Wednesday, December 12, 2018

WARLEADER by Susan Grant

An interrogation of Susan Grant 
Liza: Were you abducted by aliens? It’s been two years since you’ve published.

Is this your true story? Did you meet and fall in love with an alien? I’m pretty sure it’s about you. And if this is what you’ve been doing for two years, I commend you for your determination to write an authentic space story. 

Susan: Heh. I wish! After Star Champion (was The Champion of Barésh) came out in May 2016 I wrote two space stories in that same world featuring alien street dogs for the Pets in Space anthologies that benefitted Hero-Dogs. (As a veteran that organization is very special to me). I’d also started working on the next book in the Star Series, but my heart wasn’t really in it. I felt bored. And if I was bored, the reader would be bored too. I work full time as an airline pilot so I just concentrated on that while I did some literary soul searching. MEANWHILE...I’d been trying hard for five years to get the rights back to my Borderlands Series, its prequel series Otherworldly Men, and also The Last Warrior, book one in the fantasy/sci-fi romance Lost Colony series that I’d always wanted to complete. Then suddenly, no notice, late last spring I got the rights back to all 7 of the books!! Woo hoo! I put aside the Star book that wasn’t coming and immediately got to work updating and revising these books for their re-release. I couldn’t be happier. These are the books of my heart, especially Warleader (based on Moonstruck) and I think it shows. I LOVE this world and am so excited to be back playing in it after so many years. So, no, I haven’t been abducted by aliens (unless my imagination counts) just BUSY, and I hope readers love the results!

Liza: To be honest, I fell in love with Finn as well. However, I did so in two days...not two years!

Susan: Finn is easy to love! What a great guy. He’s in touch with his emotions, he actually LIKES to communicate, he’s good with his...gun, and he’s one HOT space pirate. What’s not to love?

Liza: Please tell me you fell in love with Finn on day one and it just got better and betterer.

Susan: I’ve been in love with Finn since he showed up back in 2005. How awesome for all of us that we can now have more of him. :)

Liza: This would make a great movie!

Susan: Ha. Please tell this to Hollywood, Liza! Actually, I envisioned Angelina Jolie as Brit. She can do the steely exterior really well. And, ah, no, Brit DESPISES Finn. Rather, she thinks she does. She can’t fool us. 

Liza: But even she, over time, fell in love with him. 

Susan: Aw. Yeah. Brit’s had a lot of crap happen in her life. So much pain. She deserves Finn. 

Liza: Seriously, there better be a movie forthcoming or people are going to riot! 

Susan: Ha. Yes, yes! Do you have any Hollywood connections? I don’t. 

Liza: Me either, but nor do we really don’t need a riot. Earth has more than its share of troubles. So ANYONE WITH CONNECTIONS TO MOVIE MOGULS: CHECK OUT THIS BOOK!

Susan: There is truth in your claim that Earth has more than its share of troubles. This is why we love to read good books. E-s-c-a-p-e.

Liza: Back to the book: I noticed no one liked Finn at first. 

Susan: Well, his crew did. They loved their “Boss”. 

Liza: Let’s be frank...NO HUMAN liked him at first. 

Susan: Technically, they’re all extraterrestrial HUMANS, but you’re right that no one on the Coalition side of things was too enthusiastic about serving with Drakken people. The Drakken racked up atrocities and war crimes for centuries in their long war with the Coalition, and there was still bad blood between the two sides. But peace has been declared and now they all have to play nice. That’s easy to say, not so easy to do. (another reason I LOVE writing this series).

Liza: And he tries hard to be a good team member. Yes, he used to be a pirate...but hey, pirates are people too!

Susan: Finn always had a good moral compass. Still, he spends a lot of time in Warleader trying to convince others he’s not a monster, all because he fought for the bad guys in the war. But he’s unapologetic about his years as a space pirate. I love that about him.

Liza: Yet he reformed when the war supposedly ended (It is kind of hard to end a space war, what with the massive distance between planets and all. Some planets might not get the news.) 

Susan: A sloppy finish does complicate things—Another reason why I love writing the Borderlands series! A peace treaty is only as good as the people who try to abide by it. And lots of people in this series have their reasons to not behave. Which makes the job of the crew of the Unity that much harder.

Liza: And then there are bad seeds that don’t want the war to end. 

Susan: Oh yes. My bad seeds. Bad, bad. 

Liza: Why anyone wants war over have a pleasant day baffles me.

Susan: Yeah, tell me about it. But they all think they have good reasons for wanting to finish the fight. For one, a lot of Coalition folks don’t trust Drakken. They’ve been the enemy for generations. So they feel that the new Triad government is making a mistake by trying to blend Drakken and Coalition together, or even treating Drakken as equals. Not that there aren’t plenty of Drakken who are hungry to return to power. Warleader touches on that a bit but we’ll see more a lot more of the dark side in the next book, Hunting the Warlord’s Daughter that comes out in January.

Liza: I was suprized, but all in all, I liked Finn’s crew much more than some of Brit's choices—like her #3 guy- What a Weasel!

