#SFFSat – 05/26/2012

Welcome to Science Fiction Fantasy Saturday. On the surface, it’s a web ring of authors who post snippets of their work for comment. In reality, it’s a close-knit group of friends and colleagues working together to support and encourage one another and promote the science fiction and fantasy genres.

This week’s snippet is a departure from SOVRAN’S PAWN. Don’t worry. We aren’t going far. I’ve been hard at work on Book Two of THE BLACK WING CHRONICLES, tentatively titled THE WATCHTOWER. Still in the first draft stage it’s nearly ready for the endless revisions to begin. Here is your first look:

***

“Well, well, Barron,” a synthesized voice broadcast from the speakers scattered around the compound.”I finally have you. I will entertain your request to surrender now.”

It was a matter of time before those black-clad thugs rushed her. If she was going to make it out with her skin intact, she needed to act quickly. Bo adjusted the power setting on her blaster, then the beam dispersal. Her eyes passed over the high walls, orienting herself to the map she’d memorized before she’d embarked on this suicide mission.

Choosing her spot, she leveled her sidearm at the outer wall and fired repeatedly until the thick wall exploded in a mass of molten rock. The concussion drove her back a few steps, but she’d been ready for it. Without waiting for the smoke to clear, she holstered her sidearm and raced for the hole, diving through headfirst. Once clear of the wall, she twisted mid-air, pointed her left arm at one of the buttresses supporting the structure, and clenched her fist, launching the grappling hook attached to her wrist. Silently praying she wouldn’t run out of shimmersilk line before the hook found purchase, Bo held her breath.

***

Well, that’s the Saturday Snippet for this week! Please don’t forget to comment by clicking on either the blog title or the little quotation balloon in the upper right hand corner. Tell your friends. Stop back here next week for another!

***

If you’re interested in more about:

SOVRAN’S PAWN

United by extortion, divided by duty, someone wants them both dead. They want each other. The catch is, nothing is what it seems…

Convicted of treason and sentenced to be executed, Bo Barron is the last person who should be infiltrating a Sub-socia weapons auction. But when her father is kidnapped and the ransom demand is the schematics to an experimental weapon, she has no choice but to go under cover with her uncle to get it.

Nobody counted on former-government-agent-turned-holofeature-hero Blade Devon’s infatuation with her. A botched assassination under the guise of a bar brawl leaves Bo blind and Blade wondering if there isn’t more to this job than he was led to believe.

Never able to resist playing the hero, Blade tends her injuries and delves deeper into the intrigue only to find this mission isn’t about a weapon at all. It’s about two Sovrans’ maneuvering for control, with Bo and Blade as their pawns.

All Bo and Blade have to do is figure out how to survive the game they didn’t know they were playing.

#SFFSat – 05/19/2012

Welcome to Science Fiction Fantasy Saturday. On the surface, it’s a web ring of authors who post snippets of their work for comment. In reality, it’s a close-knit group of friends and colleagues working together to support and encourage one another and promote the science fiction and fantasy genres.

This week’s snippet is a departure from SOVRAN’S PAWN. Don’t worry. We aren’t going far. I’ve been hard at work on Book Two of THE BLACK WING CHRONICLES, tentatively titled THE WATCHTOWER. Still in the first draft stage it’s nearly ready for the endless revisions to begin. Here is your first look:

***

Without bothering to aim, Bo pulled the trigger, blasting an enormous hole in the wall. She dove through it before the smoke cleared. On the other side, she came up quickly to a crouch and looked around.

Finding herself alone, she rose and moved along the corridor, heading in the general direction of the exit. As she reached a junction, a handful of large, black-clad commandos stepped out from the shadows and opened fire on her. Bo ducked and reversed course, heading back the way she’d come. She passed the hole she’d made just as more armed commandos swarmed through it. She fired at them and turned, racing full speed down the corridor.

The maze of intersecting hallways would have confused even the best sense of direction. Bo alternated left turns and right turns until she finally emerged into a high-walled courtyard.

She bit back a curse. She’d ended up on the wrong side of the compound.

***

Well, that’s the Saturday Snippet for this week! Please don’t forget to comment by clicking on either the blog title or the little quotation balloon in the upper right hand corner. Tell your friends. Stop back here next week for another!

***

If you’re interested in more about:

SOVRAN’S PAWN

United by extortion, divided by duty, someone wants them both dead. They want each other. The catch is, nothing is what it seems…

Convicted of treason and sentenced to be executed, Bo Barron is the last person who should be infiltrating a Sub-socia weapons auction. But when her father is kidnapped and the ransom demand is the schematics to an experimental weapon, she has no choice but to go under cover with her uncle to get it.

