It’s Officially Official!

From the tiny bit I’ve seen so far, publishing seems a little more old-fashioned than some other industries, with deals moving forward based on one’s word and a (virtual) handshake. For example, news of Harper Voyager acquiring Polaris Rising was announced well before the contract was officially signed.

In fact, the deal was announced before I even saw the contract. I knew the overall terms, of course, but the nitty gritty details were hashed afterwards by my agent and the publishing house.

Last week I received the super-duper-official signed contract and my very first advance check! I’m officially a Harper Voyager author! It still feels a little unreal and I can’t believe how incredibly lucky I’ve been.

I also got the initial edits back from my editor, so the next step is for me to dive back in and make Polaris Rising even better!

Polaris Rising: Chapter 1, Part 3

Dinner rolls

This is a rough draft excerpt from Polaris Rising:

The same kid from before was waiting for me outside of the captain’s door. I wondered if he stood there all the time, and if so, was he looking out for the captain’s interests or the mercenaries’?

“What’s your name?” I asked.

“Charles, but everyone calls me Chuck.”

“Chuck, I’m Ada. Pleased to meet you.” He ducked his head but didn’t respond.

We returned to my cell by the same path we’d taken earlier. When we arrived, the display next to the door showed Loch still standing in the back section. He had to have been standing for hours, but he wasn’t slumped or fidgeting. I made a quick decision that I hoped I wouldn’t come to regret. …

Polaris Rising: Chapter 1, Part 2

Fancy place setting

This is a rough draft excerpt from Polaris Rising:

The kid gripped the stunstick like he expected me to jump him at any moment. I guess word of my arrival had already spread to the rest of the crew. And, honestly, if they’d sent anyone else, I probably would’ve made an attempt at escape. If it came down to it, I would go through the kid if he stood between me and freedom, but it wouldn’t be my first choice.

As we walked, I took in my surroundings. The captain had not spent much on interior upgrades. The walls were flat gray metal, the floor was steel grating, and the lights were few and far between. I saw at least three major wiring issues that would get them grounded if a safety officer ever bothered to do an inspection. The ship was holding up well for her age, but it was apparent that either the captain or his crew didn’t truly love her. …

Polaris Rising: Chapter 1, Part 1

Space star field

This is a rough draft excerpt from Polaris Rising:

The steel toe of my boot slammed into the blond merc’s knee with a satisfying crunch. He went down with a curse, but the two men holding my arms didn’t release me, even as I struggled in their grasp. The blow had been more luck than skill, but it was enough to make the fourth mercenary pause before trying to grab my legs again.

I planted my feet and pushed back as hard as I could. The men behind me barely budged. I was a decently strong woman, but they each outweighed me by fifty or more pounds and the physics just weren’t on my side. My self-defense tutor had warned me that one day I would regret slacking off in lessons—turns out, she was right. …

Polaris Rising Blurb

This is the blurb I sent to my agent when pitching Polaris Rising to her:

As the seventh of nine children, Ada von Hasenberg knows that her only value to House von Hasenberg is as a political pawn in an arranged marriage. But after watching two of her older sisters get auctioned off to horrible men, Ada refuses to play her part. She flees off-planet and disappears for two years.

Ada’s father, fed up with her rebellion, offers a bounty for her safe return. The universe is a big place, but mercs are everywhere, and Ada is caught. With the merc ship full, she’s forced to share a cell with Marcus Loch, the Devil of Fornax Zero. Rumor has it he murdered every commanding officer who issued orders during the Fornax Rebellion. All anyone knows for sure is that the Royal Consortium wants his head.

Ada has no trouble believing the muscled man chained in the back of her cell is a killer. But when their ship is attacked by forces from rival House Rockhurst, Ada must decide whether to trust him—because once you release the devil, you can’t put him back. And when the attack heralds the opening salvo of a much bigger war, Ada must determine where her loyalties truly lie.