Guest Post & Giveaway: Naked by Alexandra Christian

Phoenix Rising Book 1
by Alexandra Christian
Genre: SciFi Romance


Librarian Phoebe Addison has lived her entire life within a seventy-five mile radius of her small Louisiana town, but when she receives a strange medallion from her adventurous, off-world sister, reality tilts toward the bizarre. Everything Phoe thought she knew is…well, wrong. Dead wrong. But bone-numbing fear has no place in this brave new world—nor by the side of the dangerous, exquisite man who saves her life.


Following the tragic slaughter of his family, operative Macijah “Cage” St. John understands evil in a way no man ever should. He traded happiness for a magnificent and terrible power, and fate isn’t done with him yet. He wasn’t looking for comfort. He didn’t need tenderness. But today he’ll play hero to a damsel in distress, and his quest will deliver him to the uncanny Martian colony of New London—and his heart to the demure Phoebe Addison. The bookish beauty’s hidden talents and deep abiding love just might save Cage from himself.

Phoenix Rising Book 2


Macijah "Cage" St. John' didn't want the spy life anymore. He would have been thrilled to spend every morning lying in the field behind Phoe's home in smalltown Louisiana watching the clouds roll by. But his Miss Addison wanted to spread her wings, literally. So Cage accepted a mission that teamed him up with his lady love. If only he had trusted her.


Everything about being a spy was a million times more exciting, and scarier, than the books she'd read in her former life as a librarian. When her first mission with Cage turned into a colossal clusterf*ck because he withheld information and kept secrets, Phoebe's world narrowed into a long tunnel of betrayal. Captured by space pirates and delivered to a horrible fate, she wished the last words between them had been of love, because she was certain she would never see Cage St. John again.

In NeoGeisha, Alexandra Christian returns to the intriguing, post-apocalyptic world she created in Naked. Cage and Phoe continue to build their relationship, but not without complications. Romantic conflict and fast-paced action keep the pages turning, right down to the satisfying ending. ~ Nancy Northcott, Author of the Light Mage Wars series

NeoGeisha hit all my personal high points: wild adventure, sheet-scorching sex, killer machines, thousands-to-two odds and a vampire shape-shitfting James Bond in space. ~Vivien Jackson, Author of Wanted and Wired series

In Absinthia
Phoenix Rising Book 3


Interplanetary master spies, Macijah "Cage" St. John and Phoebe Addison are forced to take vacation time, and she wants to go to Absinthia, an off-world all inclusive interactive vacay planet set up as Victorian London, but with all the future comforts. Cage doesn't do down time, but their boss has other ideas, so begrudgingly, Cage agrees to go to Absinthia. Within a day of their arrival, they get embroiled in a Ripper copy cat series of murders complete with séances, "altered" humans, kidnapping, and affairs of the heart - their hearts, which will always belong to each other.

Out of Ashes
Phoenix Rising Book 4


Phoebe Addison and Macijah "Cage" St. John have so much going on they can barely take a breath. Interplanetary master spies who generally drive their boss crazy, they are now trying to track down the person - is a skin walker a person? - who tried to kill him at their engagement party. Yeah, they were talked into returning to Louisiana so the whole town could show up and gawk at Cage. But they have bigger problems than usual when tracking an assassin. Secrets that have been buried for too many years are about to be uncovered if Cage and Phoe can survive the people, vampires and "things" that are trying to kill them. And to top if off, Phoe has a secret she's sure will send Cage into a tailspin. But, as with everything they have lived through to be together, their love is the constant that is its own reward.

