gene Hackman. Actually I got shoved to the front of the reporter pool and was practically sitting in Bill’s lap.
- I ran out of facts and asked my boyfriend for one. He offered: “My laugh is sometimes accompanied by painful punches (watch out).” There you have it, folks.
2. What's the last book you read?
THE LAST HOUR OF GANN. The author thoroughly impressed me with her worldbuilding, and especially her skill in pulling off the rather extreme interspecies romance. In fact she broke lots of romance rules — in addition to the lizardman hero, the heroine is overweight, or at least starts off that way, and has some pretty annoying character traits. And still the book is beloved by readers. Took courage and commitment considering the time requirement to produce a novel of this length (2,000 KB in digital terms, as compared to your average 500 or so KB).
3. Coffee or Tea?
Yes! Though this is writer blasphemy (not to mention the fact I live in SEATTLE), I have to confess I drink mostly decaf these days. But I start out every morning with either Irish breakfast tea or coffee, both with milk frothed with a bit of coconut oil. During the day I drink tulsi or green tea, usually jasmine or twig. OMG what has happened to me? I’m going to go out right now and order a 16-oz full-caffeine mocha with whip and extra syrup!
4. Who is your hero?
Zainab Salbi, founder of Women for Women International (http://www.womenforwomen.org/).
5. What are your 5 favorite books and movies?
Oh man, the word “favorite” gives me hives. So much pressure! Also it seems like my preferences are constantly shifting as I go through life. With that bit of disclaimer, here are lists of books and films/TV that have really stuck with me over time.
Jane Eyre, Watership Down, Outlander, Lord of the Rings trilogy, Pride & Prejudice, A Wrinkle in Time, Plainsong, Touching the Void (nonfic), Entangled Minds (nonfic)
MOVIES / TV
Original Star Wars trilogy, Deadwood, Lord of the Rings trilogy, Wild at Heart, Sunshine (Danny Boyle film), Elf, The Office (BBC original), Elizabeth, Mad Men, Sherlock
6. Who's your fictional crush?
Jamie Fraser (Outlander). I also am deeply in love with all of my own heroes, as that is required to write about them (at least for me): Murphy, Pax, Ross, Jake, and most recently, Galen.
7. Favorite Book Cover?
Ack, there’s that word again! To be honest I don’t pay a heckuvalot of attention to book covers. Plus publishers often change them. Two recent covers that stuck with me, though, are THE TIME TRAVELER’S WIFE and AMONG OTHERS.
8. Favorite Colour?
Aaaaah! Blue. I mean green. Teal? Orange-ish pink. Cranberry!
9. Summer or Winter romance?
Both, please. Snow adventures followed by fireside fun. Salty tan skin and sand. Goodness it’s warm in here.
10.Top place to visit on your bucket list?
I am really a wanderer, but there are still SO many places I’ve yet to see. Hard to settle on one. I’ve not made it to Scotland or London yet. I’d also like to visit Vietnam, Thailand, and South America. And Sardinia.
Thanks so much for having me!
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Don't miss Sharon's newest book!
Release Date: April 1, 2014
New sci-fi romance from the RITA Award nominated author of GHOST PLANET!
* * *
Our world is no longer our own. We engineered a race of superior fighters -- the Manti, mutant humans with insect-like abilities. Twenty-five years ago they all but destroyed us. In Sanctuary, some of us survive. Eking out our existence. Clinging to the past.
Some of us intend to do more than survive.
* * *
Asha and Pax -- strangers and enemies -- find themselves stranded together on the border of the last human city, neither with a memory of how they got there.
Asha is an archivist working to preserve humanity’s most valuable resource -- information -- viewed as the only means of resurrecting their society.
Pax is Manti, his Scarab ship a menacing presence in the skies over Sanctuary, keeping the last dregs of humanity in check.
Neither of them is really what they seem, and what humanity believes about the Manti is a lie.
With their hearts and fates on a collision course, they must unlock each other's secrets and forge a bond of trust before a rekindled conflict pushes their two races into repeating the mistakes of the past.
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Water pooled around Asha’s hips, soaking her thin cotton dress. She studied the glimmering surface of the lake, and the rocky hillside looming on the opposite side.
The reservoir. How did I get here?
Closing her eyes, she pressed her fingers to her temples. The last thing she remembered was climbing to the roof of the Archive with her father. It was a beautiful spring evening, and they’d planned to picnic and watch the sunset. She’d stepped off the ladder onto the corrugated, whitewashed metal, and then...
She grasped at the words as they breezed across her consciousness. They had the ring of command, yet she had no memory of who had spoken them, or why.
A masculine moan sounded, so close she rolled into a crouch and skittered into the shallow water. The lithe movement of her own body surprised her almost as much as the unexpected voice.
Just beyond the depression she’d left on the beach, a naked form stirred. A stranger. His gaze riveted on her. He sat up straight, fists digging into the sand. No, not sand. His body rested on a bed of some soft, fibrous material.
