We’re so pleased to have author Silvia Violet joining us today, on the tour for her latest novel, Meteor Strike, book two in the Astronomers series.
I had a lot of fun writing Meteor Strike and the first book in the Astronomers series, Astronomical. My husband is a physicist who got his PhD at LSU. Sadly, none of his professors wore kilts like my character Greg MacIntyre, but a lot of what goes into the astrophysicist characters in the books comes from my own observations of graduate students and professors in his department or things I heard from my husband.
While the main characters in Meteor Strike, Alan and Matt, are completely fictional (as is their meet up at a conference), the general tone of the conference Alan and Matt attend is based on what my husband shares with me when he’s at conferences with physicists and astronomers. As Matt says:
Most people envisioned a science conference as a bunch of geeks listening to long presentations about math and going back to their rooms at eight p.m. to make love to their laptops. In reality, evenings were spent drinking heavily and finding hookups among the array of graduate students, professors, and industry researchers. Old flames reunited. Graduate student fuck buddies got together for the first time since they’d moved on to postgraduate positions. Relationships were started, and more than a few were ended by cheating.
In other words, I’ve learned that physicists get just as wild when they’re out of town as members less geeky professions.
After GRL 2012 ended, Hank Edwards and I kept each other company at the airport while waiting on our flights to depart. My husband had just returned from a conference and I was sharing some of the gossip he’d told me with Hank who decided I really needed to send Greg and Blake from Astronomical to a conference. We talked through plot ideas and funny scenes we could imagine. Then I got the idea to focus not on Greg but on one of his postdoctoral researchers, because I really wanted this to be a story about the start of a relationship. By the time I boarded my plane, I knew that a book set at a physics conference needed to exist and kilts and drunken mistakes needed to be involved. Thus, Meteor Strike was born.
About Meteor Strike
Publisher: Silvia Violet Books
Series: Astronomers (Book Two)
Length: 107 Pages (Kindle)
Category: Contemporary Romance
Purchase Links: Amazon || ARe || Kobo
Blurb: Astro-physicist Matthew Dansk falls for one of his colleagues during a research trip, but Alan won’t tell anyone he’s gay and he never goes out with the same man twice. Matt is looking for a serious relationship and he doesn’t date men who are in the closet. When the two men part ways, Matt does his best to forget his feelings for Alan.
Months later, Alan winds up in the hotel room next to Matt’s at a conference, and both men realize the chemistry between them hasn’t diminished. As they spend time together, Matt sees a different side of Alan. When he realizes Alan’s feelings for him run deeper than he’d thought possible, he begins to hope that they can be together after all.
I wrestled with the key card, but I finally got the little light to turn green, and I entered the space I had to myself for the entire week. Every time I’d been to a conference since I started grad school, I’d had to share with other students. My advisor at Berkeley never had the funds to get us our own rooms, and I couldn’t afford to pay the extra myself. But now, as a postdoc living in a town with a much lower cost of living than Berkeley, I could afford some privacy.
It would be pure bliss. No colleagues coming in drunk and getting sick on my shoes. No walking in to find two of my roommates going at it like rabbits.
While I couldn’t control how loud the people in adjacent rooms would be, at least I’d have somewhere to hide if I got overwhelmed like I usually did in crowds. I set my luggage down and put my conference badge around my neck. Then I double-checked that I’d put my key card in my wallet and set out to find something to eat before my stomach started eating itself.
When I stepped into the hall, I froze. Alan, the postdoc from Arizona State, was standing in front of the room next door. He’d starred in my sexual fantasies for months. I’d wanted him so badly when I lived in Arizona that I would’ve made a deal with the devil to get him, except for one important detail—he was so deep in the closet he was on an expedition in Narnia. I’d dated a closeted man my first year at Berkeley. Despite the liberal climate, he couldn’t bring himself to “disappoint” his Catholic family. I’d put up with never going out anywhere close to the university and acting like I didn’t even know him when we were on campus, but when he’d told his sister I was no one important after confessing he loved me in bed the night before, I’d broken things off.
