New Release: Ladder to the Red Star by Jael Wye


Last month Jael Wye dropped in to tell us about the first release in her Once Upon a Red World series, Ice Red. Today I’m happy to have her back to tell us about the follow up book, Ladder to the Red Star.

Welcome, Jael!

The Smartest, Toughest Space Babes in the Galaxy

I always wanted to be Princess Leia when I grew up. She could do it all–rule a planet, shoot a blaster and win Han Solo’s heart, and through it all, she sported fabulous hairdos. When I started to write science fiction romance, I was determined to create equally impressive female characters. In my new release, Ladder to the Red Star, I followed a few guidelines in how to make my heroine, Devi, a woman strong enough to hold her own with the hero and fend off the powers rallying to destroy them both.

First, Devi’s ambitions and fears are separate from the hero’s. In a romance, the union of the hero and the heroine should make them both better people than they were apart, but even so the heroine needs to be willing and able to pursue her own goals and make her own judgments without being subsumed by the hero. Her thoughts can’t revolve solely around him—in other words, she must pass the Bechdel test (she has conversations with other women about something besides a man).

Second, Devi insists on being treated respect according to her merit. She is highly intelligent and driven, and as a medical doctor she maintains a position of authority and responsibility. She is not dependent on her sexuality to achieve her goals (though she is very beautiful and has fabulous hair). A great heroine doesn’t necessarily have to be extremely beautiful or smart or powerful. She doesn’t need to be physically capable beating up a horde of baddies by herself. But she does need to draw the reader’s respect through her actions and her willingness to overcome her shortcomings.

Finally, a great heroine has to have firmly drawn physical characteristics, flaws, and personality traits that ground her in the reader’s mind and make her believable. Devi has her own well-developed inner life that is the result of her specific history, and outer quirks to match. This is what makes her unique among all the women of the universe, and thus uniquely able to win through the obstacles before her.

These are the thoughts I keep in mind as I’m writing my science fiction romance heroines. I think Princess Leia would approve.

Cover_Ladder To the Red StarAbout Ladder to the Red Star

Once upon a ruined Earth 300 years in the future…

Jacques Tallinn, biotech smuggler and thief, is after the cure for a brain disorder he’s suffered since childhood–a disorder inflicted by a powerful tyrant. To get the cure, Jacques will need to climb the space elevator to the new Zenith space station hovering above Earth and go undercover in the lab where it’s produced.

Martian head tech Devi Chandra is immediately intrigued by her sexy new lab assistant. Though she insists on keeping things professional, she finds herself charmed by Jacques. Until he betrays her trust, kidnapping her and spiriting her off to Earth.

All Jacques needed to do was steal the biotech and get back home. But when things go wrong, he can’t bring himself to leave Devi behind. Now she’s injured and a simple caper has become an intergalactic cause, endangering his life and the lives of millions of others. But the hardest part? Winning back Devi’s trust.


Dev knew men, knew them in and out, from their social affectations down to their cellular structures, and she knew something was wrong with this particular man. The cold watchfulness in his eyes, the overly careful positioning of his body nagged at her, told her not to be deceived by his apparent beauty and virility.

Even with Enrique Kurtz, she thought with a slight shudder, she was a woman confronted by a man. But with James, she was a woman confronted by an enigma. And that made her all the more curious about him.

Naturally, she had looked up all his Delpin-Kurtz records the second his back was turned, but nothing in them gave her any clues to this mystery. James’s biography told of a modestly successful career and an uneventful life.

But then, there was the look on his face when he stared down at Kurtz in the lab, the raw hatred he so quickly and carefully hid. That look, his body language, the scars on his arms…put it together, and it told a completely different story. But what was it?

And how would a midlevel med tech know a way to send secret communications to her mother?

There were deep and dangerous currents running beneath the surface of this situation, and Dev was helpless not to want to test them.

She stopped a few paces away from him. Without turning, he said, “I wondered if you were coming.”

She smiled. “How could I not? We made an agreement.”

He turned toward her then, and the hungry, desperate look in his eyes, combined with the uncertain grasp of his fingers on the railing, told Dev that she was caught, like she had never been caught before.


AUTHOR Bio and Links

Jael Wye grew up on the American Great Plains, went to school in the Midwest, and now lives in beautiful New England with her family and her enormous collection of houseplants. For more of Jael’s unique blend of futurism and fairy tale, don’t miss her ongoing series Once Upon A Red World.



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Jael will be awarding a digital copy of Ice Red to a randomly drawn commenter during the tour.

Follow her book tour and leave comments at each of the stops. The more you comment, the better your chances of winning. The tour dates can be found on the Goddess Fish website at: