When Alice and I first emailed each other, we discovered that we were on the opposite sides of the spiritual fence. I'm an atheist, Alice is a committed Christian. And the first thing we decided is that we should give the other space on our blogs to perhaps say something about that, tying it in with our upcoming Carina Press releases.
So, hello everyone. My name is Kaz Augustin and I have an hard sf romance coming out with Carina on 7 June. It's called IN ENEMY HANDS, and here is its cover:
The Republic had taken everything from Moon―her research partner, her privacy, her illusions. They thought they had her under control. They were wrong.
Srin Flerovs, Moon's new research partner, is a chemically enhanced maths genius whose memory is erased every two days.
While he and Moon work on a method of bringing dead stars back to life, attraction between them flares, but that poses its own problem. How can their love survive when Srin forgets Moon every two days?
When she discovers the lethal applications her research can be put to, Moon knows she and Srin are nothing more than pawns in a much larger game. Together, they must escape the clutches of the Republic before they become its scapegoats. But there are too many walls around them, too many eyes watching. They want to run, but they're trapped on a military vessel in the depths of space, and time is running out....
The story is set in Republic space, which is a far future where humans dominate their part of the explored galaxy. Every species that isn't human is regarded as inferior and treated as such. I have a few stories set in the Republic, so I suppose you could call IN ENEMY HANDS part of the Republic series, but every book is standalone and can be read without referencing any of the others.
None of the characters are religious, but they do vary in terms of moral standards, and I hope the reader will enjoy gauging the level of morality that each character displays. The characters don't always get it right, either. Moon Thadin, the heroine, quite frankly doesn't care how the Republic behaves as long as she gets the recognition she deserves. But when she's forced to confront the evil of her government, will that ambition be enough to comfort her? Srin Flerovs, a man kept imprisoned in his own mind, naturally wants vengeance for what has been done to him, but is that what he should seek? And what of the ship captain, who must know what's being done in his name? How is he able to reconcile his humanity with its lack around him?
These are all questions as deep as spiritual faith, yet not dependent on it. I think my biggest criticism of religious people as a whole is that they seem to regard atheists as people without morals. Yet, with only one life to live, and no afterlife to look forward to, it would seem to me that the compulsion to do good, to achieve something worthwhile, in that one life is at least as strong as the compulsion to live according to a list of set-down rules. Maybe even stronger, because you come to those rules yourself, they are not thrust upon you.
And so the time for fateful decisions comes to each of the characters in the novel, and the decisions each of them makes has a bearing, not only on the situation at hand, but on the rest of their lives. IN ENEMY HANDS is a look at one point in time, where all these characters converge, and what gets decided during a span of only a few months. It also contains romance, physics and assassination pharmacology, and I hope you enjoy it.
Kaz Augustin is a Malaysian-born writer of science-fiction, romance, and permutations of the two. Her website is at http://www.ksaugustin.com/ and she blogs at http://www.blog.ksaugustin.com/ You can also find her on Facebook and Twitter; just look for “ksaugustin”.
COMPETITION: I'm giving away two copies of IN ENEMY HANDS at my blog, Fusion Despatches [http://blog.ksaugustin.com]. To be in the draw, stop by and comment at the Competition post, telling me at which blog you read about my book. You have till 30 June!
And thanks Alice for having me here! :)