by Tessa McFionn
Published by Fiery Seas Publishing on March 20, 2018
Genres: Sci-Fi Romance
Buy on Amazon//Barnes & Noble
When Kahlym cal Jhuen, freedom-fighting leader of the Chandar Stria, breaks into a prison ship controlled by the Rimmarian Thrall, he only expected to rescue two of his crew. But when he discovers a terrified female during his escape, he is immediately captivated by her unique beauty and makes a snap decision to take her with him. However, his good deed backfires when he learns he has stolen the Thrall Emperor’s prize.
Down to her last dollar, Evainne Wagner expected nothing out of the ordinary when she stepped out of her Boston apartment. Instead, she found herself in the middle of an intergalactic firefight, complete with strange soldiers with deadly weapons pointed directly at her. Salvation arrives in the nick of time in the form of a mysterious leather-clad warrior, skidding in and whisking her away. Trusting her heart, she follows, hoping to find answers as well as a way home.
Safely on board his ship, he learns more about her and her rare skills, triggering the memory of a half-forgotten prophecy spoken at the time of his cursed birth. Outcast because of a cruel twist of fate, he finds unexpected acceptance, even affection, from his new passenger.
Could she be the one who holds the future of his people, as well as his own heart, in her tender hands?
Excerpt from CHAPTER FIVE
The heart beneath her ear beat with a strong and even tattoo. She couldn’t remember the last time anyone held her like this and she wanted the moment to last just a little longer. A couple stuttered breaths later, and she was as ready as she was going to be, given the circumstances.
“Sorry about that,” she muttered. She attempted another deep inhale, cringing at the stinging pain and silently berating her lame words. Not that it makes any difference. He can’t understand you anyway.
“Why should you need to apologize?” The melodic and heavily accented voice that poured over her skin took her by complete surprise. Her eyes flew open, and she tightened her grip on his warm arms, relying on his sheer physicality to anchor her into reality. “You have done nothing wrong. Except perhaps not letting me know the extent of your injuries sooner. Are you all right?”
Swallowing hard, she gave a slow nod as her brain fired on more than two cylinders. Was he speaking English now? Her brow furrowed as she kickstarted her tongue, giving voice to her foremost thought. “Why can I understand you now?”
“It was only a matter of adjusting the universal communication unit to include the speech patterns of your world. As long as you remain on board, you will be able to speak with anyone on my crew.”
She sniffled, hoping her voice didn’t sound as breathy and weak to him, her mind struggling over his overly wordy explanation. “Oh-kay.”
“It appears I have taken you by—”
Out of the corner of her eye, she spied cautious movement, leaning away as she reached out to capture his approaching hand. She swallowed back the last of her tears as she carefully studied the anatomy of an alien.
She repeated the word over and over to herself as she touched his brushed-copper skin. His five fingers were longer than hers, the nails a Goth’s delight: black and slightly curled into points. She didn’t want to think about claws, but her body didn’t mind thinking about how those tips might tease when dragged lightly across her back. She explored the back of his hand, tracing the length of his fingers and following the lines of his buried bony skeletal frame before she turned it over. His palm was smooth, not etched with furrows and valleys as hers. She laid her open hand against his, her pale skin appearing almost translucent and nearly childlike as it rested atop his mammoth metallic palm.
His size, the sheer physical presence of him, centered her somehow, opening her mind to accept the reality of her current trip down the rabbit hole.
“This is real, isn’t it?”
Review Of To Discover A Divine
To Discover a Divine is the first novel in the Rise of the Stria series by author Tessa McFionn. The story follows Evainne Wagner- a young woman barely getting by in Boston with her pet goldfish, and Kahlym cal Jhuen- a freedom fighting extraterrestrial in a galaxy far from our own. Evainne literally steps into another galaxy one day while leaving her apartment and ends up smack dab in the middle of a prison ship. Naturally, this doesn’t turn out to well for her. Believing she is in a dream, Evainne rationalizes the action going on around her and ends up saving the life of a mysterious man who, in turn, helps her escape the ship.
It is during this escape that Evainne suffers a near-fatal injury that leaves her helpless and relying on the good intentions of captain Kahylym (her savior) and his equally intriguing and magnanimous crew. However, when she shockingly heals herself with a mental technique she learned during her tumultuous childhood, Kahlym and the others realize she is far more than merely human- and her presence on the prison ship was no coincidence. As Evainne comes to grips with her newfound and exacerbated talent, she also struggles with her burgeoning attraction and feelings toward the enigmatic captain. Kahlym also finds himself ambivalent when confronted with his own feelings toward Evainne and how he wishes to proceed with this knowledge. Unfortunately, a betrayal sends Evainne and Kahlym on a harrowing adventure in the galaxy as they try to keep Evainne and her newly discovered talents out of the hands of their enemy- the Thrall emperor.
The characters in To Discover a Divine were fascinating to me. Evainne’s childhood was far from happy- though this gave her an opportunity to make connections that will later serve to assist her in her travels beyond this galaxy. I imagine it takes a lot of mental and emotional fortitude to suddenly find yourself thrust from one galaxy to another and then have to find a way to keep yourself from being the pawn of a political game. In addition to this, she was able to handle her feelings and attraction towards Kahlym surprisingly well. She didn’t dwell too long on the fact that Kahlym looks differently than normal human men and that he holds a high position on an alien planet. Kalym cal Jhuen was also delightfully layered. His childhood was also devoid of love and joy (except for those precious moments provided by his two older brothers). This lack of affection and the cold machinations of his parents eventually forced Kahlym to leave and join a band of freedom fighters of the Stria who operate outside the control of the Thrall. Kahlym’s instant attraction to Evainne and his constant struggle to control his more passionate advances were charming.
And the chemistry between Evainne and Kahlym? Well…it was sizzling hot! I was shipping their relationship so hard! They were basically the epitome of the perfect couple (minus the whole growing up in different galaxies and being slightly different species part) with their ability to think creatively, fight flawlessly, and protect others they care about. To Discover a Divine was a fast-paced, passionate, sizzling, and thrilling adventure that made me want to climb inside it and be a part of it all! And I’m not going to lie…Kahlym makes me want to find a tall, golden extraterrestrial man for myself! *sigh*
One last thing: I do wish to learn the fate of Evainne’s goldfish at some point. Since she was snatched from Earth, who is going to discover her absence and take care of the fish? I guess it doesn’t mean much in the grand scheme of things- it was just something I was wondering about.
Happy Reading! And FIVE stars for To Discover a Divine!
About the Author:
Tessa McFionn is a very native Californian and has called Southern California home for most of her life, growing up in San Diego and attending college in Northern California and Orange County, only to return to San Diego to work as a teacher. Insatiably curious and imaginative, she loves to learn and discover, making her wicked knowledge of trivial facts an unwelcomed guest at many Trivial Pursuit boards.
When not writing, she can be found at the movies or at Disneyland with her husband, as well as family, friends or anyone who wants to play at the Happiest Place on Earth. She also finds her artistic soul fed through her passions for theatre, dance and music.
A proud parent of far too many high school seniors and two still living house plants, she also enjoys hockey, reading and playing Words With Friends to keep her vocabulary sharp. She is currently the treasurer of the San Diego chapter of Romance Writers of America and loves spending time working with such amazingly intelligent and creative writers.