Today I’m writing about ALIEN HEAT, my popular science fiction futuristic romance. I got the idea for this novel when I came across a cover story in the magazine U.S. News and World Report. The feature was on global warming. I theorized: what if this warming was due to villainous extraterrestrial factors, not just because of manmade conditions like automobile exhaust? Then I researched the 1994 crash of comet Shoemaker-Levy into Jupiter. I proposed that this could happen to the planet Venus, with the force of impact sending fragments of Venus out into space which then eventually collided with Earth. In addition to a dramatic climate change, there’d have to be significant damage to civilization. With that kind of trauma, cultures and countries usually become divided, so now I had the “primitive” villagers clashing with the more technologically advanced people of the territory now known as Canusa. Throw in colonizing Venusian flowers and you have ALIEN HEAT!
AN ALIEN INVASION
A cataclysmic bombardment by meteorites drastically alter Earth's atmosphere... and bring strange alien plants that have a mind of their own. Because of “mutant” powers, only Glyneth recognizes the threat these Venusian flowers pose not just to humans, but to Earth itself.
AN HONORABLE DILEMMA
Major Lucas Jefferson reluctantly abducts Glyneth as a breeder for his country. But "Lady Bulldog" teaches him that might is not always right. Can he learn from this villager to fulfill the ancient prophecy of uniting the old ways with the new?
World-building in science fiction stories can be very difficult to write about. Creating and populating a believable world and culture from scratch takes some heavy research and imagination. For ALIEN HEAT, I had to propel myself into the distant future and envision a scenario where Earth is recovering from being bombarded by fragments of Venus. Climate and civilization, as we know it, has been drastically altered.
In addition, since this novel is a romance, a major focus must be on a relationship between a couple... human or otherwise, while the science fiction portion explores the effects of science on some aspect of humanity. In ALIEN HEAT, the romantic conflict is between “uncivilized” villager Glyneth and Major Lucas Jefferson, an “Outsider” from a technologically advanced culture. The science fiction portion deals with the invasion by heat-producing plants intent on turning Earth into another Venus.
Wings ePress was delighted to read, and then publish ALIEN HEAT. Here’s what one editor says about it: “A good example of [crossing genres] is ALIEN HEAT by Susanne Marie Knight which is a Futuristic/SF book. It has appeal to both audiences because of the way Susanne has woven her story using a mix of both genres.”
High praise indeed! ALIEN HEAT has been a best-seller at Wings ePress and on Fictionwise.com. It’s garnered 5 and 4 star reviews on Goodreads, and 4 ½ and 4 stars at review sites: A Romance Review and Romance Junkies. ALIEN HEAT’s beautiful cover was also nominated for the 2005 Quasar Award!
I love this cover as well. I’d like to share with you the process that created this fantastic piece of art. On the cover art form to describe want I wanted, I wrote: Because my novel deals with heat, I envision the cover colors being in yellows and oranges--colors that give off heat. I picture a blazing sun beating down on parched earth.
I included these pictures to give talented artist mpMann a feel for what I had in mind.
I so loved the look of the above picture, I painted it (below)!
I also wrote to the cover artist: I’d love to have an image of the alien plant on the cover, but as I don’t have a picture of this Venusian flower (!) I realize this might be impossible. Below is a passage that describes the plant, plus an attached picture of a glass oval with bubbles suspended in it.
She reached down and plucked one. Its willowy stalk stood tall--about a foot high--and hard, almost like bamboo. Completely covering the stalk was a type of white “fur,” warm to the touch. Inside the gauzy white flower petals, she saw a clear oval, jelly-like mass, with tiny bubbles suspended within it. As she watched, bubble by bubble floated up to the top to be released into the air.
All women love these flowers... but the feeling's *not* mutual.
Here is the lovely... and eerie result! This cover was nominated for the 2005 Quasar Awards for Best Cover!
What happens when an “uncivilized” villager matches wits with a handsome warrior... AND strange, heat-producing plants intent on turning Earth into another Venus?
