Thanks for having both of Galan and I over to visit today. Now, I'll just go sit over there and drink my champagne while you chat with Galan, okay?
• I know your name is Galan, but do you have a nickname?
Not really. In Hesparia most people are busy from a young age, particularly as we are all working to achieve a common goal. Nicknames really aren't a part of our culture.
• Tell me about your friends and family? Who do you surround yourself with?
My father and I have a very close relationship. It's not just a... a ruler and his heir. I am the only child, my mother dying when I was young. I have cousins and uncles I am close to. But my father has been a huge influence.
Among my friends are those who serve on the Princess Gospah. And of course, since my time here, there is now Jessa, Seth and Danni.
• Where were you born?
I was born in the palace in the town of Griffen on Orsar, our main continent. It is also the home of our diplomatic and senatorial chambers. I also grew up there. It's not big, not like a lot of the palaces and houses of power here on Earth. It is well fortified though. *Galan laughs*
• In the past you have described Hesparia as agrarian and pacific, but as the heir of the ruling house, how does that affect you?
On Hesparia, we really don't consider ourselves to be any different from the rest of the populace. Along with everyone else, we harvest and plant, gather and store. We eat in the communal dining areas regularly as well.
• Galan, if you had to describe you biggest fear, what would it look like?
It would be hundreds and thousands of men, alone on a dying planet.
Galan looks away for a moment. When he turns back, his eyes shine with tears.
It's a sight I've seen before. The graves of the women as their DNA slowly degenerates and man after man watching his wife birth dead children. Desolation.
• Do you think you will ever find love again?
Ah... a gentleman never tells, but there is one woman...
• The Hesparian delegation is here to find woman, willing to relocate to Hesparia. Why? Make a case as to why the woman would wish to go there.
I can't offer a miracle. But I can offer a fresh start. An opportunity to make decisions about your future and to learn new skills. To be important to someone and hopefully to find the one person who will complete you.
You will have the freedom to live you life the way it is important to you. Free of religious persecution.
Our planet does not suffer from the levels of pollution Earth does, so health wise it's an added factor. Though we have fine healers and physicians.
And a chance to be one of the first humans to travel and settle on another planet.
• When you are home, what is the normal routine for a no-work day?
Most days require some kind of daily labour. Whether it's the feeding and tending of animals, or checking the fields. But on quiet days, we might visit the ocean, read or play and compose music.
There are many artisans on Hesparia and we are very proud of our musical traditions.
• What is one strong memory that has stuck with you since childhood?
I remember my grandmother. She was a strong woman and very artistic. She potted and wove up until her passing. I remember the last time I travelled with her to a funeral of a woman. The men wailing at the door. She put her hand in theirs, knew their names. Spoke to them like real people. Treated them with the ultimate respect before taking me within the house to help with the laying out of the body.
It was a powerful moment in my life, reminding me that above all, no matter who we are, we all live and are loved equally.
Thanks for having us Maggie. It's been both a pleasure and an honour to be here.
Don't forget to pop in and visit my latest party, the Not A Release Day Party on 9 September! Click HERE for the link
Imogene is the author of many books, including Hesparia's Tears, Tomorrow's Promise, A Sapphire for Karina and the Edible Delights Anthology Vol 2.
Wife, mother and nutty bookstore owner all describe Imogene Nix, but the real secret is Science Fiction, Paranormal Romance with a hefty dose of Romantic Suspense is what she adores.
She is dedicated to high quality romance, with a dollop of erotic interactions, and has dipped her toes into Science Fiction, Contemporary Romance and Paranormal Romance featuring feisty headstrong female leads and the odd Romantic Suspense.
She lives in Rural Queensland where she happily raises 2 daughters, lots of chickens a couple of cats and her super pup Teddy. When she isn’t writing or reading, she’s hanging out with her husband, acting like a techno-geek or cooking and making wine.
Links—where to find Imogene Nix:
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What will happen when the past catches up?
