Thursday, May 3, 2012

A Chat With Greta Van der Rol today at the Book Boost!

Welcome featured author 
Greta Van Der Rol 
to the Book Boost!

Recently, we chatted with Greta and here's what she had to say...

TBB: Welcome back to the Boost, Greta and congrats on being selected as our featured Book of the Month for May!  Please help us get to know you better.  Where are you from?

GVR:  I live near the beach in Queensland, northern Australia

TBB:  Ah, I've always wanted to visit Australia.  I lived in Japan for 2 years and that is as close as I've gotten.  Not quite there, though.  Tell us a little about your latest novel and how you came up with the title for it.

GVR:  Starheart is a science fiction romance – the 'heart' part works for that. But in fact there is a thing called a 'starheart' – a rare and much-prized jewel, which is an integral part of the story. Besides, it's short and fits well on an e-book cover.

TBB:  Well, that sounds both practical and clever.  Good job!  What are you working on next?

GVR: I'm waiting for a response to a sub on a paranormal contemporary romance and I'm girding my loins to start a new book, probably a sequel to Morgan's Choice.

TBB:  I love a good series.  Speaking of which, what are you reading these days?

GVR:   A fan-fic. It's interesting. The author's grammar is awful, the work is in serious need of editing – but I persevere because I love the story. This is my third read, so that tells you something.

TBB:  Sounds fascinating.  Do you have any advice for aspiring authors out there?

GVR:  Advice? The biggest one I've learned is to take the 'rules' with a bucket of salt. Every so-called rule has been broken. But before you break the rules, know what they are. Many, many rules could be considered sensible guidelines. For instance, 'never use adverbs' is a ridiculous rule. Rephrased as don't overuse adverbs and see if you can replace the verb/adverb combination with a stronger verb – that makes sense.

TBB:  Sage advice.  Thanks for sharing.  After all is said and done, what has been the biggest reward thus far in your career?

GVR:  When people 'get' it. When people really, really love what I've produced. I don't care what anybody says, writers write so readers will read. I know not everyone will like my books but knowing that I've connected with someone is priceless.

TBB:  I can totally relate to this.  There is nothing better than when someone really jives with your voice and gets your sense of humor.  So hard to find.  But when they like it--they really like it.  As a reader, what author would you most like to meet and dine with and why?

GVR:  Terry Pratchett. The man is brilliantly unconventional in his writing. I love his characters, I love his learning and I admire his approach to Alzheimer's disease.

TBB:  What about when you're not writing--how do you escape from the biz?

GVR:  I take photographs of the world around me. I share some of my pictures on my blog and I have some for sale on Dreamstime.

TBB:  I love that site.  Use it all the time.  I will definitely check those out!  Thanks for joining us, Greta.  Please tell us more about your latest before you leave.


She's lost her husband, her best friend is missing. What else has she got to lose?

Slightly shady freighter captain, Jess Sondijk, thought she had her life under control until Admiral Hudson's Confederacy battle cruiser stops her ship to search for contraband. His questions reopen matters she had thought resolved. What if her husband's death on his way back from Tabora wasn't accidental? Jess decides to investigate, while keeping Hudson at arms' length.

While he's attracted to the lovely Jess, Hudson is also concerned about what might be happening on Tabora and how that may involve the Confederacy's enemies.

Jess and Hudson's interests collide in more ways than one. But while Jess is more than willing to put her life on the line to protect what's hers, Hudson must balance the risk of inter-species war at worst and the end of his career at best, in a deadly game of political intrigue, murder and greed. At the end of the day, how much is he willing to lose for the woman he has come to love?


The path disappeared into another snowdrift. She shoved her way through, her leg muscles grumbling with each step. Her pants were wet to her thighs; she couldn't feel her skin anymore. No chance of stopping, though. The air burned in her lungs. So tired.

"Make for the trees," Hudson said aloud, "As fast as you can."

Another half a klick and the serious tree cover started. She shambled along, faster than a walk, not quite a jog, Hudson's footfall a reassuring counter-point. Another howl, exultant and eager, scraped over her nerves. And beyond that, a different sound, a low, mechanical hum.

"They've called in the air support," Hudson said. "We'll have to run."

Down here the path had widened enough for him to move alongside her. Holding the gun at his side, he gripped her arm with his free hand and almost pushed her along. The forest beckoned, a deep canopy covering a dusting of snow. The hum grew louder with each stride.

"We can do it, Jess, keep moving." He'd gone back to implant to conserve air. He was panting almost as much as she was.

The skin tingled between her shoulder blades. But it wouldn't be like that; they'd do what they did to Longford, shred them both with their cannon or maybe even fire a missile. She lurched in the snow as her foot drove through into a hole. Hudson dragged her back up. A few strides more. She stretched out a hand to touch rough bark. Thank the spirit. But he forced her on, away at an angle. 

The attacker soared over the forest, engines set to dead low, searching.

The attacker soared over the forest, engines set to dead low, searching.

Jess sucked air into her lungs. This wasn't the same as working out in a gym. She hadn't run so far, oh, ever. Hudson wasn't much better, his chest heaving with the effort.

"Back inside my jacket, sweet heart," he said. "They'll be using sensors. Let's try and move on before the ground support arrives."

He'd flipped up his hood, unfastened the jacket. She rested her back against his chest and let him fold the material around her, a warm, reassuring presence. Slowly, carefully, they walked forward, their backs to the hovering machine. The sound of it thundered in Jess’ ears, even muffled as it was by the thick canopy. If they fired a missile in the right place… The sound changed. 

"They're landing," Hudson said.

A howl reverberated in the air. Jess’ nerves jangled. "Fuck. They've brought the sniffert up." 

He released her from his jacket, urged her forward. "We need somewhere with shelter where we can fire back at them."

Aching muscles complained with every jolting step. "I don't know this place."

They could hear the beast now; eager, whiffling grunts albeit still distant. Shit shit shit. They couldn't keep up this pace and the people following were fresh.

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