Saturday Snippet: Jail Time Part 3

It’s  Science Fiction Fantasy Saturday. Snippets of ten to fifteen sentences designed to reel you and leave you screaming for more!

We’re back with a young Blade Devon, a 23 year-old special forces combat veteran home on medical leave (or has he gone AWOL?) When they arrested him, he had three forms of ID on him, each in a different name. He’s been booked under the name Dev Fossey and he already made believers out of the other miscreants sharing the holding cell with him.  Unlike the other miscreants in holding, Blade has a straight-arrow brother who’s posted his bond. Now all Blade has to do is not kill anyone before he’s remanded into his brother’s custody. That may be the most difficult task ahead of him.

***

Blade glanced around for any other last-minute confrontations. The other men in the holding cell suddenly found their nails or the cracked floor completely engrossing. Blade nodded to the guard.

A hollow thump, followed by a shrill plink echoed through the cell as the lock disengaged. The guard tugged the heavy door aside. It rattled on its rails as it slid open.

With outward docility, Blade presented his hands for the requisite manacles. Once the heavy, metal binders clicked shut around his wrists, the guard took hold of his arm in a painful grip.

Instinctively, his biceps flexed against the insistent fingers digging into him. Taking a deep breath he slowly released it, focusing on relaxing and meekly submitting. Adrenaline pumped through his body as his will battled to suppress his training.

***

There’s more, but this was all I could swing for this snippet. Come back next week for more! In the mean-time, I’m going to spend my days feverishly working on BARRON’S LAST STAND. If you’re interested in reading more about Blade, you can pick up your ebook copies of SOVRAN’S PAWN and HERO’S END for Nook and Kindle at Amazon or Barnes & Noble or you can follow the links to the right over there.

If you’d like to read a sneak peek at BARRON’S LAST STAND you can find the first chapter at the end of HERO’S END and here on my website.

Saturday Snippet: Jail Time Part 2

It’s  Science Fiction Fantasy Saturday. Snippets of ten to fifteen sentences or less are yours for the reading!

While I keep working on BARRON’S LAST STAND here is the next segment of a Blade Devon short that I’m REALLY excited about. This is Blade during the darkest period of his life, after his stint with the Inner Circle and before his fame in holofeatures. Suffering from PTSD, Blade is drifting through self-destruction, picking fights, gambling, and getting arrested. Last week we met him as he was preparing to leave the holding cell, but he was interrupted by a thug who promised that his boss Deo was going to kill Blade.

***

Blade glanced at the unconscious lump of hairy muscle and filthy leathers that lay on the floor then he smiled at the posturing little tough in front of him. “I’m heartbroken,” he said. “After all Deo’s pretty promises? He said he was going to make me his bitch.” He tsked and shook his head. “You bangers can be so fickle.”

Blade’s smile faded.

“When Deo comes to, you can tell him I said to take a number and wait his turn,” he said, his voice low and dangerous. “He’s going to die soon enough. No sense rushing it on my account.”

The Tenpa’s bravado crumbled. The color drained from his face and he swallowed hard. Slowly, he eased back onto the flat of his feet, his shoulders hunched protectively as he lowered his gaze. He backed out of Blade’s way.

***

If you’re interested in reading more about Blade, you can pick up your ebook copies of SOVRAN’S PAWN and HERO’S END for Nook and Kindle at Amazon or Barnes & Noble or you can follow the links to the right over there.

If you’d like to read a sneak peek at BARRON’S LAST STAND you can find the first chapter at the end of HERO’S END and here on my website.

Saturday Snippet: Jail Time

It’s  Science Fiction Fantasy Saturday. Snippets of ten to fifteen sentences or less are yours for the reading!

Hi! I’m back…again! BARRON’S LAST STAND is coming along nicely and you’ve all been so patient with me. I thank you! Last time, I showed you a little snippet from one of Bo’s solo short stories. This time, I think Blade himself deserves equal time. So many of my readers have asked for a bit of back story on Blade Devon, so I thought I’d accommodate you.

This snippet is an opening salvo from a short story about a dark period in Blade’s life after his stint in the Inner Circle and before he started his holofeature career. In this short, Blade is around 23 years-old, and on medical leave home for the first time in seven years. He is no longer the young man who impulsively joined the Consular Guard at the age of 16. This Blade isn’t sure whether he goes by Dev Fossey or Blade Devon. He also is suffering from PTSD. So what does a man like Blade Devon do when he’s being self-destructive? He gambles, picks fights with dangerous thugs, and winds up in jail. That’s where we find  him in this snippet.

***

“Mister Fossey!”

The guard’s gruff tone gave way to annoyed impatience as he repeated himself for the fourth time.

Slowly peeling one eye open, Blade Devon peered at the guard who glowered at him from the other side of the thick metal grate.