Nobody counted on former-government-agent-turned-holofeature-hero Blade Devon’s infatuation with her. A botched assassination under the guise of a bar brawl leaves Bo blind and Blade wondering if there isn’t more to this job than he was led to believe.

Never able to resist playing the hero, Blade tends her injuries and delves deeper into the intrigue only to find this mission isn’t about a weapon at all. It’s about two Sovrans’ maneuvering for control, with Bo and Blade as their pawns.

All Bo and Blade have to do is figure out how to survive the game they didn’t know they were playing.

#SFFSat – 05/12/2012

Welcome to Science Fiction Fantasy Saturday. On the surface, it’s a web ring of authors who post snippets of their work for comment. In reality, it’s a close-knit group of friends and colleagues working together to support and encourage one another and promote the science fiction and fantasy genres.

This week’s snippet is a departure from SOVRAN’S PAWN. Don’t worry. We aren’t going far. I’ve been hard at work on Book Two of THE BLACK WING CHRONICLES, tentatively titled THE WATCHTOWER. Still in the first draft stage it’s nearly ready for the endless revisions to begin. Here is your first look:

***

It was a trap – baited to perfection. The only question remaining was how the trap was sprung. She slowly circled the pedestal studying the problem from every angle. The blaster rested on a stand atop the pedestal. She glanced up at the light source. Was the trigger in the light beam or another pressure sensor in the pedestal itself? It went without saying that the weapon’s power cell had been removed. She had extras.

She glanced at her chrono once more. No more time for speculating. If she was going to make a move, she had to do it now. Never one to play it safe, Bo pulled a power cell from one of the pouches on her gunbelt and held it in her left hand. Flexing her right hand and fingers she reached for her sidearm. Taking one more deep breath, she released it in a rush. With lightning reflexes, she snatched the pistol from the pedestal and slammed the power cell into the base of the grip.

Immediately alarms went off and warning lights strobed and flared around her. The door swung shut with a loud clang.

***

Well, that’s the Saturday Snippet for this week! Please don’t forget to comment by clicking on either the blog title or the little quotation balloon in the upper right hand corner. Tell your friends. Stop back here next week for another!

***

If you’re interested in more about:

SOVRAN’S PAWN

United by extortion, divided by duty, someone wants them both dead. They want each other. The catch is, nothing is what it seems…

Convicted of treason and sentenced to be executed, Bo Barron is the last person who should be infiltrating a Sub-socia weapons auction. But when her father is kidnapped and the ransom demand is the schematics to an experimental weapon, she has no choice but to go under cover with her uncle to get it.

Nobody counted on former-government-agent-turned-holofeature-hero Blade Devon’s infatuation with her. A botched assassination under the guise of a bar brawl leaves Bo blind and Blade wondering if there isn’t more to this job than he was led to believe.

Never able to resist playing the hero, Blade tends her injuries and delves deeper into the intrigue only to find this mission isn’t about a weapon at all. It’s about two Sovrans’ maneuvering for control, with Bo and Blade as their pawns.

All Bo and Blade have to do is figure out how to survive the game they didn’t know they were playing.

#SFFSat – 05/05/2012

Welcome to Science Fiction Fantasy Saturday. On the surface, it’s a web ring of authors who post snippets of their work for comment. In reality, it’s a close-knit group of friends and colleagues working together to support and encourage one another and promote the science fiction and fantasy genres.

This week’s snippet is a departure from SOVRAN’S PAWN. Don’t worry. We aren’t going far. I’ve been hard at work on Book Two of THE BLACK WING CHRONICLES, tentatively titled THE WATCHTOWER. Still in the first draft stage it’s nearly ready for the endless revisions to begin. Here is your first look:

***

Bo Barron stepped lightly across the floortiles. Pressure sensors dotted the floor at random intervals. The key was not to set them off. Moving quickly and with the lithe grace honed by years of zero gee exercises, she slipped through the tangle of sensors unnoticed. Once she reached the fortified door at the far end of the room, she pulled a sequence changer from her pocket and held it close to the door lock.

The changer softly hummed and whined as it manipulated the data inside the locking mechanism. After an interminable moment, the display shifted from red to green and a dull click echoed loudly in the silent chamber.

She palmed the door open and stepped inside. Her amber eyes darted around. In the center of the chamber, on a pedestal and under a brilliant blue light sat the Capre X2S Mergent Arms blaster pistol that had been handed down from Barron to Barron for centuries.

It was too obvious.

She held her position. Her eyes narrowed as she studied the pedestal.

