Guest Post by Cheryl Brooks author of OutCast

6:25 AM

I'd like to welcome and thank Cheryl Brooks for being here as my guest blogger today. I never thought that I'd like paranormal romances, but Cheryl's Cat Star Chronicles series changed my mind! The books are fun, sexy and hot enough to make the books disappear in a poof of smoke!

I absolutely adore this series and can't wait to see what Cheryl is going to come up with next. For fans of the series, Outcast definitely won't be a disappointment. It's smart, fun and ultra sexy. Even though this is a paranormal romance, you'll soon forget the paranormal part and just enjoy the romance. As with the rest of the series, Outcast features another of the Zetithians, Lynx, who has the same wonderful attributes that readers have discovered in the previous books, but with a twist this time.

I can't say enough good about this series. It's just too much fun, full of imagination and did I mention the book is downright HOT? One caution though, if you're easily offended by blatant sexual terms this isn't the book for you. It's also definately not a book for younger readers. This is definitely a 5-out-of 5 stars book!

And now I'll be quiet and let Cheryl talk about the book! ;) Thanks again to Cheryl for being here today, and also to Danielle at Sourcebooks for the opportunity to read and review the book.

Hello, my name is Cheryl Brooks, author of The Cat Star Chronicles series, and I'd like to thank you for allowing me to guest blog here on Marta's Meanderings!

When I began writing blogs to promote my latest book, Outcast, I faced something of a dilemma. What can you say about a romance novel where the hero hates women that won't give away too much of the story? That he gets over it? Or that he grudgingly accepts the affection of the lady in question? Lynx was captured and sold as a slave at the age of seventeen and wound up as slave to fifty women in another man's harem. As a young, virile Zetithian, the women couldn't resist him, and after about ten years, they not only wore him out, but turned him against woman entirely. Ten more years have passed and he is now a free man, looking forward to a new life on a new world. He is hard-working and intelligent, a natural-born mechanic, and has already forgotten more about pleasuring women than most men ever learn, but his dislike of the fairer sex has not diminished.

It's very hard to love someone who doesn't return that feeling—and it's extremely difficult to be kind to someone who wishes they'd never met you—but Bonnie, the heroine of Outcast, is just such a person. She's fiercely independent, but now that her latest boyfriend has left her on a strange new world with a farm, a mortgage, a flock of vicious birds, and a baby on the way, she is in a position she does not enjoy; she needs a man's help. She has a history of choosing the wrong men, and they have taken advantage of her all her life. She's sweet, but tough, and genuinely kind—but has sworn off men entirely. What kind of man will it take to change her mind?

Thus far in The Cat Star Chronicles series, my heroes have all been very attracted to the human females they encounter. Not so with Lynx. He is exhausted, bitter, impotent, and hates women. These things made him a very tough character to write and it was impossible to make readers feel any compassion for him—unless they knew his history. Therefore, in this novel, I had to abandon my customary first person point of view and allow my readers a peek inside the hero's head.

I wasn't sure I was qualified; after all, anytime I assume I know what my husband is thinking, I'm wrong! What do I know about the way a man's mind works? Still, once I delved into Lynx's thoughts and explored his motivations, I found it quite fascinating, and writing a love scene from the male point of view was truly an enlightening experience.

As always with a story set on a different planet, I had the whole new world of Terra Minor to create. I wanted an African savanna-type of climate, but with a few differences to make the world seem more alien. Since Terra Minor was colonized and had no indigenous intelligent life form, there is a mixture of the old world and the new; laws established by a governing body, as well as customs and alien life forms from all across the galaxy. Some are species that my readers have met before, while others are brand new.

The most difficult thing to deal with in this book was the issue of Lynx's impotence, which is not a good condition for a hero to be in, especially in a steamy romance that concerns an alien species known for their sexual prowess! However, working through his past, developing his personality and his motivations gave me the answer. I won't tell you what it was, but I think it's believable given the circumstances of the story. Is that clear as mud? Good! I wouldn't want to give away too much. . . .

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Every year we lose more people to AIDS. It hasn't disappeared and it's not going away anytime soon. I urge you to seek out and support your local AIDS Organizations. Encourage everyone you know to practice safe sex and to get tested once a year. Even if you don't think you are at risk, get tested. I didn't think I was at risk either, and I almost died before I was diagnosed.


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