Featuring an interview with Nessa Claugh, author of Jewish scifi romance Meteors and Menorahs
‘Your dad invited your ex-boyfriend.’ Already committed to going home for Hanukkah, Leah panics at her mother’s text and invites her crush to come with her. The catch? They aren’t dating. The other catch? He isn’t Jewish. He isn’t even human.
Knar has been studying the physiology of humans for years in preparation to introduce Earth to the rest of the galaxy and present them as a species that can adapt to change well. Although he believes in his mission, he’s also had his eye on his coworker Leah, and her invitation to come home with her for the holidays is just the opportunity he’s been looking for.
Going home for Hanukkah is normally the least of Leah’s worries until her mom lets it slip that her dad invited her ex-boyfriend. Desperate to keep him at arm’s length, Leah invites her handsome coworker Kenneth Knar to be a buffer against her family. Having to pretend he’s her new boyfriend doesn’t hurt, and if it annoys her parents, all the better.
He just has to find some way to tell her that he’s more than just a gentile. He’s not even from this planet. And Leah hates liars.
The menorah isn’t the only thing getting hot this holiday season…
Excerpt from Meteors and Menorahs
Leah finally came into the kitchen. “You made him lunch? Mom! I was going to take him out to Bernie’s!”
“Bernie’s closed a while ago,” her mother said. “Besides, it looks like you feed him plenty at home.”
She poked my deltoid and Leah blushed. “It’s not like he’s hard to cook for,” she said defensively. “Really? Bernie’s closed?”
“Last year,” Deborah said. “If you’d come home more you could have eaten there more before they shut down.”
Leah’s shoulders tightened, and I was starting to see what she’d meant about needing a buffer between her and her family. I’d gotten what she’d promised and more. Time to go to work.
“We have plenty of good restaurants in Kansas,” I said, hoping it would be enough to change the subject. “No food like this, but I’m sure there is food we can get there that we can’t find here.”
“Nothing like Kansas barbecue,” Leah said.
Deborah’s lips thinned. “You aren’t eating pork.” It was a statement and she stared at
Leah as though begging her to argue.
“You know barbecue isn’t just pig, right Mom?” she asked.
Diversion time. I started listing off all the animals you could barbecue, and by the time I got to what I’d read about the invasive reptiles in Florida, both Leah and her mother were suitably horrified to the point where we were off the topic of Leah’s lack of visits and whether she’d eaten pork in Kansas or not.
An Interview with Nessa Claugh
-What inspired you to become a writer?
Being able to tell a story. I was a really shy kid, and finding this ability to tell stories that people actually wanted to hear was really encouraging when half the time I couldn’t get the courage to even open my mouth. Reading was a huge hobby of mine and once I started to figure out what really went into making a story shine, I was off.
-If you could visit your book’s world for a day, what one thing would you do?
Speak with Knar about some of that sweet, sweet alien technology that can hopefully fix all of my physical ailments. I’d also snag his little escape ship and see just how fast I could go in it.
-It’s two in the morning. What does your protagonist reveal in confidence? (Don’t worry, we won’t tell.)
That she’s scared and she needs therapy. Badly. While more people are going today than they ever have in the past, it can be really hard to get a loved one to go to therapy and fix relationship baggage that they have if they don’t think they need to go. Leah absolutely needs to, and it’s going to be a major bummer for everyone around her if she keeps avoiding it.
-Which of your characters would you go out for drinks with?
Cousin Rebecca. She seems like the most sane one of the bunch, but I’d also add in Deborah, Leah’s mom. She’s got some mad food skills I would want to try.
-You’re in a tavern, and a dwarf challenges you to a duel. What do you do?
Roll for charisma and hopefully end up in a room upstairs. Since I usually score a 1 on a good day, we’d probably get into a fight otherwise.
-Is there a genre you could never write? Which and why?
I hate to say never, but probably mystery. I’m really bad at coming up with them and I feel like I’d end up dropping too many hints for the reader and the characters. I read Dean Koontz on occasion, but his books are a mix of genres and most of the time I feel like the speculative elements are what really get me into it, not the mystery.
About Nessa Claugh
Nessa grew up thriving on trips to natural history museums and Jurassic Park. Once adulthood was upon her, it was only a matter of time before she discovered dominant aliens and shifter erotica. She enjoys titillating the Triassic and stargazing.
Nessa Claugh will be awarding a $25 Amazon or Barnes and Noble GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour.
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