It was a trap.

***

Well, that’s the Saturday Snippet for this week! Please don’t forget to comment by clicking on either the blog title or the little quotation balloon in the upper right hand corner. Tell your friends. Stop back here next week for another!

***

If you’re interested in more about:

SOVRAN’S PAWN

United by extortion, divided by duty, someone wants them both dead. They want each other. The catch is, nothing is what it seems…

Convicted of treason and sentenced to be executed, Bo Barron is the last person who should be infiltrating a Sub-socia weapons auction. But when her father is kidnapped and the ransom demand is the schematics to an experimental weapon, she has no choice but to go under cover with her uncle to get it.

Nobody counted on former-government-agent-turned-holofeature-hero Blade Devon’s infatuation with her. A botched assassination under the guise of a bar brawl leaves Bo blind and Blade wondering if there isn’t more to this job than he was led to believe.

Never able to resist playing the hero, Blade tends her injuries and delves deeper into the intrigue only to find this mission isn’t about a weapon at all. It’s about two Sovrans’ maneuvering for control, with Bo and Blade as their pawns.

All Bo and Blade have to do is figure out how to survive the game they didn’t know they were playing.

“What’s Next? What’s Next?”

Now that SOVRAN’S PAWN is out in the world for everyone to see, the question I keep getting is “What’s next?” I am delighted to know my meager efforts have been so well-received. I’d like to thank everyone who has already bought an e-copy of my book and assure those waiting for the paperback, that it won’t be long in coming. Look for it sometime in June. Yes, I will have a supply on hand, signed, that I will happily sell direct to you at a discount, plus shipping costs.

As for what’s next, look for ARCANA DOUBLE CROSS sometime this fall. It is the premiere installment of THE MERCENARY ADVENTURES OF BLADE DEVON, a companion series of books featuring the man himself in all his swashbuckling glory. (Be still my heart!) You can find an excerpt under the tab at the top or by clicking the link.

The first draft of Book Two of THE BLACK WING CHRONICLES, tentatively titled THE WATCHTOWER, is two-thirds complete. Plans are for a release in Spring 2013, provided we all survive the Zombie Apocalypse of December 2012.

I hope to be spending a lot of time at the beach between now and then, doing research. Much of THE WATCHTOWER is set on the Outland Fringe planet Kah Lahtrec whose people have adopted Blade as a native son. He has a pretty nifty villa on the beach there that was given to him by the Lahtrecki government in recognition for… well, you’re just going to have to wait and see. Book Two is going to be a lot of fun as it introduces some of my favorite characters in the series:  Ballanshi – Tryrium te Kah Lahtrec, his lovely and formidable wife Madine – Tryrine te Kah Lahtrec, and the wizened old holy man Tahar. Book Two also explains the how and why of Blade’s leaving his career in holofeatures for the life of an itinerate mercenary, complete with the scene in the theater which is part of Blade Devon lore.

Not to worry, the romance with Bo continues, as she carries on her quest to clear her name and find her father. Book Two finds Bo settling into her new role as a facilitator in her brother’s organization, and she has learned to have fun. With a new confidence, her puckish sense of humor emerges, but her resolve is put to the test as she draws closer to finding the answers she so desperately seeks, one of which threatens to destroy her relationship with Blade forever.

Now that I’ve told you entirely TOO much, I’m off to get back to work making all of these claims a reality.

SOVRAN’S PAWN: The First Week

Initial response to SOVRAN’S PAWN has been incredible! I couldn’t be happier with the reception my debut novel has gotten. Thanks to everyone who has shared, tweeted, talked up, and bought a copy! Your comments are pure gold to me. Here are just a few comments people have sent to me:

  • “I am madly in love with Blade. You had better write a sequel!”
  • “Oh, and yes, I did buy it, despite not being a big sci-fi fan. Surprisingly, I’m actually enjoying it. Who knew?”
  • “I downloaded it last night and read the first chapter this morning…love your imagination.”
  • “If you love your heroes in the mold of Han Solo and Malcolm Reynolds, you’ll be left idolizing Blade Devon.” ~ 4 out of 5 stars
  • “I can’t stop reading!”
  • “A fast, fun read!”

With no pretentions at great literature, SOVRAN’S PAWN is escapist fare; space opera with a bit of romance tossed in. If readers are entertained for a few hours, I consider my mission accomplished.