ALIEN HEAT was also featured at the 2006 Booklovers Conference in Wiesbaden, Germany!
This book is part of the Fascinating Sci-Fi line.
For those of you who like to read reviews, get ready... here they come!
4 1/2 STARS! There are plots of revenge, attempted murder and hatred intertwined in ALIEN HEAT. There is also the blossoming of love between Lucas and Glyneth, and a few others as well. The interaction between the main characters, Lucas, Glyneth, Hawke, Will, and Sylvie was something to see. Will was a riot and the play between the three men was interesting... If you haven't read anything by Ms. Knight, you don't know what you are missing.--A Romance Review
I found Susanne Marie Knight’s ALIEN HEAT to be very imaginative. Knight’s plot is like no other I’ve read, which is really saying a lot considering that I deem reading the ultimate pastime. The villainous aliens in ALIEN HEAT come in an unexpected form, and the vastness of the futuristic detail was mind-boggling. ALIEN HEAT was very entertaining.--The Road To Romance
4 Stars! Susanne Marie Knight has an interesting take on the future of the world with aliens from Venus thrown in to heat it up. I really loved the way she pulled modern day facts into the story to put a realistic tint to it. Her characters grab you and pull you through the story not letting go until the last page. Once again Ms. Knight hits the jackpot with a compelling story and life-like characters. So much happens in ALIEN HEAT that I only touched on some of its aspects. What an incredible journey it is. ALIEN HEAT is not to be missed, in this reviewer’s humble opinion. Romance Junkies
Susanne Marie Knight has woven a story of a troubled Earth, invasion by an alien species, and the mysteries of some ancient lore to produce a captivating tale of romance and danger in a post-apocalyptic world. The devastating impact of a comet has left the word divided, and its people scattered. Small pockets of civilization remain in differing levels of civilization, and through them, the diversification of the populations survive. ALIEN HEAT is just that...it is alien, and it is heated. It takes you from the bride markets of Columont, to the vast stretches of desert that is slowly devouring the newly recovering earth. Treachery and death stalk the lovers, and the destruction of civilization, and even the world as they know it now hands in the balance. The premise in Susanne Marie Knight's story is no different than told in may a sci-fi thriller, but in the telling, we see the difference. ALIEN HEAT focuses on the powers of magic, love, and the intentions of honorable men and women to not only save their society, but the very world on which they live. After a bit of a slow start, the reader gets quickly wrapped up in the intrigue of the court, the plans on both sides of the battle, and can feel the thrill of the impending conclusion. The ultimate question is answered in the long run...[and] the reader is a winner.--Romance At Heart
I was totally intrigued by this book. When we think of aliens the first thought that pops into our heads is little green men that walk on two legs with big, bulging eyes. Susanne Knight shows in this book that our alien friends could be in the form of something innocent looking like flowers. Absolutely brilliant!--Paula Beaty Reviews
ALIEN HEAT is a remarkable example of science fiction romance. Ms. Knight has set her novel in Earth’s future, used much of its history and technology, but given it a special twist and then stayed within the rules of her world. Glyneth and Lucas are wonderfully dimensional characters, each bound to their own path, each aware of who and where they stand in the world. I especially loved the reason the women were infertile. It was so unexpected and different. Don’t miss.--In The Library Reviews
This is a good story with several plot lines that keep things moving. Good humor, fun characters, and playful dialogue. This would make a good science fiction film plot, particularly with the plants as enemies, able to release carbon dioxide gas in big enough quantities to kill a person or use their roots to cause earthquakes. The parts in the story where the plants conspired, “speaking” with each other were particularly well done. This was a good book, a fun read, and well worth looking for. Good job, Ms. Knight.--SFR Reviews
Once again Susanne Knight produces as interesting and thoroughly entertaining paranormal romance, one that fans of science fiction should enjoy, also. I appreciated that though there is plenty of action and evil intentions in this story, the violence is minimal. I also was impressed at the way the human villain reacted to his punishment. I felt the way the invaders were dealt with was justifiable. The story kept up its momentum to the very end, which was quite satisfying.--Paranormal Romance Reviews
Found on the Web: Science Fiction Romance's article with Wings Press editor Leslie Hodges. Here's what Ms. Hodges says about ALIEN HEAT: I am always looking for good, well-crafted stories, no matter what the genre. Here in my department, we love cross-genre tales, and all levels of romantic involvement. More and more authors are crossing genres and the result has been some wonderfully well-crafted stories that appeal to fans of both genres. A good example of this would be ALIEN HEAT by Susanne Marie Knight which is a Futuristic/SF book. It has appeal to both audiences because of the way Susanne has woven her story using a mix of both genres [science fiction and romance].
