Tag Archives: military science fiction

Valor’s Child Snippet One

Here’s the first snippet for Valor’s Child, which comes out on June 30th, 2017:

Chapter One: My Parents Are Evil

 

I lay awake atop my covers as I listened to my parent’s raised voices.  I wasn’t sure if they figured I was asleep or if they just didn’t care if I heard at this point.  For all I knew, they’d forgotten that I was even in the house.

“I don’t know what to do with her, Wayne, I just don’t,” My mom said.  She still had that tone of resentment that had set me off earlier.  That had escalated into this, but somehow it just didn’t seem fair that she could raise her voice and I couldn’t.

“It’s not like we have a lot of options,” my dad said.  “I think most of this comes back to her application to Champion, right?  You two did have an agreement.”  I felt a surge of hope at his words.  I wanted him to respect my decision, to support me.  Granted, I chose to go behind their backs only after that last fight with my dad, so in part I’d done it to get back at him, too…

“Don’t you dare take her side on this,” Mom said.  Just like her, I thought, she doesn’t like what I’m doing so she tries to make it out like I’m the one who didn’t hold up her end of the bargain.  I had… mostly.  Well, admittedly, I’d promised to apply to the Archeological Institute and Nelson’s University as well, but it was hard enough filling out just the application to Champion Enterprises Internship… and they had requested that I make my application exclusive.  They would have thrown my application out if they knew I had applied somewhere else.

“She didn’t hold up her end of the bargain,” Mom said.  “For that matter, she went behind my back—both our backs—when she filed the Champion Enterprises application.  She forged my signature on the application, Wayne.”

I winced at that.  It was true enough.  I knew she wouldn’t sign it and I knew that Dad would have wanted to talk it over with her before signing it.  The two of them were almost a hive mind with how they managed Will and me.  That was part of why I’d gotten so angry with both of them, they were too good, and it was almost sickeningly wholesome around the house.  That hadn’t bothered me even a year ago, but it did now.  I was nearly fourteen years old, which with the longer years here on Century, meant I was already seventeen in Earth Years.  Back in more civilized places where they followed the Earth calendar, I would almost be considered an adult. I’m so sick of them treating me like a child, I thought, I made this decision myself and they should respect it.

“I know,” I heard my dad sigh and that made me wince again.  Dad was big on keeping your word and being honest.  And I tried, but at the time it had seemed like my only option.  I’d done almost everything else they had required of me.  I’d taken the archeology classes like they asked, I’d done all the additional course work they wanted, I’d even stayed on top of the chores… well the ones I hadn’t traded with Will, anyway.  And really, who cared if I traded allowance money for Will taking some of the worst chores?  I didn’t have time to clean the bathrooms, I was doing all that extra work.

A quiet voice inside of me reminded me that I’d still had time to hang out with Tony.  I’d also had time to attend the Basalt Mesa Outpost school graduation dance.  Come to think of it… I ambushed that quiet voice and shut it up where it wouldn’t gang up on me with my parents.  I was the wronged party here and I refused to give in on this.  I had earned that internship and I was not going to take it away from me.

“Well…” I could hear my father hesitate, “You have to admit that she planned this out pretty well.  She didn’t apply to the other schools and it is well past the deadlines.  For that matter… it is a good position.  Champion Enterprises does train their people well and they’ve got the best engineering school on Century.”

“I don’t care,” her mom said.  “She lied to us, Wayne.  If we let her get away with that… then what lesson does she learn?  That if she’s clever enough, she gets what she wants? Because I don’t think that’s right.”  That wasn’t what I think at all, I countered in my head, though I will admit that I did think it all through very well.  There wasn’t anything they could do, not without destroying my future and I knew they cared too much about me to do anything like that.

“You’re right,” her father said.  “She does need to come away from this with some lessons… and I think I have an idea.”  I felt a sense of unease.  I thought I had considered every option.  The trimester school system had just wound to a close.  I’d graduated my secondary school in the second trimester, which meant I had just over five months until the first trimester of university classes began.  Normally, that gave kids my age a break before they started training in earnest for their careers.  Some got temporary jobs, but most kids my age would spend the time either studying for their classes or enjoying the last break before they had to buckle down and attend university.

