Posted by: Author | May 22, 2012

Special Guest- Maria Hammerblad

Jillian: My guest today is Maria Hammerblad. She’s a writer with Desert Breeze Publishing, too and she writes Sci-fi. I love her cover. It’s so cool. I hope you all enjoy her post and her excerpt.

Maria: Before I say anything else, a big Thank You to Jillian for welcoming me to her blog. I’m delighted to be here!

My new book – Kidnapped – is just released with Desert Breeze Publishing, and I was talking about it on Twitter the other day when someone said, “Kidnapped, isn’t that name already taken?”
I smiled and thought, “Well, every name is already taken.” Just for fun, I went to Amazon to do a little count, but I tired of it at thirty-something different Kidnapped.

The question got me thinking though; names are funny things. It’s a science fiction book, and calling it “Abducted” might have been more appropriate, but I associate that word with little green men doing unmentionable things to their captives. That’s not what the book is about. It’s more about being lost, and finding both oneself and the way home.
I have problems naming characters too. A lot of the time when I write, I finish most of the book with the hero and heroine eloquently named X and Y. I know what they look like, what they think and feel, what food they like, and the names of their best friends when they grew up. I just don’t know their names. The heroine of Kidnapped started out as Elizabeth, but it didn’t work. I tried Debbie and Carrie, but neither was completely right. Then, she became Patricia, and everything fell into place. To me, a name carries something of a character’s personality, and it has to be just right.


It’s a late winter night when Patricia Risden heads home in her car, on a road she’s driven many times before. She doesn’t have a care in the world, that is, until a man appears from nowhere, right in front of her.
The next thing she knows is being a prisoner of the unscrupulous Alliance Commander Travis 152, an intimidating man who demands information and complete cooperation. Travis soon realizes his mistake; Tricia doesn’t know anything, and she is incapable of even getting a glass of water from the ship’s computer.
Infamous for being a ruthless executioner, conditioned since childhood to feel nothing besides fear and pain, he still deems her harmless, and finds enough pity for the lost young woman to let her out of the cell; a decision that will change both their lives forever.

I have a little excerpt from the book:

Everyone chosen for the corps was taught at young ages never to feel bored, and never to be lonely. Travis could spend years alone in his craft without anything to do or anyone to talk to. And still, here he was, chatting with a prisoner from a planet so remote most people had forgotten about it.
Giving the young woman a thoughtful glance, he decided he knew all he needed to, more than he had ever wanted to, and it was time to go. He rose up agilely and was surprised to hear her voice call out, “No, wait, please don’t leave me alone!”
It was surprisingly tempting to look back, but he didn’t; he marched out into the corridor with its endless rows of cells. A voice from his memory echoed in his head. It was his commanding officer snarling, “Such a pathetic little creature.”
He heard a woman’s scream, one of many imprints in his brain that would never go away, and his commander’s quiet laugh. Through the commotion in his mind, he could also hear the real but muffled sound of Patricia crying on the other side of the wall. Shaking his head made the imagined noises go away, but the weeping was still there. He turned abruptly and entered the cell again. “Don’t do that.”
Patricia lifted her face up and sniffled, “Don’t do what?”
He felt a frown forming, “The thing with your eyes.”
She was trying to shout at him, but her voice cracked, and he felt an unfamiliar twinge of sympathy when he heard the forlorn, “I’ll stop if you take me home. I didn’t do anything.”
Shrugging slightly, he answered amiably, “I know. You’re really useless, aren’t you?”
He looked down at his gloved hand, flexing it, but couldn’t help seeing she was trying to dry her eyes, evidently too afraid not to obey. “Maybe I should just kill you. Since you’re useless.”
The threat didn’t seem to faze her and he crouched down to be able to look into her eyes. “I can’t take you back. I’ve already reported in I’m bringing you. They’d kill us both.”
“So what? Now they’ll only kill me? Unless you do it first?”
Her feistiness was admirable, and he tried to tell her the truth. “No. You’re young and strong. You’ll be sent to some colony as labor. It could be worse.”
He rose up again and headed towards the door, and when he heard her voice call out for him this time, he did glance back over his shoulder. She said, “Can I have some more water?”
He surprised himself with flashing a quick smile. “Figure out how to get it.”

Jillian: Maria’s book is available at Desert Breeze Publishing – Thanks again for coming by, Maria. it was fun!


  1. Calling them X and Y is genius! I’m going to give that a try. It never occurred to me before!

  2. Jillian, thank you so much for welcoming me to your blog. I’m delighted to be here!

    Patty, I’m glad you like the idea! =D I do it out of necessity, haha, if I were to wait with writing until I could think of name, I’d never get anything done. Once I find a name, X[space] and Y[space] are easy to search and replace. =D

    • Thanks for being here, Maria. I agree with Patty that the X and Y is a great idea. and the find and replace is easy. You’re very clever and I love that.

  3. I really admire people with such amazing imagination. I wish you much success in your writing.

  4. Awww, thank you June! From what I can see you have a pretty cool imagination yourself! =)

  5. Maria, Just stopping in to say hello. It does take a lot of imagination to do a futuristic story and your story looks interesting. Although I find futuristic stories are almost easier on some levels because you can control the world. OOOh I like that, control the world. Best wishes on your book.

    • I love the control the world comment, Tina! Lol

      • Oh yes, control the world, mwuahahaha! LOL! Awesome comment, Tina! =D

  6. I REALLY enjoyed the except Maria. I don’t usually read Sci Fi but enjoy the movies. Go figure. I’m going to get this one though.

    • It does sound awesome, doesn’t it, Lavada?

      • Yes, just got it and looking forward to reading it. I really need to do something about this growing TBR pile.

    • Thank you for your interest in my book! I hope you will enjoy it!

  7. I’m not a sci-fi person normally but I’m intrigued. I want to know what happens next. Thanks for sharing a fun blurb and excerpt.

    • Thank you for coming by, Darlene! I appreciate it! 🙂

    • Howdy would you mind stating which blog plorfatm you’re working with? I’m looking to start my own blog in the near future but I’m having a tough time making a decision between BlogEngine/Wordpress/B2evolution and Drupal. The reason I ask is because your layout seems different then most blogs and I’m looking for something unique. P.S Apologies for getting off-topic but I had to ask!

  8. I agree. Names are hard. I agonize over my daughter’s baby naming book every time I start a new story. I do like to have my names before I’m too far into it, though.
    Best of luck on the new release, Maria!

  9. rolandmarina, trainingsun,

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