#TellTaleTuesday with S.E. Smith and Choosing Riley


Welcome NYT/USA TODAY Bestselling Author S.E. Smith for this week’s Tell Tale Tuesday.


Characters that Reflect Real Life

By S.E. Smith, NYT/USA TODAY Bestselling Author

There are times when you have met, or know about, someone that is larger than life. It is hard as an author to ignore what a great character they will become in a story. Can you imagine Mark Twain writing about Tom Sawyer or Huckleberry Finn without either reflecting on his own life’s adventures or about someone he knew? Me, neither!

Since the beginning of time, storytellers and authors have used the people they meet and the things they see and experience to create characters who stand out. I have many different fictional characters who are a reflection of real people. One of my most memorable is Riley St. Claire from Denver, Colorado from my story Choosing Riley.

Everyone has met a Riley. When she walks into the room, people gravitate toward her. She lights up the room with her smile and her personality. In my story, Riley is a plus-size bail bondswoman who embraces her feminine curves, loves to dress stylishly, and has an acid tongue that she welds with precision. Her heart is as huge as her purse, and she has learned how to disable her fiercest opponents with a smile and some pepper spray.

My character is loosely based on my best friend growing up. My friend lights up the room when she enters. Her hair is perfect, her purses have everything including the kitchen sink in them, and she was a kick-butt bail bondswoman who could bring in the bad guys with a siren’s whisper of her Southern drawl. While Riley ends up in outer space dealing with aliens and living a fantastic adventure with a certain, clueless cat-shifting King, she is the embodiment of my friend.

When you hear the old saying that fiction often imitates life, it isn’t far from the truth. Whether it is Ms. Riley St. Claire from Denver, Colorado serving up a hilarious adventure in outer space or Ariel Hamm with her menagerie of animals, there is always a hint of real life hidden among the pages of my stories. If you are looking for a wild, laugh-out-loud adventure, check out Choosing Riley and discover that not all Science Fiction Romance stories are the same!



A smart-talking bailbond’s woman and an alien king clash in a hilarious battle of the sexes while on the run. All’s fair when it comes to love!



Choose!” the tall creature growled out loudly.

Riley cleared her throat before turning to the stick-figured alien dwarfing her. “Choose what?” she asked, unable to hold back the slightly crazed giggle that had been threatening to escape her.

She giggled again at finally making the creature’s blank face break into a frustrated scowl. The creature slowly fisted its clawed hands before its shoulders actually drooped.

“Choose a male,” Antrox 785 said wearily.

Riley raised her perfectly arched eyebrows at the creature before turning to look at the selection of men who had been paraded in while she had been reflecting on how her attitude might have played a part in her present predicament. She had been watching haphazardly as a different female—at least she thought they were female—had been led to stand where she was now.

She was told—in a rather rude manner if you asked her—that she was being given the last choice because of her being so disagreeable, unpleasant, and downright ugly. She had, of course, taken it all in stride until the last comment and had to be restrained again after she‘d punched the stickman guarding her in what she hoped was his balls. Whatever the creatures had under their tunics, it laid the guy out cold.

Now, she was staring at one eight-foot-tall glob of green, oozing snot, something resembling a two-foot, two-headed lizard, and three six-foot-four or more drop-dead gorgeous hunks. Riley’s eyes widened. If it wasn’t for the fact that she was thirstier than hell, so she didn’t even have the capacity to produce enough spit, she would have sworn she was drooling.

She could tell by their build and their eyes and maybe the markings on their arms, chest, and shoulders, oh and did she mention their sharp teeth as they growled at the stick-alien, that they weren’t human, but man-oh-man did they look yummy! Riley thought dreamily for a moment before perking up again.

“What happens to the males that aren’t chosen?” Riley asked curiously, never taking her eyes off the three males.

“They will be used as food,” Antrox said with a frown. “Choose! All mated males will be kept to work in the mines. Mated males are easier to control as they are protective of their female. Now choose your male!”

“What if I don’t want to choose a male?” Riley asked sarcastically as she turned to face the tall creature next to her. “What if I don’t feel like choosing a male? What if I don’t even like males?” Riley added.

Right at that moment, she honestly believed she might not ever like any male ever again! After all, it was men who had started this whole hateful series of events starting with her no-good, dim-witted boss. Now, this overgrown toothpick expected her to just pick one of the bastards and mate with him?

That is so seriously not going to happen. Restraints or not, I will beat the shit out of any guy who tries to mate with me, she thought fiercely.

She wasn’t going to mate with any alien, no matter how cute they looked. She had watched enough science fiction movies to cure her of ever wanting any alien booty! What if those things decided to do some body snatching or exploding out of her? A shudder went through Riley at the thought.

Antrox 785 looked back and forth between Riley and the men on the platform below him with a confused expression on his face. “Why would you not want to choose a male? You are female! All of our data points to you being the weaker of your species and in need of a male for protection.” Antrox looked from the males back to Riley again. “Why would you not like males?”

Riley let loose a slightly hysterical laugh. Okay, maybe she was still just a little terrified. “Why don’t I like males? Now, that is the sixty-four-thousand-dollar question, isn’t it? How about we go get a bottle or two of your strongest booze, get good and drunk, and I’ll tell you why I don’t like males anymore!” Riley’s voice was growing louder with each word. “Let’s start with you!”

Buy Links

You can find Riley’s story at the following distributors:

SES Store eBook



Apple Books





S.E. Smith has sent along a fun coloring sheet to go along with Choosing Riley! Download it now! Choosing Riley Coloring Sheet


Author Bio

S.E. Smith is an internationally acclaimed, New York Times and USA TODAY Bestselling author of science fiction, romance, fantasy, paranormal, and contemporary works for adults, young adults, and children. She enjoys writing a wide variety of genres that pull her readers into worlds that take them away.

Readers can check out her website at https://sesmithfl.com and chat with her on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/se.smith.5

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