- By Patricia A. Knight
- Editions: eBook & Paperback
- Published: June 25th, 2013
- Genre: Sci-Fi, MMF Romance, Erotica
- In a Flutter: A perfect blend of fantasy and steam!
For some, existence without their mate might seem like the end of their world…
…for the members of Verdantia’s Tetriarch, it would be.
Conte Camliel Aristos deTano, Ari, has long spurned the marriage forced upon him. His contractual bride, Princess Fleur Constante, the beautiful future queen though young and inexperienced, is willing to risk everything, including her own sanity, to save her planet.
The inhabitants of the sentient planet, Verdantia, are poised on the precipice of extinction following a brutal invasion by an off-world, nomadic horde. Verdantia’s capital, Sylvan Mintoth, must have its failing energy shield restored, or the planet is doomed. The Elders know the shield can draw energy from only one thing ~ a very arduous and grueling coupling of two specific people who were pre-chosen by the planet Herself and promised by prearranged marriage contract.
Verdantia draws strength from the duo, but the sentient planet whispers to Ari that a third is necessary ~ Ari’s aide de camp, Visconte Doral deLorion, an angelically handsome, skilled assassin who silently surrendered his heart to Ari long ago.
The trio struggles to make this surprising partnership harmonious, pushing through pride, scars of past abuse, fears of inexperience and distrust. To save Verdantia, they must overcome their individual weaknesses and realize their full potential. Only the Tetriarch and their combined synergy, can harness Verdantia’s immense power to shield its citizens from invasion.
The world of Verdantia is beautifully detailed. This is a lovely blend of Science Fiction, Fantasy, Erotica, Romance, & Intrigue… And it is incredibly entertaining!
I’d like to create some kind of award for ‘Best Prologue’ just for this book… I was given a thorough recounting of an entire planet’s History, Technology, Climatology, Sociology, and Social Hierarchy without becoming over-inundated with information… That’s damn impressive!
I thrive on originality, and what I found in the pages of Hers to Command was a wonderful adventure of love, lust, and fantasy!
Let’s break it down:
1. The planet Verdantia has an electromagnetic force which renders all technology useless, so even though we have all the Science Fiction hallmarks of spaceships, battle-cruisers, phasers, etc. None of these items work on the surface of the planet. Verdantians live in a pseudo-gilded-iron-age type setting… Add in the royal hierarchy and arranged marriages, and you’re left with an atmosphere equal parts Science-Fiction & Historical Romance…
2. The Planet Verdantia is sentient: She has feelings, and interacts with her population. That interaction occurs when certain Verdantians have sex… Crazy, sweaty, kinky, burn-up-the sheets sex… All this awesome sex helps the planet to flourish – it keeps the lights on, makes the crops grow, and it powers the shields which protect the planet from outside forces…
3. It stands to reason that a planet which requires Her citizens to have ritualistic fuck-fests would also have vast resources of harvestable aphrodisiac, right? Right! This sacred aphrodisiac (known as cinnagin) is used in sexual Rites and is a highly valuable resource coveted by the greedy enemies of Verdantia.
One such enemy is the Haarb. They invaded Verdantia and began systematically slaughtering Her inhabitants, leaving only a handful of Magisters capable to performing the magick necessary to generate protective shields around the planet.
Can you tell how excited I am?!?!
This is a MMF Romance… That’s two bisexual males and one female.
One Relationship, three hearts, three minds, three souls, and yes… One bed.
The sex is a huge draw for me (obviously) in these types of relationships, but it also brings out my favorite kind of angst and indecision.
Plus, it is a difficult scenario to write… and write well. The reader has to LIKE all three of the parties involved. If any of the three rub the reader the wrong way, we will immediately start hoping that the trio turns into a happy duo.
There are so many pieces of information which must come together to satisfy the reader’s desire to know that this (yes, I know it’s fictional) relationship, however uncommon, is built to last.
That’s a lot of suspension of disbelief. It is a hard enough thing to accomplish a believable love story between two parties…
But this is about THREE.
Patricia A. Knight blew me away with this book. I immediately began reading through the rest of the series. And guess what? The quality of the books never diminishes. Each book features a different couple, but the amazing atmosphere and beautiful writing remains.
It was perhaps an hour later when her guard tapped lightly. “Your Highness.”
“Conte DeTano is here.”
“Please admit him.” She watched from her seat on the chaise as Ari strode into the room.
“Conte,” she smiled. “Please, sit.”
“I prefer to stand if it is the same to you, Your Highness,” he replied curtly.
