Saturday, March 13, 2010

Review & Interview: Jewels by Lakisha Spletzer

Jewels
By Lakisha Spletzer

Genre: Paranormal/Science Fiction Romance

Price: $14.99

Release: February 2010

ISBN: 9781449502072
 
Rating: star4a.gifstar4a.gifstar4a.gif

What I liked:
The world-building in this book was very good. Spletzer obviously has not only a creative mind, but the ability to create intricate and interesting worlds. The main character had a unique perspective on her very unique world, and was a very interesting person to come through that world with. Honestly, I hate to harp on this, but I was very impressed with the level of world-building... and I keep mentioning it, because it's hard to do something that's even remotely unique anymore, but Spletzer succeeded in that arena. It's even harder to do world-building that is complex as well as readable. On the character front, Jewels and Dex were interesting, but my favorite character was Jeremy. The romantic side of the book was ultimately unsatisfying to me, mostly because I wasn't invested enough in the main characters. But I did enjoy the complexity of the different worlds and different races and intrigue and powers and danger. And I smell sequel... :-)

Book Blurb
Special Lieutenant Jewels Enbran, a human telepath unable to shield her mind from thoughts, uses telepathic anchors who protect her vulnerable mind. Her current anchor, Colonel Jeremy Lingley, is nearing burnout. An alien race is seeking an alliance with Earth and the pair are assigned the mission of discovering the aliens' secrets.

Crown Prince Dex LoudRoar is a Gatoan warrior and a royal with a terrible secret. His people wage a constant war against their enemy, the Lupinious empire. But the tide of battle is turning and his people seek help from a new source: the humans of Earth.

With an interstellar war looming, Jewels and Dex seek salvation for their planets and find their destinies changed forever.

Excerpt:
       Jewels laughed bitterly and choked down a sob. “Minimize stress? You sound so clinical! At this moment, I despise you, Colonel!”
“Jewels!” she heard him shout, but she ran from the med-center.
She tried to stop the tears of hurt from falling and failed. A tightness formed in Jewels' chest. Always before, her anchors had been eager to leave when the breakdown started. Jeremy knew what to expect, what signs to look for. Why did he wait so long?
“Stupid, Colonel,” she muttered and slowed to a walk. She angrily wiped away her tears. She had to get a grip. She had to be strong during the Choosing.
::Do you always have to be?::
Jewels froze. She knew that voice! She glanced about for Dex.
::Little human, do not fear me. I came to apologize.::
::Apologize?:: Jewels was confused. What did he need to apologize for? She felt his amused chuckle tickle her mind and it stirred her heart.
::You are indeed very fascinating. Look behind you, little human.::
Jewels heard his steps. Dare she turn and stare into those emerald green eyes? Eyes that promised her things that were denied her. Why him, why now?
His scent teased her nose and the air whooshed from her lungs. She had to see. She did a slow turn and stilled. Today Dex wore something similar to a Scottish kilt. It did nothing to calm her racing thoughts. His muscles were defined and powerful. His fur begged to be stroked and rubbed against.
“Oh,” Jewels whispered, embarrassed that she was ogling the Crown Prince of the Gatoan Empire. She couldn't seem to stop herself.
Dex's eyes glinted with mischief and other things. This female was different from any other. So fragile, yet he'd seen her soul and knew her purity. He was fixated on her.
“Am I pleasing to you?” He surprised himself, and her, by asking. But it was true. Dex had to know.
Jewels gulped and managed a breathy, “Yes.”
Dex grinned and moved closer. “I want to touch your...skin. So different from fur.”
“Yes,” Jewels agreed, her mouth dry. She wanted to touch him, too, and bury her face into his fur.
“Little human, you are unique.” He touched his paws to her face and felt a slight shock at the contact. He ignored it and enjoyed the smoothness of her skin.
His touch was electric, literally. She felt the jolt and then everything went quiet in her mind. An inner voice warned her that they needed to stop, but Jewels wasn't listening.
“Dex.” She raised a hand to touch him and paused, uncertain if he would welcome it or not.
He smelled her growing arousal. He saw the hesitancy. Did not females here take what they wanted when the heat raged in them? Dex took her hand, felt her stiffen and waited for her to relax before placing it on his chest. He purred when her fingers tangled in his fur and she caressed him. Dex looked in her eyes, eyes that had changed color to the emerald green of the forests on Felinia, and saw that intense longing. That hungry need.
Dex was confused. She shouldn't be this desperate if her bond-mate was taking care of her. He frowned and Jewels flinched. She dropped her hand and backed up, breaking the connection.
“We shouldn't! I, I can't. Please forgive me!”
“Wait, little human!” Dex called, but she'd run away. Frustrated, he glared at his paw as if it could provide some insights.

INTERVIEW:
Where are you from? Tell us a little about yourself!
I was born in Wise County, Virginia and lived in a small town called Coeburn which is located in the southwestern corner of the state in the Appalachian Mountains.

What inspires you to write?
My children, my friends, life, good music and peanut butter no bake cookies.


Do you find that your muse takes over when writing?
My muse and my very determined characters take over when I write. It's a fascinating mix and battle of wills when that happens.

Tell us a bit about your book, Jewels? What inspired it?
Jewels is the story about a 19-year-old telepath, or psionic as they are called in the story, named Jewels Enbran, who meets the male who completes her. She has some rocky situations happen to her on the way to being with her man, but I think she would tell you it was worth it.
The story was actually inspired by a blog post I did where I was experimenting with the use of first person. I had used a different female name and personality but from it came the character of Jewels.

Do you have any have any other works in progress that you want to share?
I created a list of works in progress that I wanted to accomplish for 2010 and I don't mind sharing at all.
 1) “Moonbeams and Moonlight” - I've been working on since 2004. It's a high fantasy story that I really want to finish. It's sitting at a little over 50,000 words and I haven't even reached the stopping point for the first book.

2) “Mine Dreamer” was started in November 2009 during NaNoWrimo and I'll probably have it done by April. It is set in the same universe as “Jewels” but deals with civilians.

3) My other story, “Sierra's Protection,” was started in September 2009 and will be finished some time during the summer. It's my first time using normal people as characters. So no superpowers or magical elements in this one.
Others that I have on my writing desk that I'm hoping to get some writing done on are my 2010 NaNoWrimo project (don't know what it is yet) and the first of a middle grade fantasy series (untitled at the moment).


What would be your advice to aspiring writers out there?
Do not give up! I know life can kick you in the gut and often times causes discouragement, but if you truly believe in and enjoy what you're writing, you will find the strength to persevere and reach that dream.


What are your favorite books at the moment?
I tend to favor series as opposed to one book so here is the short list, Deviations series by Elissa Malcohn, Vampire Academy by Richelle Mead, Merry Gentry and Anita Blake series by Laurell K Hamilton, Beast Master series by Andre Norton, Pern and The Talent series by Anne McCaffrey.
Did I mention that was just my short list? *winks*


What is your favorite word? Least favorite?
My favorite word that I use in my every day speech is "interesting." Even though there are a dozen synonyms for that one word, I seem bent on using it to describe any moment or topic that is fascinating to me.
Least favorite? Any curse word that a person treats as the only vocabulary they know.

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