Wednesday, September 28, 2016

WIP Wednesday - Clan Beginnings: Clan and Command

              Piras and Tranis walked side by side down the wide corridor. Aides and other officers passed by, quietly muttering amongst themselves. The quiet conversations held excitement, and expressions were avid. Banrid’s treachery was no doubt the focus of everyone’s attention.
              Only Piras and Tranis were silent as they navigated their course through the silvery-walled hall. They were in the wing that contained all the offices of the highest-ranked officers of Fleet Command, where they themselves worked to help command Kalquor’s space arm of the military. Where up until now, they’d enjoyed a slight advantage over the vessels the Basma had won to his side, roughly a third of the original fleet.
              Now Maf had Earther battlecruisers, maybe thousands of them. The thought curdled Piras’s guts.
              Though Tranis walked alongside him, there was nothing Piras wished to say to his once-first officer. The only conversation they might have had was top-secret. Talking about personal things…such as how Lidon was doing in his newer career as a Global Security officer…would have been more awkward than the silence that weighed between them.
              Lidon. Just thinking the Nobek’s name made Piras’s stomach hurt.
              Fortunately, they neared the traitor Banrid’s office, giving Piras an opening to fill the uneasy quiet. Fleet security was filing in and out of the room, guiding small hover carts filled with the treacherous admiral’s personal and official belongings. Piras and Tranis paused until their credentials were verified and they were waved past the open doorway. A concealment field blocked their view of whatever evidence-gathering was going on inside the office.
              “Hard to believe. I never would have guessed it of Banrid,” Piras muttered.
              “Shocking,” Tranis agreed. He shot Piras the haunted look he’d worn since the horrific end of the war, when Earth was destroyed by her own leaders. “We’re tearing ourselves apart. For what end? What is happening to us?”
              It was a younger man’s question, the kind of thing someone who had not seen all Tranis had might have asked. That the younger Dramok still possessed the idealism to wonder at it made Piras feel as old as Hobato.
              Piras heard a gruff voice in his head give the answer, a voice as familiar as it was heart wrenching. He repeated the wisdom his companion’s spiritually-minded warrior clanmate would have said. “The usual. The wish for power. Wanting what one doesn’t have. Fear.”
              “Many captured traitors have claimed they were blackmailed into what they’ve done. That they were victims.”
              “The Basma’s secret son testified to that. The man’s web of deceit has been dragging in conspirators, both willing and not, for a long time. Perhaps it will come out that Banrid was such a dupe.”
              “Foolish men making foolish choices that Maf capitalized on. Now we’re paying for it in blood. He’ll destroy us all.”
              Piras’s tone was dry. “Promoting extinction over interbreeding would be a good hint of that. With Browning Copeland added to the fun, we get to fight two insane fanatics. Life is marvelous, don’t you think?
              They reached Piras’s office. Piras sketched a bow, but Tranis didn’t return it right away. Instead, the other Dramok gazed at Piras for a long beat.
              He finally said, “Lidon’s doing well.”
              Piras’s breath stopped for a moment. When he could speak, he blurted, “I didn’t ask.”
              “I know.” Tranis bowed and walked away, leaving Piras staring after him.

