Welcome to my stop on the CBLS Blog Tour for Colonization! This looks to be a good book for sci-fi lovers! Also, check out the guest post and giveaway below!
by Aubrie Dionne
YA Sci-Fi/Fantasy Romance (Action/Adventure)
Published by InkSpell Publishing
Released on November 7, 2012
Heat Level: Sweet
Word Count: 60,000
Andromeda has spent all seventeen years of her life aboard a deep space transport vessel destined for a paradise planet. Her safe cocoon is about to break open as Paradise 21 looms only one month away, and she must take the aptitude tests to determine her role on the new world and her computer assigned lifemate. As a great-granddaughter of the Commander of the ship, she wants to live up to her family name. But, her forbidden love for her childhood friend, Sirius, distracts her and she fails the tests. The results place her in a menial role in the new colony and pair her with Corvus, “the oaf”.
But when Andromeda steps foot on Paradise 21, her predestined future is the least of her worries. Alien ghosts from a failed colonization warn her of a deadly threat to her colony. And when Sirius’s ship crashes on the far ridge in an attempt to investigate, she journeys to rescue him with Corvus.
Andromeda now must convince the authorities of the imminent danger to keep her protect her new home. What she didn’t expect was a battle of her own feelings for Sirius and Corvus.
Can she save the colony and discover her true love?
Why I Love Working with Inkspell Publishing:
When Inkspell publishing agreed to take Colonization: Paradise Reclaimed last spring, I was ecstatic. I’d had two offers from two different publishing companies, and Inkspell won hands down. Their website is gorgeous, their covers are phenomenal, and I loved the sound of the stories they had coming out. I thought my book would be a perfect fit.
Not only that, but they have a print contract for most of their books, which is hard to find nowadays with small publishers. Having a print book is a great marketing tool. You can only do a Goodreads giveaway if the book is in print, and some reviewers won’t take ebooks, not to mention book signings, so print definitely opens more doors.
As I got to know the people at Inkspell, I loved the company even more. They are polite, courteous, and always get back to me as soon as possible, unlike other companies I’ve dealt with that don’t return my emails at all. They make me feel special, and they support my book wholeheartedly. I think it’s important to find a company that believes in you and your work.
As I started to read the ARC’s coming out of Inkspell, I was amazed. Want by Stephanie Lawton was so irresistible, I couldn’t put it down. I ate it up like chocolate balls and ice cream. Frozen by Annabelle Blume was another steamy hit. Book after book that I read I liked. I knew I’d truly found a home for my YA books.
How Colonization ties into the New Dawn Series:
I’ve just finished the longest and most involved series of my life thus far: a four book, new adult space opera series called The New Dawn series, published by Entangled Publishing. The last installment came out this fall, September 11th. In between writing books 1 and 2, I took a break and experimented with Colonization: Paradise Reclaimed, my first young adult space opera. This story is directly tied to characters from the book 1 in my New Dawn series. In fact, some of them, even though it’s three hundred years later, are still living!
The main character of Colonization: Paradise Reclaimed is Andromeda Barliss, the great granddaughter of Astor Barliss, the BAD GUY from Paradise 21. You heard me right: her grandpapa is the BAD GUY from the previous book. When Colonization begins, he’s had three hundred years to reflect on his life, and he isn’t quite so bad anymore. You wouldn’t believe what three hundred years of self-reflection can do to a person!
Astor Barliss is still one of the most complication characters I’ve ever written. He wants to help Andromeda, but he also doesn’t want her to repeat his past mistakes. This book completes his character arc, at the same time starting a new arc in that of his great granddaughter.
You’ll have to read both Paradise 21 and Colonization: Paradise Reclaimed to see the change in Astor Barliss and how it affects his choice with Andromeda.
Why I Wrote Colonization:
I’d just finished Paradise 21 from my new adult New Dawn series, and I felt like the whole story hadn’t been told. In fact, I wrote a scene at the end (which has now been deleted in the final version) where the Bad Guy, Astor Barliss, finally reaches Paradise 21. The scene features his great granddaughter, Andromeda Barliss, as a teen, and I knew a whole new story was in the making.
Except, this wasn’t new adult anymore.
