Viehl, S.L. 1961–
Viehl, S.L. 1961–
(Gena Hale, Jessica Hall, Rebecca Kelly, Lynn Viehl, Sheila Lynn Viehl)
PERSONAL: Born 1961, in FL; children: two.
ADDRESSES: Agent—Penguin Group, c/o ROC Publicity, 375 Hudson St., New York, NY 10014.
CAREER: Writer and novelist. Military service: Served in U.S. Air Force.
"STARDOC" SERIES SCIENCE-FICTION NOVELS
Stardoc, ROC (New York, NY), 2000.
Stardoc II: Beyond Varallan, ROC (New York, NY), 2000.
Endurance, ROC (New York, NY), 2001.
Shockball, ROC (New York, NY), 2001.
Eternity Row, ROC (New York, NY), 2002.
Blade Dancer, ROC (New York, NY), 2003.
Bio Rescue, ROC (New York, NY), 2004.
Afterburn, ROC (New York), 2005.
UNDER NAME GENA HALE; ROMANCE NOVELS
Dream Mountain, New American Library (New York, NY), 2001.
Paradise Island, New American Library (New York, NY), 2001.
Sun Valley, Onyx (New York, NY), 2002.
UNDER NAME JESSICA HALL; ROMANTIC SUSPENSE NOVELS
The Deepest Edge, Signet (New York, NY), 2003.
The Kissing Blades, Signet (New York, NY), 2003.
The Steel Caress, Signet (New York, NY), 2003.
Heat of the Moment, New American Library (New York, NY), 2004.
Into the Fire, Onyx (New York, NY), 2004.
UNDER NAME REBECCA KELLY; CHRISTIAN NOVELS
Going to the Chapel, Guideposts (Carmel, NY), 2003.
Portraits of the Past, Guideposts (Carmel, NY), 2003.
Home for the Holidays, Guideposts (Carmel, NY), 2004.
Midsummer Melody, Guideposts (Carmel, NY), 2004.
UNDER NAME LYNN VIEHL; PARANORMAL ROMANCE NOVELS
If Angels Burn, Signet (New York, NY), 2005.
Private Demon, Signet (New York, NY), 2005.
WORK IN PROGRESS: A new novel starring Moriah Navarre and Caine Gantry; sixth, seventh, and eighth Stardoc novels; three biblical historical novels; and a fantasy novel.
SIDELIGHTS: S.L. Viehl is a prolific novelist who writes under numerous pseudonyms and in various genres, including science fiction, romance, and Christian fiction. She is a veteran of the U.S. Air Force, where she gained considerable medical experience working in trauma centers. She has also worked in civilian trauma centers. This medical knowledge serves as the basis for her popular "Stardoc" series. Writing under her own name, Viehl is the author of more than a half-dozen science-fiction novels, including the "Stardoc" books.
Viehl first started writing with publication in mind in 1989, as she stated in an interview with Elizabeth Darrach for Bella Online. After experiencing a consistent series of rejections of the twenty-two romance novels she had on the market at the time, "one of my friends dared me to write a science fiction novel," she told Darrach. In response, she wrote Stardoc and followed it with the sequel. Viehl sent the manuscripts to three different publishers, all of whom turned the books down. She abandoned the Stardoc manuscripts and returned to romance writing. Meanwhile, "another friend copied the Stardoc manuscript and sent it to an editor without telling me," she related in her Bella Online interview. "That editor made an offer for both books, and suddenly I was a published SF author writing a series."
The first book of the series, Stardoc, follows a brilliant surgeon, Dr. Cherijo Torin, as she attempts to escape the stifling control of her vicious, domineering father. In an attempt to flee beyond parental reach, she heads into remote space, where she becomes a physician at a free clinic. There, alien species are plentiful and humans are the ignored, sometimes hated minority. But Cherijo's father has a long reach, and it does not take long for him to discover where she is, and threaten her job and even her very existence. Melinda Helfer, writing on the Romantic Times Web site, called Viehl "a major discovery in the annals of science fiction."
Endurance, which once again stars Cherijo, is a "rousing medical space opera," stated Kelly Rae Cooper on the Romantic Times Web site. When Cherijo is betrayed by her husband, she falls into the hands of Hsktskt slavers who seem willing to bargain with their enemies for her. Though she is hated by almost every species around her, Cherijo still feels compelled by her oath and training to provide medical care for those who need it. "SF fans will fully enjoy S.L. Viehl's entertaining entry in one of the better ongoing series today," remarked Harriet Klausner on AllReaders.com.
An aquatic species is at the heart of Bio Rescue, a stand-alone novel featuring characters and concepts from the "Stardoc" series. A war between the Hsktskt and the alliance has produced a class of warriors called SEALs: surgically enhanced altered life forms. These SEALs patrol the galaxy to make sure the Hsktskt do not return. A thriving group of Skartesh colonists, whose home world was destroyed by the Hsktskt, lives on one of the planet's land masses. When thousands of the Skartesh colonists vanish, Dair, leader of the SEALs, takes tremendous risks to find them. As she searches, she finds the unexpected: evidence of a planet-wide conspiracy with the ultimate goal of the takeover of all inhabited worlds in the SEALs' sector. Viehl "is a terrific world builder who takes the mermaid legend and integrates it into a very serious space opera," observed Harriet Klausner in MBR Bookwatch. The book "features a compassionate … intelligent heroine and lots of medical rescue scenes," commented Jackie Cassada in Library Journal.
