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Blog Tour: Kidnapped by Maria Hammarblad - Guest Post + Excerpt

Hey guys! Welcome to today's blog tour stop! Kidnapped is a sci-fi romance. I don't normally read sci-fis but I must say this looks really good! I can't wait to read and review it! :) So yep, do enjoy the post, Maria will be joining us with a guest post later on!

Kidnapped by Maria Hammarblad

It's a late winter night when Patricia Risden heads home in her car, on a road she's driven many times before. She doesn't have a care in the world, that is, until a man appears from nowhere, right in front of her.

The next thing she knows is being a prisoner of the unscrupulous Alliance Commander Travis 152; an intimidating man who demands information and complete cooperation. Travis soon realizes his mistake; Tricia doesn't know anything, and she is incapable of even getting a glass of water from the ship's computer.

Infamous for being a ruthless executioner, conditioned since childhood to feel nothing besides fear and pain, he still deems her harmless, and finds enough pity for the lost young woman to let her out of the cell; a decision that will change both their lives forever.

Kidnapped Upcoming releases: Undercover, to be released by Desert Breeze Publishing September 11, 2012.

What author Lynette Endicott has said about Kidnapped:

"Kidnapped is a well-written Science Fiction story of a woman kidnapped from earth and taken on a whirlwind tour of the universe with a captor whose heart is thawed by her innocence. This does not please his commander, who pursues, captures and loses both characters. In the process there is fun, adventure, sizzle, and an introduction to different worlds and their impact, one day, on our own. Be sure to pick up Kidnapped by Maria Hammarblad available from Desert Breeze Publishing."

Maria Hammarblad

Born in Sweden in the early 1970's, Maria showed a large interest for books at an early age. Even before she was able to read or write, she made her mom staple papers together into booklets she filled with drawings of suns and planets. She proudly declared them, "The Sun Book." They were all about the sun. She also claimed, to her mother's horror, that her being on Earth was a big mistake and that her alien family would come and bring her home at any moment. This never happened, but both the interest in space and the passion for bookmaking stayed with her.

As an adult Maria's creativity got an outlet through playing bass in a number of rock bands, and through writing technical manuals and making web pages for various companies and organizations. She did write drafts for a few novels, but the storytelling muse was mostly satisfied through role playing online on Myspace.

It was here, while writing stories together with people from around the globe, she stumbled onto Mike. They started talking out of character, and she moved over to Florida to him late 2008. Today the two are married and live in the Tampa Bay area with three rescue dogs.

Besides writing and playing bass, Maria enjoys driving off-road, archery, and Tameshigiri.

Books by Maria Hammarblad include:

The Goddess's Saga, a series of novels consisting of Touch of the Goddess, Wrath of the Goddess, and Return of the Goddess.

Embarkment 2577, a series of novellas consisting of Brand New World, High Gravity, and Adam and Eve.

Invasion and other short stories

YouTube Trailers!

Kidnapped | The Goddess' Saga | Embarkment 2577 | Invasion

Time for a short excerpt!

Time passed and she lost track of it. She tried to call out, "Hello," but no one seemed to care, and there was nothing to do but wait.

The erratic movements of the room still made her feel miserable, but it eventually settled down, and an unknown amount of time later, a portion of a wall seemed to just dissolve, showing the dark silhouette of the man. From her position, sitting on the floor, he seemed impossibly tall, and his clothes impossibly black. Even his boots appeared just to absorb any light that might come their way.

He hunched down in front of her, and watched her pale face thoughtfully. "You're space sick."

Patricia knew agreeing would be the safest thing to do, but she couldn't stop herself. She shouted, "No! I can't be space sick because I'm not in space, because that's crazy! I rolled with my car and I'm just unconscious. Leave me alone."

The man ignored her and reached out with his ungloved hand, plunging her into a fit of panic. She scrambled to get backwards away from him, but there was nowhere to go. "Sit still. If I wanted to hurt you, you'd be dead now."

His words didn't really soothe her; she was still convinced he wanted to kill her, that he'd just snap her neck, and she so wanted to live a little longer. Earlier in her life she had wasted time recklessly, and now every minute seemed precious.

Her expression must have amused him because a shadow of a smile tugged at his lips. It didn't quite reach his eyes, but it was the first emotion she'd seen on his face, and it made her feel marginally better. Maybe he was human after all. She stopped fighting when he pressed a finger against her skin, explaining to her frightened glance, "Pressure point. This should make you feel better."

To her surprise he didn't hurt her, and she did feel better. Once the queasiness receded she even dared ask for a glass of water. Her voice sounded small and pathetic, reminding her of a cornered mouse, but it got steadier after a couple of words, and she had to settle for thinking this was a good thing.