Andromeda was seventeen years old, making this new chapter a young adult book. Without thinking of repercussions, about what second books of trilogies should be, or what anyone would think, I wrote the book. It flowed like music from my typewriter because I was writing what I wanted to write, and not what should be written or what people would expect. After I finished, I had a book that couldn’t make it in the original trilogy, so I created a trilogy of its own for young adults, and the Paradise Reclaimed series was born.
Some of my critique partners liked it better than the original book, Paradise 21. I knew the story had to continue, and I was so glad I’d followed my heart and written a young adult book instead of book 2. The series sat on the back burner for a while as I got a contract with Entangled Publishing and had to finish the original series. I was ecstatic when Inkspell Publishing picked it up. I’m so excited to share with you the product of my heart, Colonization: Paradise Reclaimed.
Why I wrote about benevolent aliens instead of crazy/scary/evil ones.
Crazy/scary/evil aliens are so much more fun to write about, aren’t they? They could take over people’s bodies, exterminate entire populations, read their minds, suck their brains….ah all the options….it makes me excited just thinking about it. So, why did I opt for the world peace version in Colonization?
Well, these aliens first appear in Paradise 21, the first book in my new adult space opera series. They’re meant to contrast with humans, who have made Earth unlivable through wars, overpopulation, greed, and over extending their resources. These aliens had created a perfect society of peace, understanding, and living in harmony. They outlasted their own sun, while humans destroyed the Earth long before its time should have been up. That’s the message in Paradise 21, and you finally get a glimpse of who they were in Colonization: Paradise Reclaimed.
Andromeda, the main character, gets to meet one of them. Not alive, of course, because their population has been wiped out by something threatening her own colony, but readers of Paradise 21 will get a further glimpse into the aliens’ world and how they’d interact with humans. The threat on Paradise 21 isn’t crazy/scary/evil aliens, it’s something much more subtle and insidious.
See for yourself in Colonization: Paradise Reclaimed.
Symbolism in the Cover of Colonization
When I first saw my cover for Colonization: Paradise Reclaimed, I melted into my computer keyboard. I was amazed, impressed, excited. It represented my book so well, I could tell Inkspell Publishing had put a lot of thought into what they wanted to portray. Colonization is so much more than typical teen romance, and this cover bypasses that whole aspect, highlighting the sci fi element in the story. It’s intelligent, mysterious, and alluring. Everything I could have wanted to represent my book.
Without going into too much detail, because that would give away spoilers, I can say the cover represents a crucial element of the plot, a defining factor in Andromeda’s decisions. This time it’s not evil aliens they need to worry about. And that’s all I can say about that!
To me, the globe on the cover represents a whole new world to explore, but also the bubble Andromeda has lived in all her life on her colony ship. Colonization: Paradise Reclaimed is a coming of age story that’s all about redefining boundaries, and the right to choose your own path.
To learn more, read Colonization: Paradise Reclaimed for yourself!
What makes Corvus so irresistible by the end of the book?
Corvus is the underdog in Colonization: Paradise Reclaimed. He’s competing with Andromeda’s childhood crush. At first she’s blind to everything he does, but as she gets to know him, she discovers there’s much more there than she thought, putting him in the running for her heart.
What makes Corvus so charming is not the way he looks on the outside- although he’s not ugly, by far- it’s how he treats Andromeda, and the lengths he’ll go to win her love. Everything Corvus does, he does for her.
In writing Colonization, I wanted all the girls out there to know there are other fish in the sea. I was sick of reading YA books where the jerky, arrogant, better-looking-than-he-should-be-for-his-own-good guy always gets the girl. There are sweet, kind hearted guys that will treat you right out there that don’t fall into the bad-boy category, yet they are just as charming.
Find out in Colonization: Paradise Reclaimed if Andromeda makes the right choice.
If you were born on a colony ship, would you want to be the generation reaching the paradise planet?
Almost everyone on Andromeda’s ship is eager to reach Paradise 21. After so many generations have lived and died on those decks, most people feel so lucky to be the ones alive to reach the destination. Everyone, that is, except Andromeda.
