Tasha Black and I bumped into each other on Facebook. She’s definitely on my to read list this year!
Tasha Black is a USA Today bestselling author of Paranormal and SciFi romance. She lives in a big old Victorian in a tiny college town. She loves reading anything she can get her hands on, making up stories, and sipping pumpkin spice lattes. Claim your FREE Tasha Black Starter Library at www.TashaBlack.com
1. Tell us about yourself.
My name is Tasha Black and I’m a Sci Fi and Paranormal Romnance author. I live in a big old Victorian house in a tiny college town in Pennsylvania, very much like the fictional towns in my books. My series are Tarker’s Hollow (PNR), Stargazer Alien Mail Order Brides, Stargazer Alien Barbarian Brides, and Building a Hero (SFR).
2. When did you know you wanted to be an author?
I wanted to be an author even when I was a little kid. But I took a brief foray into the theatre on my way there!
3. What genres do you like to read? Are these the same genres you write in?
I love writing romance. But I like to read other genres too in my “off” hours. I’m especially fond of cozy lit writers, like Jon Cohen (Harry’s Trees, The Man in the Window, etc.), magical realism (like Gabriel Garcia Marquez), Robert Heinlein’s later, sexier work (like Stranger in a Strange Land) and my first loves were Russian Lit (Tolstoy and Dostoyevski), Jane Austen and Agatha Christie mysteries! I like to think that reading good books of any kind build a writer’s brain and excite creativity. So I don’t feel bad about reading outside my genre!
4. Is your book for adults, young adults or children?
My book is definitely for adults! This is not for anyone under 18 because it is STEAMY.
5. What is your current release or project?
My new release is Tolstoy: Stargazer Alien Barbarian Brides #1.
6. Tell us about the key characters
Anna lived a sheltered life back on Earth. She craved adventure and boy has she found it in space! She volunteered to join the Space Cadets, but her pod was lost in space and she was claimed by a pirate named “Mama” who teaches her to scavenge as a way to work off her debt. The book begins with Anna’s first mission.
7. What is your blurb or synopsis of the book?
Just one glance and this lonely alien
shifter instantly craves Anna for his mate.
Too bad the beautiful treasure-hunter seems blind to what’s truly valuable…
When space-pirate-in-training Anna Nilsson embarks on her first solo mission to plunder an abandoned luxury cruiser, she assumes she’ll be all alone aboard the big, empty ship. She’s hunting for treasure – the last thing she expects to find is a sinfully sexy alien who eyes her with a hunger that speaks of centuries of longing.
Leo’s ancient race has suffered greatly at the hands of the strangers who invaded their planet centuries ago, leaving the barbarians without a home world. When he awakes from stasis to the scent of a blood mate, he is stunned to discover the delectable creature is human. Being close to her sets his senses on fire, but he knows the attraction can only end in misery. What human could ever love a shape-shifting barbarian?
When a third occupant of the abandoned cruiser shows itself, the two realize they must work together if they want to get out alive.
Then they uncover a baby who just might be the priceless clone of a famous cultural icon, and things start to get really interesting…
If you like strong women, sexy aliens, wild adventures, steamy sensual scenes, and happily-ever-afters, then you’ll love the world of Stargazer!
8. Share an excerpt (up to 800 words).
In a forgotten corner of the galaxy, far from the established trade routes, and even farther from where it was supposed to be, floated a long-forgotten ship, one among many.
And at the center of that abandoned ship grew a forest.
Anna Nilsson froze in place, wishing she had someone to share the unusual sight with her. But she was alone, in more ways than she cared to think about at the moment.
She stepped closer, mesmerized, the only sound the steady hiss of her spacesuit’s air pump.
After the endless burnished aluminum of the Stargazer, the lush greenery before her almost hurt to look at.
Anna stood at the heart of a derelict luxury star cruiser the size of a shopping mall. She’d already made her way through winding corridors of threadbare rugs and corroded, flickering chandeliers, using her tagger to mark items of interest along the way. The passageways circled rings of rooms that extended along the sides of the ship as far as she could see. She almost felt as if she were in a Scooby Doo episode, or visiting the sunken Titanic, until she opened the latest door.
Maybe it was the lack of sleep since she’d found out she would be running her first salvage mission completely solo, or maybe the oxygen mix in her suit was a little high, but Anna couldn’t shake the feeling she’d stepped into a dream. She blinked to clear her head, but nothing changed.
