Veronica Scott sez: I met S.M. in the Science Fiction Romance Brigade - a pleasure to have her as our guest today!
Blurb for The Chosen:
They promised her happily ever after. Instead, they gave her Hell. Now, she's getting revenge.
When Bella agreed to travel to Earth to start a new life with the man she loved, she’d been promised two things: healing dead human bodies so they could live on this planet always worked, and they could have the happily ever after forbidden to them at home.
But soon after arriving on her new planet, she discovers both of those promises were lies. And the consequences for trusting the wrong people are deadly.
After six years of hiding from the company that helped her cross over, she is approached by a beautiful but mysterious stranger who offers her a different kind of promise: the chance for revenge. And Bella’s journey to end her own nightmare and to seek justice for the man she’d once loved is finally able to begin.
Perhaps you’ve heard about Lottie Theriot and her remarkable resurrection, how the company that brought her to Earth attempted to murder her, and the resulting insurrection she led against those men who tried to rip her apart from a love that not even death could erase. It’s an incredible story, one thousands of us who also traveled here to begin new lives listened to with rapt attention because it seemed so impossible, so filled with unbelievable circumstances. Even those people who were born here filled Lottie’s life with such wonder and beauty: Dietrich’s faithfulness to her memory, his best friend’s faithfulness to him.
It’s a story many of us have repeated to one another because those who participated in her insurrection want to relive their roles, and those of us who didn’t wish we had.
Well, this story isn’t about her.
I didn’t even know Lottie or her friends. Not at first. I came from her world, one ruled by sexism and classism and was born into the wrong roles for both. Not only a woman, but a poor one at that, I had no prospects on my planet except servitude or an arranged marriage if my parents were lucky enough to find someone willing to marry me.
I chose servitude.
I was young when I began to work in his father’s house. And he was beautiful. He noticed me on the third day and came into the room where I was sweeping up the brown-red dust that inevitably collected everywhere on that planet because it covered everything. Our bodies were mostly energy so we didn’t need wide doorways, but when the winds would pick up, as they frequently did, red tornadoes spiraled inside homes and businesses as soon as the doors opened slightly to allow one of us to enter.
On that third day, the young man who would eventually take the English name Mason found me attempting to sweep the dirt back outside, but the winds were working against me and every time I slid the door open, my pile scattered across the floor again. There were no garbage cans since we didn’t need to eat and created very little waste. I had nowhere else to put the dirt and couldn’t leave the room until my assignment was finished. I cracked the door open again to try to sweep the dirt outside and a gust of wind snuck in and scattered it across the clean floor.
I heard laughter behind me and spun around.
“Let’s hide it,” Mason suggested. “These winds aren’t dying down anytime soon.”
If I’d had this human body, I would have blushed. I would have felt my heart accelerate with the nervousness and excitement of the handsome young man speaking to me, a poor servant who meant nothing to anyone. It wouldn’t take long before I finally meant something to someone.
As the months passed and our love grew, it became apparent that the fantasy world in which we’d originally allowed ourselves to live – that we could somehow run away and be together openly – was just that: a fantasy. The only thing stronger than the misogyny on my first planet was the classism, and a poor servant girl never ended up with the prince: those are your fairy tales, not ours.
One day, Mason came home and excitedly grabbed me and hid us in a room where he told me about a man he’d met who worked for a company that transported people to different planets. After listening to the options, he thought Earth sounded like a paradise where I’d never have to be anyone’s servant again and we could marry and have our happily ever after.
Honestly? I was terrified. Mason assured me they’d been doing this for hundreds of years and healing dead bodies always worked – we wouldn’t die because we could live on as humans. They would have employees waiting for us on the other end of the portal who would help us find appropriate bodies – a young man for him and a young woman for me. Once we used our energy to heal the bodies, we would become as human as anyone else born on that planet but our memories and personalities would remain ours. Only our bodies would change. He promised me because they promised him.
I asked him, of course, where these bodies were coming from and he assured me they kept employees working in morgues and hospitals so they would always have access to the bodies of people who had just died.
We didn’t have hospitals or morgues on our planet so I had no idea what either of those things were.
But only two days later, I found out.
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S.M. Schmitz has an M.A. in modern European history and is a former world history instructor. Her novels are infused with the same humorous sarcasm that she employed frequently in the classroom. As a native of Louisiana, she sets many of her scenes here, and like Dietrich in Resurrected, she is also convinced Louisiana has been cursed with mosquitoes much like Biblical Egypt with its locusts.
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A little about The Chosen and the Resurrected universe
I published the Resurrected trilogy last year with several different goals in mind. First and foremost, it is a love story and one that is meant to defy all that we believe is possible. But there are some challenging scenes in the original trilogy, and the violence is a direct reflection of my days as a world history instructor when I often found myself surprised by the desensitization to violence by young adults today. Finally, the original trilogy isn’t just a second chance romance. The love stories aren’t even just romantic love. I wanted to demonstrate the power that all love has, and the friendship between Eric and Dietrich is key throughout all three books.
I’ve always wanted to return to this universe, so this summer, I decided to write a spinoff standalone to the trilogy. I wrote it so that it wouldn’t be necessary for someone to read the trilogy first and, hopefully, won’t give away spoilers if they wanted to read the first three books after reading The Chosen.
This novel focuses on a different cast of characters, and offers readers another perspective on what it’s like to cross over to Earth and begin a new life. Our heroine, Bella, came to our planet for the chance to live in peace with the man she loved. But just as with Lottie, when Mason brought a body back to life so he could live here, something went wrong. And for him, the consequences are deadly.
The Chosen is a story of revenge and finding love again. And most importantly, it’s a story about the power we each have to control our own lives.