Please welcome author Tami Veldura to the clubhouse! Tami is promoting her latest sci-fi release, Learning to Want! Gorgeous cover is gorgeous!
Check out the author's interview, learn more about her process, pick up the NineStar coupon code below AND don't forget to enter in the giveaway - one lucky person will win their choice of ANY NineStar Press book!
First off, tell us a bit about Learning To Want! What can we expect?
Aliens! Spanking! Hot sex! Gender neutral pronouns! Learning To Want is set on an alien desert planet with strange customs and a caste system in place. One of the protags is a native citizen while the other is brought from off-planet. I wanted to develop a sense of a bigger universe even though the story is a short novella.
How do you make an alien planet familiar to readers?
Have you ever been to Death Valley? Or the Adriatic Sea? Or a salt flat? There are strange, extreme places already on this planet that can serve as great inspiration and convenient analogues for possible alien worlds. Dulia is a desert-dominated planet, full of sand and sun, and the native species are adapted for that sort of environment.
Are your aliens based on anything in real life?
The Frea are anthropomorphic lizards, complete with scales and tails. Slone-Dogs are based on hyena and african wild dog packs. There are some aliens that are little more than a sketch of an idea since they don't feature prominently. I took inspiration from scifi tropes and ideas or other alien races I've read about to build some variety into the story.
What kind of research did you do for Learning?
The world, the aliens, and the plot are all familiar ground for me and I pulled from concepts I'm already familiar with. However, I spent a lot of time researching and talking with sensitivity readers about my characters of color. I am white and I want to write books that are respectful and good representation, and just like studying the medical profession for a doctor character, I need to study the different experiences POC have to get the details right.
The edit was hard for this book, where did you get stuck?
I got stuck starting! Learning began as a five thousand word short story and when Nine Star accepted it with the idea to expand on it, I was very excited to explore more about the world. I had all kinds of ideas for cultural details and plot refinement, but it took me MONTHS to open the document and get started. I think the whole concept became a little too big and I was intimidated!
How did you come up with the title?
Learning to Want was my working title for the book during development. The initial concept of the main character learning about dominance and submission was core to the story and the question I've often seen in BDSM conversation is why would anyone want to be spanked or dominated? I always leave myself open for title ideas during editing and proofreading, but this one stuck around!
Is there any particular message you hope the readers grasp in this book?
There's been a conversation happening lately about consent and whenever BDSM themes or kink are present in a book there's always a question of reality vs. fiction. Is this a consensual and healthy relationship or fiction? Is this poor representation or a fantasy? I've written questionable and non-consent stories before and I wanted to go in a different direction this time. The core of this novella is about consent on several levels, and the different ways consent is or isn't given.
Will there be other stories in this universe?
I'd love to write more! There are a bunch of different alien ideas I have, and the setup I've already done opens a lot of doors for potential stories. I dropped a bunch of teasing glimpses of the wider world that I hope my readers enjoy and I can see a long string of sequels following Khoram and Atash on their adventures. I even have titles already!
What's up next for you? What can your fans expect to see?
Right now, I'm elbows-deep in administrative work for my business. Writing and editing books are the fun part, but after that there's a lot of behind-the-scenes work. I review my contracts, upload books to different websites, release goodies through my newsletter and Patreon, all in between writing. In fact, at the end of the month, a sexy deleted scene from Learning will go out to my newsletter subscribers.
However, the next big project I want to start is a contemporary suspense M/M novel about FBI agents and brainwashing experiments like Bucky Barnes in The Winter Soldier. I have an outline ready to go and I'm excited to get started.
How can fans follow your work and chat with you?
I prioritise questions and conversation with my fans on Patreon. You can support me for as little as 1$ to get your name in a story, request a genre, and get all kinds of extras (like free scenes, short stories, and art) that no one else sees.
I'm also frequently on Facebook and Twitter talking about my day. Feel free to follow me there!
Fans can sign up for my newsletter and ARC list to get notifications of new books and bonus scenes with each new release.
Queer romance, science fiction, fantasy, steampunk, and YA fiction author. I’m only here until I reach escape velocity. Artist. Gardener. Gamer. Raynauds. Asexual.
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Atash grew up in the cracks of Dulia's complex social structure, where dominance and submission are a man's worth. He's struggled for years on a lower caste but Khoram could be his ticket to a better life if they can find common ground.
Atash wants to teach Khoram the art of submitting by choice and maybe make a name for himself along the way. Khoram, however, isn't here to play Atash's political games. He's going to escape, if his former employer doesn't see him killed first.
