Behind the Book: Unexpected Hostage

How it started:

This book was prompted by a friend of mine. One day I asked him, “What do you think the world would be like if you could hear everyone thoughts and they could hear yours?”

I knew my friend had a strong personality, but I never saw him react so vehemently. He even slammed his hand down at the table when he said, “No one is allowed to know my thoughts. Uh-uh. That’s just wrong. Those are my private thoughts – not for anyone else.”

Of course, I was like what kind of stuff is he thinking about?

So I asked. He said, “Let’s just say I wouldn’t have any friends if they could hear my thoughts.”

So… I laughed in his face.

In my story Unexpected Hostage, Sci is a telepathic and telekinetic being from a planet named Cerebral – I probably should have thought of a better name but it seemed to fit perfectly.

Sci wakes up in Chapter One confused and his memory is a little foggy at first. In a matter of minutes, he learned he was knocked unconscious by a cyborg named Sands while on a Rastos Pirate ship. The captain of the pirate ship wanted him off as soon as possible and sold him to an Angny Gladiator named Chancellor.

The Chancellor sold him back to the Federation as a Luri – a label given to kidnapped or misplaced beings. The Federation is bound to return Luri’s to their homeworld but when they find out he’s a Cerebral they act like my friend and freak out by inhibiting his telepathic and telekinetic abilities. As you can imagine, he’s not very happy about this.

All this backstory can be found in Unexpected Prize.

What I learned:

I went through at least 10 different versions of this story. It took three beta readers, and a developmental editor to get me to describe the relationships of all the crew members and give the romance a strong foundation.

In my previous book Unexpected Prize I read a few reviews that said it wasn’t a love story and I took that to heart and made sure to do better this time.

I also read a review that said the heroine needed some backbone – so again in Unexpected Hostage, I made sure the heroine, Sasha, could handle herself and kick ass. I’ll leave that to you to see if I succeeded.

After all those changes I finalized my manuscript and sent it to my line editor and she had a few suggestions on my epilogue. So I had to re-write that too. To be honest, I added a new ending.

The previous ending will be added to Unexpected Master which is the story about Sci’s brother Chollar.

Okay, so at that point, I thought everything was great, perfect and I should publish. But then doubt started to kick in and I worried that something might be missing. So I looked through my contacts and remembered a friend of mine, Matt Rees who has the ability to critically analyze the crap out of anything.

With a quick “hey, I need your brain…” he consented to read it. Two weeks later this was our texts.


What Matt did next was start asking questions about the series and by the end of that conversation, my entire series plot was changed and updated. Since then he’s been working with me on my next book Unexpected Loss. He’s asked for a ship map, star charts, backstory, races, diseases and SO much more than I planned to write – thankfully it’s only made things better.

I’ve put all these extra things in Sci’s Archives, and you can thank Matt Rees for them. You can find the archives by clicking on Books and then choosing the Unexpected Series.

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