Wednesday, September 25, 2013

WIP Wednesday – Clans of Kalquor 8: Alien Caged (WIP)

Oret had other matters more important to him on his mind.  “You can’t ask me to injure the woman.  Elise is a sweet child and an innocent.”

Zemos was the Nobek’s clan leader.  He was also his captain.  It still didn’t mean Oret would automatically obey him, not when his conscience was at odds with what had to happen.  While it would have made Zemos’ life easier if Oret simply followed orders, he felt better that his longtime companion challenged him on important matters.

The Dramok told him, “Of course you’re to do everything in your power to avoid harming her, my Nobek.  But we have a duty. The Empire comes first, and if what’s going on threatens Kalquor—”

Zemos had to stop and swallow against the sudden thickness in his throat.  He really didn’t want to be the reason Elisa found herself in terror or pain.  His very soul cried out against it.  Yet the threat hanging over his crew’s heads, a threat that might be big enough to encompass the Kalquorian Empire itself left him little choice.

He drew himself up and glared at Oret.  “Do what it takes to get us out of here.  That’s an order.”

Oret’s face purpled in his sudden rage.  He threw his untouched tray of food, sending it crashing against the wall.  Zemos had little doubt Oret had preferred to throw it at him.

The Nobek turned his back on Zemos.  He still hadn’t quite gotten over how his leader had knocked him out when the Earthers had disabled and boarded the destroyer.  When it had become obvious the Kalquorians would be overcome, Zemos had known Oret would fight to the death anyway in his attempt to save clan and crew.

For Zemos, losing his ship was calamity enough.  Losing his Nobek as well was intolerable.  He’d dealt Oret a brutal blow to the head when he wasn’t looking, injuring the man and yet ensuring his survival in an unwinnable battle.

Miragin looked from one to another of his clanmates, his concern plain.  He kept quiet however, knowing the tempers of the men he was linked to for life.  If Oret finally snapped and went after Zemos, Miragin would jump in between them, putting his own health in jeopardy to keep them from killing each other.  Zemos thought it must be hard to be clanned to a ferocious Nobek and a Dramok with equally violent tendencies.

Oret didn’t move however, and little by little, the three let the quiet soak in and cool quick tempers.  It was too bad the enforced time out left Zemos with nothing to do but contemplate what it would take to get them out of here.  Elisa’s last glance at him as she’d left the cell block seemed burned into his retinas; it was everywhere he looked.  Her smile wouldn’t leave his mind, its sweetness mocking him with a promise he might very well destroy.

Releasing in October

Saturday, September 21, 2013

The Kalquor Timeline

I was recently asked by a reader to provide a timeline of when the various books occur, especially when it comes to the Clan Beginnings series.  I’ve been meaning to do this for myself, as I am starting to get confused as to when certain events happened.  It seems like I’m constantly going back and looking at older books to get my bearings.  The Kalquor saga is growing faster than even I can keep up with.

So to that end, I have done my best to figure out the ‘when’ of each book, whether already written or in the planning stages.  Here is what I came up with, though knowing me, I might have made some miscalculations.  If you catch me placing something in the wrong sequence, do me a favor and tell me.  Heaven knows, I need all the help I can get! 

My ‘zero point’ is Armageddon.  The timeline is based around that occurrence.  Here’s what I have:

Clan, Honor, and Empire (Clan Rajhir’s WIP):  55 years before Armageddon 

Clan and Crown (Clan Clajak’s WIP):  40 years before Armageddon

Clan and Conviction:  16 years before Armageddon

To Clan and Conquer:  6 years before Armageddon

Clan Companions 1 (Untitled WIP):  4 years before Armageddon

Alien Embrace :  Approximately 2 years prior to Armageddon

Alien Rule, Michaela (WIP), and Clan Bacoj Beginnings (Untitled WIP):  Approximately one and a half years prior to Armageddon

Alien Conquest, Sister Katherine:  Armageddon occurs during these books

Shalia’s Diary:  Starts 2 months after Armageddon

Alien Salvation: 6 months after Armageddon

Alien Slave, Brianna’s Clan (WIP):  Over a year after Armageddon 

Alien Redemption:  2 years after Armageddon

Alien Refuge:     3 years after Armageddon 

Alien Caged (WIP):  Almost 4 years after Armageddon

Alien Indiscretions (WIP):  4 years after Armageddon

Alien Hostage (WIP):  4 and a half years after Armageddon

Okay, I have something else to put out there to the readers.  Like many of you, I adore physical books as well as e-books.  However, I have begun to pull away from putting my own books in print.  The last one I did was Alien Refuge.  I’m not sure I want to bother with putting the next one, Alien Caged, in any format besides e-book.  While I make some money from print books, it’s little enough that I can live without it (especially given the aggravation of formatting it).  If you will do me the kindness of voting on the poll at the top right of the blog, answering whether or not you plan to buy Alien Caged in print, I would be most appreciative.  Thanks!