The BLACK WING CHRONICLES series is about the hero’s journey from callow youth (or ingénue) to Big Damn Hero who puts it all on the line to save the Commonwealth. I’d like to thank everyone who has embarked on the journey with us. I promise, there will be more! Just check out my WORKS IN PROGRESS page or the BLACK WING CHRONICLES page. And yes, Blade has his own series, THE MERCENARY ADVENTURES OF BLADE DEVON, with the first installment, ARCANA DOUBLE CROSS, in revisions with an eye on a Fall 2012 release. For those wondering whether Bo will become that Big Damn Hero, I invite you to read the excerpt from the first chapter of BARRON’S LAST STAND, the final installment of THE BLACK WING CHRONICLES.

Special Feature – Interview With Blade Devon

Blade Devon AvatarGotta Name My Blog was fortunate enough today to score an interview with holofeature heart throb, Blade Devon, the charming rascal whose imaging pad heroics in Underneath Dead Star catapulted him to cult hero status virtually overnight. The technical challenges in getting this interview from the Commonwealth were legion. We’re still not sure how we made it happen and we’re not sure we could fold space enough to reproduce the results. As it was, the holographic image of Blade that accompanied the transcript of the interview was impossible for our computers to translate, so we had to rely on Yahoo! Avatars to come up with a rough approximation of the man himself. We think we captured his personality quite well, don’t you? The following is pretty much the entire interview, except for the off-topic bits where Blade kept hitting on our GNMB correspondent.

GNMB: Thank you for taking time out of your busy shooting schedule to talk with us today, Blade.

BD: Happy to be here.

GNMB: Now, you haven’t been making holofeatures for very long, have you?

BD: Nearly three years now. Seems much longer than that.

GNMB: Already you’re getting typecast into the action hero role. First playing Rube in Underneath Dead Star

BD: My breakout role.

GNMB:which is fast becoming a cult classic. Then you moved on to Dwarf Star Incident, and then Fire and Ice. In all three holofeatures you played a two-fisted action hero.

BD: The old adage is to play to your strengths and you’ll never go wrong.

GNMB: Your bio says that you’re a former Inner Circle Agent, but I find that hard to believe.

BD: Why is that so hard to believe?

GNMB: Why would the Inner Circle allow a former operative to take on such a high-profile career?

BD: I’m afraid you’ll have to ask the IC for the answer to that. I’m not authorized to speak for the organization.

GNMB: I did ask the IC and they confirmed that you did, in fact, join the Consular Guard at the age of sixteen and were trained in Search and Rescue, beyond that, they had nothing to say.

BD: Then I guess I was never actually an IC operative so they shouldn’t care one way or another how I choose to make a living, should they?

GNMB: Aren’t you concerned that you’ll be brought up on charges for falsifying your military service?

BD: I’m more concerned with hitting my marks, remembering my lines and not showing up on set blind drunk or hung over.

GNMB: So despite the fact you’re discounted as a glorified stunt man, you take your roles seriously?

BD: I leave the stunt work to my brother, Chase. That’s real work. On the types of holofeatures I’ve made, the stunt performers have the hardest jobs on the set. My brother puts in far longer hours than I do, and he’s the one risking death and injury just to get the most exciting shots. If the critics are going to dismiss me, they should do it for all the right reasons, saying that all I do is look pretty and make sure they get my good side. Calling me a glorified stunt man is actually a compliment.

GNMB: You got your start in holofeatures working for your brother as a stunt performer, didn’t you?

BD: Yes, when I left the IC… I mean, when Chase got tired of letting his freeloading little brother sit around on his sofa all day watching the holovid and drinking his liquor, he told me that either I drove in this one gag, or I looked for a new place to live. So not wanting to live on the street, I agreed. The producer thought I was pretty and next thing I knew, I was making holofeatures.

GNMB: It sounds like you don’t take your holofeature job any more seriously than you take the IC.

BD: Just because I treat everything with contempt doesn’t mean I don’t take anything seriously.

GNMB: Pintubo Racing has just announced that you’re one of their drivers for the upcoming racing circuit. Do you take that seriously?

BD: Of course I do. It’s what they pay me for. The contempt only comes out when there’s a proviso in my holofeature contract that won’t allow me to drive for Pintubo while working on a holofeature. Producers and investors tend to be reluctant to let their lead actors die in a fiery crash before they wrap shooting. They’re unreasonably touchy that way.

GNMB: How dare they?

BD: Well at least they’re honest enough to prefer that I die rather than be maimed or horribly disfigured. Death in that manner would make my last feature epic and legendary. There wouldn’t be any of this guano about being a glorified stunt man. The critics would sit around and point out the promise in my performance and the subtle genius of my portrayal. They’d speculate on how brilliant I would have been in a few more years. Retrospectives don’t have the same emotional impact if you’re merely disfigured.