Susanne Marie Knight has woven a story of a troubled Earth, invasion by an alien species, and the mysteries of some ancient lore to produce a captivating tale of romance and danger in a post-apocalyptic world. The reader gets quickly wrapped up in the intrigue of the court, the plan on both sides of the battle, and can feel the thrill of the impending conclusion. The reader is a winner. Look for ALIEN HEAT today.--Romance at Heart (Heartstrings)
I am not usually a futuristic romance reader, but I must admit to enjoying ALIEN HEAT. Susanne Marie Knight took a unique idea and created a fascinating novel. I loved her plant from Venus. I also enjoyed the twists Ms. Knight added to the storyline. ALIEN HEAT has several surprises that are revealed as the story unfolds.--Writers Unlimited
ALIEN HEAT is one of the most unusual after-the-world’s end novels I have ever read. The comet hitting Venus, and the Venusian fragments hitting Earth is terrific. The interplay between the characters is good and Gwyneth being a mutant is an excellent ingredient. I happily recommend ALIEN HEAT.--The Romance Studio
This book was a mix of romance and sci-fi. The author has many surprises in store for the reader. The book has many twists and turns involving the main characters. The author has woven an intricate tale of the futuristic Earth and the people who populate it.--Love Romances
ALIEN HEAT is well-written. Glyneth and Lucas are interesting characters with hidden depths and emotions. Susanne Marie Knight writes an interesting tale. Grab a copy of ALIEN HEAT.--Romance Reviews Today
I found Susanne Marie Knight's ALIEN HEAT to be very imaginative.--J.G.
I'm excited to read this title [Alien Heat]! I would like to use it for my book club that meets at Barnes & Noble Santa Barbara!--M.T.
Love time travel and your book Alien Heat--S.K.
This is a really good book. This story helped convince me that I wasn't the only person in the world that loved futuristics!--R.F.
Man, I just have to get this book!--A.V.
I enjoyed ALIEN HEAT.--R.F.
My favorite book of yours is ALIEN HEAT.--R.D.
ALIEN HEAT--What a fabulous read!--C.L.
I'm waiting for the time when I will read ALIEN HEAT. All books of Susanne are fantastic.--K.B.
ALIEN HEAT is getting great reviews!--M.B.
Extremely well-written story, good plot, and interesting read!--R.L.
ALIEN HEAT really surprises the reader!--R.R.
My friend and I really enjoyed your book. And we look forward to many more.--P.C.
ALIEN HEAT is a great read!--G.M.
Great read! I really enjoyed ALIEN HEAT. You're a great writer!--C.L.
What a fab read!--C.H.
I love this story!--L.H
Now for a quick example from real life that I used in ALIEN HEAT. The secondary character, Lieutenant Will Flagg, was inspired by a boy I knew in seventh grade. Thinking of him, I generated this passage:
"There were two things Will Flagg hated above all else. The first was to be called 'short.' The second was to be a disappointment to someone he thought highly of. Unfortunately, the latter was just about to happen."
For plenty of ALIEN HEAT (!) I hope you read this out-of-this-world science fiction romance and enjoy Glyneth and Lucas’ story.
Susanne Marie Knight
Read outside the box: award-winning Romance Writing With A Twist!