Thursday, February 23, 2012

Blue Maneuver by Linda Andrews - Character Interview

The extraterrestrials have landed and they're human.

Rae Hemplewhite didn't believe in aliens until a close encounter with out-of-this-world technology drags her into the extraterrestrial security program. Helping alien refugees adjust to life on Earth is difficult enough, but her first clients have a price on their heads. Plus, her new partner seems torn between the urge to kiss her or kill her.

And that's the good news.
The bad news: Alliances are forming in deep space. If Rae doesn't keep her witnesses alive long enough to transfer their top secret information to the right faction of humanity, Earth will become a battlefield.

Edited by TL Hockett, E Brownchweig

Enter for a chance to win a digital copy of
Blue Maneuver.  Two Lucky winners will receive a Smashwords coupon code for a free download.
Comment on this post for a bonus entry.  Follow Linda on Twitter for a bonus entry.
This Giveaway ends Feb.11th 11:59PM CDT Time.


Linda: I'd like to introduce MaryJane Radiance--

Rae: Rae. Please. There's no need to let everyone in on the dirty secret that is my name.

Linda: Right. I'd like everyone to meet the fabulous (and bossy) Rae Hemplewhite. She's the star of my urban fantasy/scifi novel, Blue Maneuver.

Rae: I'm not the star! Stars get treated well. Stars have trailers and people and stunt doubles! I got stabbed and hit on the head and kidnapped and that was the first few hours! Let me tell you that if you ever see blue lightning bugs--duck and cover! Ever since those things infected me, I see aliens. Aliens! I don't believe in aliens. Little green or gray men, that's a government conspiracy.

Linda (scratching head): Um, so the aliens aren't green or gray?

Rae: Yes, well, some of them are. My neighbor is! And she's not little. She green, oozy and bullet-shaped. Not to mention very unpleasant. And that was before I was assigned to help her adapt to life on Earth. She wants a new human suit, one that doesn't have wrinkles. Really, she's eighty if she's a day. Eighty year olds have wrinkles.

Linda: So that's what you do now? Help aliens adapt to life on our blue planet?

Rae sighs and blows her bangs out of her eyes: They call me a steward. You know, I didn't used to be such a complainer. I used to be fun to be around. Now people are shooting at me and threatening to kill me when they're not kissing me.

Linda: Oozy aliens are kissing you?

Rae, wrinkling her nose: Ew! No. Two extraterrestrial humans have kissed me. And they're guys. Really attractive guys, except for when they're threatening to kill me. And of course, they hate each other and work for different factions of the space humans.

Linda: Space humans?

Rae: It's a long story that makes my head hurt to think about but the gist is that humans have gone into space four times and colonized planets, but the civilizations that remained on Earth kinda self-destructed and we started all over again.

Linda: So who are these guys you've kissed?

Rae: Well, there's Tobias. He's a yummy blond soldier and my partner. He actually made sandwiches for me after I got over my blue bug infection. Which was nice.

Linda: I like it when guys make me food. And it's even better when they do the dishes too.

Rae, twirling a piece of hair: He did help clean up but then was called away and Victor came.

Linda: And Victor is...

Rae: He's the other hottie. I saw him first as he lives in my condo complex. We'd just agreed to go out to dinner when I was told he worked for the bad guys. Of course, he was really nice to me right up until he left me tied up in a building that was going to explode.

Linda: Um, yeah, I can see where you might be a bit conflicted about which guy to choose.

Rae: I know, right? (Smart phone rings and she frowns) Recipe for cherry chocolate cupcakes? Sorry, I've gotta go, looks like a new ET is about to land at the airport.

Linda: Cherry chocolate cupcakes is code for an alien landing?

Rae: What? Don't be silly. All my Milky Way calls come under the recipe app so no one knows what I'm doing. Even me. (She drops the phone into her pocket and leaves)

Although Rae had to leave, she did give us a snippet of her first encounter with Tobias and the blue bugs.

    The truck door slammed shut. Mr. Parks and Rec Superhero propped his elbows against the ledge surrounding the truck bed. The rising sun cast his face in shadows but highlighted his broad shoulders and gilded his hair. "That's twice you've gone down on me today, and we only met five minutes ago."

Heat unfurled deep inside me. He couldn't possibly have meant it that way. But what if he did? Hope welled up. I squashed it. Embarrassment is not foreplay and I'm not desperate!

I stared back at him, not really seeing much thanks to the angle of the light.

Time ticked on and the silence stretched.

What did one say to a man who just accused me of going down on him twice in five minutes? Thanks? Let's do it again? Where are my hundred bucks?

In one smooth motion, he peeled off his sunglasses. "Maybe I should give you a ride home."

I blinked. What was with the sunglasses? It was practically night still. I backed up. Maybe Mr. Parks and Rec wasn't a superhero but a supervillian.