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

WIP Wednesday – First Mataras: Michaela

 The big man spoke in a voice much softer than Michaela had expected from this giant who stood at least a foot taller than her.  As he bowed, he said, “Good evening, Saucin Israla.” 

There were two more men behind him, and Michaela goggled at them.  They were also giants, and one bulged with so much muscle she couldn’t help but stare.

She recognized them from the belly dancing exhibit she’d put on with her friend Jessica only an hour earlier.  There had been four Kalquorian clans present at the show, four potential groups of men to seduce into taking them off Earth-blockaded Plasius.  These three had sat at one end of the stage.  They’d been the most appreciative of the clans, howling and applauding her dance with unrestrained enthusiasm.  Michaela had caught herself doing her most salacious moves for them, too caught up in the dance of Raqs Sharqi to be inhibited.

Now she stood face to face with them, shaking as the leshella’s effects waned before her terror.

The one who had answered the door had shoulder-length black hair that was almost like a cloud with its frizzy texture.  All that soft-looking cotton candy hair framed a face made of sharp angles, the bone structure finely cut.  It wouldn’t have been a handsome face, except for the warmth that exuded from his expression and eyes.  The kindness in the Kalquorian’s face made him quite appealing.

As for the body covered in the clinging black formsuit the alien male wore ... that was sheer perfection.  Michaela’s mouth went dry to see such blatant muscularity, the likes she’d never seen except on Earther soldiers who’d been fed steroids.  Even they couldn’t compare with the gorgeous, balanced physique of this man. 

Israla’s smooth voice barely registered as Michaela looked at the man before her.  “Good evening once again, Dramok Korkla.  I’ve brought someone to meet you.”

Dramok.  That means he’s the leader of the clan, Michaela thought, one of the few things her brain spat out with clarity.  The Kalquorian was already looking at her, his beautiful blue-purple eyes with their cat-like pupils taking her in.  Her, not the beautiful, powerful, and sexually adventurous Israla.  How could he stare at her as if Israla did not even exist?

He bowed once more, this time to Michaela.  She was aware of the other two doing so as well, but for the moment, her sight and hearing were all Korkla’s as he spoke.

“Matara Michaela, this is a pleasure.  I cannot begin to express how much we enjoyed your dance tonight.”

Somehow, she remembered how to speak.  Her voice was even more than a whisper, though not by much.  “Thank you.  I’m glad you liked it.”

“Please do come in.”  Korkla and the other two stepped back to allow her entry.

When Michaela hesitated, Israla slipped an arm around her.  The Saucin gave her a gentle but firm push towards the room beyond.

The leader of Plasius said loud enough for all to hear, “I have other duties to attend to.  Take your time getting acquainted.”  Then she leaned to whisper in Michaela’s ear.

“Do you smell that spicy scent?”

A sharp aroma teased Michaela’s nostrils.  “Like cinnamon?  Oh, I guess you don’t know what cinnamon is.”

Israla was content to know she had picked up the singular scent.  “That’s the aroma of a Kalquorian’s arousal.  So now you know they are very interested in you.”

Before Michaela could absorb that little nugget of information, Israla turned and swept away, leaving her alone with the three alien men.  Michaela watched her go, her mouth hanging open.  It occurred to her that perhaps running after the Saucin might be a good idea.

A large but gentle hand closed around Michaela’s upper arm and pulled her towards the clan’s quarters.  She crossed the threshold and the door shut behind her.  She was in the room, alone with three huge alien men.   

No release date set

Sunday, September 15, 2013

Sunday’s Serving – Clan Beginnings: Clan, Honor, and Empire (WIP)

Hi all,

Before you read today's excerpt, I just want to let you know this is the last Sunday's Serving I will post.  It has become just like WIP Wednesday, so I'm not going to continue it any longer.  Besides, time I'm not worrying with the blog is time I'm writing books!  Here's the last one:

