Thursday, March 31, 2016
Wednesday, March 30, 2016
Before he could justify his words, Nex signaled to them to come over. The pair rejoined the men still crowded around Jeannie. She smiled at Kren as he approached, and his hearts softened. No, he could not bear to see her exterminated.
Nex started his report. “No venom pits around her teeth. She isn’t poisonous. Her teeth are all blunt. She could do damage with them, but not if we armor skin.”
Arga pursed his lips. “What defenses does she have?”
“Physically? Not much. Not against one of us. But her brain size is on par with ours.”
Kren said, “So we can assume high intelligence.”
“She needs it with so few fighting characteristics.” Nex lowered his voice as if the human could understand him. “Get this: she only has one heart. One liver. A lot of the other stuff is redundant like us, but not those organs.”
Arga’s startled exclamation rose over the others’. “What? What’s she supposed to do if those are damaged or fail?”
Nex shrugged. “Die.”
Bort spoke slowly, his tone incredulous. “No way she’s made in a Monsudan lab, Kren. They’d never create such a weak thing.”
Kren agreed, but he knew the obstacles facing the female. “Tell that to the elders. They may not allow her to live before we can prove it.”
The men glanced at each other. Jeannie’s brows had drawn together as they spoke, as if she realized they discussed weighty matters. Did she know her life hung in the balance? Kren hoped not. The last thing he wanted was for her to be more afraid than she already was.
Nex licked his lips and spoke carefully. “Don’t take this wrong, but – well, maybe you could delay contacting the Assembly? Not for long, of course,” he rushed to add. “Maybe a day? Two?”
After Arga’s shocked reaction to Kren’s earlier statement, he had to answer as the Enforcement Leader he was. “You know we’ll face censure for such a delay.”
Pon was young enough to speak more rebelliously than most. “Come on, Kren. Look at her. She’s too sweet to euthanize without getting the chance to prove she’s not a Bug Bit. Just long enough to consult with a scholar who might know what she is.”
Arga surprised Kren by somewhat reversing his stance. “What about Mekay or Pas? They know arcane better than anyone. Make it Mekay, and we might not get burned for not approaching the entire Assembly. He is an Elder, after all.”
Kren had never been more grateful to his friend and partner than that moment. “Mekay would be perfect. If we go to him, it’s not like we would be concealing her after all.”
The entire group looked relieved at the compromise. Nex grinned and patted Jeannie on the head. “I think we’ve bought you another day, Jeannie the Hyoo-man.”
She gave him a pained smile, as if to respond to his friendliness while disliking the patronizing head-pat gesture. Nex didn’t seem to pick up on her polite dismay.
No release date set.
Monday, March 28, 2016
Saturday, March 26, 2016
The Shalia's Diary blog wraps the current storyline on Thursday. Shalia's Diary Book 7 will release on Friday, April 1. The blog will have a short hiatus and posts will resume for the newest storyline on Monday, April 19. But you don't have to wait that long to read the newest tale because...
If all goes according to plan, Shalia's Diary Book 8 will be available for sale as an e-book for $2.99 on April 8. Once all of the entries from Shalia 8 have been posted to the Shalia's Diary blog, the e-book price will drop to the usual 99 cents. So you have the options of:
1. Enjoying it early in its entirety,
2. Enjoying it on the blog for free and with the usual angst/thrill of anticipating the next entry, or
3. Waiting a few months to have it all at once for the usual price.
By the way: The men for these two books ... OMG. Erin is determined to make my eyes fall out of my head with her covers.
I am still locking down a release date for Clans of Kalquor 10: Alien Hostage, but it will definitely happen later in April. I did not plan to release 3 books in one month, but circumstances made it that way. Hopefully I will have a date to report for CoK10 on next week's regular update, along with an important message for readers outside North America. I will also give you some idea of what's to come in Shalia's Diary Book 8.
Obviously, I am crazy busy right now with 3 books coming out so fast. Please excuse continued delays in getting back to messages. But then, who wants to talk to me when you've got a deluge of Kalquorians to enjoy?
Happy Easter, everyone!
Thursday, March 24, 2016
Wednesday, March 23, 2016
The room’s door slid closed with a politely quiet hiss, cutting off the fine view. With a happy sigh, Tasha turned to face Jessica. Her royal cousin was waiting to be noticed, her expression grumpy.
Tasha couldn’t imagine why Jessica would look at her as if she’d done something wrong. The empress was an admirer of nice buttocks herself. Tasha cocked an eyebrow. “What?”
Jessica’s scowl deepened. “I never thought I’d say this, not in a trillion years. But when are you going to start acting like your sister?”
Tasha blinked. “Like Cissy?”
Tasha’s twin Cecilia was cheerfully acknowledged as the family’s wild child. Daring in manner and words, brash to the point of rudeness, Cissy was unapologetically loud and never stinted in offering her honest opinion. Even being recently clanned to men known for their outstanding credentials and impeccable manners hadn’t calmed the sometimes cruder Salter twin. The more demure ladylike Tasha had often felt bad that Cissy was compared unfavorably to her, but the comparison never seemed to bother Cissy.
To be told Tasha needed to be more like Cissy was a rare occurrence. Tasha couldn’t wait to tell her twin about it.
Jessica darted a cautious look to Noelle. The little girl had slid to the floor and was absorbed in making her doll hug a plush ronka toy. She seemed to take no notice of the conversation as she made quiet conversation with her playthings, her low voice punctuated with giggles.
Even with Noelle distracted, Jessica kept her voice low as she chastised Tasha. “You are getting a reputation, Ms. Casanova. A different man every week. Not entertaining the clans you’ve been matched to.”
Tasha sat up straight. She tried to not sound defensive. “Not true. I just came from spending an afternoon with a potential clan. It was our third encounter.”
“They were nice.”
Jessica’s expression told Tasha she already knew the score. “Uh huh. When do you see them again?”
Under Jessica’s gaze, Tasha shifted uncomfortably before she could stop herself. She made herself sit still and smoothed her skirt. She stopped when she realized that was yet another nervous gesture. She was giving herself away too easily to her shrewd cousin and she knew it. What she didn’t know was how to make herself stop.
Knowing the excuse was lame, she started to say, “Well, I’m not sure they’re right for me—”
“Just as the gossip says,” Jessica interrupted. “The few times you do spend time with an available clan, you see them once and never again. And it’s not conversation you’re indulging in.” She gave Noelle another quick glance to make sure the little girl wasn’t trying to follow along.
Tasha also checked before defending herself in a low tone. “This isn’t Earth. I’m allowed to have all the fun I want. Who says I have to settle down anyway?”
Releasing April 2016