Personally, I’d planned to spend most of my time studying.  Champion Enterprises was the opportunity of a lifetime.  Their employees made more money than almost anyone else on Century.  Their boss, Leo Champion, was one of the primary shareholders in the Century Colony Charter.  He owned something over thirty percent of the star system.  Tony had earned an internship with their logistics department last year.  He was still an intern, but he already made more than my dad did.

“There’s always her grandmother,” Dad said, his voice oddly reasonable.

“What, your mother?” I heard the incredulity in Mom’s voice.  “Wayne, she’s a nice enough woman, but I doubt that Effy would really punish her… unless you think baking her cookies and gossiping about her other grandchildren would be punishment.”

“No, June, I meant your mother.”  My dad said it in that same smug tone of voice he used when he knew he was being devious, like when he beat me at cards or when he had figured out some archeologic puzzle.

I sat up in bed and my mother and I spoke with the same voice, “You can’t be serious.”

***

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The Sacred Stars is Now Live!

sacredstars-02The Sacred Stars, Book Four of the Shadow Space Chronicles is now live.  You can pick up a copy at Amazon today!

Alannis Giovanni has followed in her family’s footsteps and joined the United Colonies Fleet.  As a bare Ensign, she’s been assigned to the Fleet’s newest, most powerful cruiser, the Constellation, on it’s maiden voyage: a simple show-the-flag mission that should be good for her to learn what it is to be an officer.

But things are never simple.  At their most distant port, they come across allies in need.  The Ghornath species are in search of their origins and an array of enemies are trying to stop them.  The crew of the Constellation will have to face pirates, aliens, and uncover a ten thousand-year-old secret in order not just to save their allies, but to thwart a threat that might well catch the rest of the Fleet off-guard.
 
These battles will test Alannis, force her to grow and become the officer that her position and blood demand of her… yet the greatest threat may be one she is the least prepared to face.
You can read the snippets for The Sacred Stars here.

The Shattered Empire… Coming Soon!

I’ve officially finished the first draft of The Shattered Empire, Book II of the Shadow Space Chronicles.  This is good news if you liked The Fallen Race.  It’s also good news if you liked my other books, since that means I can get working on those sequels.  For those of you who don’t like my books… er, why are you reading this?

For me, I’m very excited.  This book has been setting on the backburner for five years now, waiting to be written as I waited for my lucky break in traditional publishing… until I went the self-publishing route.  That said, I think the novel benefits from five more years of writing experience.  The novel is much larger than The Fallen Race, with the rough draft coming in at 160k words.  That makes it 30% longer than The Fallen Race.  Since my final versions of novels tend to add another 10% as I go back and fill in some details, that means The Shattered Empire will be a long read.  Technical details aside, the book is chock full of action, character growth, and lots of details in the Shadow Space Universe.  The main story line follows Lucius Giovanni as he goes about liberating Nova Roma from the Chxor… and finds that being the leader of a new nation is not all it’s cracked up to be.  There are two additional story arcs that follow Mason McGann and a new character, a mercenary by the name of Garret Penwaithe, both of which tie into the main story, sometimes in unexpected fashions.  What I really like about this book is that I finally get the opportunity to flesh out some of the side characters, the people who help Lucius Giovanni to do the things he does.  As an author, getting to explore those characters, as well as the antagonists, was a wonderful opportunity.

The Shattered Empire is now headed to my alpha readers.  After a their feedback I’ll do my editing, copyediting, and then I’ll post it on Amazon.  Keep checking here for updates, samples, and hopefully soon a post about the progression of the cover art.  Thanks to all my readers for making this possible!

The Fallen Race cover and upcoming release

The cover for my upcoming release, due on Saturday, 1 Feb 2014
The cover for my upcoming release, due on Saturday, 1 Feb 2014

The Fallen Race, my Military SF / Space Opera novel will be released tomorrow at noon on Amazon and Smashwords.