Andromeda doesn’t like change. She’d be happy to live in her cocoon all her life, like her ancestors did before her. Change means so many things to her: the death of her great grandmother, the choosing of her lifemate, the assignment of her job. Most of all: change means the tests; tests that will determine the course of her life on Paradise 21. She hasn’t studied for the tests as much as she should have, and she expects to fail. In fact, a part of her is scared and wants to fail. Doing well means an important job in the colony on Paradise 21 and all the responsibility that comes with it, and the whole thought of landing freaks her out.
You’ll have to read how she overcomes this is Colonization: Paradise Reclaimed.
Now for your comments: if you were born on a colony ship, would you want to be the generation reaching the paradise planet?
Why are alien animals on their ship?
In the first chapter, Andromeda sneaks into the biodome to pet a desert cow from Sahara 354. This is actually a tie-in to Paradise 21, my adult series which this YA spin off came from. The desert cows were indigenous to Paradise 21, and served as a plot device, making it harder for the characters in that book to get what they needed. There was an action scene with a giant stampede, one of my favorite scenes in the book.
Andromeda’s ship landed on Sahara 354 three hundred years ago to reclaim a member of their crew that had escaped. While they looked for her, they mined the planet for every resource they could find. This meant capturing several desert cows for research and consumption.
Three hundred years later, the desert cows are still thriving, and that’s how Andromeda gets to pet one.
For me, one of the most interesting aspects of Colonization: Paradise Reclaimed is how it ties into my adult New Dawn series. I was able to keep my favorite characters alive, so to speak, in their descendants and tell the story through a teen’s perspective.
If you enjoyed Paradise 21, then you’ll love Colonization: Paradise Reclaimed.
The indigenous species on Paradise 21
Paradise 21 is an ironic name, because in many ways, it’s not a paradise at all. It’s a dangerous, primal planet with its own defenses against invaders. And despite several scout droids sent out to take samples, the crew of the New Dawn has no idea what’s in store.
For instance, Trillium Bisonate is a man eating flower with tentacles spewing from its oversized blossoms. It can pull a person in and consume them over thirty days, turning their bones to sludge with its acidic digestive system. Andromeda has a run in with these large flowers in a tense scene towards the beginning of the book.
Earth will never be recreated, and so the humans left alive after the planetary apocalypse have to make do what they can find. Each substitute planet has its own drawbacks and dangers, and they are only just discovering what Paradise 21 will bring.
What to Expect in Book 2: Reconnaissance
One of my critique partners mentioned the antagonist in Colonization: Paradise Reclaimed is not fully developed, and wondered what happened to her after the story ended. This gave me a great idea for book 2.
Nova Williams, the girl that Andromeda despises, is the main character in book 2: Reconnaissance. Here, we get to see her side of the story. After writing it, I have to say I like Nova even better than Andromeda! Although she’s got a sarcastic tongue, she has a slew of insecurities, which makes her a much deeper character with a larger arc throughout the book. She rises above such adversity, and comes out a better person because of it.
In book 1, the aliens are trying to help. But in book 2, there’s a new species in town, and this time they’re not friendly.
Why did I complicate things?
Well, I wanted to create a new threat to the colony, something they hadn’t dealt with before. And I wanted to tie in the old threat with the new. I can’t say how I did- because that would be a great spoiler, but the main threat in Colonization definitely plays a part in Reconnaissance.
This fall I’ll be working on Book 3! Stay tuned to see what the last installment will bring!
Prize is a 2 Custom “Colonization” Key Chains (as seen in this post). Contest is tour-wide, open internationally and ends Feb 14. Colonization Giveaway
Aubrie grew up watching the original Star Wars movies over and over until she could recite and reenact every single scene in her backyard. She also loved The Goonies, Star Trek the Next Generation–favorite character was Data by far–and Indiana Jones. But, her all time favorite movie was The Last Unicorn. She still wonders why the unicorn decided to change back to a unicorn in the end.
Aubrie wrote in her junior high yearbook that she wanted to be “a concert flutist” when she grew up. She majored in flute performance at the University of New Hampshire on a full scholarship, then secured two teaching jobs at a University and a local community music school. While playing in orchestras and teaching, stories popped into her head, and she used them to make the music come alive for her flute students. Her students said they were so good, she had to write them down! Maybe they were right, who knows? Two careers seems to keep her busy. For now.
She is represented by Dawn Dowdle and writes sweet and adventurous fantasy, science fiction, and contemporary romance.
Connect with Aubrie Dionne