This is the first book in the O’Kane for Life novella series, and one of our last two Beyond episodes before we officially switch to the world of Gideon and Sector One! But not before Ana and Chelsea get to fawn all over their joint favorite novella to date. We watch as Six and Bren figure out how to walk new lines, lead a sector, and form a family – and an HEA – that is all their own. Chelsea and Ana are given the chance to discuss PTSD, trauma, the power of literacy, the shifting lines couple continue to draw over the course of a sprawling series, and of course the vital theme of the importance of an individual happily ever after.
Winning a war might be enough for most people, but Bren and Six aren’t interested in kicking back to enjoy peace. Not when they finally have the time—and resources—to tackle the mess left behind in the sector they now rule.
Especially the orphaned street kids.
Six remembers how hard it is to trust. Bren remembers how hard it is to be patient. Together, they have the skills and the power to make a better world than the one they grew up in—but only if they can be honest with each other about the future they want.
Ana and Chelsea continue to discuss the Beyond HEA vignettes Bree and Donna wrote for their Patrons. All these shorts take place before the Gideon Rider Books and discuss how Kit Rocha continues to expand the worldbuilding and relationships beyond the original HEAs. All the stories discussed in the episode are now available for free to all readers on Kit Rocha’s website including Flash.
Efficient: Mia plots make Sector Eight a little less predictable and efficient and a little bit more like home. Fierce Protector (6:30): A sweet little vignette where Hawk brings home a puppy for Jeni. A Little Bit Bad (10:58): Zan and Tatiana’s sexy and playful interlude is interrupted by a badly timed delivery. Flash (16:25): This flashback is set after Beyond Pain, where Flash and Amira share some sweet baby time together and Flash thinks about what kind of father he wants to be.
We will be back in two weeks to talk about Beyond Doubt.
After a brief break Ana and Chelsea are ready to dive back into the Sectors, reading the Beyond HEA vignettes Bree and Donna wrote for their Patrons. For the next two episodes Ana and Chelsea will focus on the shorts that take place before the Gideon Rider Books and discuss how Kit Rocha continues to expand the worldbuilding and relationships beyond the original HEAs. All the stories discussed in the episode are now available for free to all reader on Kit Rocha’s website.
Creative Incentives is a short Ace/Cruz centric short where Cruz works to motivate Ace to work harder at his PT. Cravings (8:40): Noelle and Jas, sweet cuddly interlude from a couple we typically don’t see in a homey domestic environment as they prepare their suite for the new baby. Dessert (13:10): Bree and Donna write a great post-war slice of life interlude for Jeni and Hawk as they enjoy some hot domestic bliss in their farmhouse. Ravished (18:08): Trix and Finn attempt to get ready for Halloween party and get a little distracted by some sexy pirate roleplay in Trix’s dressing room in the new Broken Circle.
Check back in two weeks from now for our first episode on the Kit Rocha shorts, “Beyond Happily Ever After”!
Hello, friends! Just a quick note to say that we won’t be around this week – Chelsea is currently still on maternity leave, and Ana is finally recovering from her whirlwind trip to RWA! However, we will be back in two weeks to discuss the first five stories in the “Beyond Happily Ever” series that we haven’t already discussed – which means we’ll be reading “Creative Incentives”, “Cravings”, “Dessert”, “Ravished”, and “6th Sense”, all of which are available online for free. So get reading and join us in two weeks for all our thoughts!
This is the last official book in the Beyond Series but not the last Beyond the Sectors podcast! In this episode Chelsea and Ana gush about Nessa and Ryder’s romance and tackle the explosive and powerful way Bree and Donna close out their series and set up what is next for the Sectors. Chelsea and Ana discuss passion, purpose, loss of innocence, isolation and loneliness, grief, revenge, justice and all the other consequences of war, and the power of the ADHD representation. In Beyond Surrender, Nessa, the O’Kane Princess, everyone’s little sister and the secret to O’Kanes fabulous liquor finally meets her match. Ryder has lived and trained for one purpose his whole life, and just he finally attains it he comes to realize he has never learned to dream for more, that is until he meets Nessa. Together they will face the ugliest bits of war and dream of life after it.
