Guest Author Day with Cynthia Sax
Cynthia Sax Loving Plants… A Bit Too Much
I love plants, LOVE them. My roots are in farming (I LOVE puns too - grins) so I’ve inherited a love of making things grow. This love translates to the plants themselves. I’ve cared for some of my plants since my university days and I’ve formed an emotional attachment to them.
My favorite plant is Fern (and Fern’s babies). Fern is a Rabbit’s Foot Fern. He has lush lacey fronds and furry rhizomes that hang over the side of the container. Yes, Fern is pet-able! He’s soft to stroke.
Fern is very aggressive. If left unchecked, he’ll creep along entire rooms, searching for a place to set down more roots. He has killed off neighboring plants and taken over their pots. He doesn’t need a mate to reproduce. He simply splits off his rhizomes.
Steve, the man-eating plant in Menage Lost, is based upon my beloved plant Fern. Steve reproduces using his rhizomes (there’s no plant sex in Menage Lost – Steve doesn’t need anyone else, not even a female). He’s the alpha being on his plant-dominated planet, and he aggressively defends that role, killing off any rivals, plant, animal, or alien.
Steve, being a plant in the future, has evolved past Fern’s stage. Fern can detect light, turning his fronds toward the sun. Steve can see (what he sees, I don’t know). Fern creeps. Steve moves faster, giving him the ability to kill.
Despite his murderous tendencies and his unabashed arrogance, I fell in love with Steve during the writing of Menage Lost… which some readers find funny because he’s a plant. But hey, plants need love too!
Menage Lost Blurb
Trapped on a plant-dominated planet, Mirian hasn’t seen another humanoid in five years. She has never seen humanoids resembling Furu and Xan, a beautiful aristocrat and his beastly warrior lover. Watching their shared passion makes her burn with desire and ache for companionship.
Mirian wants to experience the ecstasy of their touch. She eagerly trades the only thing she owns—her body—for what she believes to be a breathtakingly ardent casual affair.
Furu and Xan don’t engage in casual affairs. They want Mirian permanently as their breeder and they’ll break every rule, battling their unnatural female, a male-eating plant and the entire Balazoid army to claim her.
Menage Lost Excerpt
An artificial thunder rolled across the mist-covered sky, the unnatural sound signaling a change Mirian both welcomed and dreaded.
“Do you hear that?” She tilted her head back. “Ohhh…the visitors are landing.” Mirian bounced on the balls of her bare feet, nervous and excited and scared. “They’re landing, Steve.”
A small silver ship, the same ship she’d spotted skimming along the planet’s surface yesterday, emerged from the heavy blanket of moisture. Dewdrops dappled its metallic panels. Markings in a language she didn’t know were boldly etched along its hull.
“I thought we’d never see another being ever again.” She trembled with excitement, having lived as the solitary humanoid on the vegetation-dominated plant for the past five years, that status pushing her to the edge of insanity.
“So please don’t eat them.” Mirian glanced over her shoulder at the plant looming above her, his fuchsia flowers angled toward the ship, his blooms serving as eyes, his visual system as evolved as those found in warm-blooded life forms.
“Unless they’re slavers.” She shuddered, remembering how the slavers had dragged away the discovery team’s leader Denise, the humanoid female’s heart-wrenching screams haunting Mirian’s dreams.
“If they’re slavers, eat them and leave the ship intact,” she advised. Many of her supplies were sourced from a replicator and the machine desperately needed parts, the rectangular prism frame held together with twigs and hand-twisted twine.
“Don’t let them capture me as you let them capture Denise. I’m your friend, remember.” Mirian tapped a broad green leaf, Steve’s veins plump and heavy with a red liquid resembling blood, the uniquely Viridian plant incorporating animalistic attributes. “I feed you Sus, those sweet little rodents you like. I—”
The roar of the ship’s engines drowned out Mirian’s words. Wind whipped her hair back and rippled the blue mud she’d slathered on her skin, the decaying vegetation’s stench masking her human scent, the cool layer lowering her body temperature.
“Please let them be humanoid,” she murmured, clasping her calloused hands together. Steve, the alpha plant she’d named after her first botany professor, curled a comforting vine around her shoulder, and she leaned into him, his leaves pressing against her bare back, supporting her weight.
The ship landed with a planet-shaking thud, boulders rattling, and a tree limb crashing to the ground. Steve fluttered his leaves, expressing his irritation with the disturbance.
