Day 19 (7 Days to Smugglivus and counting)
Who: Linnea Sinclair, pioneering author of Science Fiction Romance! Linnea has won both RITA and PEARL awards and racked up starred reviews for her novels, making her one of the most important, influential authors in this growing subgenre. Linnea also happens to be one heck of a cool person, and we have had the pleasure of interviewing here here!
Recent Work: The 2006 RITA Award Winning novel, Gabriel’s Ghost was the first Linnea Sinclair book we read here at The Book Smugglers–and we loved it. This year, Linnea released Shades of Dark, a direct sequel following Chaz and Sully–and again, we loved it. Linnea has her third book set in the Gabriel’s Ghost universe coming out early next year, titled Hope’s Folly. This third novel departs from Chaz and Sully and instead follows a secondary character from the first two books, Philip Guthrie. For her Smugglivus post, Linnea has kindly offered to introduce us to these new characters, with an introduction to Hope’s Folly telling us about the day Philip Guthrie walked into her office and….
Without further ado, we give you Linnea Sinclair!
I was just finishing writing SHADES OF DARK when Admiral Philip Guthrie walked into my office. Limped, actually, but I’ll get to that. Now, people walk into my office all the time. Characters from my books, less so.
You might remember Philip as Captain Chaz Bergren’s domineering ex-husband in GABRIEL’S GHOST, who then became much more of a friend and worthy teammate in SHADES OF DARK. He was the tall, (prematurely) silver-haired guy with the incredible blue eyes but well, rather stodgy manner.
See, there’s a reason for that, as his youngest brother Devin recently told me: Guthrie men, when they love, love deeply. They’re just horribly inept at showing it.
Anyway, there I sat, getting Chaz and Sully’s story out, and I hear this very definite masculine throat-clearing behind me. I turn. It’s not my husband, Rob. It’s Philip.
I shooed Daq-Cat out of his usual place in the overstuffed chair. “Would you like to sit, Admiral?”
With a heavy sigh, he did so. “This is never a pretty maneuver,” he said, leaning on his cane.
Well, yes. He did get roughed up in SHADES OF DARK.
“I’m a little busy.” I motioned to my screen. “But if there’s something important—”
“There is. With all due respect, Ms. Sinclair, you took my wife away from me, destroyed the fleet I devoted my life to, and now I’m left with no job, no hope, no prospects. I’m forty-five. Not that that’s old, mind you. It’s just…,” and he hesitated, looking away. Then he turned back, a small fire in those magnificent blue eyes. “You damned near killed me in GABRIEL’S GHOST. But at least I had my career. My life meant something. I see no improvement coming at the end of SHADES OF DARK. Not for me. I think I’ve been a very good character for you. I deserve better.”
The passion in his voice struck me. Here was a man who cared deeply, who was loyal, courageous, and…okay, I’ve been happily married almost thirty years but I can still recognize when a guy is gorgeous. How did Chaz describe him in GABRIEL’S GHOST? “A figure and a face that turned heads regularly in bars on liberty. Classic, undeniably masculine.”
And I damned near killed the guy in GABRIEL’S GHOST and roughed him up badly in SHADES OF DARK.
I sighed. “You’re absolutely right, Philip—may I call you Philip?”
“I’d feel a lot better if you do.” He smiled softly.
My toes curled.
“Okay, Philip. I agree. You definitely deserve better than what I’ve done to you.”
“All I want is a ship to command, a career again. Something to believe in. It doesn’t have to be one of those,” and he waved one hand at the line of my books on my bookshelf, “romance-type things.” He cleared his throat again, evidently slightly embarrassed by those “romance-type things.”
I was charmed.
“I just need something to give me hope,” he continued.
“Hope?” I drummed my fingers on the edge of my keyboard. “I can definitely do that.”
“And a ship? Some action? I’d like to do my part in cleaning up the problems in the Empire. It’s what I’m good at, you know.”
I did. “A ship, a good crew, worthy adversaries. How’s that?”
“Excellent.” He grinned broadly as he shoved himself to his feet, cane in one hand, the other outstretched toward me. “Thank you so much. I knew you’d come through for me, Ms. Sinclair.”
“Linnea,” I corrected as I let him enfold my hand in his larger one. Gentleperson’s agreement.
“Linnea.” My name was a deep rumble in his chest.
“Sorry about the leg.”
He shrugged. “It’s healing. Getter better daily.”
Philip Guthrie left my office, going back to wherever characters go while their author is working. Daq-Cat returned to his corner of the chair. My fingers hit the keyboard.
Okay, Philip, here’s the deal:
You’re Philip Guthrie, an admiral from one of the wealthiest families in the galactic sector. You have position, prestige and respect greater than many men would have in their mid forties. But then everything changes when a power-mad politician named Darius Tage turns the empire you’ve devoted your life to upside down. The Fleet you knew is gone, captains you trusted are dead, there’s a kill-order out with your name on it, and your ex-wife is in love with a shape-shifting, telepathic half demon named Gabriel Sullivan.
Now you’re living on the rim, working with the rebels—the Alliance of Independent Republics—to guarantee the survival of those trying to flee a corrupt and dying empire. And trying to forget the error you made that brought some of your captains to their deaths—including the first commanding officer you ever served under, Captain Cory Bennton. Fighting with the Alliance is the only thing that has any meaning in your life anymore, the only thing you can do, except…fall in love. With Rya Bennton. She’s twenty-nine years old, and your former commanding officer’s daughter.
When she was ten, you nicknamed that annoying, impetuous brat “Rya the Rebel.” Now that nickname has become reality. Her father was one of the first casualties of the new regime, shot in cold blood by a death squad that enforces the rules. But Rya’s always made her own rules, and now she’s part of the rebel alliance, her sole focus to avenge her father’s death.
But you promised Captain Cory you’d protect his daughter. How can you do that when she keeps throwing herself in harm’s way—trying to save your life?
And how can you build a new fleet for the Alliance, when the flagship they give you is a recommissioned fruit-hauler that stinks of oranges…and is home to a stowaway cat?
It’s an impossible mission on a derelict ship called HOPE’S FOLLY. A man who feels he can’t love. A woman who believes she’s unlovable. And an enemy who will stop at nothing to crush them both.
Let the adventure begin! (And watch out for Devin Guthrie’s story—he’s Philip’s younger brother who has a lot to learn about love—coming soon!)
With hugs and whisker kisses,
//Interstellar Adventure Infused With Romance//
THE PROMOTIONAL VIDEO FOR HOPE’S FOLLY:
Holy Shnikeys! What’s that you say? Linnea Sinclair has graciously provided a giveaway! (Wow, that rhymed)
In preparation for the release of Hope’s Folly, we have FIVE PRIZES.
FIRST PRIZE: Hope’s Folly swag! This prize includes a Hope’s Folly mug, tote bag and shirt (above).
SECOND PRIZE: Take your pick of ANYTHING in Linnea’s online Intergalactic Bar and Grille Store! There are goodies from tote bags to shirts, mugs, etc. You can peruse the store for your choice of a prize HERE.
THREE CONSOLATION PRIZES: Each consolation winner receives an Intergalactic Bar & Grille calendar.
The contest will run until Sunday December 21st at noon (Pacific Standard Time). To enter all you have to do is leave a comment here, and answer the following question: What is your favorite Science Fiction Romance pairing (Linnea Sinclair or otherwise–any pair from Chaz and Sully to Han Solo and Leia)?
NEXT ON SMUGGLIVUS: Saturday: another infamous Flash Giveaway and on Monday: author Susan Holloway Scott