A story that will appeal to fans of Marion Zimmer Bradley and Zenna Henderson, The Marann recounts one woman’s experience on a world where everyone can read her emotions.
Marianne Woolsey is a high school Spanish teacher in rural Iowa, when Earth Central Command decides her linguistic talents would be better exercised if she spent 26 years teaching the daughter of an alien ruler on a planet 24 light years from Earth. Deeply wounded by a childhood trauma, she avoids men, but now she’s thrown into close contact with a man who is as gentle as he is dangerous.
Driven by duty, and deadly to anyone who dares cross him, the Sural has ruled his province and led his planet far longer than he can admit to his daughter’s human tutor. He hides much more from the space-faring races of the Trade Alliance than he is willing to reveal. What he doesn’t want Central Command to know, he has to conceal from Marianne, but that becomes increasingly difficult as years pass and her exotic beauty of both body and soul breaks down the walls he long ago built around his heart.
Christie, how did you come up with the title for your book? Does it have any special meaning?
It’s a play on words in the imaginary language of the Tolari people. The Marann is what the Tolari begin to call Marianne after she is adopted by them. It means “the Second.”
Who was your favorite character and why?
Storaas. He’s based on a friend I lost to cancer earlier this year, Peter. I loved him like a father, and even though Tolari men don’t have facial hair, I picture Storaas with a little white goatee like Peter’s.
Does your book have any underlying theme, message, or moral?
I didn’t set out to give it one, but readers have written to thank me for showing them an example of surviving and thriving after abuse. Not a typical theme for a space opera!
What would/could a reader or reviewer say about this book that shows they “get” you as an author?
My book taught one young woman that she could accept being loved, even though she’s wounded and imperfect and has panic attacks much like Marianne’s. She really got it.
Give us an excerpted quote from your favorite review of this book:
“It gives me hope that writers of all genres, not just romance, can develop plot lines and characters who go beyond the standard gender binary.”
Where can people learn more about your writing?