Also mentioned: Ashwin, Kora, Dallas, Lex, Flash, Amira, Stuart, Finn and pretty much everyone else!
Going to war has consequences! In Beyond Ecstasy Hawk and Jeni have been circling around each other for ages but with the start of the war they feel they can’t wait any longer. Ana and Chelsea look at the ramifications this rush has on their relationship and discuss the thematic echoes to series themes that are reflected back in different ways in Beyond Ecstasy.
In this episode Ana and Chelsea also talk about the cultural differences between the sectors, agency, marriage rituals and finding overlooked strengths and building from disaster.
Mentioned in this episode are: Nessa, Ryder, Ace, Gia, Dallas, Lex and Aayla.
The intense and suspenseful run-up to war and the most complicated relationship dynamics in the series compete for our attention in Beyond Ruin. Ana and Chelsea could have talked forever about this book, and only scratch the surface. In this episode, our complicated quartet’s, Mad, Dylan, Scarlet and Jyoti, emotional scars and secrets are dissected and the ramifications of Eden’s surprising assault on Two are discussed.
Ana and Chelsea wrestle with all the forces drawing Mad, Dylan, Scarlet and Jyoti together and the misunderstanding & assumptions that nearly drove them apart as the O’Kanes gear up for war and the sector’s political landscape is forever changed.
Chelsea and Ana discuss all the tantalizing new knowledge about Sector One, Bree and Donna drop in Beyond Ruin, from its unique way of life, to the inner workings of the Rios’s family and their complicated Theocracy. Also mentioned in this episode are Gideon, Avery, Ashwin & Kora and Marciela.
Special Note: Long-time series fan, and podcast listener, Nikki sent us a little pronunciation guide for some of the Indian names in the books! We should have thought to ask and we apologize for mangling the pronounciation of Jyoti and Ashwin!
From Nikki: Ashwin is pronounced like Usher…Ush-win and Jyoti has two syllables, Jo-thi. (Chelsea got the th sound right in the episode!).
In this episode Ana and Chelsea discuss the storytelling and world-building nuggets embedded in these two “Beyond the HEA” vignettes, that explore the growth and changes to Lex & Dallas, Jas & Noelle and Rachel, Ace and Cruz ‘s relationships since the end of their books.
Both books are set as the Sectors and Eden are at the brink of war, and these couples & triads take some time away to be together and showcase how much the series has evolved since we first met them. We talk about the radical acts of hope and love in action that take place in these stories, from momentous choices to smaller promises.
Did you read the vignettes as your worked through the series, or did you discover them after the fact?
As the world building expands and the plot rapidly picks up pace, Ana and Chelsea spend this episode diving in to what exactly makes it feel just a little different than all the other O’Kane books. They discuss the underlying, often dismissed queerness of both the book and the series, while also noting the variety of ways female agency is expressed and the development of the main theme for the rest of the series: the ability to choose how one fights for the things one loves.
Along the way, Ana and Chelsea also discuss the old Hollywood feel of the novel, the appeal of spy novels, and, of course, the sex on the piano.
This book also sets up the final stages of the relationship between Mad, Scarlet, Jade and Dylan, whom become the central quad of our next book!
Both Ana & Chelsea adore Tatiana, her need for independence, her fierce pride and her determination to survive. And in this episode they breakdown why Tatiana and Zan clash even as she deeply wants Zan in her life & in her bed. Chelsea and Ana discuss just what submission has meant to Tatiana and what Zan has to do to prove that he can respect her needs and be the person she can rely on.
Ana and Chelsea also discuss one of their favorite moments in the whole series involving Lex and her kick-ass posse of O’Kane women and why it is thematically significant in the series.
In this episode Chelsea and Ana also talk about Gia, Lex & Stuart and the important of crafting and labor in the worldbuilding of the Beyond Series.