She paused before a huge wall of glass, or something like glass, anyway. Beyond the wall, trees – real, honest to god trees – stretched upward, their lumpy branches bristling with bright green leaves. They had to be hundreds of years old.
As a child, Anna had visited the indoor rain forest exhibit at the Baltimore Aquarium on Earth. Clutching her big brother’s hand, she’d dashed up the wooden platforms, trying to catch a glimpse of the sloth or the toucan. The trees there had been spread out, the bustling city always looming just outside the floor-to-ceiling windows, a reminder that the attempted wilderness was not so wild after all.
What stood before her now was not an engineered approximation. It was a real forest, branches growing thick enough to almost completely block out the light source above. The surreal scene was made complete by a pair of ancient looking lamp posts glowing faintly at the edge of the tree line, their light barely penetrating a few steps into the wooded area.
The ship was as good as dead, but the forest was very much alive. Tendrils of ivy burst through the crevices between the corroded metal panels that held the glass in place, refusing to bend to the will of the man-made structure.
Hot tears sprung to her eyes and Anna had to lean over and rest her hands on her knees to steady herself against a wave of sudden emotion.
She hadn’t seen a tree in six months.
Well, technically it had been far, far longer. But she tried not to think about that part.
Light from above filtered down into the woods, dappling the soil and stones beneath the trees.
For a moment Anna was back at the cafe in Tarker’s Hollow, gazing out the window at the park as her mother scolded her to bus the lunch tables. She could smell the almond croissants baking, hear the mindless chatter of the patrons as they discussed whatever it was people with real lives discussed. It had been her entire existence, and now it was just… gone.
A light breeze sent a shiver of motion through the leaves in front of her. It must have been manufactured weather, still operating on reserve energy. The movement highlighted what she hadn’t noticed before.
The plant life had run riot, but there were no birds, no squirrels, not even insects on the forest floor. Besides Anna, the forest was the only living thing on the ship.
She stepped closer, placing her gloved hand against the nearest pane in solidarity, and holstering her salvage tagger.
She gazed up into the tremendous sycamore that towered over her head just inside the glass.
The light seemed to be brightening above.
No. That wasn’t right.
The tree was brightening.
Before her eyes, the green leaves faded then burst into flaming orange.
All around the sycamore, the other trees erupted into a symphony of yellow, peach, pink and scarlet.
Anna was watching summer turn to fall, as if someone had pressed a button on the remote that controlled the speed of the world.
A tone sounded in her helmet.
She looked down at her wrist, where her origami drone unfolded from its dock and then refolded itself into something resembling a bird before fluttering up to her.
“Environmental scan complete,” BFF19 sang out in a reassuring, feminine voice. “The onboard air is breathable.”
Anna disengaged her helmet and pulled it off.
9. Do you have a favorite scene?
The scene that I saw in my mind when I knew I had to write this book begins with the excerpt I shared. I loved the idea of Anna, looking into the forest that grows at the center of the abandoned luxury space cruiser and seeing the change of the seasons happen before her eyes. As she watches, in awe of all that beauty, Leo watches from afar, with just as much wonder in his eyes, but he’s not looking at the forest. He is looking at Anna.
10. What advice would you give a beginner?
1) Just write. Do it every day. Find a quiet spot in your home, hide your phone, turn off the internet and write. Your goal should be a certain word count. It could be as little as a few hundred words. But if you train yourself to write each and every day, it will become a habit. My daily word count is 1,000 words. Now if I try to take a day off my brain leaps around like a puppy with a leash in its mouth, anxious for exercise. But that’s not how it was in the beginning!
2) Read. Read as much as you can and read books that you enjoy – don’t force down something you think you should read. Your creativity will blossom if you cater to what it craves!
3) Find support – ideally another writer. They don’t need to read your words, just cheer you on and sympathize. Writing can be lonely. NaNoWriMo (national novel-writing month) is a nationwide project in which lots and lots of authors try to complete a novel in a month. Even if you can’t commit to that much writing. NaNoWriMo is a great place to go for advice and to find other writers! You can visit them at: https://nanowrimo.org
Social media links:
My Mailing List: http://eepurl.com/VysAL
Blog link: www.tashablack.com
Purchasing links for Tolstoy: