Sunday, March 31, 2013

Sunday’s Serving – To Protect and Service: Ravenous Virtue (WIP)

Kimi, being the gregarious creature she was, moved on to other dance partners after fifteen minutes.  Raven didn’t want to dance with anyone else, and fortunately, Douglas seemed loathe to give her up.  He kept touching her, as if to make sure she and everyone else knew she was with him.  The contact was innocent, just cupping her shoulder or elbow, sliding his hand down her upper arm, or brushing her waist.  Yet every touch made Raven feel warm inside.  The seductive way he swayed rather than jerking enthusiastically like many others were, also had her nerves jumping.  The man was pure sex in jeans, and Raven found herself assaulted once again with visions of what he could do to her.

And those deep, dangerous eyes, with their mesmerizing gold color, seemed to hypnotize her.  She just couldn’t look away from Douglas, not even when the floor grew more crowded than ever and she was constantly bumped into.  It was almost as if they existed on a separate plane from everyone else, like ghosts among the living.

He had some kind of hold on her, Raven realized.  It should have warned her away.  Instead, she wanted to remain in his thrall, to see what danger the man truly represented.  She moved close to him, so close that she could smell his exotic cologne.  Close enough to feel the warm of his body against hers.  Dancing with Douglas Bringer was like dancing with a cobra, a beautiful, deadly creature that bided its time, waiting for the perfect moment to strike.

Releasing Fall 2013

Saturday, March 30, 2013

Police Work is Boring. Just Ask Gelan and Wynhod.

Honestly, investigations into crime are tedious tasks.  Television and movies would have us believe otherwise.  All these shows like CSI, Criminal Minds, Law and Order ... everything gets wrapped up nice and pretty in the span of an hour.  And it’s exciting, with the bad guys shooting at the good guys, mental puzzles that would stump Einstein, and a thrilling chase scene here and there.  Police work looks plenty exciting on the screen when it comes from Hollywood.

In actuality, it’s hours of monotonous desk work, days of waiting on lab results, weeks of waiting for red tape to be cleared, and months when nothing ... NOTHING ... new comes up to move a case along.  Cases can extend into years with false leads going nowhere.  Sometimes they never get solved.

You’ll find this slow grind is very much the issue in Clan Beginnings:  Clan and Conviction.  When we join Gelan and Wynhod in the first part of the book, Gelan is investigating the Delir drug ring, as he has for months.  He’s the second lead investigator that’s handled the case, in fact.  Delir has already defeated the first one.  It’s been dragging along for quite some time.  Several things happen all at once to push this long-stagnant investigation into overdrive at last:  Wynhod becomes Gelan’s partner, a savvy criminal psychologist with new insights is assigned to help (Krijero), and a lucky break finally comes along. 

In the second part of the book, a new drug called Frenzy makes itself a pain in our clan’s collective ass.  This one stretches for two years before any headway is made.  There’s a lot of bitching about sitting at a computer doing research (Wynhod), because that’s the name of the game in most cases.  Interspersed with their Frenzy case are other cases that are no less tedious to our intrepid trio.  It’s no wonder they go in for extreme sports like mountain climbing, primitive hunting, and spear fishing with man-eating rizpahs.  These poor guys have to do something to blow off steam and get the adrenaline pumping.

Yes, police work, especially the investigative part, is mostly dull stuff.  However, Clan and Conviction skips over broad swaths of time, so don’t be worried about sitting next to Wynhod and Gelan, your eyes glazed over as you spend hour after hour on a stakeout watching people walk in and out of a supposedly closed-down club.  You get to miss all that stuff and go quickly to the shoot outs, hostage negotiations, and races against time.   Plus there’s that matter of new intimate relationships and sex.  Yeah, that helps pass the hours too.

Tentative release set for May 2013.

Thursday, March 28, 2013

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

WIP Wednesday – To Protect and Service: Ravenous Virtue

Raven’s friend Douglas is not what he seems:

Douglas took a deep breath.  The air shimmered around him, like desert heat off blacktop.  Then he changed right before her eyes.

His chameleon hair turned as blond as Vendeen’s.  His golden eyes shaded to brown.  His features sharpened, taking him from the chiseled perfection of Douglas Bringer to that of a thinner, finer-featured man.

Raven couldn’t even summon a gasp.  She stared, trying to decipher what her eyesight was telling her.

Before she could gather her senses to react, Douglas changed again.  His features became rounder and even more delicate.  His eyes turned blue, and his hair lengthened to past his shoulders.  His body curved out until Raven was looking at a woman.  A woman that had been Douglas Bringer.

The female gave Raven a saucy grin, then shifted once more, returning to the visage of Douglas that she knew.  Golden eyes and short hair.  Chameleon hair.

