Backlist to the Future is a weekly Thursday feature highlighting science fiction romances from authors’ backlists.
To be notified of future Backlist to the Future posts, you can subscribe to this blog (top of the sidebar). If you’d like to submit your book for this feature, click here to get the particulars.
By Libby Doyle
When I was a little girl, I dreamed about writing novels. I started one when I was seven, scribbling in long hand and pasting the pages into an old paperback. The story was about two BFFs who fell into a subterranean magical world. They met a genie named Lisa (hey, I was seven) who said she would help them find The Rose, which held the secret to travel between the two realms. Of course, every good adventure needs a villain. Mine was an evil queen who wanted Lisa dead. I was quite the little feminist. Every one of my characters was female.
I never finished, but my dream never died. Forty years later, I did it! I wrote The Passion Season. As my first novel it will always hold a special place in my fevered brain. I’m still a feminist, so I set out to write a strong, complex female protagonist. Special Agent Zan O’Gara has her demons, but she is brave and committed to justice. Deep down, she believes in love, even if she’s afraid to let it carry her away.
Not being seven anymore, and partial to men, I also set out to write a swoony male protagonist. And Barakiel is swoony all right. Six-feet-eight inches of muscular blond alien warrior who murmurs poetic endearments from full, pouty lips.
Writing about their relationship was great fun. They have a lot to overcome—deception, danger, the fact that he’s an alien—but their love grows into a source of profound mutual strength. I enjoy reading about powerful women who know what they want, sexually and otherwise, and the men (or male Covalent warriors as the case may be) who are their equals. I’m so happy I got to bring these two to life.
The Passion Season blurb
A gruesome crime brings them together. His secrets could rip them apart.
He is Barakiel. Warrior. Exile. Hopeless romantic.
Barakiel is Covalent, a race of ancient beings who use their great power to hold the cosmos in Balance. The rulers of his world banished Barakiel to Earth for the crimes of his father, Lucifer, who wages perpetual war against them. Lucifer also seeks to enslave his son, sending demons to attack him in exile. Invading his mind with a whispered ultimatum—join me or die.
She is Alexandra O’Gara.
FBI Agent. Army veteran. Recovering drunk.
Zan’s troubled past left her with little interest in men, but she had never met anyone as fascinating as Barakiel, a wealthy businessman who offers to help with a murder case. She’s stunned by the intensity of her attraction, which both frightens and thrills her, and breathes life into emotions she thought were long dead.
This is their love story.
As he struggles to decide whether he should reveal his true nature to Zan, Barakiel learns his presence on Earth has placed its most vulnerable citizens in danger. Compelled to protect them, he undertakes a series of duties he may not survive, even as his passion rescues him from centuries of loneliness.
WARNING: This book contains foul language, violence, and explicit sex. The story continues in The Pain Season, available now.
SET UP: Zan and Barakiel meet when she visits his home in a professional capacity to see if he can offer information about antique daggers the FBI found at a crime scene.
“In the interest of not taking up any more of your time than necessary, these are the knives in question.” Zan held up the case. “Daggers, I think. Did Professor Carson explain where we found them?”
“Well, someone conducted some kind of ritual in Independence National Historical Park. We wouldn’t be that concerned with weird people doing weird things at night, but we found a human spleen. We tested the DNA and ran it through the database and discovered that the spleen came from a body found this past winter by the Philadelphia police. All its internal organs had been removed. The police called us because they thought it might involve organ trafficking, but we never found any evidence of it, so we weren’t much help. No one ever filed a missing persons report on this man, and Philly PD was never able to identify the corpse, let alone solve the crime.”
“Disturbing,” he said.
“Very. We thought if you could tell us something about the knives it could give us some insight into what this whole thing was about, maybe generate some sort of lead. They look old, and Professor Carson said you are an expert in antique bladed weapons.”
“Yes. I collect them. I’ve learned a lot over the years.”
“Let’s take a look,” Zan said. He led her to a massive carved table to the left near the kitchen area. She opened the case and laid the daggers out on a cloth. After he leaned down to scrutinize them, he said they were ceremonial daggers and asked if he could pick them up. Zan told him that because they were evidence, he would need to wear latex gloves. She handed him a pair. He tried to put one on for a minute, then frowned at her.
“I’m sorry. It’s too small.”
Zan stared at his hands. They were huge, but not meaty. They looked like they could crush a man’s skull, but also assemble a fine Swiss watch.
Or maybe gently touch me.
She felt the heat rise to her face again. He raised an eyebrow.
“You can use the glove like a handkerchief and just pick it up that way,” she said, fixing her gaze on the floor.
Picking up a dagger, he held it level with his eyes. When he had done the same to all four and they were back in the case, he motioned Zan closer and directed her to lean down. He showed her the intricate motifs and the manner in which the blades were joined to the hilts. He explained that from these features, he could determine that the blades were ceremonial, made in France in the late 19th century. She struggled to listen to what he was saying. That impossible face was so close, and she could smell him. He smelled like a pristine forest in the spring.
Libby Doyle bio
Libby Doyle is an attorney and former journalist who took a walk around the corporate world and didn’t like it. She escapes real life by writing extravagant yarns, filled with sex and violence. She loves absurd humor, travel, punk rock, and her husband.
Libby Doyle’s Website | Facebook | Twitter | Amazon Author Page | Mailing List