One of the first books from Booksellers Best that I read blew me away. Titled CAPTURED by Julia Rachel Barnett, it's a fast-paced science fiction story that shouldn't have been my cup of tea (because I don't read much science fiction) but it totally was. The heroine is so tough and likeable, and the hero such a great man who changes so much. I really thought it was great. No surprise, this book won the Best First Book category in the contest!
I ask Julia to stop by and blog with me and I was thrilled when she agreed. So, without further ado, I welcome Julia Rachel Barnett to Quinn's Essentials! Be sure to leave a comment because Julia is giving away an autographed copy of Captured to one lucky commenter!
When Erin read my science fiction novella, Captured, and invited me to write a guest post for her blog, I was thrilled, humbled, excited and nervous - she is so far out of my league. But, how could I turn down such a generous offer to talk about Captured?
This book is such a big part of me. I am in love with the story and the two main characters, Mari and Ekkatt. The truth is, the book began as a dream. It may sound odd, but while I was in the middle of working on a four-book science fiction series, I dreamed Captured from start to finish. I stopped the series and wrote Captured in three weeks. It wasn’t all that hard, I simply recorded the dream, conversations and all. Thus Ekkatt and Mari sort of sprang from the top of my head fully-formed like a fantasy Athena.
The novella is a bit of a morality play. Mari is a woman captured for the meat market by trappers from advanced species, a species that officially considers us to be at the same evolutionary level as apes. While Ekkatt’s people, the Atun, are vegetarians, many other species in his quadrant of the galaxy have developed a taste for human flesh and the trade is quite lucrative. Humans are an oddity, a curiosity. The species populating the planets Ekkatt is familiar with are singular. For example, all Ekkatt’s people have black hair, bronze skin and yellow eyes, while we come in a variety of shapes, sizes and colors. He notices Mari because he is attracted by the sun shining off her red hair.
When Mari wakes from stasis during the voyage and Ekkatt has the opportunity to interact with her, he gradually comes to the disturbing realization that everything he’s been taught about humans is a lie. While humans may not be as technologically advanced as the Atun, they are every bit as intelligent and civilized, and most important, they possess a soul, the one thing the religious authorities of Atun insist a human does not possess.
Once Ekkatt’s eyes are opened, he cannot close them again and he is rocked by what he’s done; he’s sent sentient beings to their deaths. His entire world view is upended. Overwhelmed by guilt, he decides that although he cannot save all the cargo, he will risk everything to save this one human woman.
Thus begins the impossible love story of Mari and Ekkatt. I think it’s a beautiful tale. If a reader asked me to recommend only one of my books, I would recommend Captured.
A word from your sponsor (Erin): Sounds great, right? It is. And if you want to know more about Julia's books, here is the blurb from her next novel, INCORPOREAL.
Sara Wise is sick of ghosts. They’ve haunted her since she was a child, destroying her family, endangering her life. When an incorporeal being appears in her shower, she curses him soundly and orders him out, but this ghost is sticky. Not only does he invade her shower, he moves into her home, invading her dreams, sharing her bed. The reluctant Sara finds herself falling in love with a dead man.
Despite Sara’s objections, Natan de Manua isn’t permitted to leave. Protecting the woman is both his penance and his means to redemption. She’s not easy to protect, she fights him nearly every step of the way, except in her bed. Nathan may have come to regain his soul, but instead he risks losing his heart.
You can find more about Julia at: http://juliarachelbarrett.net/
To purchase Incorpreal: http://amzn.to/mTvA1j
To purchase Captured: