Saturday Snippet: Efficient Prison Cell

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

Hi! I’m back for another round this week! It’s nice to be back for Saturday Snippets after all the busy writing on BARRON’S LAST STAND. I’m also working on a collection of short stories about Bo’s solo adventures after HERO’S END titled BARRON: A New Hero Rises. Today I give you a third and final look at one of those short adventures: DEVIL’S BARGAIN.

In the previous post, Bo And The Pirates, we met Gray, a thoroughly vile crime boss with whom Bo develops a complex relationship which carries through to BARRON’S LAST STAND. Gray has a cargo and personnel that he wants Bo to transport for him. The problem is, He offered her a laughable amount to do the job. In this snippet, Bo has taken the cargo and passengers on board and now has cause to regret her decision.

***

 

Throbbing pain slashed through her temples, bisecting her skull into two equally painful halves. Drawing a deep breath of stale air, Bo forced her eyes open.  Bile climbed into her throat as a wave of nausea crashed over her. Groaning, she turned her head, setting off a fresh explosion of fireworks in her head. At least if she vomited, she wouldn’t choke on it. She lay there, unmoving, breathing through the first crushing moments.

It was dark; black as deep space. She lay on her back, her knees bent to her chest. Bo tried stretching her legs out, but came up against a solid barrier. Reaching out with her hands, she measured the cramped space around her, finding there wasn’t enough room to stretch out her limbs or stand. Curling her hand into a fist, she banged against the barrier in the darkness. A hollow thump reverberated around her.

Cargo container.

It made an efficient prison cell.

***

If you’re interested in reading more about Bo, 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.

The first short story of the upcoming collection, THE OSTRA CHILD, was offered as a free download for Mother’s Day. Follow the highlighted title which links to the post that will tell you all about it and how to download.

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: Devil’s Bargain

Happy Fourth Anniversary to Science Fiction Fantasy Saturday. Snippets of ten to fifteen sentences or less are yours for the reading!

Hi! I’m back! It’s nice to be back for Saturday Snippets after all the busy writing on BARRON’S LAST STAND. I’m also working on a collection of short stories about Bo’s solo adventures after HERO’S END titled BARRON: A New Hero Rises. Today I give you a second look at one of those short adventures: DEVIL’S BARGAIN.

In the previous post, Bo And The Pirates, we met Gray, a thoroughly vile crime boss with whom Bo develops a complex relationship which carries through to BARRON’S LAST STAND. Gray has a cargo and personnel that he wants Bo to transport for him. The problem is, He just offered her a laughable amount to do the job.

***

 

“You’re a liability, Barron,” he struggled to keep his voice to a hoarse whisper. “You top the Commonwealth’s most wanted list. I know you’re sucked dry of funds which is why you won’t meet groundside. I come to you with a good offer and you’re quibbling over price?”

Unperturbed, Bo lifted the glass to her lips and finished off her drink. The Gallis Rye burned its way down her throat and touched off a cozy bonfire in her chest. Setting the glass on the table with a solid clunk, she dropped her feet from the table. Her lips twisted in a small smile.

“You’re right,” she said. “I’ve got a price on my head that would make it worth my while to turn myself in.”

She leaned forward, bracing her forearm on the table. Her other hand dipped to cover the butt of the antique blaster strapped to her right thigh.

“There are plenty of other pilots and ships out there who can fly this job for you,” she went on. “If you’re coming to me, either you’re setting me up to collect on the reward, or you have a job that requires Barron Clan skills and I’m not just a Barron, I am THE Barron. Either way, I’m worth a hell of a lot more than sixty thousand.”

***

If you’re interested in reading more about Bo, 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.

The first short story of the upcoming collection, THE OSTRA CHILD, was offered as a free download for Mother’s Day. Follow the highlighted title which links to the post that will tell you all about it and how to download.

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: Bo and the Pirates

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

Hi! I’m back! It’s nice to be back for Saturday Snippets after all the busy writing on BARRON’S LAST STAND. I’m also working on a few short stories of Bo’s solo adventures that take place between HERO’S END and BARRON’S LAST STAND. Today I give you a first look at a brand new adventure. It’s so new, I don’t have a title for it. But here, for your enjoyment are the first fifteen sentences from this new story. Please keep in mind, it is still a work in progress and hasn’t been edited yet.

***

 

BLS MockupB2“It’s an easy enough proposition, Barron. Just pick up cargo and my representatives and deliver them on schedule. What could be so objectionable about that?”

Bo Barron slowly swirled the amber liquid in her glass as she studied the crime boss across from her.

Objections? She had several.

From the moment he’d settled his rotund form into the chair across from her, she hadn’t liked anything about him. The nasal tenor of his voice held more whine than power.  His gaze slithered over her and he licked his pudgy lips. His brown eyes glittered with lust and he tried a smile that she supposed was intended to be harmless, but came out as a full-blown leer. Though he couldn’t be much older than her own twenty-four standard years, the unruly crop of curly hair on his head had already mounted a retreat. Perspiration glistened through open patches on his scalp. Excited color lit his cheeks and his nostrils flared.

Swallowing her revulsion, Bo’s lips curled in an inviting smile.

“Keep talking, I’ll let you know when I hear something I don’t like.”

***

If you’re interested in reading more about Bo, 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 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.

Saturday Snippet: No Such Thing As A Free Ride – Part VIII

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

I am posting Part VIII as well, because earlier, while I was trying to edit Part VII, my tablet app posted it ahead of time. So here is a bonus snippet from BARRON’S LAST STAND. Keep in mind, this is the first time these two have seen each other in five years, Blade took advantage of Bo’s prison break, and he stowed away aboard her ship. Now, he’s on his knees in her engine room and she’s got a blaster trained on him while she is trying to decide whether to shoot the lying bastard, or kick him out the nearest airlock. Her greatest fear is that she’ll forget how angry she is with him and let him turn her life upside down again. As the song says, “He looks like a cool drink of water but he’s candy coated misery…He’s the devil in disguise, a snake with blue eyes…”

***

Barron's Last Stand ART5

“I’m surprised Lord Marin let you keep up your extracurricular activities. The last I heard he wanted you for a desk job on Trisdos.”

His gaze narrowed. His pleasant demeanor faded. “You know why I turned that down,” he said softly.

Bo shook her head. “Don’t give me that. You didn’t want that job and we both know it. Your decision had nothing to do with me.”

“My decision had everything to do with you.”

***

That’s the snippet for the week. Thank you for stopping by.

If you’re interested in reading more about Bo, you can pick up your ebook copies of SOVRAN’S PAWN and HERO’S END for Nook and Kindle at Amazon or Barnes & Noble.

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.

In case you missed them, here are some other SFFS snippets from BARRON’S LAST STAND

No Such Thing As A Free Ride
No Such Thing As A Free Ride – Part II
No Such Thing As A Free Ride – Part III
No Such Thing As A Free Ride – Part IV
No Such Thing As A Free Ride – Part V
No Such Thing As A Free Ride – Part VI
No Such Thing As A Free Ride – Part VII

Portrait of a Crime Lord – Part One
Portrait of a Crime Lord – Part Two
Portrait of a Crime Lord – Part Three
Portrait of a Crime Lord — Part Four
Stowaway
Stowaway Part Two
Stowaway Part Three

Saturday Snippet: No Such Thing As A Free Ride – Part VII

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

This snippet from  BARRON’S LAST STAND posted prematurely, so I am giving you Part VIII as an extra bonus by way of apology. Here is the June 7 snippet, for your amusement.

We find Blade stowed away on Bo’s ship. Despite the fact they parted under difficult terms five years earlier, and she thinks the worst of him, he is still Blade Devon, handsome as sin and charming as the devil, and for Bo, that makes him just about perfect. Maker help her if he ever figures that out!

***

Barron's Last Stand ART5

“Can I at least put my hands on my head?” He shrugged, lifting his arms slightly. “This would be difficult enough in standard gee, but you’re killing me here.”

“Oh no,” she shook her head. “I don’t trust you within a parsec of me. Keep your hands where they are. Next time try a different workout routine. You’re getting flabby.”

He wasn’t flabby by any stretch of the imagination. From the look of him, he hadn’t slacked off of his workout routine at all in the last few years. In fact, if anything, he looked like he’d bulked up a little. The muscles that bulged under his prison issue jacket looked like molded fuseform. Her gaze lingered on the fabric stretched tight across his chest. Giving herself a sound mental shake, she tamped down on her increasingly lurid fantasies. He was still a dangerous Predator and she would do well not to underestimate him, or lower her guard at all.

***

That’s the snippet for the week. Thank you for stopping by.

If you’re interested in reading more about Bo, you can pick up your ebook copies of SOVRAN’S PAWN and HERO’S END for Nook and Kindle at Amazon or Barnes & Noble.

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.

In case you missed them, here are some other SFFS snippets from BARRON’S LAST STAND

No Such Thing As A Free Ride
No Such Thing As A Free Ride – Part II
No Such Thing As A Free Ride – Part III
No Such Thing As A Free Ride – Part IV
No Such Thing As A Free Ride – Part V
No Such Thing As A Free Ride – Part VI

Portrait of a Crime Lord – Part One
Portrait of a Crime Lord – Part Two
Portrait of a Crime Lord – Part Three
Portrait of a Crime Lord — Part Four
Stowaway
Stowaway Part Two
Stowaway Part Three

Saturday Snippet: No Such Thing As A Free Ride – Part VI

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

Since we’re finished with the Crime Lord, I thought I’d address some comments from previous snippets, namely the nature and identity of the Stowaway… Yes, this is still from BARRON’S LAST STAND. While breaking the Crime Lord’s kid brother out of a high security detention center, one of the other escapees – unbeknownst to Bo – tracks them to her ship and manages to stow away in her engine compartment. Unfortunately, Sundance, (Bo’s shipboard computer,) fails to let her in on this little nugget until after she’s fought another ship, outrun two picket ships, engaged her hyperdrive, and settled in to her bunk for a much-needed rest.  Here, she confronts her uninvited “guest,” who also happens to be her ex — none other than Blade Devon.

***

Barron's Last Stand ART5

“I, uh, don’t want you to think I’m misrepresenting myself,” he said. “But the IC and I aren’t exactly on speaking terms.”

“I’ve heard that one before.”

“My standing with the IC depends on who you ask,” he said. “They’ll tell you I’m an agent in good standing. I’ll say they can pound sand.”

“So you’ve gone rogue — again?”

“I prefer mercenary,” he said.

“That’s how you ended up in Akita?”

He nodded. “A job went sour. I stayed behind to cover my team’s escape.”

Her lips twisted in a humorless smile. “Still working with the bottom feeder, the Delian and the mutant?”

“Phinny’s not a mutant.”

“Right.”

***

That’s the snippet for the week. Thank you for stopping by.

If you’re interested in reading more about Bo, you can pick up your ebook copies of SOVRAN’S PAWN and HERO’S END for Nook and Kindle at Amazon or Barnes & Noble.

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.

In case you missed them, here are some other SFFS snippets from BARRON’S LAST STAND

No Such Thing As A Free Ride
No Such Thing As A Free Ride – Part II
No Such Thing As A Free Ride – Part III
No Such Thing As A Free Ride – Part IV
No Such Thing As A Free Ride – Part V

Portrait of a Crime Lord – Part One
Portrait of a Crime Lord – Part Two
Portrait of a Crime Lord – Part Three
Portrait of a Crime Lord — Part Four
Stowaway
Stowaway Part Two
Stowaway Part Three

Saturday Snippet: No Such Thing As A Free Ride – Part V

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

Yes, this is still from work-in-progress BARRON’S LAST STAND. During a prison break, Bo picked up a stowaway who happened to be the last person she expected — or wanted — to see aboard her ship, Blade Devon – the man she can’t seem to decide is either the love of her life, or her worst nightmare. So, Bo decided the best place for him is on his knees in the engine compartment of her ship…with her pistol trained on him, and her finger on the trigger itching to pull it up tight.

Blade? He’s taking the situation with all the arrogant humor and charm he displays in every harrowing predicament he finds himself.

***

Barron's Last Stand ART5

She studied his face for a long moment. It had been a long time since she’d last seen him. He’d been a clean-shaven, ruggedly handsome, lying bastard then. His face had gained maturity and character with new wrinkles and scars – and most notably, the beard. Maker help her, she found him more attractive than she ever had. She doubted his lying nature had improved any, however.

“You look good,” he said.

“You’re not as pretty as you used to be,” she fired back. Bo’s eyes narrowed. “What the hell are you doing on my ship, Blade?”

“Same as you,” a lopsided smile crossed his face. “Breaking out of Akita.”

“What’s a First Sector IC Agent doing locked up in Akita?”

“That’s a long story…”

“Condense it.”

***

That’s the snippet for the week. Thank you for stopping by.

If you’re interested in reading more about Bo, you can pick up your ebook copies of SOVRAN’S PAWN and HERO’S END for Nook and Kindle at Amazon or Barnes & Noble.

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.