“It is not. I dislike having you loom over me like a bomb about to explode.”
A laugh startled from his lips and he smiled as he sat down in the chair Patricio had vacated.
He is so handsome when he smiles.
“My second-in-command sent me some troublesome news today. I am out of sorts. I didn’t mean to direct my temper at you, Your Highness.”
“Apology accepted. I would like it very much if you would call me Fleur. You did before.”
“Yes, well. Being balls-deep between your legs creates a certain intimacy,” Ari said with a wicked grin. “If that is your wish, Your Highness, Fleur, it is.”
Heat crept up her cheeks. He says the most unexpected things. Taking a deep breath, she regrouped, handing Ari the scroll. “Tell me about this.”
He scanned carefully as he unrolled the stiff parchment. He stopped midway, then rolled it back up. With a soft chime of medallions, he re-tied the ribbons, placing it on a low table beside him. “What is it you wish to know?”
Oh dear. She studied his austere expression, trying to decide on a diplomatic way to start. “Why is marrying me so distasteful that you would flee the planet for fifteen years?” She winced inwardly. Tactful, Fleur—very subtle.
Ari’s eyes narrowed and his fingers started drumming on the arms of the chair. He rose and paced to the window, then stood looking out.
“It was not the thought of marriage to you that was distasteful. What was distasteful was the thought of a marriage to anyone based solely on my genetics. It is how you breed animals, not people. I am not a stud horse to be bred to Patricio’s favorite mare.” His back stiffened. “My apologies. I did not mean…”
“Please, Ari, sit down,” she interrupted. Patricio’s ‘mare’? Ouch.
“I prefer to stand,” he responded curtly, not moving from the window.
She rolled her eyes in exasperation. “I am not used to speaking to someone’s backside half-way across the room. Will you at least turn around?”
A smile flickered. He turned. “I didn’t want to ‘loom’.” Laughter lurked in his eyes, and a half-smile turned his lips.
He really is quite extraordinary. A soft laugh escaped her. “Thank you.”
He nodded and folded his arms across his chest, then crossed his legs at the ankles as he leaned back onto the windowsill. The heavy muscles of his arms and chest stretched his black knit sweater, and the black leather leggings tucked into his over-the-knee boots left little for her to imagine. Such a handsome man.
Something about the way his eyes explored her body sent heat up and down her spine then straight to her lady-parts. She remembered the weight of him as he lay atop her. She remembered looking up into his gold-flecked eyes, feeling his mobile lips caressing her cheeks, feeling the rough brush of his beard on her tender inner skin as he–mind on present business, Fleur!
“Ahem,” she cleared her throat. “So, have you given this contract any further thought? Do you still find it so distasteful?” Oh, by the gods, Fleur, show some subtlety. What is wrong with you?
“Why? Are you going to ask me to marry you?” He eyed her dispassionately.
She held his gaze steadily. How did this conversation get away from me? “Not today.”
“Good.” He looked at the timekeeper on her table. “Your Highness, I am very short on time. I will continue this discussion with you another day.” He started toward her door.
“You haven’t answered my question, sir!”
“Yes. No,” he tossed over his shoulder as he left the room.
Argggh! She slumped back onto the couch. Yes? No? What? She replayed their conversation.
Have you given this contract further thought? “Yes.” Do you still find it so distasteful? “No.”
Her mouth gradually developed a delighted smile.
Q&A with Patricia A. Knight
If you were to describe your book in only one word, what would it be?
What would you say inspired you to write it?
I love epic fantasy and futuristic sci/fi. I love saving mankind from the forces of evil. LOL
Unfortunately, while there were worthy heroes and gritty heroines, most of what I read lacked sex. I want to “see” the elf prince “do” the human heroine–graphically–down and dirty! Contrary to what my sweet southern belle of a mother says, I consider sex a spectator sport and I want a front row seat with colorful play by play. So, I set out to write a plot driven, character rich, erotic fantasy. It is what I try to do with all my Verdantian books.
What was the source of inspiration for creating the world of Verdantia?
A dash of Lord of the Rings, a dab of Avatar, and pinch of Nine Princes in Amber, a dollop of anything by Charles deLint, Stephen R. Donaldson, Anne McCaffery and Sherwood Smith to skim the top of a list which reaches from Dallas to Tulsa, OK. Verdantia is a amalgamation of many books that I have read over my lifetime of devouring fantasy.
You’ve created a diverse cast of characters in this series – is there any one character in this series which you hold closer to your heart than others?