She remembered the flimsy dress—now wet and clinging to her body—and hugged her bent legs, concealing herself as best she could. Her heart pounded against her thighs.
“Who are you?” they both demanded.
So the confusion was mutual.
“You first,” he said. A command, not a courtesy.
She hesitated. The man now seemed familiar—something about the eyes. They curved down at the inside corners, making them appear to slant under his dark, arched eyebrows. But she couldn’t place him.
He rose to a crouch, eyes moving over her like an extension of his arms, prying at the locked arms that concealed her body from him.
She reached up to release the clip that held her coiled hair to the back of her head, thinking she would cover herself with it. She gasped to discover her heavy tresses were gone.
Tears of confusion welled in her eyes. Fear knotted her stomach.
“What’s your name?” the stranger insisted.
“Asha,” she whispered, uncertain. There’d been another name a moment ago. A name that had seemed to mean something.
Her throat tightened, strangling her words, as she said, “I don’t understand.”
“What are you doing here?”
She raised her eyes to his face, shrinking from the heat of his gaze. “I don’t know.”
His eyes bored into hers, probing for the thoughts behind them. He frowned, brow furrowing with doubt. He doesn’t believe me.
“Who are you?” she repeated, indignation nudging past the fear that gripped her.
He slid his hands up his shoulders to rub his neck, baring the hard lines of his stomach, revealing pale marks under either side of his rib cage. Scars.
“Paxton,” he said. One hand moved to the back of his head, and he winced. He probed the sore spot with his fingers.
“Why are you here?”
He raised an eyebrow. “I don’t know.”
She glanced again at the fibrous nest. “What’s that?”
She blinked at him, no more enlightened than before. Before she could question him further, he rose to his feet, scanning the horizon. Her eyes lingered on the marks below his ribs.
He stood so long—motionless and studying the edge of the sky—she began to think he’d forgotten her.
His composure was troubling. There was a shared mystery here, clearly, but they were not equal participants.
“How can you be so calm?” she asked, voice lifting with anxiety. “Do you know something I don’t? Has this kind of thing happened to you before?”
Paxton glanced down at the nest. “Yes.”
She waited for him to explain, but the low whine of an approaching ship changed the subject. Panic jolted her as the black beetle hummed into view, dragging its own reflection across the surface of the lake.
She sprang to her feet. “That’s an enemy ship!”
The war was over, but the Manti ruled the air, still keeping tabs on the last dregs of humanity. Citizens of Sanctuary were forbidden to wander away from the city—and the reservoir marked the boundary.
“We need to go!” she cried.
Again his eyes skewered her to the spot. “No need. That’s my ship.”
“Your ship? I don’t . . .”
And then suddenly she did. She sidestepped a couple meters down the beach, gaze flitting between ship and enemy.
Overhead, the beetle whirred to rest, cupped wings lifting to allow a controlled vertical landing. With a series of loud clicks it nestled into the sand, hover gear lowering and locking back against the hull. The skin of the vessel was lusterless and black—a secreted resin that looked like rubber. She watched the hull lighten from jet to blond, until it was almost invisible against the sand.
“Pax, you okay?” The feminine voice came from the ship.
“I’m okay,” called Asha’s companion. “Drop the ramp.”
“Who’s that with you?”
Paxton frowned at Asha. “I was hoping you could tell me.”
* * *
Pax could see the woman was ready to bolt. He could feel it.
She was a wisp of a girl. Narrow shoulders. Graceful limbs. Cropped brown hair—unruly except where it was tucked behind her ears—and round eyes the color of coffee beans. Despite her fair complexion, sun exposure had stained her arms and shoulders a light copper. His eyes explored the curve and swell of flesh exposed by the threadbare dress. His fingers twitched at his hips.
“Whoever she is,” his pilot continued over the com, “I can smell from here she’s scared half to death.”
“I know, Iris. Drop the ramp.”
“Lord of the goddamn flies, Pax, you’re not thinking of bringing her on board.”
“Why wouldn’t I?”
“Because obviously it’s a trap. Your carapace was activated. Something went wrong down there.”
“Obviously,” he said, rubbing at the knot on the back of his head. He stared at the woman, and she took another step back. “But short of exploding, I'm not sure what she can do to us.”
“Well, for starters, explode.”
He gave a groan of impatience. “Banshee can scan her for internal com or explosive devices. Besides that, she might have the answers I don’t, so drop the fucking ramp, Iris, because this is no place to be arguing about this.”
The ship’s boarding ramp opened with a thunk and lowered to the sand.
He took a step toward Asha and held out his hand. “I’m not going to hurt you.”
She stared like he was a snake. Her gaze drifted for the third time to the scars on his abdomen. Something prickly and unpleasant rolled in his stomach.
“Come with me,” he ordered.
Like hell, was the reply conveyed by her expression.
No time for this. Pax lunged for her.
A moment later he was flat on his back, staring at blue sky, trying to reactivate his diaphragm.