Pia Manning is an author I like very much. She has a seasoned perspective and incisive way with words. Her latest Siren romance came out this year, but I wanted you to experience the Pia Manning universe the same way I did, from her very first book.
Pia has kindly donated to the giveaway prize bundle her debut novel and first in the Star Brides series, Star Brides: Procured. This is still my favourite of hers so far, because the elements of culture woven into her heroine’s experience of leaving Earth gently stroked my first-generation migrant nerves.
But enough about me, here’s what you wanna know about Pia and her lovely book…
JL: Tell us a bit about yourself.
PIA MANNING: I always find this the hardest question to answer. I love making a connection with my readers, but I don’t want to bore anyone. So, I live in the deep, dark woods of NE Wisconsin with my spousal unit, one spoiled dog and three rotten cats. I find I love the solitude and privacy living in the middle of nowhere affords, although it can be damned inconvenient at times. I began writing for real after a number of medical issues forced my withdrawal from the workforce. At the time, I viewed the diagnoses with a jaundiced eye. It wasn’t until later that I realized what a gift I’d truly been handed. Now, I get to do what I love every day.
JL: Tell us a bit about the book in the giveaway, Star Brides: Procured. What inspired it? What kind of world should readers expect?
PIA: Anis Warner is one of my favorite characters. She’s focused, determined, disciplined… Aaand then along comes Commander Dachar of the starship Talat… Procured is, if anything, about moving forward in the face of life’s unexpected transitions. We follow Anis as she struggles to assert herself in an ever-changing alien environment.
When I wrote Procured I was recovering from surgery and learning what that meant for my life. Like Anis, I needed to adapt to the boundaries that now framed my new normal. Developing Anis’s story helped me to realize how lucky I am.
JL: I love the way you characterise Anis as she gets to know Darchar’s culture. How important have you found culture to be in the way couples relate to each other?
PIA: Culture establishes expectations and points of reference for us all. When one half of a couple is thrust into a situation where cultural boundaries have changed and nothing feels familiar, all kinds of chaos can result. Sometimes those misunderstandings are funny, other times limiting and hurtful. There is a lot of negotiating and navigating necessary before they reach their happily every after!
JL: What kinds of things do you feel strongly about that you commit to including in your writing?
PIA: Portraying the unrecognized resilience and intelligence of women from different societies is a stream (Ok, maybe more like the Mississippi or Amazon Rivers) that flows through my books. Women have voices that should never be silenced. My women have no patience with culturally imposed limitations or stereotypes. Anis is a woman who knows what she wants. Is she frustrated at times? Yep. Does she make mistakes along the way? Definitely. But, she always strives to move forward despite every obstacle the Apochian world places before her.
5. So, Star Brides: Procured is the first book in a series. What are the other books like?
PIA: The other two books in the Star Brides universe, ‘The Meat Market’ and ‘Dept. of Corrections,’ explore what happens to society when women are mistreated and marginalized. In other words Karma is a… well, you know.
Both books are also about second chances and redemption. In ‘Meat Market’ our Zuntx warriors return to find their planet in shambles. They and their newly acquired woman, Tamsin, start over on the frontier of a newly colonized planet. The trio are now forced to work together to survive. Before joining her warriors, Tamsin had worked as a very underappreciated and underpaid server. On their new world, Tamsin finds her voice. And the boys find it in their best interest to listen!
In ‘D of C’ Kadir (you’ll meet him in ‘Procured’) returns to Zuntx with former inmate, Janine. Sentenced to a length prison sentence for a crime she absolutely did commit, Janine is in need of a second chance at redemption. Kadir and his warriors are not ready to give up on their home. Together, they dig in to make their menage relationship work and change some things along the way.
JL: What sort of stuff do you like to read?
PIA: My guilty pleasure shelves include erotic romances, murder mysteries- with or without a touch of paranormal, surviving the apocalypse stories, scifi/fantasy and paranomal/horror stuff.
JL: Any parting words for readers?
PIA: Go forth and read! Or write as the mood takes you. Explore, make your mistakes. Just don’t stop moving forward in some way!
Enter the giveaway!
Two lucky winners will receive an ebook copy of Star Brides: Procured by Pia Manning in the It Starts With A Kiss giveaway, along with more awesome fresh reads by Skye McDonald, Crystal L. Kirkham, A.R. Vagnetti and Sophia LeRoux.
Check out the giveaway post for details on how to enter. This is an international giveaway, closing when it’s no longer 29th September 2019 anywhere in the world.