Wednesday, September 21, 2016

WIP Wednesday - Clan Beginnings: Clan and Command

              Tranis looked at Piras, his usually grim expression lighting with a smile too. “A former spy, one who hasn’t been on that type of duty in a long time, would be best.”
              Piras snorted. “That leaves you out. You were promoted straight from a spyship command only a few years ago.”
              He managed to keep the grudge out of his tone. Dramok Tranis had absolutely deserved his promotion to admiral. He was smart, resourceful, brave, and everything else an officer of the fleet should be. A hero, without a doubt.
              He was also the man who had taken away the one thing Piras had wanted most out of life.
              Not that Piras let any of that affect their ability to work together, except for one notable time. In this era of war, he couldn’t afford to be anything but professional. He didn’t have to like Tranis to work well with him, a fact borne out by the time they’d both spent together in Fleet Command.
              Hobato continued to give Piras a penetrating stare. “It's not just a matter of Admiral Tranis having been out of the spyship game for only five years. He’s also got an Earther Matara as part of his clan.”
              Like Piras didn’t know that. Like the still vid picture hanging on the wall didn’t remind him, had he deigned to look at it. Not that Piras cared one whit about Matara Cassidy, the beautiful Earther Tranis’s clan had won at the end of the war with Earth. Her sweet face might spark a little envy in Piras’s heart, but it didn’t compare to the pain he felt when he looked at another face in that portrait.
              It hadn’t been enough that Tranis had managed to clan Cassidy. Or that he’d become admiral younger than any other man in the history of the fleet. No, he had also clanned the Nobek Piras had loved for fifteen years. The man he’d shared his bed and body with, thinking that at any moment, Lidon would finally say yes to his offer of lifelong companionship.
              Was Piras wrong to feel jealousy towards a man who had won it all? Perhaps, but he refused to add guilt to his list of hurtful emotions. Lidon had been his Nobek in everything but vow, working at Piras’s side on board their destroyer through scores of campaigns and battles. Within months of Tranis becoming their ship’s first officer, Lidon had accepted the younger man’s offer to clan.
              Piras let none of the pain show. “I think it’s quite clear that the Basma would not welcome Admiral Tranis with open arms.”
              “He might welcome you.” Tranis’s voice was low and careful.
              Piras started and looked the bearded man in the face for the first time. “Me?”

Saturday, September 3, 2016

September 2016 Update

Hello from wind-and-rain-swept Georgia. Gotta love those tropical storms that come up through the Gulf to deliver us a smack a state away. I’ve got tree limbs! Lots and lots of tree limbs all over my yard.

Before the clean-up effort begins, I’ll share the latest and greatest in my corner of Writing World. First of all, did you catch my interview on the Romancing the Book site? Head on over and check it out!

But let’s talk books now, because that’s what you’re wondering about. Here we go on the latest roundup:

Shalia’s Diary Book 9 – The book is finally written. One more edit run, and I can move on to formatting. I’ve never been so happy to see the end of a storyline. I was starting to wonder if I’d ever get this one done. I’m now looking at about mid-October for a release date, with the blog starting back up a week after. Here’s a tasty little tease of what’s coming:

Shalia is at last face to face with her happily-ever-after. Well…maybe. Clans Seot and Aslada vie for her love. Both can give her and her daughter Anrel lives Shalia never dreamed of. Both offer opportunities for career and happiness. Only one can give her what she’s always dreamed of…a mother free of illness.

In her latest adventure, Shalia must juggle her love life and her responsibilities to her mother Eve. Nothing is turning out quite the way she imagined, however. Two clans are determined to have her for their mate, but are they the right men for her? Meanwhile, her mother’s rocky road to recovery is driving her insane. Clashes old and new threaten Shalia’s hopes for the relationships she’s fought so hard for.

What’s a woman to do when the fairytale refuses to offer a happy ending? When it’s Shalia Monroe, anything and everything.

Clans of Kalquor 1: Alien Embrace – The international release is now available from Totally Bound Publishing. I’ve still got to get off my arse and update my website, but you can grab the links right here and now: Amazon UK, Germany, Canada, Australia, and France. Snag it in paperback worldwide as well.

Portals to Risnar: Not of This World – I'm still waiting to hear back from publishers. Apparently this is prime time for vacation for editors. Everyone is supposed to be back in their offices after the U.S. Labor Day weekend, so hopefully I’ll have something to report soon. Let’s keep our fingers crossed.

Clan Beginnings: Clan and Command – Joy! I finally wrapped up the outline and started the first draft of this book. It’s always exciting to embark on a new adventure, and Piras, Kila, and Lokmi are providing plenty of excitement (in many different ways, wink). I am not setting a release date at this time because with cyber-schooling my son, my schedule is packed beyond belief. But my goal is to get the book out before the end of the year. So look forward to Shalia 9 in October and this one soon after.

Bring on autumn. I’m tired of sweating and storms. Have a great September, everyone!