Ladder to the Red Star
by Jael Wye
Once upon a ruined Earth 300 years in the future...
Jacques Tallinn, biotech smuggler and thief, is after the cure for a brain disorder he's suffered since childhood--a disorder inflicted by a powerful tyrant. To get the cure, Jacques will need to climb the space elevator to the new Zenith space station hovering above Earth and go undercover in the lab where it's produced.
Martian head tech Devi Chandra is immediately intrigued by her sexy new lab assistant. Though she insists on keeping things professional, she finds herself charmed by Jacques. Until he betrays her trust, kidnapping her and spiriting her off to Earth.
All Jacques needed to do was steal the biotech and get back home. But when things go wrong, he can't bring himself to leave Devi behind. Now she's injured and a simple caper has become an intergalactic cause, endangering his life and the lives of millions of others. But the hardest part? Winning back Devi's trust.
Dev knew men, knew them in and out, from their social affectations down to their cellular structures, and she knew something was wrong with this particular man. The cold watchfulness in his eyes, the overly careful positioning of his body nagged at her, told her not to be deceived by his apparent beauty and virility.
Even with Enrique Kurtz, she thought with a slight shudder, she was a woman confronted by a man. But with James, she was a woman confronted by an enigma. And that made her all the more curious about him.
Naturally, she had looked up all his Delpin-Kurtz records the second his back was turned, but nothing in them gave her any clues to this mystery. James’s biography told of a modestly successful career and an uneventful life.
But then, there was the look on his face when he stared down at Kurtz in the lab, the raw hatred he so quickly and carefully hid. That look, his body language, the scars on his arms…put it together, and it told a completely different story. But what was it?
And how would a midlevel med tech know a way to send secret communications to her mother?
There were deep and dangerous currents running beneath the surface of this situation, and Dev was helpless not to want to test them.
She stopped a few paces away from him. Without turning, he said, “I wondered if you were coming.”
She smiled. “How could I not? We made an agreement.”
He turned toward her then, and the hungry, desperate look in his eyes, combined with the uncertain grasp of his fingers on the railing, told Dev that she was caught, like she had never been caught before.
What would you have done differently if you were the main character of your book?
If I were Jacques, the hero of Ladder to the Red Star, I would reach out to the heroine Devi for help with my medical problem from the start. But Jacques has too much pride and too many trust issues to ask anyone for help, so fixing all his problems is a much more heart-wrenching journey than mine would be. I hope!
What was your inspiration behind this book?
The inspiration for this book was the tale of Jack and the Beanstalk. I translated the plot elements and motifs of the classic story into a science fiction setting, so that I could explore the archetypal themes it presents in a new way. Greed, thievery, generosity and power battle it out in this book. There’s a lot to unpack in fairy tales, and doing it with space stations and super submarines? That’s fun.
Why did you become a writer?
I’ve been writing stories since my earliest childhood, but I settled into a career as a writer when I first developed my concept of retelling fairy tale romances as science fiction. I couldn’t find many stories that had this particular combination, so I decided I would have to write them myself.
As a reader and writer I think it is important to get to know your fans and make a connection with them as an author who takes the extra step to hear what their fans think and want in their continued writing is continued success and key to selling more books. Do you agree with that?
I absolutely think it’s important to form connections with readers and listen to their reactions to my books. Often they see things in my writing that I didn’t think about, or maybe could improve on. But I don’t think a writer should only write what the fans say they want. Sometimes readers need a fresh vision to show them what they’ve been missing. Writers like J.K. Rowling and Dan Brown might not have achieved great success if they hadn’t taken a chance and given the public something they’d never seen before. A writer needs to consider her readers, but she also needs to have faith in her own ideas.
Do you have a favorite author or authors?
In romance, I like Larissa Ione and Kresley Cole for their brooding, damaged characters and their great dialog. In science fiction, I like Jack Campbell for his fascinating take on space ship battles. I also like Kim Stanley Robinson for his excellent use of hard science in his world building.
Do you like to write your books in a continuing series?
Definitely. Ladder to the Red Star is the second book in my Once Upon a Red World series, which will continue to chronicle the lives of Martian colonists as they unravel a dangerous plot encompassing the whole Solar system. The overarching story will take several volumes to complete, and I have many fairy tales yet to tell.
If you could date any character from any book, who would it be and why?
Sebastian Wroth from Kresley Cole’s No Rest For The Wicked. He is a big, strong, handsome, smart, emotionally vulnerable nerd. There is no combination that makes my heart flutter more.
What kinds of books do you like to read in your spare time?
I read mostly romance of various flavors. Paranormal is my favorite, but I’ve been known to read contemporaries and historicals too. I also read a lot of science fiction and nonfiction science books. I’m not really picky about my reading. All I require from a book is that it not be boring and that it end happily ever after.
Do you cry when writing sad scenes?
No, it makes it too hard to see the screen.
Did you have a Cover Designer?
The artistic team with my publisher, Carina Press, designs my covers, I’m happy to say. A professionally designed cover is of utmost importance for establishing the tone of a book, the brand of an author, and the continuity of a series.
Who is your fictional boyfriend or girlfriend crush?
My fictional boyfriend is Mal from Firefly. He can give me a lift in the Serenity to the nearest moon saloon any day. Never give up, never surrender, Browncoats!
If you were able to dine and have a one on one with your favorite writer/author who would it be?
I’d like to talk with Ursula K. LeGuin to get her fascinating perspective on creating plausible human societies in a scifi setting. Her anthropological approach to world building is masterful.
Do you re-read your favorite books?
I certainly do re-read books, whenever I want to examine a certain technique a successful author uses. But sometimes, with the very best books, I’ll find myself falling into the story and reading for the fun of it.
Do you ever get in a reading slump like your readers do?
I get into reading slumps all the time, but for me, that’s a good thing. If I can’t find anything I want to read, it means I need to write a story I’m actually interested in. It’s a great way to get over writer’s block.
What is the funniest book you ever read?
The funniest book ever written on Earth is The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Adams. He demonstrates how life, the universe and everything is pretty funny when you think about it. Also, forty-two.
Author Bio and Links:
Jael Wye grew up on the American Great Plains, went to school in the Midwest, and now lives in beautiful New England with her family and her enormous collection of houseplants. For more of Jael’s unique blend of futurism and fairy tale, don’t miss her ongoing series Once Upon A Red World.
Website -- http://www.jaelwye.net
Facebook -- https://www.facebook.com/pages/Jael-Wye/319251781482358
Twitter -- @jaelwye
Carina Press -- http://ebooks.carinapress.com/E34AFC6C-272A-4159-8711-ECF9E8916FFD/10/134/en/ContentDetails.htm?ID=7D67744C-9A63-431D-AB1A-CE665DADDF0E
Amazon -- http://www.amazon.com/Ladder-Star-Once-Upon-World-ebook/dp/B00GKBIQG8/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1394308111&sr=8-2&keywords=jael+wye
Goodreads – https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/18272276-ladder-to-the-red-star
eBooks -- http://www.ebooks.com/1550719/ladder-to-the-red-star/wye-jael/