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Sunday, April 24, 2016

Writing News and an Excerpt

Writing ...

I have been dealing with out of control asthma for months now, to the point the meds I'm on are making complications. I am hoping the warmer weather will help clear this up, even though it is spring allergy time. Maybe this will be  a summer with no close forest fires, that happens sometimes!

Sadly this has made an impact on my writing, also my day job, the laundry, and anything resembling a social life. But eventually we will get over this flare.

I have a short story to get out to beta readers. It is set in the Diaspora Worlds Universe but in a completely new setting, a teeming urban planet called Jiang. I did a lot of research for this on the city of Shanghai. I may be spending more time on Jiang in future works.

My short story starts with the actions of a precocious child:

Aboard the interstellar research vessel Fair Discovery situated in observational orbit around planet Pilori, Star: Beta Canum Venaticorum

Four hours—that was all Aerria needed to finish a huge project her team had been working on for many months. Unfortunately she had no tutor today for her daughter.  
“Janna, I must get this finished, so I need you to stay in your room until lunch. I know it is a long time, but I got you two new vids and a new box full of playclay and a set of toy villagers who resemble the people you have been observing for your Interstellar Relations class. And I do expect you to do your homework. It is all review. Elodi will be here if you need anything.”
The small disc-robo, Elodi, zipped into Janna’s small, colorful room.
“Elodi will serve you a snack at ten.”
Janna sighed. "All right, Mom. But when you are done, can we swim? With toys?”
Aerria smiled. “Of course we can. As long as you want.” Aeria kissed her small daughter and closed herself in her  office.

Janna couldn’t believe her luck! The flight line was a nice straight one—Fair Discovery was in the perfect position for her plans! Janna turned to Elodi. “Override the daily instructions. Code: Janna the Boss.”
“Override accepted.”
“You new orders are to assure Aerria that all is well, Janna is playing nicely with her playclay, Janna is watching vids from Chen Chen Children's Network. You will not tell her I have left for a lower level of the pod.”
“Yes, Janna the Boss.”
“Now, go get me a snack for two, packed for a picnic.”
“Yes, Janna the boss.” The disc flew off to the galley.

Thursday, April 14, 2016

Traces of Poppy, Release by Decadent Kane

A New Release
Author Decadent Kane continues her series!


Fate may take her life, but he will steal her soul.

Madness stalks Poppy’s dreams, drowning her in darkness, pain, and the fires of hell. Hoping the nightmares can be tamed, she seeks help from a sage witch, only to discover a crueler fate: she is bound to die. The elementals require her sacrifice, or they will end her bloodline forever. The worst part? She just found him...

The elf who is destined for her.
The male who will go mad without her.
The mate she can’t have.
Drayden knows the feral has him. He's turning into a drow faster than he thought possible. Rage and chaos consume him from the inside out, threatening to devour not only him, but his soul mate as well. She fears him, and yet she is the only one who can save him from his nightmare…
If they can survive the sage witch’s treacherous task.
If he can hold onto his soul a little longer.
If he can watch her die.

Sunday, April 10, 2016

A Snippet from Cyborg Security

Cyborg Security is a short story set in the Diaspora Worlds on a distant observation space station. It will be out in a multi author antho this spring or summer.

Two hardworking adults mixed with the chaos of children results in a dire situation.

Aerria left her pod after an early breakfast. She didn’t know how early Domingo ate, but normally Blevin was out the door by seven thirty. Today though, he was wearing pajamas in the lounge watching vids with the little ones, she’d messaged the tutor he was ill. Janna and Olvar were awake but sleepy so the three were on the couches with blankets. Elodi the servobot was in the lounge with them, and communications all were to go through her.
Aerria rushed through the early morning corridors to Domingo’s pod.  Few people were about in the residential area since shift change wasn’t for another hour or so. She’d never been to Domingo’s place. Of course not. There was no reason for her to visit him. They were childhood friends, but they weren’t close now. He’d been her late husband’s best friend, not hers. For  number of years she’d heard from him, brief messages, until he alerted her to the position she now held on the Fair Discovery.
Domingo opened the door and by the set of his jaw she knew he was still furious.  “Do you know how complicated this is going to be?”
That set her off. “Look, I didn’t expect or anticipate that anything like this could happen. Would you have? Janna’s eight years old. And a lot of it was luck! Timing! She didn’t calculate a date, she just aimed the ship and the timing was right. Everything lined up!”

She shoved past him and he grabbed her arms. And then his mouth was on hers, not like the gentle, tentative kiss they had shared in the past, but a hard, hot press of tongue and teeth. Their tongues battled, revving her heart rate ever higher. Aerria threaded hands into his wiry hair, not gentle, and he hoisted her up against the wall, his breathing through his nose as loud as hers was, but she refused to break the kiss. This was better than yelling at each other. So much better. She moved her arms to his neck and  flung her legs about his hips, letting his weight pressing her against the wall keep her in line for the kiss.

