When Jenn and I sat down to write the CHAOS STATION series, we knew we wanted to tell a love story. But we also wanted to tell the story of a possible future, one where humanity has explored beyond our solar system, colonized planets and has met the neighbors. We didn’t imagine the neighbors would always be friendly.
We have four types of aliens in the series. Three are introduced in the first book, Chaos Station, and we have another waiting in the wings. Chaos Station opens shortly after the end of an eight year war with the alien stin. The stin are fierce warriors. They thrive on conflict. Basically, they’re giant, humanoid cockroaches with green, segmented torsos, claws, and a belligerent attitude. As if that’s not scary enough, we added metaphysical abilities. Zoning and phase shifting are two active states that allow the stin to move incredibly fast, and through obstacles. We also created the ritual whereby adult stin initiate their young warriors. For more on that, you’ll need to read Chaos Station. 😉
The peace between the stin and humanity was brokered by the Guardians. The Guardians are the peacekeepers of the galaxy and they get a capital G because no one really knows who or what they are. No one has ever seen them. They communicate via synthesized voices and never leave their vessels. For all we know, they might be bodiless, or some sort of AI. What we do know is that they created the system of gates that allow access to Tau Centauri, otherwise known as The Hub, and that while they’ll intervene in a conflict that threatens the viability of a species, they value free will above all else.
In the second book in the series, Lonely Shore, we visit the ashushk homeworld, a planet with a long, unpronounceable name that had us giggling through several drafts until we decided to simply refer to it in human terms: Ashushk Prime.
The ashushk are humanity’s allies. They look like little green men—only blue and genderless. The ashushk are scientists and expert navigators. Their curiosity conquered the puzzle of faster than light travel and their ships are capable of traversing what we call jump space, which is… well, it’s a fold between normal space that allows our crew to jump from one end of the galaxy to the other in a matter of days rather than millennia. The Chaos is fortunate to have an ashushk star drive and an ashushk pilot—Qekelough (pronounced kek-eh-low)—to make sure they don’t try to fold their way through a sun, or a black hole, or something.
Qek is a joy to write. What makes her so entertaining is how she relates to the otherwise human crew of the Chaos, and this is the really fun part about writing aliens. You need to make them different, but they also need to be relatable. Qek chose a female pronoun because she liked the idea of being female. Because ashushk don’t usually get to choose, this is an important facet of her personality.
Lonely Shore releases today! To celebrate, we’re giving away a copy of the first book in the series, Chaos Station. All you have to do to enter is leave a comment below answering the following question:
Who sets an ambush for the crew in Lonely Shore? (hint: the answer’s in the cover copy below!)
Small print: One entry per person, please. The giveaway is open to international readers, and the prize will be an ebook copy of Chaos Station, format of your choice, delivered to your email inbox. Entries close midnight (EST), Friday, May 29th, and the winner will be announced on Monday, June 1st. Good luck!
Book two of Chaos Station
All they can do is live day to day…
Felix Ingesson has returned to his duties as the Chaos‘s engineer with Zander Anatolius, his ex-boyfriend-turned-broken-super-soldier, at his side. Hope means something again. But there’s nothing Felix can do to battle the alien poison flowing through Zander’s veins, or his imminent mental decline. With each passing day, the side effects of Zander’s experimental training are becoming more difficult to ignore.
When the ruthless Agrius Cartel seeks their revenge—including an ambush and an attempt to kidnap the Chaos‘s crew—Zander is pushed over the edge. He can no longer hide his symptoms, nor does he want to. But hurting Felix when he’s not in control of himself is Zander’s worst nightmare—when it nearly happens, he agrees to seek help. Even if that means trusting the unknown.
As Zander places his life in alien hands, Felix appoints himself his lover’s keeper. And though he tries to be strong, he can’t ignore the fact that he might lose Zander…forever this time.
Don’t miss the start of the series—Chaos Station is available now!
Jenn and Kelly met in 2009 through a mutual infatuation with a man who wasn’t real. After all but crashing the video game’s forums with daily dissection of their obsession, they started writing together, discovered they really liked writing together and began plotting stories in worlds of their own creation.
The CHAOS STATION series aren’t the first books they’ve written together, and they’re pretty sure they won’t be the last. As long as their so-called smartphones keep making autocorrects that trigger brainstorming sessions, they’ll have enough character ideas and plots to keep them writing for years to come.