The Romance Reader has reviewed:

Catch the Lightning



The Mother-in-Law Gambit
by Catherine Asaro
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Recently during a signing tour for my book, Catch the Lightning, my family and I stayed with my mother-in-law at her home in New Mexico. The night before the signing, I gave her a copy of the book. I was rather disconcerted when she sat down next to me--and began reading.

Many writers feel comfortable reading their own work in front of people. Far more difficult is to have someone else read it in front of you. The whole time you are thinking, "What if they hate it? What if they think it's dumb? What if they laugh?" Worst of all: "What if it bores them?"

Now imagine your mother-in-law is reading your steamy romantic space adventure. This is the mother of your six-foot-four, muscled, rocket-scientist husband.

I tried to read the newspaper and act nonchalant. After a few moments she said, "Hmmm. This fellow is six-foot-four." A few minutes later: "Hmmmm. I see. He has a lot of muscles. I wonder who we know like that."

Now mind you, I don't write my husband into my books, which I assured my mother-in-law. However, certain similarities do exist.

Pages continued to turn. Then I heard, "So. A space scientist," followed a few minutes later by, "This girl and this fellow are getting rather chummy, aren't they?"

At this point I began to sink into the cushions on the couch. My mother-in-law is a lovely, charming lady in her eighties who grew up in Scotland. Her father was Chair of the Chemistry Department at the University of Edinburgh and her mother was a former opera singer. So steamy romances are not exactly in her background.

Minutes later I heard, "Oh my. Goodness," followed by, "This young lady will get into trouble if she doesn't watch out."

Mercifully my daughter and husband came in then, looking for me, and I was rescued. Late that night, when I came out to get a drink of water, I saw the light still on in my mother-in-law's bedroom.

By the next morning she had finished the book.

That afternoon some friends of hers came to visit. She introduced me as My-Son's-Wife-the-Writer and showed them my book, with its innocuous space ship on the cover. However, she cautioned them that "This book does have some rather intimate scenes in it."

In fact, even as they were going out the door, she was still warning them about those intimate scenes. Very much indeed about those intimate scenes.

Then she returned from seeing them to their car. Now imagine this; a grandmotherly woman with apple-red cheeks, huge eyes, and wire rimmed glasses, her voice with the touch of a Scottish burr, her eyes gleaming with mischief as she rubs her hands together and says, "Now they'll REALLY go out and buy your book!"

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