You have to scroll past the models first. Go ahead. You can do it.
CATO begins with a phone conversation between two women. One has called into an abuse hotline just to have someone to talk to about her current boyfriend and her build up to leaving him. Her discussion of wanting to find someone that truly loves her triggers the monitoring equipment set up by the Insedi to find potential mates. Cato becomes intrigued with her voice and decides he has to find out who she is despite not having any clue as to her name or where she lives.
Ok. Now I need to know... who are the "Insedi"?
The half energy/half human Insedi race’s genesis is explained in Drusus’s story, but for those of you who aren’t aware, around 300 B.C. a Roman Emperor and his wife stumbled upon the vortex that connects Earth to the alien world. The “mist-like”pure energy form of the alien, known as the Nubis, was intrigued by the physical structure of the humans and mimicked their essence. Basically, they merged with it. The remaining energy forms traveled to Earth and “went forth and multiplied” then returned to their alien world. In fact, the Latin term for “merge” is Insedi.
Please tell readers what the book is about:
Cato was seen in the previous two books, so there is an assumption that the reader will know that he’s the Insedi computer genius that monitors the airwaves for potential mates for his brethren. In the process of this, he hears a mesmerizing feminine voice call into an abuse hotline and becomes immediately intrigued. The problem is that he knows the phone booth location, but can’t seem to be there when she randomly calls in. The more he learns of her life, the more he wants to know her. One night she gets attacked at the booth and it starts the ball rolling on Cato’s drive to protect her and to exact revenge on the person he thinks did it. He wasn’t expecting to fall head over heels in love or deal with the many surprises that are revealed throughout the rest of the book. A new character is introduced in Book 3 and you’ll see previous characters interacting throughout.
What was your inspiration for the Fueled by Lust series?
I actually dreamed of these guys. I saw them forming from mist and knew then that I had to do a science fiction piece. They were just too yummy to be from earth. From there, it was the over 600 romance books I read before I ever decided to write about my guys. I purposefully spent two years researching what has been ‘done to death’ so I wouldn’t repeat it. I found that I especially liked to know what happens to characters after I put a book down, so that definitely made me want to do a series on them.
Please describe the setting in FUELED BY LUST: CATO?
This book splits its time between Austin Texas, the home base of Cato and the other characters, and their home world of Insedivertus. The opening scene is in the Seekers Dating Agency where Cato’s bank of otherworldly computers reside. You’ll get to see a nice action piece inside the Heat Seeker Male Revue nightclub where the clientele’s lust fuels the Insedi’s depleting energy core.
Your covers are super sexy. Can you tell readers about the design process and how you found your cover models?
For anyone that has read one of the Fueled By Lust books, they know that these unbelievably sexy aliens play the role of male strippers or escorts in order to be around sensual desire while they try to locate a potential mate. Who better to put on the cover than an actual male entertainer?
I send out cover calls via social media to different male revue sites and ask for someone interested in partnering with me on the cover. I stress the word ‘partner’. They have to be just as excited for being a part of the process as I am. I promote them and they promote me. You wouldn’t believe how sweet these guys are. They provide the photo and I’ll have whatever touches I need done. I never have their bodies airbrushed. What you see is what you get. They’re real ladies! I do add in the mating necklace or mist when warranted.
If you want to meet Severus in the flesh, go to Florida and check out Rock Hard Revue and find Cisco Perez. David Greenhouse is the owner of Rock Hard Revue and was the photographer for the cover. You’ll find Cato in Ohio. Devon Sutton from The IronMen of Cleveland Male Revue brought him to life. Candace Heaverlo did the photography and the mist was done by Erica Johnson. I enjoyed working with each of them and very pleased with the outcome.
What type of reader will enjoy Fueled by Lust series?
Just because I’ve got aliens as the heroes doesn’t mean that the readers should all be science fiction fanatics. These stories take place a majority of the time on earth and the guys go through the same things that any other man would go through. They just happen to be able to reform into pure energy when needed, rely on their mating necklace to let them know if the woman has potential to be their perfect mate, and visit their home world by traveling through a planetary vortex.