Sunday, March 20, 2016

Sunday Share from Cyborg Security

I have short coming out in an antho, TBA later! But it is lots of fun. It is set in the Diaspora Worlds on an Interstellar Observation Station, which is studying a planet that will soon have space flight. 

It was an hour before Blevin got home from his study group. By the time he arrived Aerria was a wreck.
“Blevin, you need to see this right now.” She turned her com screen, showing a view of Janna’s room with Janna asleep in her bed and Olvar asleep on the couch.
“Who is that?” He looked close. “That kid has Piloran hair!”
“He is Piloran. His name is Olvar.” She wrung her hands.
“How did he get here?” Blevin at fourteen towered over her but he looked at her with huge eyes and flopped bonelessly into the chair.
“Janna took the Doodle Bug. That is the boy she was studying for her interstellar class project.”
“She kidnapped him?”
“Well, technically, she rescued him. He was abused. His poor little back is covered in bruises from a beating.”
“And she just went and got him!”
“Yes. Plus it gets worse—”
“— How could it possibly get worse? It is a violation of the First Statute!”
“I know, I know.  But while they were on the Doodle Bug they recite betrothal vows and put on the bracelets. They were in Free Space. The contract is binding.”
Blevin banged his head on the desk.
“I just don’t know what to do.”
Blevin leaped up, brown hair flopping into his eyes. “I’m getting Shan.” He rushed to the door. “Not on the com. I’m going to his quarters. No real records that way.”
Aerria squeezed her eyes shut. Shan. “All right.”
“I know you don’t like him, Mom, but he was Dad’s best friend and he’s from Mercia, too. Plus he is head of security. He’ll help us.” Blevin left.

Or arrest me.

Tuesday, March 1, 2016

Teaser Tuesday: Starhaven

I'm one of those writers who work on several different projects at a time. I plot my stories out, but I prefer to write a scene after it has percolated for a while in my brain. This story is actually now in revisions, so we are seeing the light at the end of the tunnel. It is set on a space station called Starhaven, in basically the same 'world' as my book Starlander's Myth. Kind of the early centuries of the Diaspora Worlds  universe.

No cover made yet. But here is a graphic I might use.

Rue grinned, her heart pounding. "I have lunch soon. Just two ships to check in.” She forced herself to work on her com, checking in the cargo the ship wanted to leave on the dock, and alerting the dock inspectors so they could access the load for customs. The second ship only wanted fuel and she calculated the mix they required and filled them. Then she spotted a familiar head of thick white hair on her security com. 
“Veras. Isn’t that your father?”
“Hot balls,” Veras cursed. “What is he doing here?”
Rue shrugged.“He has always had a few boundary issues with you.”
Veras took a deep breath. “You're right. I’m going to do the mature thing and hide behind that storage unit. I don't want our lunch turned into a lecture.” 
A unit of supply cabinets was free standing toward the back of the room. Veras squatted down behind it just as Rue let his father into the room.
“Rue,” barked Junas McClay. Rue looked at the man who had never liked her, feeling that useless, helpless feeling of wanting approval.
“You saw my son last night.”
“Yes sir, we had dinner at the Bread Bowl.”
“I don’t want to deal with you again.”
Rue bit her lip. “I understand, sir. We...we just wanted to say goodbye. He is leaving tomorrow, we will probably never see each other again.”
“I hope not. I could make things very uncomfortable for you. Get you fired from this job, for instance.”
Rue sighed. “I know you could, sir. And I hope you won’t. Quite a bit has happened and changed since Veras and I were together. I have an infant daughter to support, now. And I recently got my one year sober light tat.”
“You have  a daughter?” It somewhat pleased Rue that Junas sounded surprised.
“Her name is Garnet. She only has me.”
“It’s not my son’s child?”
“No. Here is a picture of her. Her father was dark skinned.
Veras’ father scowled at the picture of Garnet, who looked so much like Rue except her coloring.
“I just don’t want you complicating things. Or doing all those intoxicants with him.”
“No sir. I don’t do those anymore. And Veras leaves tomorrow, anyway.”
“Yes, well see that you don’t do anything to cock that up. After seeing that he would never be suited to my business, I have high expectations for him as a medic.”
Rue couldn’t help but smile, through tears pricked her eyes. “Oh, he’ll be  a marvelous medic. I’m so happy for him.” She ducked his head so Mr. McClay wouldn’t see her watery eyes.
After a pause while Rue typed furiously on the keyboard, though there was no pressing task, Mr. McClay spoke. “Well, perhaps I misjudged you somewhat. Not about the drugs, those were completely unacceptable. But you do seem to care for my son. Perhaps you could come to dinner sometime. Bring your daughter.”
Rue couldn’t speak for a moment as emotion tightened her throat. “Oh...thank you, sir. The offer is more than kind. But I am in a somewhat difficult transition right now. I have to find decent housing for Garnet and I. I’m in an uncomfortable living situation at the moment. I think it would be better to make a...clean break. Veras has a whole new life awaiting him. I have Garnet. Neither one of us needs to cling to the past. But thank you.”
“I see. Well, no hard feelings, then. I won’t talk to your employers.” He frowned  at the window showing the space dock. “What in Hades is that?”
Rue glanced at the window, then keyed frantically on her com. “They’re here. We have been expecting them. Oh I’m so glad I got to see them! I took a picture, too. Those are the Jovian antenna ships. The ones that collect power—”
“ —Ahh, I have heard. But they are so tiny. And colorful.”
“They are small crew ships. Those are the Jovian flag colors. That transport is headed to Level One. Way too big for my dock, though I would love to have that fuel count on my log.”
They watched the transport of primary colored ships until they were nearly out of sight.
“Well, good day.” With a nod Mr. McClay left and Rue closed down the com for lunch break. 
Veras came out of hiding and rubbed her back gently. “Well, that was surprising.” 
“Yeah. I think he almost doesn’t hate me.”

