I know I'm in my own little world, but it's OK.
They know me here...


Friday, October 15, 2010


I'm not usually a huge fan of first person romance novels (and this is the second one I've read recently that I've really liked).

Hat's off to Katherine Allred for her ALIEN AFFAIRS:CLOSE ENCOUNTERS novel. From the start I was gripped by her heroine, Kiera, and the world-building.

What caught me first was the blurb - I have an interest in genetic-engineering, nothing too scientific, more along the lines of how manipulating traits and giving a character certain talents or enhanced abilities would play out within the context of a story. Would the character see them as a strength or weakness? How would other characters view the same? How would something like that impact a story line?

Allred's heroine - Keira Smith - is a GEP, a genetically engineered person (a woman grown in a laboratory). She has a host of superior physical abilities but even more advanced than you average GEP. So much so she views herself as a freak among freaks and sees it as a disadvantage in a universe that already sees her kind as unusual.

The story revolves around her coming to realise and accept these super-abilities, she's the key to saving an indigenous race threatened with genocide from a powerful corporation driven by greed and profit.

The world-building and the complexities of the external plot were compelling but it was Allred's character that sucked me into the pages. I couldn't put the book down and read it in a night. If you're looking for a good SFR (sci-fi romance) book then check out this series!

Here's the blurb:

Keira Smith is not like ordinary Genetically Engineered Persons...
The Bureau of Alien Affairs needed a special GEP agent with empathic abilities to handle their most extraordinary assignments--and a rogue geneticist saw to it that Kiera fit their specifications. But she turned out stronger, faster, smarter, and more impervious to harm than anyone anticipated. A reluctant “superhero,” Kiera wishes she were normal, but it is not to be.
On Orpheus 2, the indigenous Buri race faces extinction, a prospect the powerful Dynatec corporation welcomes and, in fact, may be actively hastening. As a special agent for the Bureau of Alien Affairs, it is Kiera’s job to protect these beautiful, exotic aliens…and to discover what there is on Orpheus 2 that Dynatec feels is worth killing for.
But the magnetic allure of the breathtaking Buri leader is proving a dangerous distraction. And now, to save Thor’s people, Kiera will need a power she’s never before possessed--something hidden in the unexplored recesses of her heart.

There's also a second book in the series - ALIEN AFFAIRS:CLOSE CONTACT.

GEP's just want to have fun...
A Genetically Engineered Person and self-proclaimed "party girl," Echo Adams loves her diplomatic job entertaining alien bigwigs for the Galactic Federation.But the Bureau of Alien Affairs has discovered she's much more than she thinks-that a rogue scientist endowed her with skills and psi abilities dwarfing those of common GEPs. And suddenly Echo's luxury life is over, replaced with a far more dangerous one: a special agent expected to not only chase bad guys, but eliminate them.
Echo's hates being stuck on Madrea-a planet of technophobes off limits to Federation visitors-hunting for a stolen quartz crystal with a powerful alien lifeform embedded inside. She despises the Bureau's restrictive rules-especially the one warning her away from the dangerously seductive Commander of the King's Forces. And if she doesn't learn how to use her alleged super-psi powers soon, her partying days-in fact all of her days-will be over for good.

Check out Katherine's website.

Time for another free give-away in my October Blog Anniversary celebration! Tell me, what catches your eye when you pick up a book - is the cover, the author's name, the back cover blurb, or reading the first few pages of the book?

Answer the question by October 19th (midnight Aussie EST) and you'll go into the draw for LINCOLN's SWORD by Debra Doyle & James D.MacDonald.

!!! Don't forget to leave a contact email address or check back in on the day I announce the winner! If you haven't claimed the prize in 48hrs I'll draw another name from my coffee cup.


  1. I've never really understood what catches my eye with a book. I think it might be just the title... and I developed that from years spent scouring library bookshelves at school, often under time pressure.

    Author does have some impact, also the back blurb, but I think title is mostly what it is for me. And that's strange because I pay no heed to title when I'm writing - maybe I should!

    And I love a first person story. It's easier to fall into the character in first person.

    Happy Blog Birthday, Kylie!!

  2. That book sounds amazing Kylie!
    For me a bit of everything needs to do it for me: cover, blurb and first few pages. But definately if I'm not hooked in the frist page or two i lose interest pretty quick!

  3. Kylie, I LOVE reading 1st person POV. I feel like I've escaped into someone else's life. :)

    For me, the cover is really important because it is the first thing I see in the shop. It sends me a signal as to what the book might be like. It'll make me pick it up or not. Title is kind-of irrelevant to me (!) but the back cover blurb is critical. I'll buy or leave a book on the blurb.

  4. Kylie, I quite enjoy 1st person POV. As long as the writing engages me, I'll read it. As for picking up a book... hmmm... a title will definitely grab my attention, as will a cover, but usually what does it for me is if I open to a random page and get sucked in with the writing. Although since becoming a writer I also check the first couple of paras because I know how important they are and how hard it is to get them right! The book you reviewed looks fab!

  5. Hi Cath, interesting that the title grabs you first but I liked how you developed that preference.

    Libraries often don't have all their books with the cover facing outwards to rather than the visual appeal of a cover you went for the picture evoked by the language on the spine.

  6. Ahh, Mel, the all round combo followed by the important first few pages. Thanks for sharing. :-)

  7. Maggie, the cover seems to be most people's first preference. I know an interesting or visually appealing cover will make me pick up a book before I flip to the back cover blurb to see if the plot lives up to its intriguing front.

  8. I think you hit the nail on the head, Alli. If the writing sucks you in it doesn't matter what sort of cover or blurb a book has. The all important engagement factor sells every time.

    Thanks for visiting! :-)