Wednesday, March 19, 2008

New Review: Enslaving Heaven/The Story Behind The Story

(NOTE: Enslaving Heaven isn't out yet. It releases April 14th)

Enslaving Heaven has it's first review in, and it was done by Manic Readers. Reviewer Ivy had this to say about Enslaving Heaven:

Lyssa is the captain of a mercenary spaceship. Nita is her first officer. Their relationship is complex; but when Lyssa rescues a slave girl, things come to a head.

Michelle Houston writes very well. The action scenes are well done, and don't seem incidental to the plot as in some erotica. There is a plot, and it's not just there to further the sex. The sex is of the BDSM flavor, and all female/female. It's done quite well, and there is just the right amount of sex scenes. My only complaint is that you don't get enough of each character to really relate to them, or figure out how they tick, so to speak. So they come off as a little shallow, Lyssa especially.

All in all, I think the review a good one. Understandable too why the reviewer found Lyssa to be a bit shallow - she is. LOL Characters, like people, are varied and some are simply more likable than others. That isn't to say that Lyssa isn't likable. She tries to be tough, but inside she a very vulnerable woman, and she hates it.

Part of her character quirks come from the way the story came to be, and then evolved. It was originally written for a 'calls for submissions' for an anthology on 'tough girls.' The editor was looking for women in charge, women with a 'balls to the wall' attitude who weren't afraid to show it, women who liked dominating the situation, and who in some cases weren't always likable. The original story didn't have the secondary line of the pilot - Nita - and her own exploration. That was originally going to be a second story.

When I subbed it to Phaze, it was accepted on the condition that I lengthened it. I thought about adding Nita's story as a complete second story (like how I do my myths) but then decided to play with it a bit. I wanted to do something slightly different, so I went back and added in alternating characters, and expanded the ending, so that both stories are told at the same time, but could sort of be read alone, although I wouldn't recommend it since you would be missing parts. The odd chapters tell Lyssa's story, the even tell Nita's story.

It was a lot of fun tweaking the story to work that way, and even more fun cutting chapters off right in the heat of some of the moments. : ) I worried that would be a big complaint - and was thrilled to see the reviewer liked the pacing of the sex scenes.

I'm looking forward to seeing what readers/other reviewers think about the story, and how I handled the pacing of it, as well.

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