Monday, November 11, 2019

Character Spotlight Interview with author Rachel Leigh Smith

Please give a warm welcome to Adrian Khalid from echoes of Passion by Rachel Leigh Smith today as we sit down and see what makes him/her tick.

What’s your favorite thing to do when you’re not saving the world?
That’s easy. Play in the snow and drink hot cocoa.

What is it about your love interest, Moira, that makes you crazy in a good way?
She challenges me to be a better man. In the best way.

Do you sometimes want to strangle your writer? Thrash her/him to within an inch of their life? Make them do the stupid crap they makes you do?
She hasn’t made me do anything stupid, on the page at least. But she did put me through the ringer for what happened to me before I show up. In the end, though, I get my revenge.

What’s your Favorite food?
Hot cocoa. With marshmallows. Moira, poor thing, won’t put marshmallows in hers. More for me!

Describe yourself in four words.
I’m a soldier.

What do you do for a living?
I’m helping to build a military. And prepare a people for a threat they don’t even know exists.

What do you fear the most?
You don’t pull your punches. I’m afraid of the man who held me as a prisoner of war for almost five years. He took everything from me.


To create paradise, he'll have to face a nightmare.

Disgraced Marcasian PSF officer Adrian Khalid has one shot at finding a place where he can be himself. At the emperor's request, he's on Lok'ma to help form their military. And find his Lokmane father. Maybe while he's there, he can kill off the ghosts of four years as a prisoner of Tur'een mercenaries.

Moira Salys just wants a new life where she can help other Lokmane put their pain to rest. And maybe let go of her own. But the soldier she sang to while a prisoner of the Tur'een is a memory she can't let go of. Stumbling on him in her brother's office puts her world right for the first time in a year. Spending time with him is a little slice of unexpected paradise.

Everything shatters when Adrian finds a hidden colony of Lokmane on the Southern Islands. And they're planning to execute his best friend. Saving his friend and Lokmane freedom means facing his ghosts. And it might kill everyone he loves.


Adrian stared. With his mouth open. Za’lia stood there, wearing dark pants and a pink sweater, her hair falling in loose waves across her shoulders. She stared too. Covered her mouth. Spun and ran out of the office.
How had she seen his face when he’d never seen hers?
Za’lia knew the Honeycomb leader. Who was Lokmane. She was supposed to be Barayan, but might not be. Her name was Moira, and she lived here. The way Ma’lik said her name, they might be related. Of course. Nothing else in his life had been easy. Expecting this to be had been the worst kind of foolish.
But he had to know for sure. And he had to tell her what she’d done.
He surged out of his chair and followed her to a small alcove. She stood there hugging herself, biting her lip and looking as though she was trying not to cry. She held her hand out to stop his approach, and he froze. “You saw me?”
Za’lia nodded.
“I never saw you.”
“You were unconscious,” she whispered.
“You saved my sanity. I’ve been looking for you. To thank you.”
“Just please leave me alone.” Her words were broken. Like him. “I can’t be around you.”
A laser shot to the gut couldn’t hurt any worse. “Then I won’t trouble you again. Thank you for singing to me.” He backed away from her, and forced himself to return to Ma’lik’s office. Where he closed the door and stood with his back to it. “You knew all along. Didn’t you?”
Ma’lik nodded. “Still wanted to hear it from you. Make sure it matches what my sister told me.”
“Did it?” That hardness again.
“Yup.” Ma’lik took a step toward him, and went all big brother. Something Adrian recognized from all the times Amun had done it to protect him from their father. Including the last time, when Amun punched the man. “Please stay away from her. What she experienced there scarred her as much as what they did to you. She needs to heal.”
Every muscle went rigid. He didn’t want to stay away from her. Her voice continued to keep him sane, helped him hold the flashbacks at bay. He lifted his chin, almost glaring at the man. “And if I don’t stay away?”

About the Author:

I wrote my first novel in 2o11, a historical romance set in my hometown in 1857. I spent four years working at a cotton plantation turned museum, getting paid to research and reenact. Talk about a sweet job for a history nerd!
I’m also the daughter of a confirmed super-geek. At some point, it was inevitable I start writing what my mom lovingly refers to as “weird stuff.”
I grew up on a mix of history, fairy tales, and science fiction. At a young age, probably around nine, I discovered I liked watching characters fall in love. My first piece of writing–long since lost in a move–was filling in the missing pieces of Ariel and Eric’s relationship in The Little Mermaid, between the spinny beach kiss and the wedding. I think I was around ten. And it was from Eric’s point of view.
I can quote The Little Mermaid, almost verbatim. I love Disney movies and fairy tales to this day. I read my first grown-up romance when I was eleven, with my mom’s permission. If I’m not watching TV or writing, I probably have my nose stuck in a romance. Nothing makes me happier than that perfect, sigh-inducing, happily ever after.
But what do I do when I’m not writing? Sleep. Counted cross-stitch. Knit/crochet. Read romance. Watch my shows, like Criminal Minds, Arrow, The Flash, Big Bang Theory, Once Upon A Time, Doctor Who, The Walking Dead, and Orphan Black. Watch terrible movies with my sister. Binge Gilmore Girls on Netflix.
I ship Olicity, consider myself a Browncoat, a Scaper, a Trekkie, a Oncer, and I’m a member of #CloneClub. I call Lucas Hunter my alpha and wish Acheron was real. And mine. I also love Queen Anne houses, Victorian everything, convertibles, cat shifters, post-grunge and operatic goth rock, and 1940’s big band swing. I’ve seen Dave Matthews in concert and met Nalini Singh twice. I’ll watch anything with Cary Grant or Shirley Temple in it, love Broadway musicals, and attend midnight showings of Star Trek movies.
The boring background stuff is I’m the oldest of four, homeschooled, a country girl, an Arkansas Razorback and New Orleans Saints fan, and mommy to a half-crazed calico named Zoe. I live in the heart of Louisiana with my family and can’t imagine living anywhere else.
Thanks for stopping by, and I hope you find plenty to explore in my world of hero-focused romance.

1 comment:

Rachel Leigh Smith said...

Thanks so much for having me today, Dawn!

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