Blurb below:

Baron Lucius Giovanni, Captain of the battleship War Shrike, finds himself without a home or nation, his ship heavily damaged, and crew in bad shape. The odds against their personal survival are slim. The time of humanity has come to a close. The great nations have all fallen, either to the encroaching alien threats or to internal fighting and civil war. The aliens who seek to supplant humanity, however, have not taken one thing into account: Lucius Giovanni. He and his crew will not give up – not while they still draw breath. If this is to be the fall of humanity, then the crew of the War Shrike will go down fighting…and in the heat of that fight, they may just light a new fire for humanity….

Renegades: Ghost Story out tomorrow

Here is the cover art from the awesome Robert Brockman

Renegades: Ghost Story will be out tomorrow.  It is the fourth novella in the Renegades series.  This one follows the perspective of Eric and if I had to pick favorites, it would probably be the novella I enjoyed writing the most.  I’ll be doing a book bomb for it tomorrow (Tuesday) at noon, MST.  So if you plan on buying it, buy it then.  If you haven’t read any of the Renegades novellas yet, you can pick them all up individually for a dollar.  Yes, just a dollar.  Each one is good for a few hours of light, enjoyable reading, or (at least through Amazon, so I’m told) you can return the book.  So why not give them a try?

Here’s the short synopsis:

Erik Stryker is a former Centauri Commando; highly lethal and experienced in combat on a dozen worlds. He’s had almost everything taken from him, his family, his career, and his team. He and his companions have broken out of an alien prison, hijacked a ship, and are en route to human civilization. A chance encounter with a derelict ship brings up ghosts of Erik’s past and awakens something which preys on ships and crews. Erik will have to face his own ghosts if he wants to save his new team.

Renegades: Ghost Story is coming!

Renegades: Ghost Story will arrive on Tuesday the 21st.    Here is the synopsis:

Eric Stryker is a man on the run with a past that haunts him, which has led him to his current rag-tag companions. They’ve escaped from the xenocidal alien Chxor, hijacked a ship, are headed for human space, and they’ve even selected a captain for their motley crew. Yet on the edge of human space, the margin of survival is as thin as the blade of a razor.

When they encounter a ghost ship, the crew awakens a threat. Something awaits them, something that preys upon ships and crews as they ply the void. It will test the fragile alliances of the crew to the breaking point and beyond. Eric will have to bury the ghosts of his past to face that danger… or his past will bury him.

Renegades: Ghost Story will be available on Tuesday (21 January) on Amazon and Smashwords.

I’ll be doing a book bomb for it on the 21st, at 12 noon, mountain standard time.

Free Short Story! (and an update)

I’ve added a short story to the Free Fiction area.  The story is called “Runner” and it is something of an origin story on Run from the Renegades series.  It was interesting and challenging writing from his perspective, and I hope that you all enjoy reading it as much as I enjoyed writing it.  Feel free to make any comments about the short story on this post, I’d love to hear your input.

As far as other updates, Renegades: Ghost Story is set to come out early next week.  I’ll be planning a book bomb when it comes out, so if you plan on picking it up from Amazon, please do so on or around Tuesday, 21 Jan, around noon Mountain Standard Time.  It’ll also go up on Smashwords, and from there to B&N, Kobo and the rest.  I’ll post the Blurb and Cover for Renegades: Ghost Story this Friday (17 January).

My novel, The Fallen Race, is on track to come out at the end of that week.  Right now it is forecasted for Friday, 24 January.  Again, I’ll be trying a book bomb, looking at 12 noon (MST) on Saturday, 25 January.  While the Renegades series is more of an exploration/adventure SF story, the Fallen Race is military science fiction.  I discussed it with Jason Cordova in my interview at  Shiny Book Review.  The interview is here for those who want to read it.

Lastly, for those who enjoyed the Echo of the High Kings previews, I have good news.  The novel will be coming out on Amazon next month, and for the first three days, it will be free to purchase.  I’ll have to make it exclusive to Amazon to do so, but I’m conducting a kind of experiment to see if that will allow me to boost sales, and compare it to my sales of other books.  Look for Echo of the High Kings to come out in mid February of 2014.