I would also think that it would be sought after by readers that like to know what happens to the characters they’ve met in previous books as secondary characters get their chance at love. This world continues to grow along with the characters so it’s going to have something for everyone. Each hero has a different proclivity. Some are dominant like Drusus, others like to move a little on the kinky side, some prefer males, and I even have those that don’t mind getting tied up by their heroine. Each hero has his own distinct personality. I always hated reading a series and the heroes were cookie cutter versions from book to book.
I also believe that readers with a voyeuristic tendency will like my tales. You’ll feel like you’re sitting in the corner of the bedroom and will want to take thorough notes.
I caution the readers. If you’re looking for porn and smut, this is not the place to find it. My characters have fantastic, scorching sex scenes and I don’t hold anything back, but there is love filling their hearts while it’s occurring. Just what every person in the world should want.
Who are your favorite authors?
J.R. Ward was a big influencer. It was the camaraderie amongst her group of vampires that did it for me. My books have nothing to do with vampires and the heroes are not as torn up and broken as Ward’s characters (which she does very well), but you will pull out a tissue now and then with some of the things they’ve had to deal with.
I also like Laurell K. Hamilton just because she’s a feisty woman and the Anita Blake and Merry Gentry books are just awesome.
Share a bit about CATO with us, and what makes him "hero" material:
Because of the role he plays for the Insedi, Cato was one of the first to start using slang language and contractions properly. My poor aliens come to earth speaking proper English, have no clue how to use an ATM machine, and eventually have to learn to blend in. He helps them do that. Cato is so cool! He has tattoos, a line of stud earrings, rides a Harley, and doesn’t want to wear anything but his trusted blue jeans, heavy metal T-shirts, and biker boots. Did I mention he has blue tipped hair? Despite his intimidating size and looks, he is full of “goo” as Cassie claims in Book 2. He’s very tender hearted and when he loves, he goes all out. He wants babies, lots of babies.
Tell us what makes LUNA the "leading lady" in FUELED BY LUST: CATO:
Luna Jasper. What can I say? That poor thing. She is really a very strong woman, but when she suffers one family member death after another, she ended up in a relationship that is totally not right for her and she’s trapped. When she finally snaps out of her rote existence of a life, boy does she do it with a splash. She just wants to be happy and not struggle through life anymore.I was so happy when Cato found her. They bring out the best in each other.
What challenge, if any, did you face turning your story into science fiction?
The biggest challenge was making sure that I explained the connection between Insedivertus and Earth. They don’t come to Earth by way of spaceships. There is a vortex connecting our planets. It was sort of weird how I stumbled on that association. I was trying to figure out how they spoke Latin and ended up with bodies shaped just like Earth men. When you read Book 1, which introduces the Insedivertus race, you’ll be surprised at the link to Marfa Texas and the last Etruscan Roman Emperor. I just didn’t make up the royal name of Tarquinius, the man actually existed.
Why erotic sci-fi romance?
I dreamed of these guys. They were forming out of pure mist and it triggered Drusus’s story. It worked out for me in the long run because the science fiction genre can open up so much more for storylines, drama, and intrigue. I know that when I read some good ones, I loved that I could just sit down, step out of my box of preconceived ideas, and just let myself walk through a strange world without thinking too hard. If I want to analyze everything to death as to realism, then I’ll grab a book on how to fix my kitchen sink.
What else are you working on?
Since I work full time, my writing is squeezed into breaks, lunch, after work, and weekends so I barely have time to keep the FBL series going much less start on other stories. You’ll see much more of the series before I’ll switch up to a new line of books. I just finished Book 4 which is Emperor Lucien Tarquinius’s story. I had a reader mention on a review of Book 1 that they were looking forward to hearing his story. Well, they’re getting their wish. I like hearing back from the readers on whose story might be the next one to reveal.
What local community or charitable organizations, or writers groups do you belong too?
I wished I had time to belong to a community organization. I do donate money to charitable organizations, so that kind of helps alleviate my guilt factor. I belong to the Romance Writers Association.
Have you won any Honors, Citations or Prizes?
All three books have been on the Siren-Bookstrand Top 30 bestseller list. Bookstrand is a retail site for multiple e-read publishers. I just broke my top level of number 7 when CATO hit number 5 in the Male/Female Category. That got a good squeal out of me. Both DRUSUS and SEVERUS landed in the Top Twenty Hottest Bestseller List in Science Fiction on Amazon.
