My newest science fiction romance, AN ALIEN PARADISE, has a unique history in that this book is the only one of my novels that first started out with another title. XANADU FOR ALIENS was my first pick.
Here is a blurb from one of my press releases: What if UFO reports are true? What if extraterrestrials are not only here, but they’ve been visiting Earth for countless millennia? XANADU FOR ALIENS, my newest science fiction romance novel, explores the possibility of alien sightseers to our planet. But there's no need to be concerned; these tourists are harmless. Or are they?
What if there was a travel agency that catered to extraterrestrial lifeforms?
The cover (above) even won an internet award. So you’re probably wondering why I changed the title to AN ALIEN PARADISE. Simple. Reader input. When I first conceived of the idea for this novel, I wanted the title to begin with the letter X. Why was this? Because I have book titles for all the letters in the alphabet except X. And Xanadu fit my purpose for the story. Historically, Xanadu was the summer capital of Chinese conqueror Kublai Khan. Marco Polo’s description of Xanadu inspired British poet Samuel Taylor Coleridge’s famous work, “Kubla Khan” in which the city was identified as a pleasure dome.
In Xanadu did Kubla Khan
A stately pleasure dome decree: ...
That was exactly what I was looking for: Earth as a pleasure dome or playground for alien tourists. Some readers, however, took issue with the word Xanadu, linking it to the movie and the song of the same title. As for why that’s a negative, who knows? So alas, I changed the book title to AN ALIEN PARADISE. Same meaning, but without the baggage.
PARADISE LOST--Teacher Petra Richardson receives a mysterious summer job offer. If she tutors a young boy, Traynor, all her expenses will be paid during her stay in the Galápagos Islands. Although she has misgivings, she agrees. Her new employer is the Taurus City Travel Agency, run by Traynor’s hunky Uncle Kelvin, whom she’d met and fantasized about when she was a teen. While romance simmers between Petra and Kelvin, there’s also danger. Who sabotaged their kayak? What happened to Traynor’s poomba? Why do some travel clients seem to flicker? Just what is going on at this sleepy outpost in the South Pacific?
PARADISE FOUND--Kelvin Lacertus has a full plate. CEO of the Taurus City Travel Agency, he oversees alien and extraterrestrial Human tourists to Planet Terra. He’s handling the most important diplomatic conference in the galaxy. And he’s babysitting his nephew, Traynor. Kelvin arranges for a tutor, little Petra, whom he remembers from his Grand Tour of Terra years ago. She’d impressed him then. The grown-up version is even more irresistible. How can he protect his Petra when a terrorist group targets all Lacertus family members including his would-be bride?
As for changing the cover, I decided a new title deserves a new cover. Here it is below:
Science teacher Petra Richardson receives the shock of her life when she learns her new employer is a travel agency that caters to extraterrestrial lifeforms.
AN ALIEN PARADISE is available at Amazon.com and, as XANADU FOR ALIENS at Smashwords.com, in addition to other internet locations. It’s earned a 5 star review from Norwood Reviews: “Aliens on Earth? A travel agency for extraterrestrials? A Human male from Tau Ceti 3 falling in love with an Earth female? [AN ALIEN PARADISE] delivers all this and more! Ms. Knight gives us a very plausible scenario of galactic intrigue and a wonderful variety of characters. Fall in love with this fast-paced science fiction romance. This novel is definitely a keeper!”
Here are some of the Taurus City Travel Agency’s staff:
This book is part of the Fascinating Sci-Fi line.
Now for the snippet from real life. Our heroine, Petra Richardson, attended the same junior high that I did. That’s not really a surprise, is it? “Write what you know” is a well-known rule of writing. So some of young Petra’s experiences were my experiences. I’m certainly not the only one who had less than happy times in junior high or middle school (!) but when I came across a nonfiction book on my school written by a student, I did a double take. It was from her account that Petra refers to “Hell on Earth” or rather “J.H.S. is almost like an earthly version of hell.” Fortunately, as time passed, my feelings for junior high improved enormously!
Petra looked around at the putrid color of enamel paint covering the hallways. She’d read somewhere that junior high school could be considered a version of Hell on Earth. She agreed. Not as a teacher but as a former inmate of these very same two-tone green walls.
This school in the New York City borough of the Bronx was technically a middle school--grades six through eight--but it had been once a junior high, before junior highs had fallen out of favor. Her first few months as a new recruit, a new seventh grader, had been hellish. To walk through these corridors had meant she took her life into her hands. She never knew if she would pass through unscathed. Or get beaten up. It had been a role of the dice.
Thankfully, way back when, after Christmas break, the eighth and ninth grade students had tired of dishing out torture. For her, at any rate. After that, she’d come to tolerate this school....
Eventually, later, as a teacher, she’d grown to love this weathered old building.
I hope you enjoy Petra and Kelvin’s unusual love story!
Susanne Marie Knight
Read outside the box: award-winning Romance Writing With A Twist!