Galan is from Hesparia, where the females are dying out on his pacific agrarian planet.
Jessa has a past, one she hasn’t earned but cannot escape from.
What will happen when opportunity knocks?
Galan travels to earth, hoping to plead the case for Hesparia. He doesn’t expect Jessa or The Quickening.
Can he make the case for women to migrate to Hesparia and arrange a Diplomatic Alliance? Can they trust one another with their hearts. And can Jessa really escape her past?
The spaceship entered orbit and Jessa watched the tracking on the television. Since learning of the existence of extraterrestrials, it was about all she wanted to do. See where they were and where they planned to land.
The reporter came back on the screen. “We believe they will make their landing somewhere on the continent of Australia. There have been no further radio communications from the craft, however. So it is, at best, an educated guess right now.”
Jessa giggled at the sober face of the young, twenty-something reporter standing outside the Parkes Observatory and the inane follow up comment made by the thirtyish female news anchor.
“Jessa, it’s time for bed!” her mother yelled again.
She sighed dramatically. At twenty-four she was no longer a child, even though her parents seemed to struggle with that small fact.
Maybe it’s time to move out. As quickly as the thought had crossed her mind, she dismissed it. Leaving home meant more expense than she could possibly afford. The thing that really irked her was paying an outstanding legal bill for something she hadn’t even done. It was a refrain that had played through her mind over and over again since the event had taken place. It may have happened years ago, but she continued to pay for her youthful indiscretion. One she had long regretted.
Jessa stood, before heading down the old hallway to the bathroom. Living at home meant sharing a bathroom with her little brother, Ben. Of course, being a boy of sixteen, he was disgusting. There were used razor blades, splashes of water, foam from his recent shaving experience and hairs in the sink. Knowing it would make no difference complaining about it she carefully picked up the discarded detritus and placed it in the bin beside the vanity unit, wiped away the mess and began her own night-time ritual.
Emerging from the bathroom, she spied her mother, standing at the end of the hall in her fluffy blue dressing gown with matching slippers, and her blonde hair sitting high on her head in soft curlers. It was the same scene every night. “Night, Jessa.”
“Night, Mum.” What else was there to say? In a funk, Jessa entered her room, before closing the door then sat down on her single bed. She breathed deeply, letting the oxygen flow through her system, before slowly levering herself down across the mattress. Her blinds were open so she had an excellent view of the star-studded sky. It was a major positive to living on the edge of town, the absence of bright lights.
“Whoever you are, I certainly hope you’re friendly,” Jessa muttered, before closing her eyes, rolling onto her side and willing herself to sleep. For some reason, an excited thrill ran through her system.
Finally, visitors from the stars. No longer was it a figment of someone’s imagination or something from a science fiction novel. The time had come for them to have contact with another species. That was a sobering thought. The Prime Minister had sent a radio message to the ship. God, I hope the Prime Minister didn’t act like a pompous dick. Jessa snuggled down under the covers, waiting for the touch of sleep. Her mind wandered and she drowsed.
Her mobile, sitting on the bedside table buzzed and vibrated. Jessa muttered in the dark, groping for the device. She reached out and found the red leather covered item and dragged it to her ears.
“Jessa, it’s me. Seth. Can you come to the office at the telescope? I need you.” His voice was excited.
She squinted. “I was asleep, Seth. Besides which, I’m off duty until Saturday.” The room was gloomy and she screwed her face up into a scowl, knowing sleep would probably elude her now. “What could be so important that I need to come in right now?” Jessa pushed back the covers, swung her legs over the side then slipped her feet into her old grey slippers beside the bed.
“I can’t tell you over the phone.”
“What?” Something was happening. An agitated thrill filled her chest and for an instant her mind warred with the interest that spiked.
He didn’t need to plead. Jessa was already getting up to hunt out clothes. “Sure. Yeah, I’ll be there in a few minutes.”
“Thanks. You really won’t regret it.” The delight in his voice was contagious.
Jessa hurriedly tapped the end call button.
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