Wow. I love my dark, snarly, rogue, Ramsey DeKieran…but then I have a tremendous soft spot for Doral DeLorion. Sigh.
Sh*t. I love all my heroes.
What was your first Science Fiction reading experience?
A Stranger In a Strange Land by Robert A. Heinline … or maybe it was Three Hearts and Three Lions by Poul Anderson .. or maybe it was Nine Princes in Amber by Roger Zelanzy
Have you ever been hit by the infamous “writer’s block”? What did you do to escape it?
YES!!! Submersed myself in reading books by other authors or called my critique partners and whined. I recently attended the RWA Convention (Romance Writers of America) in San Antonio, TX and shared a room with one of my critique partners. I told her I was stumped for a plot for my next Verdantian novel and within an hour, I was pounding my keyboard with notes from our back and forth chatter. Having another person who is into your characters ramble on about what they want to know kickstarts my imagination.
Your all time favorite book?
Probably Morgan Hawke’s, “Victoria Star” novel. It’s sci-fi with double-dicked vampire space-faring pirates … that covers a sh*t-ton of bases for me. 🙂 Oh, yeah, and it has a happy ending.
What made you pick that one above all others?
Since you restricted me to one…I threw my one hundred most
favorite titles in to a hat and drew. That was the title that came up.
What’s the longest time you’ve spent working on a project?
Three years. That book became Hers To Command. It started out very differently. I have the original draft. Every now and then I flip through it and marvel at what I’ve learned.
Would you say becoming an author has changed you? In what way?
I have changed. I am vastly more guarded. There be trolls prowling the internet with snares to catch the unwary–shriveled souls whose sole purpose is spreading havoc and inflicting pain.
But I also see the angels…the bloggers and readers and reviewers who give of their time and energy to spread the word about their favorite books and authors. To those brave souls go my heart-felt gratitude and appreciation. It takes guts these days to make a statement about anything–even something as innocuous as a book you like.
Was there ever a time, during your work for the e-book/book, when you felt like giving up? What made you change your mind?
Give up? No…never. To steal a line from David Farragut, it has always been, “Damn the torpedoes! Full speed ahead.”
What does your day-to-day life consist of? What else do you do, aside writing?
At the moment I am trying to teach the Spontaneous Urinator not to pee in the house. LOL We adopted an adorable pound puppy, but she didn’t come with indoor manners. Happily, she is painfully eager to please and very, very smart.
How do you deal with bad reviews or acid criticism? What would you advise other authors to that effect?
Acid criticism I ignore. (See trolls above) Bad reviews with an explanation of why the reader disliked the book I tend to examine carefully to see what I can learn from them that will help me to better my writing. My advice to other authors is to know yourself. Can you handle a ravaging review without being destroyed? If the answer is no, then DON’T READ YOUR REVIEWS. Have someone else read them and send you the ones that are encouraging. If you are fairly sturdy (I consider myself fairly sturdy) evaluate where the reader is coming from. If they gave you a one star on a DNF (did not finish) then you can pretty much disregard whatever they have to say. Your book was simply not for them. It happens. Move on. For those readers who enjoyed your book but had a few “nits to pick”… pay attention. Put your ego aside and learn. Improve. At the end of the day, REVIEWS ARE NOT FOR AUTHORS. REVIEWS ARE FOR READERS. And my last piece of sage wisdom (cough, cough) never, never, never, never, never respond to a bad review. Just don’t.
Without giving us spoilers, of course, what can we expect from the next books in the Verdantia series?
My publisher has been bugging me to do a storyline that involves one of the spin-off characters from the early books, Peregrine, the level 5 magister that Mistress Gabriella had such fun torturing and Alessa DeAlbero. I have started on book five. The working title is “Hers To Captivate” starring Tristan DeHelios and I’ll be bringing back Angelica a/k/a Pansy and Tok and Ramsey. The story will take place in Arkodaenia so there will be the use of techonology and what ever deviousness my mind can conjur up.
What do you have stored for us in the future? What are you working on/planning on next, aside this title/series?
I have two short-stories planned. One is a contemporary BDSM that takes place in Manhattan during Christmas. The working title is “Christmas Wrappings” and it centers around a mixup at the front desk of the St. Regis when a woman is given the wrong suite…a suite already occupied by a high-powered exec expecting a Christmas present from a friend who’s in the “lifestyle”. Well, all sorts of mayhem ensues.
