Interview with Lilly Cain: Wild Woman and SFR Lover

Lilly Cain is here to celebrate the release of the third book in her fascinating science fiction romance Confederacy Treaty series, Undercover Alliance (review here). Ms. Cain has visited Reading Reality before. Her guest post on “Writing and Loving the Alien” gave me a chance to re-read and review Alien Revealed, the first book in the Confederacy Treaty series, and take a look at The Naked Truth again as well.

Take it away, Lilly!

So tell us a little bit about who Lilly Cain is when she’s not writing.

When I am not writing, I spend my time with my family—I have two daughters. I am a single mom, so I work hard writing and more recently, freelance editing. When playtime rolls around I like to relax by a campfire, roast marshmallows and sip vodka loaded lemonade, LOL. I have a cat; she’s evil but her nefarious deeds have slowed down to trying to sleep on my laptop and chew my proofs more than anything else.

Your blog says you’re a wild woman.  Is that only on the pages of your books, or does it have something to do with your real life?

Once upon a time it really was me. Now I remember it fondly (with the occasional backslide into a party – hey I don’t have the kids every weekend) but as you can see from the answer above, my wild side has slipped into the pages of my books more than anywhere else.

The Confederacy Treaty series is science fiction romance. What made you choose SFR as the venue for this series?

When I am plotting a new series I love to play what if and one day I was watching NCIS, and wondering what if the woman accused of terrorism was innocent?  What if she fell in love with one of the investigators? What if the explosion she was charged with causing actually happened in space? So love came first, then setting. 🙂  This was The Naked Truth. I wrote it first, but then realized there was another story that had to come first – Alien Revealed, the first meeting of an Inarrii alien and a human.

Who first introduced you to the love of reading?

My mother is a bigtime reader. And so was my grandmother. I used to look at them reading and pick up books of my own. Soon I’d read the entire contents of our small school library and was looking for more.

Who influenced your decision to become a writer?

My sisters perhaps. One actually hated English class. I loved it. The other simply claimed not to be able to write and I believed her. I wrote papers for them both, and had fun doing it! Then I took my first creative writing class in high school and I had a teacher whom I both loved and despised. She kicked me out of class after we argued over the meaning of one of my own poems! Yet she could hold her own and I so respected that.

What was the first moment when you knew you wanted to write?

I’d finished University and was getting married. Or I thought I’d finished. I was told I was a credit short and had to finish via correspondence while living in Bermudawith my new husband. I didn’t have a job, knew no one and the course kept me sane. I knew then I wanted to write.

Are you a plotter or a pantser? Do you plan everything, or just let the story flow?

I usually write a synopsis – about a page per 10K words. It gives me a plan, or enough of one that I want to start writing. Everything else is in my head. Once, I tried using pictures, but it didn’t help, so I still with the simple outline (which becomes useful when pitching to editors) and try to work on it every day until it is done.

Do your characters sometimes take over the story and just run away with it?

Occasionally. What I find is that I am writing along and then all of a sudden, I am stuck. And I think what the heck happened? I pull out my synopsis and guess what? Wherever I am, it is not in the plan. The story, not necessarily the characters, has pushed off in a new direction. Then I usually need to either back track or write a new synopsis!

What book do you recommend everyone should read, and why?

I don’t think there is any one singular book you should read. I suggest, if you want to write, you should read hundred of books. But for myself, I will never forget certain books. I fell in love with the worlds of Anne McCaffrey, Mercedes Lackey, Jean M. Auel, Isaac Asimov. Stephen King scared me. Nora Roberts soothed. Catherine Coulter intrigued me.  I can’t pick just one.

Speaking of science fiction, are you a fan of any science fiction series? Books, TV or movies?

I’m a Trekkie all the way! Every series, although I have my favorites. I also enjoyed Firefly, Dr. Who, Battlestar Galactica (old and new).

