The Telen know the war with the Palesei will come. In their need to solve their most important problem, they invite human men to participate in an outstanding project. Sidarra is one of them. He falls in love with a Telen and in the hands of kidnappers. Amid war, uproar and rejection, they both have to prove if their love withstands the odds.
Context: Oleyni takes care of Sidarra during his first hours within his new abode. Everything is strange to him and the sudden interest of the whole family in him is quite unusual, yet not in a bad way...
“I think a darker blue suits you well.” Oleyni pulled out a pullover and pants and a warm undershirt. “It might get a little too cold for you in the evening. Better wear something warm.”
“Thanks. And where—”
“Oh, washing! Yes. Come.” She showed him the adjacent room. If Sidarra had expected faucets or anything recognizable, he was disappointed. “If you drop your clothes and stand here, the water will swirl around you. Shall I show you, or do you just want to try?”
“I’ll give it a try.”
“Fine.” Oleyni folded her hands in front of her lap and watched him, waiting.
“You want to stay?”
“Do you mind? You fainted some minutes ago, and the warm water might affect your circulation again. It could be that you need help, right?” Her eyes were wide open, portraying innocent ideas.
Sidarra smiled helplessly. “You mean, you are here to lend a hand?”
“There might be spots you can’t reach, don’t you think?”
His smile blossomed to a laugh that they shared. “You are right.” He shed his shoes, pants and jacket, revealing the net around his torso. “I might need help. This is all too strange for my taste.”
“You will get used to it.” Oleyni shrugged. “I guess I would feel the same if I was in your place. Your village seems to be strange, as well. You live in huts, I heard.”
He frowned as he approached the area where he assumed the water would flow. “What do you know about Ethisan?”
“That is your village? Well, I know that the continent is less fertile than ours. You drill wells for water and most parts of the continent are hard on the people. The majority consists of farmers and herders, some teachers, too. Temperatures are of modest warmth. It does not get cold, so you don’t know snow. There is just one developing city, with companies prospering from selling machines and ground transportation vehicles as well as many different tools. Trade markets have just recently begun to stretch to foreign countries in the north. Did I forget something?”
Water poured over Sidarra’s head and shoulders. It was warm and very pleasant, washing away sweat and dust. He closed his eyes and let Oleyni’s voice become the background of the pouring water. Warm hands massaged his shoulders, gently groped through the net on his back and went on with his buttocks. He pressed both hands against the wall and enjoyed the attention, moaning. When Oleyni was done down to his feet, she used soap to wash his hair, standing on tiptoe to reach his forehead.
Sidarra was so content he woke from a dream when she slapped his butt. “I guess if you get any cleaner, you’ll be translucent.”
He turned and the water stopped. Wiping his eyes, he made a step to where she waited with a big and very soft towel. “Thank you. That was very kind of you.”
“Your muscles felt like thick roots. Is it better now?”
“Much better.” He dried his hair and body. “How did you know?”
She pursed her lips and the sparkle in her eyes revealed her mischief. Hands folded behind her body, she turned her shoulders from left to right. “Female intuition.”
Interview with Ann Raina
How long does it take you to write a book?
Usually, I need about three months for a novel. It depends on how much time I have and the length of the story. Some plots are easy to write and when it comes to some scenes, my fingers fly over the keyboard, but, of course, there are times when the inner muse does not work.
Do you have a specific writing style?
I read a lot and try to find out how great authors catch the interest of the audience. Some can describe scenery very well, some catch the emotions of the main characters so that the reader gets inside their heads. I always hope that my descriptions are sufficient to give the reader insight without taking away his own imagination.
Who designed the covers of your books?
eXtasy Books has very talented artist who create the covers.
How did you choose the genre you write in?
Science Fiction grants me the opportunity to create own worlds with different rules, surroundings, settings. However, I also write contemporary romance and some years ago, I wrote a historical romance novel. It was fun to research the facts.
Do you have plans for a new book?
A science fiction / erotic romance is a work in progress, but will not be finished soon since the plot needs some polishing before the writing can go on. My latest novel Kisses and Chains will be published by eXtasy Books in February, 2015.
If you had to do it all over again, would you change anything in your latest book?
There’s always the chance that when you re-read the book you find scenes you would re-write, be more specific, be funnier or leave some sentences out. So, yes, there would be changes, I’m sure of that.
If you gave one of your characters an opportunity to speak for themselves, what would they say?
Some main characters would complain that they got pushed in the background within two or more chapters because the side characters get more attention. It’s always like that – I start the book with a clear concept, but then the additional characters develop and I can’t ignore them.
What was one of the most surprising things you learned in creating your book(s)?
Funny moments cannot be created, they have to happen. A joke is only funny if it comes out spontaneously. I like to have elements to laugh about, but will never force them.
Do you hear from your readers much? What kinds of things do they say?
Readers write to me that they like my books. Some want more heart-thrilling stories, some appreciate that I leave the reader room for their imagination.
Is there anything that you would like to say to your readers and fans?
I would appreciate even more reactions. It’s nice to see the sales number, but it would make my day if more readers told me their opinion.