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.
She ran her hands up his back until she reached his collar. Then her fingers dipped beneath the fabric and stroked his neck, rubbing up the muscles until her fingertips were on his scalp, massaging in little circles.
Ciel, to be stroked like this, to feel the simple pleasure of hands over his skin—he could barely process it. It had been so long. So long…
Something hot prickled beneath his eyelids. Intolerable. He scrubbed his face against his arm.
“It’s been hard for you.” His eyes flew open. She was watching him, her gaze deep and all-too-knowing. “You can talk to me about it, you know.”
Suddenly he was furious. Hadn’t she already exposed enough of his weaknesses?
And how could she possibly understand the life he had lived? She had led a practically utopian existence on Mars. She couldn’t comprehend the violence and deceit that made him, but if she did she would shudder back in horror.
She was innocent. She was everything he would never be again. She was too good for him. And she was about to drive him cracked.
He pushed up slowly, and her hands slid out of his hair. He came to his knees and looked down into her beautiful face, the scent of the grass rising around them. All at once the mood shifted, like a current of water running against him, growing stronger with the thrum of blood in his veins. Ay, she was too good for him. And he was a bastard, so he didn’t care about that fact at all. “No, I…I don’t want to talk right now.”
Her face was luminous in the soft light, an undeniable heat sparking in her eyes. Her rose-colored lips parted. “What then?” she whispered.
It’s my pleasure to welcome Jael Wye, author of Ladder to the Red Star. Thank you for taking time out of your busy tour schedule to join us at Room With Books, Jael.
Please tell us about Ladder to the Red Star and what inspired you to write it? Ladder to the Red Star is a retelling of Jack and the beanstalk, set in ruined Earth 300 years in the future. It is also Book II in my Once Upon a Red World series, which follows a broader story arc telling the stories of Martian colonists as an interplanetary conspiracy leads them into danger and romance throughout the Solar system. I was inspired to write this book, and the series as a whole, by my abiding love of Star Wars, Grimm’s fairy tales, and action movies with lots and lots of explosions.
When you start writing a new novel, do you outline the story or do your characters dictate what will happen? Because each of my books is based on a classic fairy tale, I always have a plot map laid out for me. The issue then becomes creating characters to enact this archetypal story out of their own specific and believable motivations. In Ladder to the Red Star, the hero Jacques must go up a space elevator cable to a space station owned by his worst enemy and steal a treasure. But what drives him to do something so desperate? Exploring Jacques’s history and emotions within the framework of an ancient story is the challenge I set myself with this book.
Do you ever have arguments with your characters and who usually wins? My characters are quite well behaved toward me. They’re too busy fighting the villains and apocalyptic disasters I throw at them, plus going head to head with each other, to give me any trouble.
What is something about you your readers would be surprised to know? You may be surprised to know that I am a superhero. I’m a mild mannered romance novelist by day, but by night I put on my super-glasses and hunt the streets as Stamperella, punishing litterbugs with the Noogie of Justice.
If you could write with any other author who would it be any why? I’d like to write with Ursula K. LeGuin. She is an absolute master at creating believable human societies in a science fiction setting. She took an anthropologist’s view of what it means to be human, envisioning cultures, physical characteristics and planetary environments for her characters that are fantastic and yet totally plausible. Any scifi writer would be honored to work with her.
When you were little what did you dream of becoming when you grew up and why? When I was little I dreamed of becoming a writer, an artist, and a scientist. Unfortunately, as soon as I smashed up against my first algebra test, I realized that practicing science was beyond my mathematical capabilities. I was left with the option of exploring science through more artistic mediums. And so here I am, at least until I figure out what a cosine is.
When did you decide to write and what prompted you to start? I’ve always been a voracious reader of science fiction and romance, but the time came when I grew dissatisfied with the books on offer. Not enough romance in the Sci-Fi, not enough Sci-Fi in the romance. I decided that there was nothing for it but to write the stories I wanted to read myself. That was when I set about becoming a career writer.
Does music inspire your writing? I can only write to the sweet sound of silence.
What is your favorite breakfast? Coffee!
What is your favorite color? Pink!
What is your favorite movie? Lord of the Rings!
What is your dream car? A Mars rover with big mesh wheels for driving over craters, hydrogen fuel cells, a full gas exchange and waste and water reclamation systems, and a satellite relay hookup so I can send video back home to Earth!
Where can our readers find you?
Here! Carina Press — Amazon — eBooks
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.
Carina Press — Amazon — eBooks
Jael will be awarding a digital copy of Ice Red to a randomly drawn commenter during the tour.
I encourage you to follow the tour and comment; the more you comment, the better your chances of winning. The tour dates can be found by clicking on the tour banner below.