Sunday, November 18, 2007

FORCED MATE --what's the book about

A reader on the Amazon Romance discussion thread (about what Readers wish Authors would put on their websites... good thread!), asked me why there is no unbiased information about what FORCED MATE is about.

In a small, but not unbiased, way, I'd like to rectify the omission.

FORCED MATE is a chess term (all my titles are chess terms). Basically, the Black King and the White King race to make a pawn their Queen. It seemed a great metaphor for a romance where two powerful world leaders want the same girl.

Persephone is abducted (from Earth) by Hades (dark god of the Underworld) ... and kicks his butt.

My heroine, Djinni-vera (Jinny) Persephone, is psychic and a mind reader, and an intergalactic warrior in training who is being kept hidden on Earth until the time is right for her to marry her betrothed, the White "King".

The "Black" King (I am using my inverted commas deliberately) sees a picture of the heroine, and decides --much as Hades did-- that he has to have her. He also wants to make her happy --in some versions of the myth, Hades also was willing to go to great lengths to please Persephone and he turned his underworld into a dark version of Earth for her, but with a double bed.

Since the "Black" King has never had to woo a woman to get her into his bed before, he's a bit out of his depth. He consults unreliable sources, such as old, pirated James Bond movies, and Romance novels, and an embittered English mercenary, and tries almost every stock "Romance" situation, and is astonished and baffled --and annoyed-- when his romance is not an instant, outrageous success.

Of course, the White "King" does not take the abduction of the perfect pawn Princess like a gentleman and a sportsman. He objects. He wants her back. He does not give up gracefully.

This is a complex romance with many levels and layers. It's full of puns, miniature spoofs, good jokes (and bad jokes!), bathroom humour (I-tell-your-alcohol level toilets), political intrigue, one explicit consensual sex (think of England) scene, and a whole starshipload of interesting characters with their own ideas of what is really important and whose side they are on.

Some commentators have said this book is about the ultimate hunk.
Others have said it is about the heroine and her relationships with other females. Others have said it is about the humor.

For me, it was the book of my heart.

1. (paperback, also e-book)
2. MATING NET (prequel, short story, e-book only)
3. (paperback, sequel/spin off... story of Djetth (Jeff) and Martia-Djulia (Marsh)

Coming in 2008: KNIGHT'S FORK

I beg pardon for the self-serving post. Today, I mean to finish KF (before it is 3 months late)


  1. Anonymous11:53 AM EST

    I really like this explanation, Rowena. Wish it had been around a couple of years ago; I'm sure you'd have lots more readers!!!

    who read FORCED MATE at the recommendation of a friend but really enjoyed the sequel INSUFFICIENT MATING MATERIAL even more

    PS maybe you can post your explanation to the usual suspects (e.g. etc.) to attract a wider audience?

  2. Thank you so much, Lynne W.

    I do appreciate your comment, and I took your advice and posted on Amazon as well.

    I genuinely believe that a great deal of marketing wisdom and editorial experience went into the "official" synopsis.

    I'd be worried about how it might look if I were to put up a competing version!

  3. I meant to add a caveat.

    I put up an explanation because the official one vanished.