Sometimes I wonder if readers realize how much work actually goes into the creation of a book. Authors stress about their cover, their blurb, and, of course, the story itself. Authors agonize over every word, because we want a reader to be swept up in a story they can’t put down. We want to make the reading experience the best it can be!
For me, it all starts with a “what if” game. Either before I fall asleep, or out on my balcony with my evening glass of red wine, or even in the dentist’s office while waiting for my 6-month cleaning, I’m always playing this mental game with myself: if this, then that. Most ideas I discard, but it definitely gets the creative juices going! One evening I was watching the news, and, given the scary state of our world, I wondered… What if the world was almost destroyed by another war? What would life be like afterwards?
You wouldn’t think a romance series could spring from such a sobering thought, but… bingo! My Tau Cetus Chronicles was born. Think post-apocalyptic. Think dystopian. Think police agents and… sex robots.
I’ve been working on this series for the last three years, and I’m thrilled to announce the release of Programmed For Power, book #3 in The Tau Cetus Chronicles. All of these books can be read alone, but fans had been asking me for the story of the planet’s premier, Theus. It’s probably my favorite of the series so far.
As the powerful premier of war-torn Tau Cetus, Theus presides over an uneasy post-apocalyptic peace. Many plot against him, including a traitor on his own High Council as well as one rogue woman who dared to steal a precious keepsake from his past. Capturing Leora Smith offers Theus a chance at personal revenge, but she awakens emotions in him he thought long dead. Even so, it takes an assassination attempt to spur Theus to reassess a future with either this prisoner who makes his blood run hot or the cold Beautiful Doll robotic lover who’s been the perfect match for his lifeless existence until now.
Ahem. This is a completely different sort of romance triangle, trust me!
In book one of the series, Programmed To Please, very human police agent Jai Turner goes undercover as a Beautiful Doll sex robot to take down the planet’s most notorious weapons manufacturer, Marque Callex. But neither Jai nor Marque are what they seem, and their week together has consequences neither expect.
In book two, Jai’s police partner Leith Wyatt actually DOES fall in love with a Beautiful Doll sex robot, but discovers that Ginger has somehow achieved sentience. Together they help save Tau Cetus from a coup attempt against the ruling High Council.
And in Programmed For Power, a lot of favorite characters are back in supporting roles, which I hope will make readers happy. As powerful as he is, in this story Theus comes to realize that his fate rests in the strength of one woman’s love.
Here’s an excerpt:
“Keira, my dark one…”
Theus watched as his words woke the Beautiful Doll sex robot from her hibernation mode. Her eyes opened, she moved from behind the partially folded screen in the corner of his office, and then walked slowly toward him.
She was beautiful. Hair black as midnight, dramatic blue starburst eyes, and a body tailored to meet Theus’ exact physical preferences. She was naked beneath a sheer silk sarong, the diaphanous wrap leaving little to the imagination but just enough to incite a man’s fantasies. She was the perfect female, designed to fulfill his every sexual need.
So then why was he frowning as she came to a halt in front of his desk?
Because she reminded him of her creator, Anson Carron. Theus’ enemy.
As premier for the last decade, Theus and his High Council had fought to keep the peace on Tau Cetus in the aftermath of the Great War, a conflict which had wiped out nearly half the planet’s population. There were still troublesome areas of Tau Cetus that weren’t under the Council’s control, but for the most part, the planet was at peace.
No thanks to Anson Carron.
Three times Carron had challenged the Council. First, he’d stolen highly-regulated weapons and sold them to rogue regulators bent on fomenting insurrection. Next, he’d attempted to kill the Council’s weapons manufacturer and right-hand man, Marque Callex, in order to assume his position of power. And most recently, Carron had tried to assassinate the five members of the High Council and take control of the planet for himself.
And yet, with all those treasonable offenses, none struck as close to home as Carron’s theft of a particular diamond a year ago. That crime was personal.
Theus set his jaw, his rage at the theft still fresh even after all these months.
Anson Carron was now dead. After taking the robot manufacturer into custody in the wake of his failed assassination attempt, Theus had successfully tortured out of him the missing diamond’s location. Then, with the Council’s backing, Theus had ordered Anson Carron’s execution for his crimes.
And just a moment ago, he’d dispatched two of his best agents to recover the stolen gem.
“You called, Theus?”
The bell-like voice of the Beautiful Doll pulled Theus from his troubled thoughts. Keira was one of only two left of her kind. Anson Carron had agreed to convert all the rest of his Beautiful Dolls into robot soldiers and put them under the command of the High Council. It was a way to save his neck after the botched shooting of Theus’ weapons manufacturer, Marque Callex, last year. But even long before that, four years ago to be exact, Carron had gifted Theus with Keira in an effort to curry favor.
Beautiful Dolls were sex experts, legendary for their skill, programmed with an almost infinite number of ways to please. Anson Carron had run a highly profitable business with his Dolls, addicting men and women to sex with his clever male and female robots.
He should have stayed a simple purveyor of prostitution; he should never have reached for more power than that.
Theus swiveled in his chair and reached to unbuckle his belt. “Come around my desk, Keira. I’d like fellatio two.”
The Doll paused, tilting her head. “You’ve requested fellatio or fellatio two 92% of the time I’ve been with you, Theus.”
Theus’ hands paused in their work, and he arched an eyebrow in surprise. “It’s probably because the suction of your nineteen miles-per-hour mouth can reduce even the most potent man to mush.”
“92% fellatio, 1% missionary, 1% doggie-style, 1% ride ‘em cowboy, 1% split the bamboo, 1% padlock, 1% pair of tongs, 1%—”
“Enough.” Theus frowned. Was he really so predictable? There’d been a time when – like any normal man – he’d been eager to try out every sexual position a Beautiful Doll was capable of, but obviously those days were gone. Hell, it wasn’t the Doll’s fault. He could still recall Keira’s trick of tightening her body while he was inside of her, squeezing the very orgasm out of him. Or pistoning him like a jackhammer while riding his cock. She was an amazing piece of technology, but these days, he only used her when he needed physical release or a distraction from work. The excitement was gone.
The Doll dutifully walked around his desk and sank gracefully to her knees. Theus finished unzipping his trousers and reached for himself.
“Let me do it, Theus.”
Theus closed his eyes and leaned back in his chair. Maybe it would help if he imagined that the rubbery-like feel of Keira’s artificial fingers belonged to someone else. But who? There was no one Theus could even fantasize about.
Well, there was one. But that had been long ago. A precious memory, kept tucked in his heart.
From the day Theus had been named premier of Tau Cetus’ High Council, his life had become too dangerous to let in a real woman. That’s why Keira was perfect for him. No one could harm her. No one could threaten her hoping to get to him.
The ruler and his robot were the perfect pair.
If only Theus could be happier about the arrangement.
Luckily, when Keira’s mouth closed around him with her vice-like grip, his mind went blank and his body took over.
What do you think? Sound like an interesting start to a future love triangle? I’ll be picking one lucky winner at random to win an e-copy of Programmed For Power who can answer this question: what kind of gem did Anson Carron steal from Theus? (Hint: answer can be found in the excerpt.)
My thanks to Delilah for having me as a guest today!