Friday, March 21, 2008

New Review: Parallel Attraction/The Story Behind The Story

Manic Readers has reviewed another of my recent titles. This time it was PARALLEL ATTRACTION - which came out March 10th from Phaze.

Julia C had this to say about Parallel Attraction:

At 28 years old, Anna-Marie Dallas was sure she had a long life ahead of her-until she ended up as a hostage during an armed bank robbery. Things go from bad to much worse when she sees the gunman press the detonator on the bomb he's holding. Imagine her surprise when, instead of death, she's confronted with a gorgeous green-eyed blonde doctor, tending her in a hospital room. Unfortunately, she decides he must be one of the inmates instead of a doctor, when he tells her she was pulled out of the bank explosion into an alternate reality, because she has psychic genes!

In Alex Brent's reality, a third world war decimated the population, and they're trying to rebuild. They are accomplishing that, in part, because they can access Anna-Marie's world, identify likely candidates, and bring them over during disasters - like the bank robbery. Now Anna-Marie must adjust to a new world, a new life - and a new chance for love.

Going into this story, I expected more of a 'science fiction' feel, due to the alternate reality premise. But this is really a fairly straight forward romance, albeit with an unusual setting. Anna-Marie;s transportation to another realm really functions as the means to unite her with Alex, as opposed to playing a major role in the story itself. Still, the concept is interesting and the characters are likeable, and I'm always a sucker for an HEA.

Parallel Attraction has a science fiction / alternate reality background, but it serves mostly as that - background. The action is simple, the story progresses with sureness through the initial threat, and the adjustment to a new reality, to reach a satisfying conclusion. While it doesn't deliver any great surprises, it does provide the reader with an entertaining and enjoyable tale inhabited by warm, likeable people.

I am SO glad that the reviewer got this story - and liked it. I do understand that deeper sci fi elements might be expected, but when it comes to things like String Theory (alternate realities) and electrons moving among them, matter existing simultaniously in muliple places, etc I worried that the romance would get lost in the techno-babble. And as my husband says - I can techno-babble with the best of them. LOL So that was a decision I had to make early on - how much of the science of it did I want to add. As a biology major I could add a lot, especially since I am also taking classes in chemistry, physics and earth science. But if I did, would the romance still dominate?

The idea for the book was started by my watching a show on String Theory. I am fascinated by it, and knew it deserved at least one story, if not more. But how was I going to make it so that they needed to pull people across them. I didn't want her to just "wind up there". I wanted it to be deliberate, since I already had an idea for a second story. The idea came to me for that based on a set of stories I had just finished writting not to long before - the stories in Celtic Love Knots volume 8 (from Whiskey Creek Press Torrid). I dealt with Sidhe folklore in them, and with my LOVE of psychic/paranormal stories (and my own Scotch-Irish ancestry), it wasn't a leap to have a gene unique to Scotch-Irish descendants that when activated resulted in psychic abilities.

Then running through scenarios and knowing some about human nature, it wasn't a leap to deduce if psychic abilities existed, there would be those who viewed them as a threat. Thus - war would eventually result. In this case, it needed to be big, so a world war took place. Their population is decimated as a result.

That's where the elements of both the psychic gene (the Sidhe genes) and the alternate realities come together. I didn't go in to detail about how it plays in - but basically a mutation in the gene structure gave them something unique to search for. It was also the same gene that was mutated in them by the medicines they created to eradicate disease wound up awakening psychic talents.

Genetics has always fascinated me. How one slight addition/deletion in a sequence of billions of nucleotide bases can change so much about a person, including resulting in a terminal in-utero situation. How one slight change in which base fits which spot can result in a mutation, and thus an evolution if it is continued on, adding more changes with each generation.

But like I said, I didn't want to go too much in to that, because I understand that not all readers have a love of science and/or an understanding of it. So I kept it light, and focused on the romance.

Knowing that the characters were found to be likable and warm, the story found to reach a satifying conclusion, I'm sure that I made the right choice.

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