The guard’s face flushed and a vein or two throbbed prominently on his forehead. “Look, you worthless piece of shit, your brother’s posted bond and you’re free to go! Don’t make me come get you!”

Blade slowly uncrossed his arms and stiffly climbed to his feet. It had taken some time for his back and buttocks to grow numb enough for the hard narrow bench and cold wall to be anything close to comfortable. Needles of sensation prickled through his backside and down his legs, protesting the change in position.

The other detainees shuffled quickly to clear a path for him. A greasy, little Tenpa, dressed in ragged gang leathers planted himself in front of Blade. His hands curled into fists. He slowly rolled onto the balls of his feet, lifting his chin as he strained to match Blade’s height. His scarred lips peeled back from discolored stumps of teeth in what passed as a sneer.

“When Deo wakes up, he’s go’n to hunt you do’n and kill you!”

***

If you’re interested in reading more about Blade, you can pick up your ebook copies of SOVRAN’S PAWN and HERO’S END for Nook and Kindle at Amazon or Barnes & Noble or you can follow the links to the right over there.

If you’d like to read a sneak peek at BARRON’S LAST STAND you can find the first chapter at the end of HERO’S END and here on my website.

The Blurb Is Here For Barron’s Last Stand!

BLS Mockup4cCONVICTED of terrorism and treason

HUNTED by the very Sovran she is sworn to serve

BETRAYED by the man she trusted to rule in her absence

FORSAKEN by the man she loved

FRAMED for an assassination attempt on the only man with the power to restore her to her rightful place, time is running out for BO BARRON. A power mad Sovran’s bid to take over the United Galactic Commonwealth pushes the seven allied sectors to the brink of civil war. Only the brave young Barron and the enigmatic Blade Devon stand in their way.

Can Bo look past all the lies and secrets that poisoned her love for Blade and trust him to be the hero he was meant to be? Or is his timely return nothing more than another attempt to secure the balance of power in this interstellar game of politics?

One way or another, Bo is coming out of exile and taking back her rightful place as Commanding General of The Black Wing — even if it means she’s making BARRON’S LAST STAND.

 

The Results Are In!! Barron’s Last Stand Has A Cover!

Thank you to everyone who participated in the cover poll to determine which of the two images was to be the cover of BARRON’S LAST STAND. An overwhelming 88% of you preferred this cover…
BLS Mockup4c

 

BLS MockupB2Not to worry…fans of the cover with Bo’s solo image on it will be pleased to learn that cover will appear on a collection of short stories covering Bo’s adventures during the five years of her life following HERO’S END and leading up to BARRON’S LAST STAND.

The book will include the much anticipated “The Ostra Child,” as well as “Shakedown,” and “The Marked One.”

The short story collection is scheduled for a December 2014 release, while BARRON’S LAST STAND is due out sometime in early 2015.

 

Meet My Main Character Blog Hop

I was tagged by T.A. Munroe at meanderings to talk about my main character. In the past I’ve spoken about Blade…a lot! But since I’m at work on BARRON’S LAST STAND, it goes to reason that Bo really hasn’t gotten a fair shake in all this talking.

1. What is the name of your main character? Is she fictional or an historical person?
My main character is Bo Barron. She is completely fictional in as much as I can tell without having contact with the rest of the universe.

2. When and where is the story set?
The setting is a long time ago in a galaxy far, far away, more or less. I write primarily space opera, so THE BLACK WING CHRONICLES series is set in a distant galaxy known as the United Galactic Commonwealth. The Commonwealth is a more or less representative body divided into the Seven Allied Sectors, each ruled by a hereditary Sovran, with the Outland Fringe remaining autonomous. Each sector has a body known as the General Council with systems sending a representative known as Councillors. The Councillors are selected depending on the governmental structures of the planets or systems themselves. The seven Sovrans come together in a Sovran Council to regulate free trade and territorial disputes across the Commonwealth. The result is something with a blend of sleek, highly advanced cultures in the Inner Commonwealth of the first three sectors, cultures with more a mix of technology and agriculture in the Outer Commonwealth, and pockets of wild-west style lawlessness outside of the main shipping lanes where piracy, slavery, and all sorts of nasty things thrive.

3. What should we know about her?
Bo is a Councillor. She is a noble. She is The Barron, the leader of her people and Commanding General of the precision combat unit known as The Black Wing. She has been wrongly convicted of treason and sentenced to execution, but her people arranged for her escape into exile in the first book of the series SOVRAN’S PAWN. Of course, in the first book, Bo has just come of legal age. By the time BARRON’S LAST STAND rolls around, seven years have elapsed. Bo is no longer an idealist or an ingenue. She has lost everything and everyone who meant anything to her. This has left her bitter, angry, jaded, and dangerous.