In case you missed them, here are some other SFFS snippets from BARRON’S LAST STAND

No Such Thing As A Free Ride
No Such Thing As A Free Ride – Part II
No Such Thing As A Free Ride – Part III
No Such Thing As A Free Ride – Part IV

Portrait of a Crime Lord – Part One
Portrait of a Crime Lord – Part Two
Portrait of a Crime Lord – Part Three
Portrait of a Crime Lord — Part Four
Stowaway
Stowaway Part Two
Stowaway Part Three

Saturday Snippet: No Such Thing As A Free Ride – Part IV

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

Since we’re finished with the Crime Lord, I thought I’d address some comments from previous snippets, namely the nature and identity of the Stowaway… Yes, this is still from BARRON’S LAST STAND. While breaking the Crime Lord’s kid brother out of a high security detention center, one of the other escapees – unbeknownst to Bo – tracks them to her ship and manages to stow away in her engine compartment. Unfortunately, Sundance, (Bo’s shipboard computer,) fails to let her in on this little nugget until after she’s fought another ship, outrun two picket ships, engaged her hyperdrive, and settled in to her bunk for a much-needed rest. Here, she confronts her uninvited “guest,” who also happens to be her ex — none other than Blade Devon.

***

Barron's Last Stand ART5

“Give me one good reason why I shouldn’t fry you right now for old time’s sake.”

“Good. You’re looking for a reason not to kill me. That’s an improvement.”

Bo shook her head. “Doesn’t mean I won’t blow your damn head off.”

He peered up at her. “Duly noted.”

***

That’s the snippet for the week. Thank you for stopping by.

If you’re interested in reading more about Bo, you can pick up your ebook copies of SOVRAN’S PAWN and HERO’S END for Nook and Kindle at Amazon or Barnes & Noble.

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.

In case you missed them, here are some other SFFS snippets from BARRON’S LAST STAND

No Such Thing As A Free Ride
No Such Thing As A Free Ride – Part II
No Such Thing As A Free Ride – Part III

Portrait of a Crime Lord – Part One
Portrait of a Crime Lord – Part Two
Portrait of a Crime Lord – Part Three
Portrait of a Crime Lord — Part Four
Stowaway
Stowaway Part Two
Stowaway Part Three

Why I Self-Publish

“What do you do?”
“I’m an author.”
“Oh? Who is your publisher?”
“I am.”

 

Promo 1991
1991 – While everyone else’s promo pics at the time came from Glamour Shots, I set up a photo shoot with a real photographer.

I wrestled long and hard with myself about going the self-publishing route. I’ve been in the business a long time (since 1987) and it was hard for me to get past the self-pubbed stigma. Personally, I couldn’t shake the reminder of “Vanity Press” publishers that were the bane of the writer’s existence back in the day.

For the low cost of around $3,000 way back when, you could send your manuscript to a publisher (printer really) who would slap a lame cover on and send you back a slick-looking, but completely amateur product. There was a certain type of person who did that. They were considered by the reputably published as no-talent, wannabe hacks who couldn’t get published any other way.

Vanity press publishing was the kiss of death to any hope of having a “REAL” writer’s career. If you mentioned in a cover letter to a publisher that you’d self-published previously, I’m pretty sure they would laugh cruelly and toss your submission — unread — into the return pile, if not the circular file, depending on whether you’d included a return SASE, (that’s Self-Addressed, Stamped Envelope for you whipper-snappers.)

It was a brutal industry with high and demanding standards. I got out of the publishing industry in 1999 and threw myself headlong into my television career out of financial necessity. I knew I could rely on a steady paycheck in television. Freelance writing can be an iffy proposition, especially when you’d rather devote your full attention to fiction and not articles about dogs, apartment living, and dating. So I only wrote to supplement my paycheck on occasion.

In the time I was out of publishing, Amazon rose from a novelty online bookseller to the mega-giant of publishing that it is today.

“E-books will never take off,” I said. “They’re a passing fad. People who read love physical books, not to mention the screens are hard on the eyes.”

I’ve never been good with investments either. Self-publishing surged and I resisted. Several friends encouraged me to look into it. I used to brag that I’d been rejected by some of the finest publishing houses in the industry, which is true. Del Rey, Avon, Tor, Ballantine have all rejected my early manuscripts. (Re-reading them now, I can’t blame them.) I stubbornly clung to my old-school ways. Self-published means you’re not a “REAL” writer and you can’t get published any other way.