GNMB: So what’s next for Blade Devon?

BD: I’m taking some time off to recharge before I start work on my next holofeature. Pintubo wants to enter me in next year’s Catarrh Endurance Rally. My brother is retiring from the Catarrh after his win last year and he’s already on board to be my crew chief. Other than that, I’m thinking of taking a cruise.

GNMB: Well, I hope you enjoy your cruise, Blade and best of luck in the Catarrh and on your next holofeature. Any hints on what we can expect from your next role?

BD: I’ve been told to get my singing voice into shape. It’s a musical, and my agent says there are no explosions in the entire script.

GNMB: Do you sing?

BD: No.

GNMB: That could be problematic.

Blade shrugged and flashed me his trademark lopsided grin. Once again, I was left to wonder whether he took anything seriously.

***

If you’d like to learn more about Blade Devon and the cruise he took, look for SOVRAN’S PAWN, Book One of THE BLACK WING CHRONICLES coming out April 20. Follow the links for a sneak peek.

#SFFSat – Arcana Double Cross

It’s Science Fiction Fantasy Saturday time again! As you may recall, SFFS is a ring of authors who share some of their work each Saturday. Anyone is welcome. The idea is to feature a snippet of your work for others to enjoy.

This week’s snippet is a departure from SOVRAN’S PAWN. It’s a departure from THE BLACK WING CHRONICLES altogether. This week’s snippet comes to you from one of the lost novels of THE MERCENARY ADVENTURES OF BLADE DEVON. This snippet is from ARCANA DOUBLE CROSS. Blade and his merry band of mercenaries have undertaken the task of rescuing a damsel in distress from the Arcana Hotel and Casino, which is controlled by the Jannus Syndicate. In this scene, they’re starting to get into position.

***

“Get mobbed by women again?” Adin asked with a raised eyebrow. “Serves you right. You look like a pretty boy heart throb out of a holofeature.”

“I am a pretty boy heart throb out of a holofeature,” Blade replied with a wry grin. “What have you found out?”

Adin’s theatrically painted face was completely void of all natural expression. “She’s here. Somehow, I get the feeling that taking her out won’t be as easy as we had planned.”

“She wasn’t kidding about security,” Blade said, glancing around. “This is heavy even for the Jannus Syndicate. If we can’t be subtle let’s be memorable.”

***

Well, that’s the Saturday Snippet for this week! Please don’t forget to comment by clicking on either the blog title or the little quotation balloon in the upper right hand corner. Tell your friends. Stop back here next week for another!

If you want a little more of SOVRAN’S PAWNBARRON’S LAST STAND, or to learn more about THE BLACK WING CHRONICLES, just click on the links.

#SFFSat – Arcana Double Cross 4/7/2012

It’s Science Fiction Fantasy Saturday time again!

To keep with the theme I’m following on my blog, “Celebrating Big Damn Heroes,” this week’s snippet is another departure from the upcoming release, SOVRAN’S PAWN (April 20). This week’s snippet comes to you from one of the lost novels of THE MERCENARY ADVENTURES OF BLADE DEVON. Set approximately five years after SOVRAN’S PAWN, this snippet from ARCANA DOUBLE CROSS (Fall 2012), Blade’s contract negotiations with a new client were interrupted by a group of heavily armed men opening fire on them. While his associates cover their escape, Blade and the girl slip out the back.

***

They came out in the dim glow of the street lamp. Something scratched against the pavement to his left. Blade turned, shoving the girl behind him. His every sense screamed, warning him of danger, without conscious thought, he raised his weapon and fired. A humanoid form melted out of the inky shadows and collapsed in the orange pool of light. Beside him, landed his sidearm, still unfired. Blade stared at the apparition for only a second or two, then he turned and pulled Caitlin with him along the alley. Reaching the street, he slowed and pressed deeper into the shadows. His sharp gaze flicked up and down the street, peering into shadows.

While marching into a club in force and opening fire on the mark was typical of syndicate tactics, it also flushed the quarry out of a more defensible position into the open where they would be more exposed and vulnerable. Rather than racing out into the open street, Blade patiently held position in the shadows at the mouth of the alley scanning the buildings and surrounding rooftops for any signs of a sniper waiting to pick them off.

***

Well, that’s the Saturday Snippet for this week! Please don’t forget to comment by clicking on either the blog title or the little quotation balloon in the upper right hand corner. Tell your friends. Stop back here next week for another!

If you want a little more of SOVRAN’S PAWNBARRON’S LAST STAND, or to learn more about THE BLACK WING CHRONICLES, just click on the links.