My stories always start with a character (or two)—a person with a problem, or maybe in a setting that is evocative and compelling. In the first book of my Interstellar Rescue series, Unchained Memory, that character was Asia Burdette, a woman with terrifying memories of another world, who wakes up in her pickup truck on a lonely country road late at night with three hours missing and no way to account for them. This setting is the prelude to a tragedy that sets up the novel and leads her to the hero, Ethan Roberts.
Trouble in Mind, Book Two of the series, launched February 16 on Amazon. It’s a companion novel to Unchained Memory, which means you don’t have to have read the first book to enjoy it, but for me as a writer, the story of Trouble in Mind flowed very naturally and organically from Book One. That connection is made thanks to a central character who asserts his nature almost from the first sentence.
Six-year-old Jack is a Returnee, like Asia, retrieved from alien slavers by the Interstellar Council for Abolition and Rescue. At the end of Unchained Memory, Rescue agent Rayna Carver brings the boy to Ethan and Asia, knowing they have the love and experience to help him overcome the memories of his abduction by the alien Grays.
But what none of them knows is that Jack is the key to a plot by the Gray Minister of Labor to take over his own government and assure the continuance of the institution of slavery throughout the Minertsan Consortium. Ren Sennik wants the boy back, and he has unleashed two brutal Thrane hunters to find him.
Back on Earth, the brief peace that Asia, Ethan and Jack have found as a family is smashed when the black ops kidnappers who threatened Asia in Unchained Memory find her again. This time they succeed in taking her—and Jack—leaving a battered Ethan behind as the main suspect in his wife and son’s disappearance.
FBI Special Agent Alana Matheson is called in on the case, only to find the victims’ family has brought in a ringer to help find them: a devastatingly handsome P.I. named Gabriel Cruz. Lana has plenty of intuition and investigative savvy of her own, not to mention an emotional past that makes her a bulldog on these kinds of cases. She thinks she doesn’t want or need any outside help. But the half-alien Gabriel has skills she’s never seen before. And the unlikely partners have deadly rivals in their hunt to find Asia and Jack.
Jack remains central to the story throughout Trouble in Mind. Turns out he’s not just a pawn, but has significant talents of his own. As a writer, I found Jack a bit of a challenge to get right. I mean, you don’t encounter six-year-old boy prodigies on the street every day. And I didn’t want him to be obnoxious, or take over. He had to stay in his place.
This is Lana and Gabriel’s story in the end, after all. They are the romantic focus of the book–you know, girl meets boy, girl gets boy, girl loses boy, girl gets boy back, HEA. No matter how a book like this gets started, that’s how it has to end, with a satisfying romance that leaves you wanting more.
Book Three in the Interstellar Rescue series, Fools Rush In, tells the story of Rayna and Sam, secondary characters in Books One and Two. Fools Rush In debuts in Fall, 2016.
Donna S. Frelick was an RWA® Golden Heart® Double Finalist in 2012 for the first two novels in her SFR Interstellar Rescue series. She lives on 43 beautiful mountain acres in North Carolina with her husband and two talkative cats. Find her at http://donnasfrelick.com; blogging at http://spacefreighters.blogspot.com; on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/DonnaSFrelickAuthor and on Twitter @DonnaSFrelick
Thank you so much for stopping by to share your story, Donna! That’s so interesting how one story flowed into the other. Are you as intrigued by this book as I am, dear readers? Please share your thoughts!
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