The second is a short story that developed from a blog I did some time ago about why sci-fi is sexy. Its working title is “Darla and the Xerion.” This story takes place on Verdantia. Darla works for the Verdantian Office of Alien Liaison. She is assigned to accompany a foppish sort of gentleman to Sylvan Mintoth and help him deal with court protocol on the primitive world
of Verdantia. Of course, the gentleman is not exactly what he appears to be nor is his business what he originally states … and all sorts of mayhem ensues. LOL
And finally, I have written a western. I have absolutely no idea when it will be published. LOL “The Dry Season” is about a hunky Texas cowboy home from fighting for the Confederacy who comes to the rescue of a self-sufficient Texas rancher who has the misfortune
to be a widowed woman in the 1800’s … and all sorts of mayhem ensues!
What made you decide to become an Indie Author?
One of my crit partners is self-published and I think he would have gotten on a plane and done damage to me had I gone with a traditional publisher. As it is, I am sort of a “betwixt and between” author in that the publisher that I have is very small and extremely pro-author. Troll River Publications does much of the heavy lifting in getting my books out there. At the same time there is very little intrusion into what I would like to write and when I write it. I retain my book-rights and have a very favorable percentage of sales. I’m sort of in a heaven for authors quite frankly.
What would you say was the toughest part?
I think the toughest part of being an author — for any author no matter how they are
published — is the marketing, the selling. We are not salespeople. We are storytellers. Most authors are pretty gentle souls. Sales takes balls of pure steel.
Did you hire professionals for editing, cover design, formatting?
Yes and yes and yes. I have a couple of professional editors look at my manuscripts twice–once for developmental edits and once again for line/copy edits–and I STILL find typos, etc. I have a wonderful cover designer from Australia, Skylar Faith, who works with me and my publisher and comes up with great covers and my publisher has people in-house who make sure the formatting is professional.
How did you decide who to hire, if you worked with pros?
Happily, my publisher handled all this.
How long did the production part take, from the moment you began working on the manuscript to self-pub to when you hit ‘Publish’?
When I present my final manuscript to my publisher after it has been through the wash, rinse, spin-dry cycles several times, I will see the ebook up on all the digital retail markets within two weeks. The paperback version of my books usually appear within a month of ebook release.
Where is your work being distributed, Amazon, B&N, Smashwords, AllRomanceEbooks/ Omnilit, some other distributor? How did you decide which one(s) to go with?
My work is distributed on Amazon, B&N, Smashwords, and Kobo and shortly on ACX, for the audiobooks. I feel, as does my publisher, that an author should be on everysingle distribution outlet available.
If you could turn back in time and do things differently, would you? What would you change?
I would not change anything but when I started. I would have started writing the stories in my head down years ago.
If you could wish for any one thing, and it would immediately come true, what would you wish for?
I feel like a Miss American contestant! World peace. That’s what I would wish for. World peace.
If you were stranded on an isolated island, what’s the one book you’d absolutely wish to have with you?
You are going to laugh. The Bible.
Name your favorite fruit.
Coffee or tea?
Coffee, two shots of expresso, two Splenda, a good blob of milk.
How about favorite time of the day?
Early morning before the Texas sun has burnt the dew off the grass and you can still see your footprints behind you.
Were you a boyscout/girlscout?
Boyscout … nah…just seeing if you were paying attention. LOL Girlscout.
Favorite food for breakfast?
Latest book you’ve bought and read?
Geeze…have to look at my Kindle. “Crashed” by K. Bromberg. It’s book three in a trilogy about a race car driver and a psychologist who has a home for abused children.
Good series. I recommend it.
Do you collect things, like stamps, or key chains, or shoes?
Favorite color, you know you want to tell us!
Drama or comedy?
Comedy…always. The world has built in drama.
Have a fav quote or personal motto?
Warning, I’m about to get heavy here! This is the quote: “Do not judge. You don’t know
what storm I have asked her to walk through.” God
Cats or dogs?
Dinner by candlelight or a night out clubbing?
Dinner by candlelight.
Do you have a guilty pleasure?
Hot fudge sundaes with whipped cream and slivered almonds and TWO cherries!
Favorite Swear Word?
About the Author
Hi all y’all!
Patricia A. Knight is the pen name for an eternal romantic who lives in Dallas, Texas with her horses, Italian Greyhounds and rescue mutts—and the best man on the face of the earth—oh yeah, and the most enormous bullfrogs you will ever see. Word to the wise: don’t swim in the pool after dark.
Reviews assist an author tremendously. Please consider leaving a review with Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Goodreads, Smashwords or any other website of your choosing.
Thank you so very much,
P. A. Knight
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Thank You & Happy Reading!