BOOK TOUR: ★★THE STAR HOST★★ (Broken Moon) BY F.T. LUKENS plus... #Excerpt and #Giveaway
Author Name: F.T. Lukens
Book Name: The Star Host
Series: Broken Moon
Release Date: March 3, 2016
Welcome to F.T. Lukens and thank you for taking out time to answer some questions and allowing us to get to know you better. I'll start off with...
1. Is there anything you find particularly challenging in your writing?
When it comes to the act of writing, I am easily distracted. In order to get into a good rhythm, I use headphones to block out noise and put on music with a fast beat. I have to turn off my internet, and make sure my immediate area is free of distractions. I also use timed writing exercises as well. I can focus for a good twenty minutes and then take a short break.
2. How did you come up with the title for your book?
The title The Star Host was not the first title I had for the novel. But I ended up changing it to reflect the mythology in the book. Oral history, stories, and myths are a big facet to the overall atmosphere and plot, and they are important to the main character’s development. Ren has grown up hearing the myths of the star hosts, but he never entertained the idea that he could wield the power of the stars himself.
3. Is there a message in your novel that you want readers to grasp?
One of the inspirations for the novel is a video of Neil DeGrasse Tyson explaining the origins of the universe. In this video, he explains that the atoms that make up the human body are traceable to the stars. The idea that we are stardust has always stuck with me. We are stardust.
If you look up to the night sky, we are part of it. The universe and humans and our world are all interconnected by the most basic elements. In the novel, there is a distinct differentiation between individuals who are born on planets versus those born on drifts, but in the end, they have to work together to achieve their goals.
4. Can you share a little of your current work with us?
“Why do you always do that?”
Ren dropped his hand to the sand. “Do what?”
“Look up at the stuff in the sky. You’re never getting up there, you know.”
Ren frowned. “I might.”
“Not likely,” Liam answered. He lay down next to Ren, their shoulders touching.
Ren was older than Liam by two years. They shared a mother, but not a father. Ren’s father was gone, a member of a Phoenix Corps regiment that passed through their village eighteen years ago. Ren never knew him. And where Liam took after their mother, short and fair, Ren was his father’s child, tall with dark hair and dark eyes.
“You’re so sure of that, are you? One day, I’m going to be on one of those ships that leave the dock and find work on a drift.”
“Doing what? Harvesting their nonexistent fields? You can wish on the stars all you want, Ren, but you were born a duster. Dusters don’t leave their planets.”
Ren sighed. His brother was too pragmatic for his age, too stuck in the way of things. Ren could dream. He always did of a place among the stars.
“We’re not meant to be planet bound. We’re part of them, you know.”
“You’re not seriously quoting the bedtime story Mom always told us.”
Ren elbowed Liam in the ribs and earned a grunt. “It’s not a story. It’s a legend.”
“Legends have truth in them.”
Liam sat up, brushed away the sand clinging to his arms. “You honestly believe that we are made of stardust?”
“It’s better than believing we’re made of dirt.”
5. What do you do when you are not writing?
Well, I work a full time job and I have three kids. So I don’t have a lot of time that is not spent either working, writing, or wrangling children. But I do have several hobbies I indulge in when I need to recharge. I like to crochet and during the winter I like to create hats, scarves, and blankets to give to my friends. I coach and play on an adult co-ed softball league during the spring and summer. We’re a fun group and always have time for dinner and a beer after the games.
6. How hard is it to send your characters out into the world?
I’m so excited to share my characters from The Star Host. I hope everyone enjoys reading about them as much as I did creating them. Ren and Asher are very special to me, and my hope is that the readers will connect with them, related to them, see themselves represented, and potentially be inspired by them.
7. Do you have any strange writing habits ( like standing on your head or writing in the bathtub)?
I think I covered this a little when talking about my difficulties I have when writing, but headphones, music, and timed writing exercises are how I am able to accomplish anything. I also carry a notebook around with me in my purse wherever I go in case I find myself waiting then I can jot some words down.
8. If you had a free day and your mission was to enjoy yourself, what would you do with your day?
Sleep in. Watch Netflix. Eat food. Drink wine. That is my
9. When you are driving down the road, what music do you listen to?
Currently it’s the Hamilton soundtrack. It’s the perfect blend of musical genres and it’s so inspiring. If it’s not that, then it’s my “driving playlist” on my Ipod which features Fall Out Boy, Imagine Dragons, Florence and the Machine, and a ton of others.
10. What is the most important thing in your life? What do you value the most?
The most important thing in my life is my family. My children come before anything else, and my husband is a close second. Looking beyond that I really value learning and knowledge. I love learning new things and exploring new ideas.