Guest Post:
To Trope, or Not to Trope
By Alexandra Christian
You can’t talk about the romance genre without talking about tropes. Tropes are certain conventions that appear in literature. Those comfortable little plot points that we can nestle down in and escape. Some people are of the opinion that tropes are bad. That our jobs as writers are to break new ground and blow those tired old tropes out of the water. And I can definitely understand that point of view. I like to read different stories that aren’t like every story I’ve read before. But I can also appreciate the familiarity of a tried and true trope that makes the story an escape.
We all love things we can predict sometimes. Take the success of Midsomer Murders. It’s a British detective series that’s been running for a thousand years. If you watch it on a regular basis, you start to notice a formula: a body is found, Inspector Barnaby is called away from some quirky family business to investigate, they talk to everyone in the village that has reason to want the person dead, you think you know who the murderer is until that person gets murdered before the commercial break, the killer ends up being the person you least expected, and we all live happily ever after. People tune in for it week after week because the comfort of that formula is there.
Tropes do this for romantic stories in a very effective way. We want there to be twists and turns, but we have basic elements that we look for when we start searching for a new favorite read. Here are some of my favorites:
1. MC in peril: Phoe Addison, the heroine of Naked, fits in easily with this trope. She is a woman that is in danger from outside forces and needs Cage’s help. I love these stories because the lovers are thrown together in difficult circumstances. They grow to rely on one another and their relationship grows through their teamwork at solving the larger problem.
2. Fairytales: As a child, fairytales were my favorite kind of story. Incidentally, fairytales are often romances at their core (Cinderella, Sleeping Beauty, Beauty and the Beast… need I go on?). As a romance genre trope, the fairytale stories are often updated to present day, or transported to different settings or times in history. I love writing fairytales, as is evident in my books Beast of Burden and Huntress. In Beast, it’s an erotic retelling of “Beauty and the Beast” where the hero, Marek, is a werewolf. For Huntress, I found a very old Scandinavian dragon story for the basis of hero Malik’s redemption.
3. Performers: Stories where one of the protagonists is a performer of some sort (actor, musician, etc.). Sometimes they’re called celebrity romances. I think we can all identify with those. I know that I’ve been mentally dating Benedict Cumberbatch for years now. I wrote a short, summery piece called Mr. Hollywood (which you can get for FREE on my website) about a romance novelist in Bora Bora who meets her celebrity crush and has a little rendezvous. Gee… I wonder where I got the idea for that?
4. Virgin: This trope can be controversial if the author doesn’t get the ages right. For me, the key to these kinds of stories is the slow-burning romance between the two main characters. Showcasing the alpha hero’s tenderness with an unsure lover can always bake my muffins. I tried to incorporate this trope a little in Naked with Phoe and Cage’s first love scene. Phoe is not very experienced and has been sheltered most of her life. She doesn’t come right out and say that she’s a virgin, but the concept is there. More obvious is in the first installment of a short story series from several years ago, The Virgin Queen. It’s a medieval romance where the
heroine Joanna is married off to the king, who she assumes is a cold, disfigured brute. He turns out to be quite the opposite and their story is probably one of my more luscious stories.
5. Protector: I know, you’re going to take away my feminist card, but I love this trope. A story where the hero has to protect the heroine in some way-- those make me melt. Now, that’s not to say that in the same story, the heroine can’t turn around and rescue him right back. In Naked, Phoe is very timid at the beginning and Cage steps up and protects her from the men chasing her and from the terrible creatures that try to kill them. She’s terrified at the prospect of leaving her home and is paying this “big strong man” to help her through it. Of course, by the end, Phoe becomes a badass in her own right and has to help Cage out of some sticky situations. As the series progresses, Cage and Phoe take turns protecting one another and this is part of what fuels the heat between them.

So tropes can be useful tools in choosing stories as well as writing them. They can also be traps, so choose wisely. The trick is to take those comfortable tropes and give them a twist that will make them stand out from the rest.

Alexandra Christian is an author of mostly romance with a speculative slant. Her love of Stephen King and sweet tea has flavored her fiction with a Southern Gothic sensibility that reeks of Spanish moss and deep fried eccentricity. As one-half of the writing team at Little Red Hen Romance, she’s committed to bringing exciting stories and sapiosexual love monkeys to intelligent readers everywhere. Lexx also likes to keep her fingers in lots of different pies having written everything from sci-fi and horror to Sherlock Holmes adventures. Her alter-ego, A.C. Thompson, is also the editor of the highly successful Improbable Adventures of Sherlock Holmes series of anthologies from Mocha Memoirs Press. A.C. will also pen several Shadow Council Archives novellas starring everyone’s favorite sidekick, Dr. John Watson, coming soon from Falstaff Books.

A self-proclaimed “Southern Belle from Hell,” Lexx is a native South Carolinian who lives with an epileptic wiener dog and her husband, author Tally Johnson. Her long-term aspirations are to one day be a best-selling authoress and part-time pinup girl. She’s a member of Romance Writers of America and Broad Universe—an organization that supports female authors of speculative fiction. 

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  1. Thanks so much for letting me crash the blog today. I hope my post was helpful for your readers! :)


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