Tuesday, February 16, 2016

Teaser Tuesday SFR From Rogue, Cyborgs of Arden, Diaspora Worlds

Here is an excerpt from one of the books in my upcoming Diaspora Worlds: Cyborgs of Arden series. So far I have four planned: Salvage, Rogue, Altered, Becoming. These are essentially about  cyborgs colonizing a planet.

Stock photo Inspiration!

This is an except from Rogue:

New Reset Instructions

You are on a six month space journey aboard transport ship Verity Hope. During this time, cyborg maintenance will be unavailable so your bios have been returned to human normal. You will be served nutritious meals instead of wearing nutripacs. Hygiene facilities are located in your room for daily cleansing and waste disposal. When you enter the hygiene chamber you will receive a pop up for basic instructions on use.
You and your companions have access to two rooms, the bedroom room with hygiene facilities and a common room where you will eat and exercise.
In an emergency you may press the yellow panel on the door. It will bring the medic.

No designation or job title.
She got out of the bunk. There were three other cyborgs, still asleep. In the hygiene chamber she followed instructions, which seemed oddly familiar, but somehow she knew it had been many years since she had used human facilities. Her face and form in the mirror were unfamiliar. She had a brief glimpse—  a memory?--  of a thinner woman, with paler skin. But the woman in the mirror was smoothly muscled and sturdy of bone structure. Wide cheekbone, large dark eyes and full lips, tan skin. Dark straight hair, about three centimeters long. That would mean...three months from regular cyborg maintenance? She touched the hair. It was smooth, almost slick.
Thin knit bras, underwear, and plain loose two piece tunics and leggings were the only clothing available, though there was a choice of color. She pulled on plain grey clothing. Autofit footwear, pull ons.
A rejuv of some sort? Her body looked strong, with muscle. A physical upgrade without a technology upgrade?
She walked to the common room and received a pop up concerning food. The instructions were simple and soon a cup full of some type of hot gruel glided into the small food chamber.
After sitting, take a small sip. Swallow completely, the pop up told her. She carried it to the table and sat down, again assailed by the odd familiar-unfamiliar sensation.She sipped.
Flavor. That was what this was called. She took another sip. Descriptive words flew by. Salty. Sweet. Grainy. Creamy. She knew these terms from long ago.
These were terms from her human childhood.

Tuesday, February 9, 2016

Worlds Away Excerpt

An Excerpt from WORLDS AWAY, an M/M SFR, coming out under pen name Sheridan Aires. Poor Sheridan does not have a blog yet.

WIP cover

Parker had made a huge mistake. Enormous, life altering. And it could hurt his daughter. How could he have been so stupid?
Parker rolled over on his narrow bed and looked at Poppy by the light above the exit door. She was on her back, in a lilac and lace blanket suit, sleeping like the angel she was. So precious. His heart clenched in his chest.
He could not raise her around these people. This so called ‘movement’. The New Landers, with all their big sounding plans to get the followers off the Adelaide Spaceport and away to a thriving immigrant community on an open planet, was just a scam. There was no land package savings fund. He had to get away.

They didn’t think much of him, the little orphan kid, the recovering drug addict, saddled with a baby. He looked younger than he was, though, so they underestimated him. He was actually twenty four but with his small, slender build and overlong hair, people assumed he was a teenager. A stupid kid, easy to use. 
But he’d been raised, if it could be called that, in the lower levels, the utility corridors and maintenance catwalks of Adelaide Spaceport, a dock rat. Not quite so naive as they thought, especially now he was off the drugs and thinking clearly all the time. He’d spent his childhood scrambling for a credit, running errands for old intoxicated spacers and whores in the dance saloons. He’d been lucky Old Warren had a com, and taught him how to use it. He’d been able to hack into training manuals and eventually got a job on the dock.
The New Lander leaders had him do com maintenance for free. He'd seen far more than they realized.