Thank you so much for stopping by and I hope the rest of the tour is a great success. Readers... keep scrolling because there are more goodies to read.
Ren grew up listening to his mother tell stories about the Star Hosts – a mythical group of people possessed by the power of the stars. The stories were the most exciting part of Ren’s life, and he often dreamed about leaving his backwater planet and finding his place among the neighboring drifts. When Ren is captured by soldiers and taken from his home, he must remain inconspicuous while plotting his escape. It’s a challenge since the general of the Baron’s army is convinced Ren is something out of one of his mother’s stories.
He finds companionship in the occupant of the cell next to his, a drifter named Asher. A member of the Phoenix Corps, Asher is mysterious, charming, and exactly the person Ren needs to anchor him as his sudden technopathic ability threatens to consume him. Ren doesn’t mean to become attached, but after a daring escape, a trek across the planet, and an eventful ride on a merchant ship, Asher is the only thing that reminds Ren of home. Together, they must warn the drifts of the Baron’s plans, master Ren’s growing power, and try to save their friends while navigating the growing attraction between them.
Pages or Words: 258 pages
Categories: Fiction, Gay fiction, M/M Romance, Science Fiction, Young Adult
Once at the hangar, Ren broke away from the two guards and entered the lancer, walking up the stairs, irritation a heavy feeling in his chest.
“Reporting for work,” Ren said, his tone heavily laced with annoyance.
Janus popped up from a console she had been working under, goggles on her face, gray hair sticking up everywhere. “You!” she snapped. “I told you not to come back.”
Ren rolled his eyes. “It’s not my choice. I don’t want to be here anymore than you want me here.”
“Where are your guards? I told the dumb one not to bring you back, Abiathar’s orders be damned. I don’t want your kind working on these ships.”
She poked a finger hard into Ren’s chest and he staggered back, and rubbed his hand over the spot.
“What the stars do you mean by my kind?”
Her eyes grew comically large behind the goggles. “You don’t know?” She laughed, bordering on hysterical. “You’re more dangerous than I thought. You can’t try to control it if you don’t even know what you are.”
Ren frowned. His tolerance for the cryptic nonsense everyone had spouted since he arrived was gone. He took a step toward the hull and Janus stiffened.
“Don’t,” she barked.
“Don’t what? Touch it? What will happen, huh?”
Her face paled and her chest heaved with panicked breaths. “You don’t know what you’re capable of.”
Ren laughed. “I’m capable of nothing. I’m a duster, planet-born with very limited experience with tech. You have no reason to be frightened of me.”
He moved closer to the hull, hand outstretched, fingers splayed.
She whimpered. “Please, don’t.”
Ren slammed his hand against the hull, his fingertips leaving greasy marks on the shiny surface. As he predicted, nothing happened.
He turned back to Janus. “See? Nothing–”
His word tangled in his throat, cut off, because suddenly, Ren was consumed with power, rushing from his toes to his fingertips. A blue tint clouded his vision, and his body suffused with golden warmth. And then he was floating amongst the wires, connected to the ship, to the energy source, to everything. The lancer pulsed under his skin, tangling in his veins, its systems integrated with his senses.
It was freeing and frightening.
His consciousness raced along the circuits and he could fix it. He could fix everything. He found the tangle of wires in the artificial gravity system and bypassed it. He found the broken circuits in the air recyclers and with a pulse of power, refurbished them. He saw the static in the com system, a physical entity, and he cleared it away with a brush of his metaphysical hand.
The longer Ren floated through the ship, the less connected he was to his physical body. And if he thought about it, he didn’t need his body. Why would he need his body? He was free here. He moved around with ease, the wires and the systems his route, and the more he pushed, the more he felt the other ships too. They were nearby, on the edge of his perception, and he could go to those, he could jump to the other ones and repair them too.
F.T. wrote her first short story when she was in third grade and her love of writing continued from there. After placing in the top five out of ten thousand entries in a writing contest, she knew it was time to dive in and try her hand at writing a novel.
A wife and mother of three, F.T. holds degrees in psychology and English literature, and is a long-time member of her college’s science-fiction club. F.T. has
a love of cheesy television shows, superhero movies, and science-fiction novels—especially anything by Douglas Adams.
Connect with F.T. at authorftlukens.wordpress.com on Twitter @ftlukens, on Tumblr at ftlukens.tumblr.com and on Goodreads at goodreads.com/ftlukens.
Publisher: Duet Books, the Young Adult imprint of Interlude Press
Cover Artist: C.B. Messer
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Rafflecopter Prize: $25 Interlude Press Web Store gift card (grand prize) + 5 winners of The Star Host eBook