As Gena Hale, Viehl has penned a trio of romance novels that begins with Paradise Island. Luke Fleming is a marine biologist known more for his good looks than for his science. After retreating to his private island in the Florida Keys to work on his latest project, he is astonished when a raft bearing a badly sunburned and dehydrated woman floats up on shore. He suspects that the woman might be a journalist sent by the tabloids, and even after she regains consciousness, she cannot explain why she is there; amnesia has set in. She knows little except that she is in danger. When an FBI agent arrives and claims to know all about her—that she is a married computer genius who has been illegally selling secrets—Fleming becomes even more suspicious, and her instincts tell her that she is being told a lie. This tale "will leave readers on the edge of their seats with its conspiracies and betrayals," commented Booklist reviewer Patty Engelmann.
Romantic suspense marks the work of Jessica Hall, another Viehl pseudonym. In The Deepest Edge, Valence St. Charles, a museum curator who was once a wily street kid, convinces T'ang Jian-Shan to display his phenomenal Asian sword collection. Instead, Jian-Shan and Valance are attacked by a tong member, barely coming through the encounter with their lives. During their recovery, Valence and Jian-Shan fall in love, but her romance is impaired by the cultural differences between the two and by unsettled issues in Jian-Shan's past, including unsolved circumstances surrounding his first wife's death. "Hall's thriller romance, the first in a trilogy, keeps the reader's interest from start to finish," remarked Mary K. Chelton in Booklist.
Police officer Terri Vincent, the lead character of Heat of the Moment, finds herself in the uncomfortable position of working for Cort Gamble, a fire marshal with whom she had a one-night fling some time ago. When she is transferred to the organized crime unit, she is tapped to help find evidence against Cort that shows he is a member of the mob. However, a serial arsonist interrupts the investigation, and Terri is assigned to portray Cort's girlfriend as bait to catch the arsonist. "Hall leaves readers wanting more as fast as she can write them," Chelton commented in another Booklist review.
Under the name Rebecca Kelly, Viehl writes inspirational Christian novels, while she uses another variation of her real name, Lynn Viehl, as the author of a series of paranormal romances.
BIOGRAPHICAL AND CRITICAL SOURCES:
Booklist, March 15, 2001, Patty Engelmann, review of Paradise Island, p. 1359; October 1, 2001, Shelley Mosley, review of Dream Mountain, p. 303; June 1, 2002, Shelley Mosley, review of Sun Valley, p. 1694; September 1, 2002, William Beatty, review of Eternity Row, p. 71; February 1, 2003, Mary K. Chelton, review of The Deepest Edge, p. 976; February 15, 2004, Mary K. Chelton, review of Into the Fire, p. 1045; July, 2004, Regina Schroeder, review of Bio Rescue, p. 1830; October 1, 2004, Mary K. Chelton, review of Heat of the Moment, p. 316.
Kliatt, March, 2002, Stacey Conrad, review of Shockball, p. 24.
Library Journal, July, 2003, Jackie Cassada, review of Blade Dancer, p. 132; July, 2004, Jackie Cassada, review of Bio Rescue, p. 75.
MBR Bookwatch, May, 2005, Harriet Klausner, review of Bio Rescue.
Publishers Weekly, July 14, 2003, review of Blade Dancer, p. 61; June 21, 2004, review of Bio Rescue, p. 47; June 27, 2005, review of Afterburn, p. 46.
All About Romance Web site, http://www.likesbooks.com/ (October 8, 2005), Anne Ritter, review of Dream Mountain.
AllReaders.com, http://www.allreaders.com/ (October 8, 2005), Harriet Klausner, review of Endurance, Sun Valley, The Kissing Blades, The Steel Caress, Heat of the Moment, Into the Fire, and The Deepest Edge.
AllSciFi, http://www.allscifi.com/ (October 8, 2005), Harriet Klausner, review of Bio Rescue, Shockball, Blade Dancer, Eternity Row, and Endurance; Rodney Powell, review of Stardoc; Karen Burnham, review of Blade Dancer.
Bella Online, http://www.bellaonline.com/ (October 8, 2005), Elizabeth Darrach, interview with Jessica Hall.
Infinity Plus, http://www.infinityplus.co.uk/ (October 8, 2005), Elizabeth Barrette, review of Blade Dancer.
Mystery Reader, http://www.themysteryreader.com/ (October 8, 2005), Thea Davis, review of Into the Fire.
Romance Reader, http://www.theromancereader.com/ (October 8, 2005), Susan Scribner, review of Paradise Island.
Romance Reader's Connection, http://www.theromancereadersconnection.com/ (October 8, 2005), Livia Holton, review of Dream Mountain.
Romantic Times Online, http://www.romantictimes.com/ (October 8, 2005), Jen Talley Exum, review of Afterburn, Bio Rescue, and Blade Dancer; Melinda Helfer, review of Stardoc and Beyond Varallan; Kelly Rae Cooper, review of Endurance.