4. What is the main conflict?
The main conflict in the series is Bo’s quest to find her father and clear her name so she can return home with honor. Unfortunately for her, her Sovran wants to take over the Commonwealth and he wants to use The Black Wing to do it. The way her people’s alliance with the Second Sector is worded, The Barron is in direct command of The Black Wing and must be petitioned for their deployment. The other obstacle in her Sovran’s path is Blade Devon, an elite commando and covert operative of the First Sector who answers only to the First Sector Sovran…and he is perhaps something else as well.

5. What is the personal goal of the character?
Bo’s goal is simple. She just wants to go home with honor and reclaim her rightful place as leader of her people. She has no interest in the interstellar politics. She just wants to be left alone to do the job she was born to. But when it all comes crashing down around her, she is forced onto the political stage as a renegade, and driven into exile in the seedy underworld. At that point, Bo’s goal is to find her kidnapped father and to survive. All the while, she is falling in love with the mysterious Blade Devon, who is “mad, bad, and dangerous to know,” and she can’t tell from one minute to the next whose interests he is really serving.

6. What is the significance of the title of your book?
SOVRAN’S PAWN is basically what Bo and Blade are. They are pawns in the game between two Sovrans maneuvering for control over the Commonwealth. HERO’S END is significant for more than one reason which becomes apparent when you read it, but basically, it is the end of Blade’s career as a two-dimensional holofeature hero, and the end of Bo’s blind trust in him as her hero. BARRON’S LAST STAND is for the turning point in the book and the culmination of the series when Bo stops running and hiding and makes her defiant last stand against the forces that have ruined her life and taken or threatened everything she loves. This is foreshadowed in Chapter 21 of SOVRAN’S PAWN by the mention of the epic poem “Requiem For The Broken Wing.”

When dark clouds gather,
when the wind howls
through the Bluestone Valley
and whispers through the trees
atop the Gallis Highlands,
when the light of hope
is fading,
on the rising thunder will come
the Black Wing,
screaming through the darkness
like the avenging hand
of the Maker.

There, will
The Barron make his last stand.

Bo’s internal monologue goes on to state:

“If she had any lingering doubts about the plot to assassinate her, the poem dispelled them. With her doubts went her fear. If she hoped to get herself and Chase out of this alive, she needed to keep her head. Her ancestors, immortalized in the epic poem known as Requiem For The Broken Wing, had faced a no-win situation and fought fiercely to the last man. Like them, she intended to give a good accounting of herself before drawing her last breath.”

7. When can we expect the book to be published?
SOVRAN’S PAWN and HERO’S END  are already available. Just follow the links to the right. BARRON’S LAST STAND will be available sometime in 2015. That’s all I can say right now. I am also working on some Bo Barron short stories to tide my readers over in the mean time.

Next up is TM Hunter. Be sure to check him out. Also, click back, too, to see what characters came before. Thanks for reading!

The Face of Bo

Erm, no. Not to be confused with The Face of Boe from Doctor Who.

I just sent off a mockup of the cover for BARRON’S LAST STAND to cover artist extraordinaire, Tomomi Ink, (a.k.a. author TK Toppin,) as well as the elements I used. She is going to be putting everything together for me and adding that magical flash of brilliance that she does to make my book covers “epic” (as my readers have called them.)

Bo’s eyes appeared on the cover of SOVRAN’S PAWN and Blade was shown in silhouette on HERO’S END. (Or it could have been Bo’s father, or her uncle Royce — jussayin’.) BARRON’S LAST STAND will show an actual, recognizable female face and…well…you’re just going to have to wait for the rest. I am really loving what I sent to her. I cannot wait to see what she does with it because she’s brilliant, you know.

And in other news:

Several short stories are currently making the rounds among my beta readers. I hope to have a collection of short Bo and Blade adventures ready to go very soon which I hope will tide readers over until BARRON’S LAST STAND is finished and polished up.

And…

Editor par excellence, Laurel Kriegler has talked me into making preliminary notes for a series on the ill-fated love story of Bhruic Barron and Marissa Kiara – Bo’s parents. There is a lot about their story that has never been revealed beyond my copious backstory notes and I think Laurel developed a little crush on The Barron while editing HERO’S END.

But wait, there’s more!

Fans of Blade (and let’s face it, we are legion,) will be happy to know that the first of THE MERCENARY ADVENTURES OF BLADE DEVON:  ARCANA DOUBLE CROSS is still simmering on the stove top. The first draft is complete, as is the back cover blurb, and I am also toying with cover ideas.

And while BARRON’S LAST STAND may be the end of THE BLACK WING CHRONICLES, it is by no means the end of Bo and Blade’s story. I’ve also started working on notes for the as-yet-unnamed series that follows.