What’s your next project? Will there be any books set in the Confederacy Treaty universe?

I am actually writing one more for The Confederacy Treaty Series, currently called Honor Bound. It wraps up this particular series, but I love the Inarrii – the aliens in my series – so I imagine that they will pop up in another book or two. After that I am planning on something entirely different, some non sci-fi work as Lilly Cain.

Your blog says you love coffee and chocolate, so night-owl or (ugh) morning person?

LOL!!! Night person for sure, I am only forcibly a morning person while my kids are home.

I’m always so happy to meet a fellow Trekkie! Lilly, you named all my loves, Trek, Firefly, the Doctor, wow! Galactica reboot, yes, first, not so much. I’ll be looking forward to revisiting the Inarii in Honor Bound.

Thanks so much for answering all my geeky questions.

Undercover Alliance

One of the neat things about genres like science fiction romance is that the author gets to use the science fiction part of the blend to “play” with or comment on some of the aspects of the human experience from a slightly different perspective.

Undercover Alliance by Lilly Cain lives up to its claim of being erotic science fiction romance. And it does a very good job of it, too!

But the alien race in her Confederacy Treaty series, the Inarrii, are not merely empathic, they literally require sexual healing as a means of processing tension and staying sane. Their bodies, although very similar to humans. are covering in l’inar, lines of nerve endings that convey and express pleasure, pain, stress and every emotion.

Undercover Alliance is the story of an Inarrii woman, a warrior named Sarina. Her l’inar were permanently damaged in battle, but she survived. However, with her l’inar severed, everyone believes that she will eventually lose her sanity, because she cannot achieve the full mind-contact and sexual release that is needed for an Inarrii to de-stress and remain sane.

Sarina thinks she’d be fine if she could just keep working. She’s a trained warrior. She thinks if she keeps doing her job, eventually a battle will solve the problem for her. The enemy won’t mind if she’s damaged goods.

But her own people are afraid that she’ll go berserk and don’t trust her in a combat company. So they assign her as a bodyguard to a low-status human during the final stages of the Human-Confederacy Alliance treaty negotiations — while they wait for her to crack.

The only problem is that her supposedly low-status human charge isn’t. He’s an undercover Spaceforce Security agent sent to make sure that the treaty does get signed. There are both human terrorists and alien Raveners out to break the alliance before it begins.

And John Norton absolutely hates pretending to be a bureaucrat. But not quite as much as he hates having to even let it look like he’s letting someone else handle his security. He’s used to working strictly alone. No partners.

It’s only in the silence of his own mind that he can think about how much he really wants to be in charge of everything…including his strong and beautiful bodyguard. It astonishes, and delights him, when she reads his thoughts enough to decide that maybe they can try being in charge of each other. Or take turns. Or all of the above.

Then someone tries to blow up their section of the ship. And only their section of the ship. Along with John’s cover story. While they are fleeing from marauders and fighting for their lives, John and Sarina discover that the moments between life and death are a great time to reach past the broken places for something wonderful.

They’re just not sure if they can hang on once the shooting stops.

Escape Rating B+Undercover Alliance is the third book in Cain’s Confederacy Treaty series, after Alien Revealed and The Naked Truth. The series keeps getting better.

Undercover Alliance reveals a bit more of the world behind the story, and I enjoy seeing how they get where they are. Unfortunately, not everyone on Earth would welcome an alliance. There would be terrorists, damn it. Whatever we do, someone is always against it.

The Raveners remind me a bit of the Reavers from Firefly. I don’t think they’re that bad, but the name is close. There are always the good guys and the bad guys. And politics. Undercover Alliance has the political story in the background, making sure the treaty gets signed.

We also see that the Inarrii are just different from humans. Some of those differences are physical, not just the l’inar, but also that they are stronger, see better in low light, have better hearing. But also their society works differently. And it should. They aren’t human.

I hope there are more books in this universe. I want to see what happens next. Now that the treaty is signed, do the Raveners come in force?