SEVERUS was rated “Best Book” by Long and Short Reviews which was like winning an Oscar for Best Picture in my mind. SEVERUS also won the April “BOOK OF THE MONTH’ honor from LASR. The readers determine which book sounds like the best one to read based off the review. I was extremely excited by that win. Love it when readers are engaged!
I’ve entered DRUSUS in the Passionate Ink’s 9th Annual Passionate Plume Contest under the Science Fiction/SciFi/Fantasy category. I won’t know if I’ve won anything until the RWA conference in San Antonio July 23-26, 2014. So wish me luck!
Tell us anything about you as a working writer that you think might be interesting or unusual:
I’m a former Marine. People always ask me why I say “former’ instead of “ex”. If there is anything you learn from this interview, let it be that you never call an honorably discharged Marine an “ex”. We’re highly trained. Keep that in mind. No, seriously. “Ex” is for the ones that get kicked out. For the rest of us? Once a Marine, always a Marine. I think I get a lot of my heroes’ facial expressions and tone from some of the wonderful Marines I’ve met over the years.
I also ride my own Harley and I absolutely love to shoot pool. One day, I need to just get away from my desk (writing and work), let the series take a few days break and just get on my Harley and head out for a good run. Maybe I’ll come up with some new stories to share.
Thank you for taking the time to answer our questions, Celeste! I can't wait to introduce readers to your series.
About Celeste Prater:
I was born and raised in a small town between Dallas/Fort Worth and Austin. Wanting to see more than my small Texas town, I joined the Marines, which satisfied my craving to see more of the U.S. and drive to see if I could be one of the few and the proud.
A firm believer in educating the mind, I have achieved several advanced degrees, the latest being a Masters of Science.
My true love is writing erotic romance, especially about alien hunks that know how to treat their females.
Drusus, Severus, Cato, Lucien, Petrus, Maxim, Caelius, and many more have swirled in my dreams until I had to bring them to life and allow them to find love within the pages of the FUELED BY LUST book series.
Connect with Celeste at:
Website | Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads | YouTube | Tumblr | Instagram
While monitoring the airwaves for potential mates for the earthbound Insedi, Cato Telarius becomes mesmerized with a sensual, feminine voice captured during a pay phone conversation with a hotline operator. Cato’s obsession with finding the woman attached to the voice leads him to a discovery that will shock the Insedivertus race and a love that will test the boundaries of his sanity.
Luna Jasper has been working hard to get out of an unfulfilling relationship, and just as she sees freedom within reach, one small mistake spirals her into a fight for her life, a huge push into the arms of a man she never believed could exist, and a surrealistic encounter with an alien world beyond her wildest imagination.
Available at BookStrand
Thrown together by the mating of Drusus and Avelina, Severus Faal and Cassie Wells find themselves drawn into a world of corporate espionage when Cassie catches a co-worker planting monitoring devices at her law office. Cassie’s drive to uncover the reason for the infiltration immediately engages Severus’s protective instincts to keep her safe. As they work together to solve this mystery, they begin a journey of self-discovery that raises old ghosts and salts unhealed wounds.
Since Severus refuses to wear his mating necklace, as is the custom of the Insedi male, he relies on instinct and readily dismisses signs that Cassie has triggered his mating cycle. While Cassie has a fearless outer shell, her core is full of shadows and indecision. A troubled childhood stagnates her ability to open her heart and experience a love that could span a millennium.
Available at BookStrand | Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Kobo
Drawn to Texas by a vortex link between Insedivertus and a plethora of potential mates, Prince Drusus Tarquinius focuses on ensuring the survival of his alien race. Avelina Roth is simply out on the town trying to forget her love troubles when their accidental meeting draws them both into a dangerous liaison that brings a hated enemy back into Drusus’s life and shatters Avelina’s belief that we are alone in this universe.
How does troubled in love Avelina Roth deal with the overwhelming Drusus Tarquinius, a force not of this Earth, when he engages her in his mating cycle the moment they meet? Will Drusus overlook the past and move forward with the final mating? Will Avelina survive to know the full depth of his love when the planetary war that pushed the aliens to seek mates knocks firmly on her door?
Available at BookStrand | Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Kobo