Ten years rolled on. I was content to remain in retirement from publishing. I’d married and was raising a family at long last. Promo PicOne day, a friend emailed me one of those fun chain letters in which the sender has answered a bunch of questions and spammed their friends with them and now it’s your turn to replace their answers with your own and spam your own friends. One of her answers lit a spark inside me.

“I wish I could meet Darien Roarke for the first time all over again…”

Outside of my local RWA chapter and the slush pile readers, only a precious handful of friends had ever read any of my fiction. She was my biggest and most devoted fan. I had a manuscript she hadn’t read, so I sent it to her. I hadn’t touched it in ten years. She gave me the kick in the butt I needed, and I started rewriting with an eye towards publishing once again.

I looked into e-publishers and small houses figuring I’d be most likely to find acceptance there. Angela James of Harlequin’s Carina Press put out a submission call, so I put my rewrites aside and took the backstory notes and knocked out a novella to send to her. I never sent it. During the process of writing, I did a lot of research into small press e-publishers, and finally, into self-publishing itself. What I learned changed my perspective completely.

Ultimately, I chose to self-publish the novella which became SOVRAN’S PAWN because:

  • BWC SOVRAN'S PAWN - FINALIt offered me more creative control over my brand,
  • I wouldn’t feel pressured to compromise my core values to satisfy a publisher
  • Looking at the smaller publishers from a publisher’s perspective (I edited and published a lifestyle magazine in my youth) I knew that if my sales didn’t meet their expectations, I could be dropped like a hot rock. Nothing personal, it is the ONLY way they could make their numbers work. High turnover is the only way to quickly build a back catalog and visible presence among customers. Keep what sells well and drop what doesn’t pay the bills. Never mind the fact the burden for marketing and networking was squarely on the author’s shoulders and not the publisher’s. I also knew that no publisher would believe in my series as much as I did, and wouldn’t feel as driven to market it. And lastly,
  • The quality of editing in far too many of the smaller press e-books that I was reading would NEVER have made it over the transom let alone out the door back in the day. Having aspired to being published by the lofty, “big” houses with their exacting standards, I wouldn’t allow my name to be associated with a publisher who turned out less than quality work. If there are editing errors in my books, they are solely MY responsibility, but I can promise my readers that I have done everything possible to turn out the best quality product it is within my ability to produce. I couldn’t guarantee the same from some of the smaller e-publishers whose books I was reading.

If I hadn’t had so much experience in the industry already under my belt, I may not have opted to go the self-publishing route. As it was, I knew what was involved before I started. I had done the writing, editing, layout, design, art, and marketing before. I couldn’t see where a small press or digital first publisher could do anything for me that I couldn’t do for myself. I knew that I could turn out a product that was at least as good as any digital first publisher, if not better than most.

I’m old school. Quality and integrity are of paramount importance. I want readers to know that if they pick up a book with JC Cassels’ name on it, I am providing them with the best book it is within my power to produce, technically as well as creatively. Smaller press e-publishers couldn’t guarantee that, not from the quality of products that I’ve seen out there.

FloppyDiskFor me, the biggest learning curve was unlearning everything I knew about traditional publishing. It’s not the same industry it was back in the late 80’s. On one hand, that’s good for authors who write outside the mainstream. On the other, the ease of self-publishing has relegated some damn fine authors to a different kind of slush pile in which they vie for readers rather than publishing contracts.

Ultimately, I believe a quality product will find its niche in the marketplace. The current environment means authors, self-pubbed or otherwise, just have to work harder to get the attention of readers slogging through the virtual slush pile on Amazon. This means to succeed, you can’t skimp on editing or packaging. The longer you can hang in there, and the more quality books you can get OUT in front of readers, the more likely you are to survive, self-pubbed or otherwise.

So when I’m asked who my publisher is, and I answer that I am my own publisher, I do so proudly. I bring nearly thirty years experience in the publishing industry, several awards for excellence in writing and editing, and a reputation for high standards and a quality product. It doesn’t get more professional or reputable than that. Arcana Double Cross Cover2

Oh, and as for my friend, the book she was referring to in her email is ARCANA DOUBLE CROSS in which I introduced Darien Roarke as the gambling alias of the one and only Blade Devon. It is a much darker, grittier story and more of a “James Bond in space” than a romantic adventure. As for the manuscript I sent her to read, the backstory notes for that became SOVRAN’S PAWN and HERO’S END.  The “new” manuscript I sent to her is still being rewritten and will be released under the title it has always had:  BARRON’S LAST STAND.