Guest Post: Lilly Cain on Writing and Loving the Alien + Giveaway

Let’s welcome Lilly Cain, the author of the science fiction romance series The Confederacy Treaty, to Reading Reality. SFR is a genre that’s near and dear to my heart, so I really enjoyed all three books in the series (I couldn’t wait to read Undercover Alliance).

The thing about science fiction, including science fiction romance, is that humans are not likely to be the only people out there in the galaxy. Which means that, sooner or later, we’re going to run across aliens. Some will be lovable and some will be detestable. Some will be cuddly and some will be sexy.

The sexy aliens are the stuff that science fiction romances are made of.

Writing And Loving the Alien

First of all, thanks for having me here, at Reading Reality! I’m so glad to be celebrating my erotic sci-fi series, The Confederacy Treaty, from Carina Press.  Alien Revealed is the first book of the series, and the third will be coming out in June – Undercover Alliance.






When I came up with the concept for the series – Earth’s first treaty with an alien political alliance, I decided that a big group of crazy looking aliens descending on earth would be fun, but probably not conducive to romance. I write erotic romance, walking way over the edge of sexy, so I knew my aliens would have to be, well, compatible with us. I decided that the Confederacy as a group would be wise enough to agree and would send the Inarrii, humanoids that look enough like us that we would be able to relate to them.

One decision led to another and I created aliens with a language, abilities, values and beliefs. They have their own original physical aspects, but they have a culture as well.

The Inarrii are telepathic, to varying degrees.  In writing any Alien or non human culture, I felt that it was important to really think about language, so the Inarrii have their own, but they also have methods of communicating emotion and memories. And in their world, a large part of their personal relationships (like ours, whether we want to admit it or not) revolve around sex.

Sex for the Inarrii helps them stay sane – their telepathic abilities need the physical act to unload stress. Without it they can lose their sanity. For my first book, Alien Revealed, the heroine Alinna Gaerrii has been sent to earth to spy on humans and their culture.  She isn’t meant to actually meet any of them.  But when she does, crash landing on earth, she’s far from any sexual relief with her own people. She has a duty to fulfill, and she can’t let people know who she is.  But without physical relief she will eventually lose her mind. Duty and honor are paramount in her society, but her needs are very real.

I think it is really important when writing any alien / human romance, that there is a parallel between lovers. A meeting of needs, and an understanding of values.  The Inarrii are based on a warrior clan system, so Alinna’s hero is Major David Brown.  His career in the space military gives him an ingrained sense of duty, honor, loyalty.

All techno gadgetry aside, most aliens in sci-fi fall in with what I have described above – people who are not so dissimilar from us.  Think Vulcans, Yoda, the boy from I am Number Four.  They are different but we can understand them, they often represent extremes of our own cultures.


I don’t know if real aliens will be anything like us. I can only comment on popular fiction. 🙂 But I kind of hope so.  What do you think?



Lilly Cain

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Alien Revealed

First contact. In the story of Alien Revealed, the sexy science fiction romance by Lilly Cain, that phrase about the protocols surrounding the first meeting between humans and aliens takes on some amazing new variations.

And I don’t think any of them are quite what Star Fleet might have had in mind. Although Jim Kirk probably did. 😉

But in this first contact story, the humans are the less scientifically developed race being contacted by the more scientifically advanced Inarrii. And the contact is accidental. As in collision.

Agent Alinna Gaerrii has been observing the human Starforce installation from her covert base on the moon. Some of that observation has included a bit of close-in flying in a stealth pod. That’s what got her in trouble. An unscheduled airjet swerved into the airspace over the base and collided with her pod. The resulting crash wasn’t pretty. The airjet’s passengers were killed, and Alinna’s pod, with all of its alien technology, hit the trees. Alinna survived, just barely, but it was exactly the kind of situation for which self-destruct signals were created.