The whole fucking man was a chameleon, if Raven was to believe her eyes.  She wasn’t so sure she did.

“What the fuck?” she croaked.  The only explanation was drugs.  She was so hopped up on medication that she was hallucinating.  Like she had earlier, with the voices in the dark she was just now remembering.  Douglas and Vendeen’s voices.

Douglas took her hand.  He felt real enough as he said, “My real name is Daagiis, Raven.  I am what many refer to as a face-changer, though I can alter my whole body.  I come from the world Paatuun.  The space station you thought was a joke is real, and you’re on it.”

She stared at him.  Damn it, this didn’t feel like a dream, but it had to be.  Either that, or she was absolutely fucking insane.  She said, “Right.  So what meds am I on?  Because I really think someone needs to lower my dosage.”

Releasing late summer.

Sunday, March 24, 2013

Sunday's Serving - Nuns of Europa: Sister Katherine

He grimaced.  Vadef was not a Nobek.  He’d never frightened anyone in his life, and he didn’t like that he scared these poor women.

Miv’s hand squeezed his shoulder.  His voice had a delightful gravel quality, and Vadef felt like it scratched an itch deep in his ear.  “It’s all right, my Imdiko.  We’re not hurting them.”

“I wish we could make them understand that.”  He thought he might hear the screams for the rest of his life.

“They wouldn’t listen.  They are poisoned against us.  Not to mention terrified at this moment.”

Vadef nodded.  Even the most benign invasion would be far from pleasant for those it was happening to.  With a sigh he carried the woman he held to the wall of the corridor and laid her on the floor.  Her white gown, while voluminous, still seemed inadequate protection for such a small creature.  It wasn’t cold in the corridor, but Vadef still had the urge to cover her in a blanket or slip a pillow under her head ... something that demonstrated care.  However, he needed to keep up with Miv, to finish this unpalatable work.  The sooner this invasion of the tiny Earther colony was over, the sooner Vadef could sit in front of a computer where he belonged.

Reluctantly leaving the woman in the growing line of sedated females, he followed Miv to a closed door.  Either someone was inside or it hadn’t been checked yet.  The tiny sleeping rooms that were confirmed empty had the doors locked in the open setting.  Miv pointed his frequency disruptor at the locking mechanism of the one in question.  It beeped and slid open, and Miv put out a hand to warn Vadef back.

The Imdiko obeyed and stepped aside, though he really couldn’t imagine one of the tiny Earthers being able to harm him.  Vadef didn’t get to feel big often, but being near the small women gave him a sense of how his powerhouse of a clanmate must feel.

He was content to let his Nobek be a Nobek – protective, in other words.  Miv stepped into the tiny rectangle of darkness beyond the door to restrain whoever might be inside.  Vadef thought the room must be empty since no screams issued from it.

Miv paused just inside and turned back to Vadef with a confused look on his face.  Curious, Vadef stepped close to peer in past his clanmate’s large body.

Releasing Summer 2013

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

WIP Wednesday – Nuns of Europa: Sister Katherine

Sister Katherine has a secret:

Katherine staggered to her bedside and sank to her knees.  Tears coursed down her cheeks as she clasped her hands together, leaning her elbows on the surface of her narrow bed.  She listened to the continuing cries, growing fewer by the second.  She thought of the girls, her little ones, especially the youngest.  Darci and Marci Soames, sisters sent to the convent by a devout grandmother no longer physically capable of caring for them, were only twelve and nine years old.  They must have been frightened to see the Kalquorians coming at them, absolutely terrorized as the aliens sedated them.

Had she actually wanted to meet these creatures, these gargantuan Kalquorians who made helpless women and girls scream?  Were these the men she’d gotten herself in so much trouble for, the reason she’d been exiled to Europa?

You wanted to meet with them.  Talk to them.  Reason with them.  Remember the adage ‘be careful what you wish for’?  Well, your wish has come true.  You will now come face to face with the Kalquorians.  

Sobs shook Katherine’s slender frame as she began to pray.  “Heavenly Father, I am heartily sorry for whatever I may have done to offend you, especially if this punishment was brought on by me.  Please take me, give me to these Kalquorians, but let the children stay safe.  Keep these young girls and women safe, give them strength, take me God, please.”

She knew she jabbered in her rising panic.  Hearing the sound of barking-like voices outside her door only fed the terror.  They’d come in any moment and take her like the others...

The girls.  What would they do to her girls?

“Please, God, please, don’t let the innocent be harmed, I beg of you...”

Her tears poured as she pleaded with all her might, thinking only of the young girls in her care that she could not save from whatever was happening to them.

Releasing Summer 2013