MNIA 200x300 My Name Is A’yen is Rachel Leigh Smith’s debut novel. A science fiction romance in the vein of Firefly and Farscape, it’s set in the hunt for a mythical planet. A slave and an archaeologist have to work together, and end up falling in love.


Rachel’s creative well is running a little dry right now after composing all the posts for a two week blog tour, so I’m taking over to help her out. Hi. My name is A’yen, and I’m an alien. To you anyway. To me, you people are the aliens.

I want to tell you about the novel. It’s all about me, so makes sense to let me talk about it. Not that I’m stuck up or anything about it, but it was an adventure and I learned a lot. Rachel did too, and you can read about it in the blog tour if you want to follow along. You can get to it at her website.

My people, the Loks Mé, have been slaves for so long none of us believe we were ever free. Least of all me. I just wanted to be left alone to grieve in peace. See, the man I loved died protecting me. We’d been together fifteen years. To answer your question, yes, he owned me. But he never treated me like a slave. I was a real person to him. Moving on and loving again wasn’t in my plans, since I was stuck on a desert planet in what I consider the armpit of the galaxy.

Then Fae bought me to keep her safe on an expedition to the Rim. Farran Hart, archaeologist extraordinaire (in my mind, anyway), was looking for my homeworld. The one I didn’t believe existed. She pushed through my bad attitude and made me like her. Until I found out her father is a breeder and all his wealth is tainted with the blood of my people. I kind of bit her head off about it and decided she was tainted too.

We made it to the Rim, to a planet I’d visited once. Before my master died. She was right, and I was wrong. She found my home. And discovered my people hadn’t always been slaves. Everything we found convinced me I had to do whatever it took to keep her safe so we could go back to civilization and tell them humanity had committed a grievous wrong.

Somewhere along the way I figured out she was nothing like her father and fell in love with her, despite my resolve not to. Loving a human didn’t exactly turn out well for me the last time I did it. Since he died and all, trying to keep me safe. I couldn’t let that happen again. Fae saw me, like he did. As a real person, not just a slave to do her bidding. That’s rare for us. We’re property to most people, nothing more.

This being a novel, it wasn’t that easy. I made some stupid decisions, got myself in a giant mess, and almost died. But along the way I learned how to love again, found the rest of my family, and got to hug my dad. Made some new friends too, which is something I’m not very good at.

Our story is just beginning. Yes, she found my homeworld, but we’re still slaves. Still have no rights. Good thing there’s two more books coming out next year, so you can find out how we get it back.

You can buy my book for Kindle and Nook, and at Kobo, iBooks, and Google Play. You can also add me to your TBR shelf on Goodreads so you don’t forget about me. Keep scrolling for the opening paragraphs, a question to answer, and a giveaway to enter.


Blog headshotRachel Leigh Smith writes romance for the hero lover. She lives in central Louisiana with her family and a half-crazed calico. When not writing, which isn’t often, she’s hanging with her family, doing counted cross-stitch, or yakking about life, the universe, and everything with her besties. There may also be Netflix binging . . .

She blogs sporadically at, can be found on Twitter @rachelleighgeek, and hangs out on Facebook, You can sign up for her newsletter here.

Back cover:

They’ve taken everything from him. Except his name.

The Loks Mé have been slaves for so long, freedom is a distant myth A’yen Mesu no longer believes. A year in holding, because of his master’s murder, has sucked the life from him. Archaeologist Farran Hart buys him to protect her on an expedition to the Rim, the last unexplored quadrant.

Farran believes the Loks Mé once lived on the Rim and is determined to prove it. And win A’yen’s trust. But she’s a breeder’s daughter and can’t be trusted.

Hidden rooms, information caches and messages from a long-dead king change A’yen’s mind about her importance. When she’s threatened he offers himself in exchange, and lands on the Breeder’s Association’s radar. The truth must be told. Even if it costs him his heart.

Excerpt from My Name Is A’yen, chapter one:

Three hundred sixty-six days and the images continued to haunt him. His screams and cries. Master’s whispered final words to not lose himself, no matter what.

Damn humans. Taking the one person he loved above all others and locking him in this hell called holding. Fitting, really, since A’yen Mesu’s entire life had been put on hold when the enforcers dragged him away. Loks Mé. Less than human. An alien. Nothing but a slave. One easily replaced since no one cared he was an expert cartographer in his own right.

A whirring sound filled the cell block. The mag-locks. Buyers. A’yen forced himself off his bed, went to the bars keeping him prisoner, and positioned his hands where he wouldn’t be forced to stand for who-knew-how-long in an awkward position. The cuffs on his wrists reacted to the mag-lock and stuck to the bars so tight he couldn’t get free if his life depended on it.

He kept his gaze glued to the floor to avoid punishment from the hold keeper. When a pair of small feet in black boots stopped, he stiffened. So far no woman had dared to stop in front of him. Due to fear, most likely. They didn’t understand most Loks Mé men couldn’t stand the thought of hurting a woman, or seeing a woman hurt, while they were helpless to stop it.

The feet stepped closer. “You were owned by a cartographer?” Her sweet voice didn’t mean she’d stay that way.


“A member of the Guild?”


“You can look up.”

He did, and the breath left his body. Five inches shorter than his six feet four, but finely-boned at the same time. Delicate. Hair dark as a black hole framed a kind looking face, with bright green eyes studying him. She glanced at her tablet again and he sucked air into his lungs.

Question for you: Who’s your favorite romance hero?

To enter the Rafflecopter giveaway for a copy of the ebook and a necklace inspired by the book, click here.

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