If you're looking for a little spice and excitement in your reading life, then you should check out The Tenth Legion, an erotic paranormal romance written by my guest today, Mike Arsuaga. Welcome, Mike!
Tell us a little about your background and how you became an author.
I spent a career in the US Navy Submarine force and with the Department of Homeland Security. I’ve been writing on and off since the fifth grade. When I retired completely in the fall of 2007 I went back to writing because the new fall TV season was so bad. I cast about for a genre. By chance I entered a contest for erotic short stories. My entry, “The Girl in the Library” was well received. After some encouragement I grew it into “Subspecies”, the first installment of my Subspecies series, now five books long.
What is one of your favorite books and why?
If you’re asking about books by other authors, I’d go with “1984”. If you’re speaking of my books, I’d choose “The Tenth Legion”, book four in the Subspecies series.
What inspired you to write this book?
I’d already written three books on the evolution of the Subspecies (vampires and lycans) and the challenges they faced over three generations. Originally I envisioned this as a spin-off from the main series. The story is set in the beginning of the 22nd century. The main character is a tough little lycan cop named Lorna Winters, inspired by the Official Apple of my Eye, granddaughter Larrna. I wanted to see if I could write from the POV of a feisty female. My wife Cynthia thinks “The Tenth Legion” is the best of the five books.
How would you describe your writing process?
First the concept followed by broad brush strokes of general plot and character formation. After that, all seat of the pants.
How have you marketed your book?
By blogging, advertising through social networks like Facebook, and through Yahoo
What advice would you give to other authors?
Don’t be discouraged by rejections and when submitting, follow the publisher/agent instructions to the letter.
Please provide a favorite excerpt from your book.
Setting the scene:
Karla May and Thomas White, hybrid siblings of Vampire Ed White. CEO of Subspecies, Inc. arrive to convince the police to release personal documents of family members being held as evidence in one of Lorna’s cases. At her suggestion the party, accompanied by the Assistant Chief of Police, goes to the evidence locker to demonstrate the documents are secure.
The Scene Unfolds:
The floor above the morgue contained the evidence room. In an age of utility rationing, they were the only completely air-conditioned floors in the building. When the party approached with Lorna in the lead, a bored, sleepy little clerk raised her eyes from a crossword puzzle. She sat on a battered, wooden folding chair behind a steel Dutch door; metal bars composed the other half. Behind her stretched a vast, rambling space of loaded metal shelves. A musty odor of old paper and, to Lorna’s lycan senses, small animal droppings, seeped around the clerk from the room in the rear.
“As you can see, the door is steel, set in a reinforced concrete wall,” Lorna pointed out.
Upon recognizing the Assistant Chief from his uniform brass, the clerk’s mouth dropped. Her eyes acquired an appearance of apoplectic shock. Lorna knew in the drab, quiet world of evidence, with only the inanimate for company, Assistant Chiefs existed as mythological entities, whose appearance portended events like saints coming down from Heaven, cattle giving birth to monsters, or the sun reversing its direction in the sky.
“We need to see some evidence that was recently logged in.” Lorna attempted to break the clerk’s comatose rigidity. Then she added, “It works better if you let us in.”
Her frantic expression passed from Lorna to the Assistant Chief, returning to settle on Lorna.
“Yes. Yes. Of course.”
“Check IDs first.”
The clerk gave a quick thumbs up. In her excitement she checked both police IDs about four times. Lorna signed in the siblings under her badge number.
“We’re here to inspect the Fargo Bank evidence,” Lorna said to the clerk.
Relaxing in the face of receiving a request within her comfort zone, she brightened. “Row twelve, section six,” she said in the monotone of the safe, daily routine where ethereal entities didn’t intrude.
“Got it, thanks.” Lorna pulled a slip of paper from a purse side pocket. She studied the numbers for a second and put it back.
“There it is.” Assistant Chief Durning pointed to a large box, reaching for it. “What the hell?” he queried in confusion as he effortlessly hefted the unexpectedly light box to the floor. The small assemblage observed the empty container with various emotions, none being pleasant.
The siblings inhaled deeply in shock, turning baleful, demanding faces toward the Assistant Chief. He appeared to Lorna at the moment, as if the ground opening up and swallowing him whole held more appeal than facing the consequences of the empty container.
“Wait,” Lorna said. “What you’re seeking is actually over here.” Walking to a box on the bottom shelf of the next steel rack, she slid it out until it hit the floor with a heavy clunk. Removing the cover revealed, to everyone’s general relief, the documents stacked neatly in sealed plastic bags.
“I don’t understand,” Thomas said.
“It’s an old police trick. The officer in charge stores evidence in a secret location if he or she feels there’s a chance of tampering or theft. I had one of my most trusted detectives place documents in a location only we knew. I took this step after word began circulating about the value of this packet.” Addressing the siblings, she continued, “I’m disappointed to say you were correct to doubt the security of our evidence room. In the rifled box, my detective and I placed blank paper in opaque plastic bags of the approximate weight of your papers. The thief wouldn’t know he had the wrong items until he got to some place he believed safe, outside the police building, and opened one of them.”
Thomas nodded approvingly. “Very clever. Excellent work, Lieutenant Winters,” he said, with a quick, frosty-eyed wink.
“I’m convinced more than ever our property must be returned,” Karla added. “Your most guarded places are insecure.”
“I’m as outraged by the compromise as you are and I’ll launch a full investigation as soon as I return to my office, but in order to preserve your property as evidence, I have a solution that might work,” said the Assistant Chief. “Suppose we move your documents to a safe with a combination known only by highly trusted personnel?”
The twins drew off by themselves, not surprisingly, beyond the range even of Lorna’s lycan hearing. Lorna and the Assistant Chief waited in concerned silence while a spirited, at times contentious, conversation ensued between Karla and her brother. After a few moments, the pair apparently reached some kind of agreement. Turning briskly, they returned to earshot. “Will the safe be in a protected environment to prevent deterioration?” asked Karla.
“It can be arranged.”
“In an office where someone is present twenty-four hours a day?”
“We can do that too.”
“May we provide a representative to witness the transfer?”
Karla conferred again with Thomas. Breaking their huddle, Thomas said, “We agree to your plan. There is one more thing.”
The Assistant Chief, relieved to put the problem amicably to bed, quickly answered. “Yes, anything.”
Thomas pointed at Lorna. “She’s the only one who’ll have the safe combination.”
Where can readers find you and your book?
From MuseItUp Publishing click here
To view the book trailer click here
Mike Arsuaga, author of "Subspecies, Inc." Best Erotic Book for 2011 on the Preditors & Editors Reader's Poll. The sequel "Children of Subspecies" won Best Cover. Both are continuations of award winning "Subspecies" about the deep love between two special beings as they shepherd lycans and vampires (The Subspecies) to their destiny within Creation. Coming soon, episodes four and five, "The Tenth Legion" in February and "Lagrange Point" in May.
Check out the full synopsis and excerpts of all stories at http://mikearsuaga.weebly.com or http://cynthiaarsuaga.weebly.com
Thank you, Mike! I enjoyed hosting you today!