"Are you all right?" He pushed away from the truck and sauntered toward the tailgate.

Shaking my head, I raised my hands to ward him off. "I'm fine. Just fine. I--I can get home just fine."

Pink rays bathed his aquiline nose and accented his strong jaw line. His long lashes painted spiky shadows across the bridge of his nose. "You keep repeating fine. Perhaps medical attention is in order."

I shook my head harder. My pony tail slapped my shoulder blades and my bangs escaped the sweatband. "I don't live far."

There. I forced a smile on my stiff cheeks. Not a fine in the bunch.

"Its no--" He jerked to a stop before rearing back.

Wow! I never had any rebuff be that effective. I-- Wait a minute. His attention wasn't on me. My gaze followed his line of sight. He stared at the same spot where I tripped. My stomach knotted and cold brushed my skin. I inched closer to him. Adrenalin reduced my aches to white noise.

What had I tripped over?

Swearing, Mr. Parks and Rec's boots pounded on the gravel.

I slid one foot forward and rose on tip-toe. Something pale lay in the high grass and weeds. Despite the shadowy dawn, the sight seemed familiar. Yet my brain refused to identify it. A little closer and I would see...

The truck door creaked open, there was a click and a cone of light cut across the object.

I almost laughed. A face. It was a face. I blinked. Holy Toledo! It was a stiff face! The eyes didn't blink, the flat nostrils didn't flare and the lips were bluish. My sluggish brain finally connected the dots. "He's dead!"

Who knew that year my parents had managed a hospice would come in handy? No, death didn't shock me. Except that his eyes were open, he seemed to be sleeping. But something seemed off with this death.

Without saying a word, Mr. Parks and Rec strode toward the corpse.

"Hey! Don't touch him. He's evidence." I patted my shorts. Phone. Where was my phone? It must have fallen out during my swan dive.

Mr. Parks and Rec grabbed one of the plants piled atop the body and tossed it aside.

"Stop it. That's evidence." I took a step forward then stopped. Okay, I'm not a death weenie, but guys didn't collapse along a jogging trail then bury themselves under a mound of weeds. "We need to call the cops."

Good plan. I refrained from patting myself on the back. Too bad he didn't listen.

Mr. Parks and Rec knelt next to the body. "He might still be alive."

And I thought I had the optimism market cornered. My mouth dropped open, before I snapped it shut. People dealt with death in different ways. Maybe he couldn't stand the idea of a jogger eating the big enchilada in his park. I took a deep breath. I'd helped family members accept loss before. "Look, I know--"

When Mr. Parks and Rec lifted the next weed off the body, three fireflies rose into the air. Their pale blue light washed over his rugged features. "Good. They're still here."

I snapped my jaw shut and my skin tightened. When did Phoenix get fireflies? And why were they blue?

I stepped back and crushed something under my heel. Oh snap, not my cell! I winced at the crinkling noise and looked down. An aluminum can folded against my sneaker. Surely, this is more bad Karma than I've earned in this lifetime. Maybe Mr. Parks and Rec and his blue light show hadn't noticed. Shaking off the can, I peeked at them from under my lashes.

Mr. Parks and Rec's eyes lasered on me like his next target and the lights...they buzzed back and forth.

My stomach cramped. This was so not good. Maybe I should just leave.

One of the blue lightning bugs broke away from the trio and zipped toward me.

"No!" Mr. Parks and Rec's shout jangled along my nerves and raised the hair on my arms.

The bug showed no sign of having heard, let alone stopping. I waved my hands hoping to fend it off. It darted around and dived into my shoulder.

Into my shoulder.

"What in the world?" My shoulder glowed blue for a moment then the pain blossomed like a mushroom cloud. Waves of heat rippled through me, each one hotter than the next. Holy cow! I think I heard my brain sizzle.

The two remaining lightning bugs darted toward me.


Sounded like a plan to me. 

Linda Andrews lives with her husband and three children in Phoenix, Arizona. When she announced to her family that her paranormal romance was to be published, her sister pronounce: "What else would she write? She’s never been normal."

All kidding aside, writing has become a surprising passion. So just how did a scientist start to write paranormal romances? What other option is there when you’re married to romantic man and live in a haunted house?

If you’ve enjoyed her stories or want to share your own paranormal experience feel free to email the author at lindaandrews(at)lindaandrews(dot)net She’d love to hear from you.
Goodreads    |  Facebook    |  Twitter 


Vanessa theJeepDiva said...

Thanks for the excerpt & giveaway. I've been on a alien/futuristic/sci fi kick lately. This one sounds interesting.

Sarah Elizabeth said...


Laurie said...

The lucky giveaway winners are:
Vanessa theJeepDiva and Antane.
Congrats to each of you!!