            Rajhir stood ramrod straight before Gegra’s desk, doing his best to portray confidence.  He’d caught Gegra before the end of his workday still in the legal office.  He made sure to keep his gaze locked with his Dramok father’s, careful not to let his eyes stray to the calmer beach scene showing on the vid behind Gegra.  Distraction would not do at this moment.
            Over the low sound of waves dashing themselves to the pink-sanded shore rose the mournful call of the reptiles that tended to nest on the beach during the winter months.  Their cries seemed to warn Rajhir that bad tidings were about to be spoken.  So far, his Dramok father had only expressed exasperation and confusion over his decision to work for a young and newly elected councilman.  He had not yet unleashed a loud diatribe or, even worse, the withering look that Rajhir knew all too well.  The Look would no doubt made him feel smaller than any of the many mistakes he’d made in Ospar’s sight today.
            Gegra wasn’t yelling at him ... not yet.  “You knew you were to accept the position in Teken’s office!  He commed me several times this morning asking where you were.  Then after lunch, he told me you had tendered your regrets having accepted a position elsewhere.”
            Rajhir nodded.  “The line of applicants at Teken’s office was quite long, and I took advantage of the opportunity to interview elsewhere, just as you said to.  I found myself with an opportunity far beyond any I’d expected.  I knew you would approve, considering the circumstances.”
            “Approve?  Working with an untried youngling who knows nothing of procedures and precedents?  First term councilmen get almost nothing of note done, Rajhir.  They haven’t the connections or knowledge of how things work.  How are you supposed to learn from someone like that?”
            Now came the look Rajhir had dreaded.  Suddenly he felt ten years old again, facing Gegra’s disapproval.  The Look said it all:  I expected so much better from you, and you have disappointed me.
            Managing to keep his tone even and his shoulders squared despite getting The Look, Rajhir defended his decision.  “Councilman Ospar is quite ambitious.  I was impressed with his motivation to make important things happen.”
            Gegra sighed.  He sat back and the chair creaked.  “They all start out that way, Rajhir.  Then the veteran councilmen who have been there a while roll right over the new ones and take all the excitement away.  It’s not a flash of fire that gets you through the first years of council service; it’s the slow burn of duty.”
            “Ospar has a lead on some suspect dealings with Ledsin’s Imdiko.  It could be that garbage legislation Ledsin is trying to push through is part of it.  Ospar says it smacks of not just corruption but undermining the Empire itself.”
            The Look died.  Though Gegra maintained cool aloofness, Rajhir saw his father’s focus shift in an instant away from his son’s employment choices.  The elder Dramok’s gaze went sharp to hear his political opponent might be up to no good.

No release date scheduled.

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

WIP Wednesday – Clan Beginnings: Clan, Honor, and Empire

            Rajhir was of the firm opinion his new boss was downright obsessive-compulsive.  Ospar was right in asserting one should be fully informed, but who needed to know the more archaic details he’d collected?  Even the mind-numbingly boring legislative precedents class Rajhir had taken hadn’t gone into such small matters.
            Definitely too much of this stuff.  I wonder if he’d notice if some of this went missing?  I sure wouldn’t mind recycling about half of it.  Seriously, will he have a clue if I was to get rid—
            “Excuse me?”
            Rajhir didn’t look up as a shadow fell over his desk.  He sighed tiredly.  “Councilman Ospar is not looking for an aide.”
            “Oh, well, I don’t want to be an aide.”
            Rajhir looked up.  And up.  And up. 
            Standing in front of his drive-littered desk was the biggest man he’d ever seen.  At six-foot-seven, Rajhir was not a small specimen himself, but this fellow easily topped seven feet.  It wasn’t just height either; the man was bulky with muscle.  He looked as if he could topple mountains.
            Completely at odds with the brutish body was the open, sweet face that topped it.  He might have been gargantuan, but the man was definitely of the gentle Imdiko breed.
            Rajhir realized he gaped at the young colossus.  He blinked a couple of times and said, “My apologies.  It’s open applicant day for all the new councilmen, so I assumed – damn, you are the biggest thing I’ve ever seen.”
            The Imdiko reddened and looked away.  “Yeah, I get that a lot.”
            Rajhir shook himself and stood.  He bowed to the other man.  “I’m being rude, and I beg your pardon for it.  I’m Councilman Ospar’s aide, Dramok Rajhir.  How can I help you—?”
            “Flencik.  Dr. Flencik.”  The Imdiko smiled as he bowed, making his unlined face even more youthful.  He was a handsome thing, his heavy bone structure perfect for his stature.  He didn’t look brutish at all. 
            Rajhir caught himself admiring the perfect spirals of Flencik’s curly hair that reached to his chest.  Shining black coils that begged to be touched.  It was only now as he got over his surprise at the Imdiko’s size that he noticed the man was dressed in a green medical tunic and trousers.   
            Rajhir became impatient with the way he conducted himself.  “A pleasure to meet you, Dr. Flencik.  How may I be of assistance?”
            The man bit his lower lip as uncertainty crossed his features.  Yes, he was definitely young to be making such a childish expression, perhaps even younger than Rajhir.  Maybe not even old enough to clan. 

No release date set.