The humans were not supposed to know that they were being observed, Not quite yet. Alinna was just about ready to return to the Confederacy Alliance base on Jupiter’s moon Europa to report that the humans would be excellent candidates to join the Alliance against the brutal Raveners. The diplomatic team would return to begin treaty negotiations.

Instead, Alinna, wounded and bleeding, was found by Starforce pilots investigating the crash site. Also found was a small piece of melted plastic, the last remains of her ship.

Starforce Major David Brown mistakenly identifies Alinna as the psychtech who was supposed to have been aboard that airjet. The one who was scheduled to evaluate his Special Forces team before their mission to Mars.

Alinna decides to go along with the mistaken identity, using her Inarrii abilities of reading emotions as a way of observing the humans up close. Even though she will break every protocol of observation that an Agent is supposed to maintain, she is certain the information will be worth it. Everything she’s seen of the humans shows that they are exactly the allies the Confederacy needs.

But David Brown is a shock. Because Alinna can reach him, mind-to-mind, as though he were another Inarrii. Which he manifestly is not.

That any human can achieve mind contact makes the humans even more valuable as potential allies than anyone could have guessed. They can be full partners.

But for Alinna, alone and isolated for far too long for one of her people, David is much more. The mind contact that he initiates in his dreams soothes her. Inarrii need touch almost as much as food and water; and Alinna has been alone for months.

When those dream-meetings, and dream-matings, move into the real they discover that they might have something worth changing their lives for … if they can get past their very big differences. And the people who are shooting at them.

Escape Rating B: As I said in my review of the second book in Cain’s Confederacy Treaty series, The Naked Truth, this science fiction romance leans a little more on the romance side of the equation than the science fiction side.

However, maybe because Alien Revealed is the first book in the series (Undercover Alliance is third, and it’s due out in June) a lot of the science fiction worldbuilding takes place in Alien Revealed. Which I liked seeing.

Even if I think that the base security is weaker than it should be. But folks snuck into Stargate Command who shouldn’t have, too. I did love some of the fun touches, such as the bit about the folks who really, really wanted to meet an alien were nicknamed You-fo’s, derived from UFOs, and no one ever believed them. Until all of a sudden they were right.

The Naked Truth

The Naked Truth is the second book in Lilly Cain’s Confederacy Treaty series from Carina Press. The opening book in this series is Alien Revealed.

Captain Susan Branscombe of the Starforce Marines is cussing like a Marine in the opening of this book, and no wonder, she’s been tortured and she hopes she doesn’t survive, even though her captors’ ship is now being invaded by her very own Marines. But survive she does, only to be accused of selling out to her captors and committing treason.

But Earth has recently been contacted by an alien race, the Inarrii (read the first book in the series, Alien Revealed, for that story) and a treaty is being negotiated. The terrorists who tortured Branscombe were against alien contact. The Inarrii demand a full investigation under their control. And that’s where the story really begins.

The Inarrii communicate through mental telepathy in a way that involves intimate touch. But once the mental bonds are established, it is not possible for someone to lie through those bonds, either mentally or emotionally.

In order to preserve the treaty negotiations, the Inarrii need to know everything Captain Branscombe learned during her imprisonment. Not just whether she is a traitor, but also whether their enemies, the Raider alien races that they wish to thwart, may be involved with the terrorists. In order to be certain, the Inarrii Examiner, Asler Kiis, must examine the memories and the emotions of Captain Branscombe. What he discovers makes him yearn to heal her, body and soul.

Although I enjoyed the story, I kept wanting to know a little more about what made these two characters fall for each other. I liked them both, I just wasn’t quite sure why they’d been waiting for each other.

The Confederacy Treaty series is science fiction romance, and, in spite of the opening scenes of this entry, lighter on the plot, heavier on the romance side of that particular equation.  If you’re interested in other science fiction romance titles, take a look at Romance with a touch of Rocket Fuel.