Mirian groaned, the visitors’ careless landing dramatically lowering their odds of survival, Steve viewing any affront to his planet as an act of aggression. “Don’t hurt them.” She rubbed the healed puncture marks on her right arm, the scars a constant reminder of the plant’s bad temper.
“You don’t know when or if we’ll get more visitors. This could be our only chance.” To re-establish contact with the outside world, to ease the loneliness, to be talk to someone, anyone, to feel human once again. She danced in place, the anticipation almost unbearable. What will they look like?
The high grasses, majestic torch trees, and white clouds reflected off the shiny silver panels, the spacecraft visually disappearing into the landscape. A ramp silently descended, and bright lights illuminated the void, temporarily blinding Mirian.
She glanced down at the ground and bit back a curse, her highly intelligent plant friend not waiting to identify their guests. He slowly snaked his vines along the flattened grass and wrapped them around the landing gear, securing the ship to the planet.
“Subtle, Steve, really subtle.” Mirian rolled her eyes, too exhilarated to be angry with him.
A red beam radiated from the ship and she froze in place, holding her breath, her stomach clenching with fear. The light passed over them, tickling her skin, and dissipated, leaving them unharmed. Not a weapon. She exhaled, sagging forward, and Steve mimicked her actions, his thin, flexible trunk folding into two.
Polished black boots clomped against the metal ramp. Mirian lifted her gaze over a pair of leather-clad legs, the newcomer’s skintight garment covered with a staggering amount of daggers and guns. Thick gloved fingers gripped yet another weapon, that gun larger than the others, and the male’s bulging biceps flexed, his toned chest topped by broad shoulders.
She gazed higher and blinked, taken aback by the raw aggression reflected in the stranger’s fuck-with-me-and-die face, his slicked-back black hair accentuating his white skin, his chin square and firm.
“Humanoid, definitely humanoid,” Mirian murmured. The male glared at his surroundings with blazing red eyes, as though daring someone to attack him, and her pussy moistened, his dominance unexpectedly arousing. “A very sexy humanoid.”
The big brute turned his head with a snap and peered in her direction, his dark brows lowered, shielding his eyes. “Who’s there?” His deep voice echoed as though traveling over a long distance. “Show yourself.”
Helenos no. Mirian remained hidden in the tall grass. Is he a slaver? She glanced at the weapons accessorizing his outfit. He doesn’t look like a slaver. No restraints dangled from his belt. He could be a warrior, but why would a warrior land on Viridi?
Is the why important? He did land and I’m no longer alone. Mirian opened her mouth to answer him.
“Are you talking to the plants, Xan?” A voice originated from the ship.
Another male. She pressed her lips together.
The second male glided down the ramp, his slight, thin form garbed in the same black leather, his skin the whitest white and his eyes a deep crimson. Finely arched eyebrows accentuated a delicate perfect profile.
He’s beautiful. Mirian’s jaw dropped. Fuck me gorgeous.
“I’ve performed multiple scans.” The breathtakingly stunning male waved a small handheld device. “Only Amani-like creatures inhabit Viridi.” The tentacles on his head lifted, each skin-covered strand moving independently.
Tentacles, pale skin, red eyes. Mirian’s shoulders lowered, her concerns vanishing. He’s a Balazoid, friend to the Federation.
“I heard a female voice speaking words in the universal language.” The beastly warrior, Xan, frowned, his wide sloping forehead creasing with lines. “And you saw a larger heat signature.”
“Briefly.” His beautiful companion shrugged his narrow shoulders, his pale lips turned upward. “It was likely a glitch. You know how fragile these instruments are.” He crouched down and jabbed a long needle into the soft ground.
They’re fellow scientists. The Federation sent them back for me, for my research. Mirian covered her mouth with her palms, grateful that she’d continued the readings the Federation had been willing to risk lives to obtain.
She stepped forward, eager to make their acquaintance, to talk to them, to share her discoveries. Steve wrapped a vine around her waist and pulled her backward into the safety of the forest.
He smacked a thick vine over her lips, smothering her protests.
Cynthia Sax lives in a world where demons aren’t all bad, angels aren’t all good, and magic happens every single day. Although her heroes may not always say, “I love you”, they will do anything for the women they love. They live passionately. They fight fiercely. They love the same women forever.
Cynthia has loved the same wonderful man forever. Her supportive hubby offers himself up to the joys and pains of research, while they travel the world together, meeting fascinating people and finding inspiration in exotic places such as Istanbul, Bali, and Chicago.