Susan: SUCH a weasel. (But shush, this is spoiler territory!)

Liza: That fellow pissed me off so much I’ve blocked his name. It started with a Y, 

Susan: YAREW. Your fav. :)

Liza: No I wish his name to remain blocked. Honestly, if I had been the commander, I would have tossed him from the ship.

Susan: Me too. Out the airlock. With a lightball stuck in his mouth. 

Liza: I have to say the book you’ve written is fabulous. 

Susan: YESSSSS. Thank you so so much, Liza!!

Liza: And I appreciate you actually going into space and falling in love with a hunky alien, so we can all have the pleasure of reading what the two of you did.
And if you want, I’ll call you Brit for now on.

Susan: If you want the truth, I’m more Hadley than Brit. Much more. However, I aspire to being bad ass (but never seem to be able to pull it off). So I will continue to live vicariously through Admiral Brit Bandar, who is as bad ass as they come!

Thanks a bunch for having me as a guest in your world, Liza!

Liza: Nonsense, it was my honor to have you over.

Galactic Rules of Engagement:
#1: Enemies must not become lovers.
Welcome to the Borderlands, where rules are meant to be broken…

"A riveting plot, compelling characters and a heart wrenching love story." —Linnea Sinclair, RITA winning author

Admiral Brit Bandar is the Coalition's greatest starship commander. The outlaw known as the Scourge of the Borderlands taunted her in a galactic game of cat and mouse for years, but she never caught him. Now they're supposed to make peace and serve together on the same starship? Not so easy to do when your sworn enemy turns out to be the hottest piece you've ever seen.

Warleader Finn Rorkken doesn't care how many medals "Stone-Heart" Bandar has. He's going to show her what it's like to be pursued and caught by a master. Intergalactic peace is on the line, and if she wants his obedience, she'll have to pay his price. Challenge accepted, Admiral.

"One of my favorite science fiction romances!" 
—Anna Hackett, USA Today bestselling author



     The Scourge of the Borderlands in the flesh. It was unfortunate that their first meeting would be without him in a cage—where he would have been if up to Brit.

His Drakken attire and adornments fluttered, tinkled, and clanked in contrast to the clean and silent black uniforms of his escorts. He was formidable in build—lean, powerful, broad-shouldered. His nose had a small hump where it had probably been broken at some point. Otherwise, he seemed clean featured, even handsome in a raw, compelling way.

Good looks, wasted on a barbarian. Like most Drakken, his clothing revealed a good bit of skin. His tattooed flesh wasn’t filthy or sweaty—as she was used to from his kind—but golden and smooth, although his uniform—if one could call it that—was faded and had quite obviously been mended by hand in several places. Brit couldn’t imagine life without self-repairing fabric. Thankfully, his clothing carried only a whiff of the smoky-sweet scent she would forever associate with his kind—but it was enough to turn her stomach.

The Drakken came to attention, bringing the knuckles of his right hand to his forehead. “Warleader Finnar Rorkken reporting as ordered, sir.”

Zaafran answered with a fist over his chest. “How was your journey?”

“Long, sir.”

“And the in-briefing?”

“Also long.”

Zaafran chuckled. “I’ll pass along kudos to Star-Lieutenant Joss for a job well done. Come, I want to introduce you to your new commanding officer.”

Brit stood at ease but maintained impeccable posture as both men turned in her direction. Rorkken slowed, as if noticing her for the first time. His eyes crinkled at the edges as they narrowed—warm, thickly lashed brown eyes under a pair of neat, dark brows that drew together in boyish inquisitiveness.

Her breath caught. Seff. He looked like Seff.

Brit’s heart convulsed like a wounded animal, her mouth drying. How could this be? The Drakken resembled her long-dead husband, but older—the love of her life, lost so long ago that she could hardly remember his face, the feel of his arms, the sound of his voice. Yet now he was here, in the very form of the monsters who’d taken him from her.

Liza's Review
Review of Warleader by Susan Grant
Filled with multiple planet and space dangers, mistrust, and sexual trysts, I was glued to the book for the two days it took me to read it. Wow! I can’t remember having more fun in space.

Brit Bander is the Coalition’s finest starship commander. Only now she’s given the first ever: Triad Mission. Drakkens, Coalition Soldiers, and Earth Soldier have established a treaty to end the war. Future space efforts will be to bring all the stragglers into the fold.

The highest ranked Drakken, Brit’s #2 officer, Finn Rorkken is committed to peace, only some people do not trust his kind while others do not wish the war to end in peace with the three groups becoming one. The latter group will do major harm if not discovered and stopped.

This a book you cannot put down.

About the Author

Susan's childhood dreams of becoming a space explorer fizzled when she found out calculus was involved. Luckily, she didn’t need math skills to fly jets — or to create space stories in her head, first for herself, then for friends, and now for readers everywhere. 

A New York Times/USA Today bestselling author and a military veteran, Susan won the prestigious RITA award for her book Contact, a sci-fi aviation-thriller romance.

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