Month: November 2017

The Queen’s Gambit: Chapter 2, Part 2

Part of the serial story The Queen’s Gambit

I awoke to a cacophony of aches and pains. Commander Adams had worked me over, but he’d stopped short of inflicting debilitating damage.

My hands were still secured behind my back but now I was on my side on the floor. My left arm felt leaden, hopefully because I’d slept on it and not because my shoulder was dislocated or worse.

A soft sound nearby snapped me back to the situation at hand. I kept my eyes closed and feigned sleep. The air stirred as someone leaned over me. A hand touched my neck and I struck, lunging up head-first. My skull cracked against something hard and the person above me fell back with a deep groan.

I twisted around and kicked out with my bound legs. I hit something soft and the groan turned into a grunt of pain. Based on the timbre of the voice, it was likely a man, but all I could see were legs and feet outlined in greenish-gray. We were in a pitch black room but they hadn’t taken my contact lenses. I pulled back for another kick.

“Queen Rani, stop, I’m not your enemy,” the man snapped. He rolled away and sat up. “Your breathing changed. I was checking if you were still alive. Clearly you are.”

A dark smear of blood ran from his nose. His face was bruised even more than before, but Emperor Kos was easy to recognize. Clean away the blood and bruises and the man would be gorgeous—the result of a millennia-long dynasty and the best genetics money and power could buy. …

The Queen’s Gambit: Chapter 2, Part 1

Part of the serial story The Queen’s Gambit

Two Quint mercenaries picked me up by my upper arms. My body dangled uselessly between them, caught in the thrall of the stun bolts. I recovered faster than most, but it would still be too little, too late.

I attempted a neural link out, but without Jax’s intervention, all of my attempts at long-distance links failed. Even my ship’s signal flickered in and out, and it was hidden nearby. The only steady link options were a few people in the room, but no way was I initiating a link with an enemy soldier. I might as well broadcast all of my secrets on an open comm channel.

The soldiers dumped me in a chair. They cuffed my hands behind my back, then secured them to the chair. They also secured my legs to the chair legs.

I looked far more delicate than I was, which tended to make people underestimate me, but the Quint mercs weren’t taking any chances. Jax must have warned them about my augments.

That traitorous little shit was going to die slowly. …

Happy Thanksgiving!

Happy Thanksgiving to everyone here in the US and Happy Thursday to everyone else! I hope you all get to spend some quality time with friends and family today, laughing and talking and eating too much.

Pecan Pie
Tasty, but not beautiful.
My husband and I are headed to a friend’s house for a late lunch. I’ve made two pecan pies which win nothing in the looks department, but usually end up delicious. ::fingers crossed:: I don’t know why a pretty pie crust eludes me every year, but Martha Stewart I am not.

I have so many things to be thankful for this year: friends, family, happy memories, good health. On the professional side, I sold my first book and started my journey to becoming a published author. And I’m thankful for all of you, who come to read the words I’m shouting into the great internet void. :)

Now it’s time for me to sneak in a quick run, so when I eat that second (or third…) piece of pie, I don’t feel quite so bad. Happy Thanksgiving!

The Queen’s Gambit: Chapter 1

Part of the serial story The Queen’s Gambit

I slid through the night with the ease of long practice. Darkness and I had always been friends, but something in the air tonight set my teeth on edge. I stopped in the deep shadows cast by a partially collapsed wall and surveyed the target building in front of me.

Twenty stories tall and one of the few buildings still standing after years of war, the former office building loomed like a shadowy monolith out of the sea of rubble surrounding it. My sense of unease grew.

The building looked as dark as a tomb. I would’ve expected at least a few lights, especially in the top floors. Had they blacked out all of the windows or was I operating on bad information?

Or perhaps the Quint Confederacy knew I was coming.

The Queen’s Gambit Announcement

The Queen's Gambit

With the holiday season approaching, I wanted to do something to thank you all for your support and enthusiasm. And because I think we could all use an occasional break during this hectic time of year, I figured a new story would be the perfect thing.

The Queen’s Gambit is a science fiction novella set in its own universe. I’ll be posting it in a serial format, with new installments each week. I hope to post a chapter a week, but if I get buried in edits, it may end up being a little less.

The first chapter will be posted very, very soon. :)

Story posts will show up like normal blog posts with extra formatting, but you can also check the story page to see the blurb and the list of posts (once they start).

Without further ado, The Queen’s Gambit blurb, copied here for your convenience:

When the Quint Confederacy and the Kos Empire went to war—again—young Queen Samara wisely kept her Rogue Coalition out of the conflict. But staying neutral in a galactic war doesn’t pay the bills, not when both sides refuse to trade with neutral sectors.

With her people on the brink of starvation, Samara hatches a daring plan to snatch the kidnapped Kos Emperor from the Quint mercenaries holding him. The Kos Empire will pay a fortune for their emperor’s return, enough to feed the Coalition’s citizens while they wait for the return to a begrudging peace.

But when her plan goes sideways, Samara finds herself evading Quint mercenaries with the very man she intends to capture. And the more time she spends with Valentin Kos, the more she realizes that he’s not the coldly indifferent villain she imagined. Torn between duty and desire, Samara must decide if saving her people is worth giving up the one thing she’s always wanted.

One note: this story is first-draft quality. It will be coming directly from my brain to your eyes, with no other editors involved. If you can’t stand the occasional typo (I do my best, but they’re pesky little things), you might want to skip this one.