I understood why many gay men felt the need to hide, but my boyfriend’s denial of me had hurt more than I’d thought it could. I needed a partner who was willing to be seen with me somewhere other than the dark corner of a bar two towns away. That was one rule I wouldn’t budge on.
Now Alan was here, and seeing him brought all the feelings I’d had for him rushing back. I watched him, unmoving, hoping he wouldn’t notice me. But after he checked his door to make sure it was locked, he turned my way, and his eyes widened.
“Yeah.” I stood there, staring stupidly. If anything, Alan had gotten more gorgeous since I’d last seen him nearly a year ago.
“How have you been?” he asked.
“Um…” How had I been? Grumpy, overworked. Longing for someone like him, but not too much like him, just a man as gorgeous and charming who made my heart beat like I’d run a marathon but who knew what he wanted and went after it. “Good. I finished my degree in December, and I’m at LSU now. I’m a postdoc for Greg MacIntyre.”
“I’d heard. Congratulations. That was quite a sought-after spot.”
Heat filled my cheeks. I was proud of winning the position, but I wasn’t good at accepting praise. “I’m happy to be there.”
“You should be.”
“Are you still at Arizona?” I asked. I knew he was, but I needed an easy question.
“I am, but my postdoc ends in August, so I’m considering my options.”
I nodded, not at all sure what to say now. I knew there were plenty of socially useful questions you asked people when you hadn’t seen them in a while, things to keep the conversation going. But I couldn’t think of a single one.
“Have you had lunch yet?” Alan asked.
I shook my head. “No. I was headed downstairs to check out the restaurants.”
“Would you mind some company?”
How the fuck was I going to eat if he was with me? My stomach had been doing backflips since I’d seen him. “Of course not.”
“Great.” He laid a hand on my back and ushered me toward the elevators. It was a completely platonic gesture, one any straight friend might have made, but the heat of his skin burned like he was branding me. I was in so much trouble.
Alan wanted to try the Italian restaurant across the street from our hotel, and I had no reason to argue. The hostess seated us at a corner table. Even though the sun shone outside, the inside of the restaurant was dim. The table wore the quintessential red-checkered tablecloth, and a candle floated in a glass bowl in the center. The setting felt all too much like a date.
Alan grabbed the wine list as soon as the hostess set it down. He perused it while I watched the traffic whiz by outside and wondered how I was going to get through this lunch without embarrassing myself. I kept glancing at Alan. He’d let his hair grow longer since we’d parted ways, and the slightly shaggy, unkempt look was good for him. His cheeks were still plump and adorable. They gave him enough of a boyish look to soften the blow when he cut you down to size in his role as hard-assed king of the lab. And his lips. Full. Soft. I remembered how they felt against mine far too clearly.
Series: Astronomers (Book One)
Length: 100 Pages (Kindle)
Purchase Links: Amazon || ARe || Kobo
Blurb: When sexy, kilt-wearing astronomy professor Greg MacIntyre moves in next door, Blake Theriot knows he’s in trouble. Blake is a research librarian, and he likes things orderly and controlled, except in his secret fantasies where he craves a big, powerful man like Greg to shake things up.
Every time Blake tries to talk to his erudite neighbor, his brain shuts down and his vocabulary consists of one-word utterances. When a few shots of after-dinner whiskey loosen Blake’s inhibitions, the two men share a hot kiss and the promise of more. If Blake can let go enough to give Greg a real chance, his life might be forever changed.
About the Author
Silvia writes erotic romance in a variety of genres including contemporary, paranormal, and historical. She can often be found haunting coffee shops looking for the darkest, strongest cup of coffee she can find. Once equipped with the needed fuel, she can happily sit for hours pounding away at her laptop. Silvia typically leaves home disguised as a suburban stay-at-home-mom, and other coffee shop patrons tend to ask her hilarious questions like “Do you write children’s books?” She loves watching the looks on their faces when they learn what she’s actually up to. When not writing, Silvia enjoys baking sinful chocolate treats, exploring new styles of cooking, and reading children’s books to her wickedly smart offspring.