Publisher: NineStar Press
Release Date: November 21, 2016
Genre: Science Fiction
Sex Content: Explicit
Cover Artist: Natasha Snow
NineStar Press: http://ninestarpress.com/product/learning-to-want/
Barnes & Noble: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/learning-to-want-tami-veldura/1125060038?ean=2940153814308
All Romance Ebooks: https://www.allromanceebooks.com/product-learningtowant-2164894-340.html
COUPON CODE: Get 20% off preorder on NineStar Press website with coupon code “preorder”
* (Good until release day)
ExcerptTami Veldura © 2016
All Rights Reserved.
Khoram couldn’t help testing his bonds. The metal chain between his hands and feet rattled, laughing at his attempts. The line of slaves shuffled forward one space, and Khoram was dragged along whether he wanted it or not. A lot of things were happening whether he wanted them to or not. The food he ate, the beer he drank, the clothes they took, the hands that verified he was in working condition. He flinched at the memory.
To distract himself he looked up and tried to count the days. Four behind bars on Elliot’s ship thanks to good-for-nothing Nik, six on the small space hopper, three in the holding cells while he and the Ohiri waited for another connection, two in the transport that left them here on Dulia, five—no, six now—at the auction house. Twenty-one days for Nik to cover his tracks. Almost a full cycle for the trail to go cold. Khoram grit his teeth. At the very least something different was happening.
The slave line shuffled forward.
Here, off stage, they kept the rooms mostly dim. It didn’t diminish Dulia’s oppressive heat in the slightest, but the closer Khoram was guided to the glowing roll-up door of the slave block, the more he longed for home. His fitful dreams tortured him with visions of Avois’s wet jungles and waterfalls. He hadn’t actually been home in over a decade, too busy making his fortune as an enforcer and bodyguard, but he was starting to see the error of his ways. Or at least the error of Nik’s.
Khoram licked his lips. He pressed them together, already regretting it. They’d been chapped dry for days. His wrists and ankles chafed under the iron. These were better discomforts than the lingering slick between his legs and exactly what lay on the other side of that bright doorway.
A Dulia lizardman flared the red frill around his neck as he walked the slave line, clicking orders in his native tongue and emphasizing them with a small electric prod. Khoram had tested the prod’s worth enough times to know it could knock him on his ass without much effort. He looked away from the mercenary and shuffled forward with the line.
He wasn’t exactly inconspicuous. The group he was chained to consisted largely of Ohiri natives: light-skinned, five-foot average, and generally docile. They were just as likely to stay in line without the chains and prod. Khoram stood out among them: a tall, dark, massive human furious in his captivity. Khoram was highly trained and just waiting for a chance to show it. In a fair fight, the lizardmen would fold like paper and they knew it. He’d never been unchained, left alone, or handled by fewer than four, and they were always armed with their electric prods. Always on alert.
Khoram grit his teeth. From capture to sale, he hadn’t managed a single successful bid for freedom, and he’d tried more than a few times. Now he took a breath and let his patience steady his hands, let the line of slaves tug him along. If the lizardmen couldn’t be overcome, whoever purchased him could be. Khoram wasn’t entirely familiar with Dulia’s customs, but if the easily dominated Ohiri were slaves of choice, Khoram wasn’t going to fetch much interest or profit.
The slave in front of him was unleashed from the line and yanked out the bright door. A lizardman pointed at the vacated spot, and Khoram shuffled forward to occupy it. The heat pulsed through the door in bright waves, bringing scents of sand, sweat, and a light spice that was unfamiliar. He could hear voices, now: the auctioneer yelling in rapid Duliana, the crowd barking their bids in turn, the sound of rhythmic smacking, a chorus of cheers. Another winning bid.
Then Khoram’s chains were unleashed and, flanked by two lizardmen with prods, he was led through the door. Hot metal rattled under his feet, and the blinding sun limited his view of more than the circular platform onto which he was pulled. A lizardman unhooked his wrists from his ankles, instead latching the chain to something that hoisted his arms suddenly overhead. His breath whooshed out. They tightened his ankle chains to the platform, and with a metal screech, it slowly began to rotate. They were showing him off. A tingle of awareness tripped over his skin and exposed groin—the attention of a hundred eyes.
Khoram squinted. The auctioneer espoused in Duliana for several minutes, likely explaining why the hell this bear of a human was on the block instead of a lithe Ohiri, spinning his assets to garner the crowd’s favor. Khoram knew a snake-oil salesman when he saw one, even if he didn’t share their language.
The platform turned him, and he faced the crowd. More of a species mix than he expected. Lizardmen were not the primary slave-owners if this was a decent selection. Mostly tall Frea, in fact, their black scales draped in white gossamer. They were members of Dulia’s refined upper caste, and other than video, this was the first he’d seen them. They weren’t known to ever leave Dulia, though they profited from the wider galaxy’s trade gladly. Pockets of Slone-dogs made the most noise in the crowd. They barked in their hybrid dialect, likely obscene things Khoram didn’t want translated. He curled his lip at the closest pack, and they yipped at each other.
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