Her warder shrugged and went over to a portion of the wall, pressing his hand against it, making a console fold out of what seemed to be solid metal. He punched a couple of buttons and returned with a cup made from a soft, plastic-like material. Patricia clutched it, trying to force herself to sip, but water had never tasted so good.

The silence in the cell seemed almost tangible and she swallowed hard. She didn't have much hope that pleading to the cold eyes staring at her could be successful, but she still tried her best, "Please don't rape me."

It was her biggest fear after being murdered, and she wasn't at all prepared for his response; he started laughing.

She had the impression he didn't laugh often, and it changed his entire appearance. The handsome side became boyish and even better looking, and the nightmarish part of his face somehow softened. "Rape you? Now why would I want to do that to a skinny little thing like you?"

The response made her feel both relieved and offended. Someone looking like he didn't even have a thought of having sex with her?

He surprised her again, by sitting down on the floor next to her, mercifully turning the ruined side of his face away. "I'm Travis 152 of the Alliance space control."

The phrase wasn't exactly "space control," but it was the closest thing her brain could interpret it to. And, "Travis?" What kind of name was that for someone like him?

"You're my prisoner, and this is a holding cell. You're charged for interacting with the rebel leader William Reynolds."

He paused, as if checking if his words made any sense to her. Patricia did understand, she understood just fine, and she burst out, "I am an American citizen. Whoever you are, you can't just take me like this."

He answered dryly, "Yes, actually, I can. I did. And it's not like your little planet, what did you call it, America, will be able to do anything about it. I can assure you everything will be much easier if you just cooperate and tell me what you know. Do you have a name?"

Patricia managed to sound cheekier than she felt when she replied, "I'm Patricia Risden. The name of the planet is Earth, America is a country. It's a democracy and we have a constitution, and people will come looking for me!"

He didn't smile, but he lifted an eyebrow, and removed a gadget from his belt. To Patricia, it looked a little like an iPod. It wasn't, of course, unless Apple had developed interstellar connections. "I'm sure they will, but look here."

She recognized the solar system, it was the only thing it could be, and on the little screen it looked like they were making good time on Pluto. Glancing over at him, she wondered if he was lying, but it didn't feel like it.

And now, let's welcome Maria to the blog!

Thank you for having me on the blog, I'm delighted to be here!

From time to time people ask what challenges me the most when it comes to writing. There are some evident answers, like time, inspiration, or creating characters. I have another one; I come from Sweden originally, a non English speaking country, and for me, it's language and cultural differences.

There is the obvious part with grammar and spelling, of course. I learned British English in school, and if I just type without thinking about it, the words come out like colour, labour, harbour, realise, and defence. I even got a refusal letter once, saying the story was good, but my constant misspellings of these words made it unappealing. I thought, "What? That's the way you spell harbour. How else would you spell harbour? Oooooh, harbor, that looks funky..." I've gotten used to writing realize with a z, but defense with an s still looks wrong.

Some words mean different things too. In my first draft of one of my books, I wrote that the heroine wore a jumper. On the other side of the pond, it's sort of a nice sweater. Now I know she's supposed to wear a blouse, a shirt, or a sweater, not a jumper… Words for food are difficult. A biscuit back home is something completely different than a biscuit in America. It's not too bad once you figure it out, but it took a while before I understood why people here found it peculiar to have biscuits, cheese, and grapes. Same thing with chips; in Sweden a chip is a potato chip, just like here, but in Britain, a chip is a French fry. Life is filled with little oopsies!

Another amusing problem surfaces when writing dialogue. I have a solid frame of reference to how Swedish couples talk to each other. When it comes to Americans, I've only been in one relationship; the one with my husband. He is filled with sweet words, making me feel beautiful and loved, and I tend to assume everyone talks like him.

I got an e-mail from my publisher the other day, saying the base premise of my new story is good, but I need to do something about the way the hero talks, because repeatedly calling the heroine "sweetums" is awkward. I started laughing. My husband asked, "What's so funny sweetums?" I said, "Your fault!" and it took a little while to explain. Well, if people don't say sweetums, it's time to start; it's a nice word!

The cultural differences are also tricky. On the surface, the countries seem pretty much alike, but the longer I'm here, the more I realize how big the differences really are. Sometimes, I write people's reactions in a way that seems perfectly natural to me, and readers here say, "That doesn't seem believable at all. Who would do that?" I used to think, "Well, I would, am I really that weird?" but now I know it's just a cultural thing. For Kidnapped, I've had wonderful editors who helped me straighten all these things out. I'm learning new things every day!

So yep, that's about it for today! Go here to check out the other tour stops! You'll find loads of awesome stuff on the other tour sites too! :D


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