A new book has been released in the Scifi genre. Birth of an Empire by Catrina Taylor was published this week and launches today. This book talks about the birth of a planet, and its alliances forged as the people strive to leave centuries of war. The characters weave a life webbed with passion, death, chaos and betrayal. Second chances open more doors than anyone in the book could expect, but you’ll have to read it to find out what I mean.

Below is a multi-site interview with the author, Catrina Taylor. She’s created a scavenger hunt and has promised the top 3 entrants free copies of this new release. 

Scavenger Hunt
Here’s how to play:
Read the questions and the samples then go to TheWritingNetwork.com  or Xarrok.com and answer the 5 questions OR the 2 bonus questions accurately and win a free copy of Xarrok’s first novel, Birth of an Empire part 1.  
At the end of the sample on each site will be a link to the next post and then to the home of the Scavenger Hunt.
What kind of research went into the universe, book, species etc?
 A lot. I read up on basic life requirements of certain animals, and the ecosystems around them. I researched some of the early weapons technology development, like Tesla’s original plan and how far it ended up, as well as some of the speculative potential. Watch the Dentonian weapons tech to see his influence. I also made sure I read up on warp theories. In the end, I ran with a technology that’s been used in other science fiction series, but it was the most sound and efficient warp theory for this use. 
Did you have any periods during the creation process you couldn’t go forward? If so, how did you push passed that? 
I had many of those. When the blocks came up, I either killed something or attacked someone. Somehow that seems to fix things. Book two isn’t working as well with me on that, but it will, in time. 
Coffee or Tea?
Coffee… always coffee. 
Chocolate or cheesecake? 
Can I have both? Chocolate cheesecake tastes great with coffee

Excerpt from Birth of an Empire Book 1
Several weeks later Yatrell sat in the weapons locker, cleaning the remainder of the weapons. The new assignment had him in there for hours after every battle now, and this day was no different.  He left his own for last. As he pulled the older style projectile weapon from his holster, Anara walked in with dinner. He looked up at her, “Hu… Thanks for the plate.”
Anara placed the plate next to where he was working, “You’re welcome. Even our faithful leader needs to eat.” She chuckled and picked at a piece of bread she brought back for herself. “Someone needs to make sure you’re ok.”
“Eh… I’m fine.” He pulled a piece of bread from the plate and dipped it in the gravy then took a bite. His face curled up when he did and he looked up at her, “Who pissed off cook today?”
Anara chuckled again, “I’m not the one who hears everything. You tell me.”
“Yea.” He took another bite then returned to his weapon. “Just because I can’t shut it out, doesn’t mean I can make sense of every voice in my head at the same time.” He took apart every section of the gun and began to clean it, grabbing part of the meal as he worked. Anara stood not far from him for several long moments in silence before he spoke up again, “You and I have been through that already. I’m not interested in anyone as a steady bed mate.” He looked up at her, “Especially when you have so many other active options at a given moment.”
Anara rolled her eyes, “I hate it when you do that. And you have needs that should be addressed too, Yatrell. You’re only Dentonian and a man.” She smirked, “And I know how to handle that, very well.”
He shook his head, mildly annoyed she considered approaching this again. After a moment he returned his focus to work and dinner, “I’ll see you back on quarters deck.” With that he firmly ignored her until she finally left.  Once she was gone he focused on the weapon and gradually realized the room felt very quiet. He sat up a bit and closed his eyes, focusing to hear the voice from a distance again. He found his concentration was tested by a minor alarm going off in the room. He stood and shut it down and then double checked the ship’s systems. Once he was satisfied that it was a passive alarm he returned to cleaning his weapon and putting it back together. He frowned when he heard her voice sound desperate. He projected to her, ~What’s wrong Kala?~
Kala stared at the men in the room, sensing discomfort and deceit she tried to speak up for herself but was muted by her master. When she heard Yatrell’s voice in her head she placed her hand on the bridge of her nose and spoke to her master, “Master, it appears the details do not require me. My head is aching. May I return to my room while you finish?” Her master agreed to allow it and she stood from her place and left the parlor. She walked to the back of the house and into her room before responding to Yatrell by projection. ~I’m being sold.~
He smirked and projected, ~Sold. Isn’t that what you wanted? Some young man to buy your freedom or ownership to his home and heart?~ Yatrell laughed to himself, and pulled another weapon from his personal armaments to clean.
~It’s not that kind of sale. They are presenting it as such, but that isn’t it.~ She projected to him as she began to pack a small bag of all her belongings.
~Oh? What makes you think it’s anything else?~ He looked over his knife and started to clean blood from the blade.
~A few days before they first approached my master someone, I’ve never heard before, projected to me. They knew I’d hear it and receive it. It made me instantly uncomfortable and I know one of the men downstairs is the one who did it. I don’t even know how they knew. I wasn’t… I mean I didn’t project or … anything to them or anyone else. I … was just …..~ She looked around the room, afraid of what was about to become of her. ~Yatrell, I don’t know what they are hiding. I… I… tried to read their minds.~ She cringed at the thought. ~Someone is preventing me from it. I don’t think they know I’m also empathic because I can still feel them clearly, or maybe they just can’t block that. Either way, they’re being deceitful. ~
~Whooaa… They know you’re a telepath? You’ve never told a person besides me that you are and they projected to you?~ He stopped what he was doing and frowned considering the possible implications. ~Can you trust your empathy?~
~Yes. Without question.~ She sat down on the bed and held her hands together, ~I just wish I knew what they really wanted with me.~
He thought about this for several moments before responding casually, ~I’m sure your master wouldn’t let you go to a bad situation. You speak well of her and your family. You’ll be fine. ~ He heard another alarm, this time one that indicated an incoming attack. ~Kala, I’ve to go. I’ll check in again soon. When I do you’ll tell me all about your new baby on the way, I’m sure.~ He cut connection and this time he threw up a block to prevent her from listening to the attack. 
She sat on the bed in her room on Xenonia with a sinking feeling. She knew nothing about this transaction felt right. Nothing about the timing felt legitimate. She wasn’t sure why they were deceiving her or her master but she knew these men were not being honest about their motives. She also knew they had master convinced and there was nothing she could do now. She was going to be sold; she just didn’t know what would happen when she was. 
After several hours her master’s eldest daughter was sent to collect her. “Kala, your new husband to be is awaiting you.” She smiled warmly at her.
Kala nodded, “Yes, Mysteria. I’m coming.” Kala stood and grabbed her bag and followed the girl from the room and out to the front hall, where the family said their good-byes and Kala followed her new owner from the home she was raised in.

You can find the book through major retailers including the ones listed below.

Amazon USA

Amazon UK

Barnes and Noble


Learn more about the universe around Xarrok at http://Xarrok.com (find the questions in the intelligence section) 

Your next stop for the scavenger hunt is right here:   http://learntolovemenovel.weebly.com/blog---dreams--disasters.html

If you’d like to contact Catrina directly, you can visit twitter and find her as @TheLadyWrites 

Happy Reading!

Sibel XX