BODIES IN MOTION: Chapter 3

ROWENA

The com crackled with static. It didn’t too, Rowena’d had the part on hand for years now, but it was one of the little warnings that told her someone was trespassing into her domain.

Technically the crew, ship, and even her engineering section belonged to her captain, and Hoshi never let her forget it. Bit, since they’d held the same rank until the end of war, she couldn’t really find it in her heart to forgive him.

Now his round face appeared on the screen, thin-lipped and angry. “You have a visitor.”

Crack. She pressed her lips together and surveyed the partially dissected environmental array she’d been cleaning. With a shield over it, it’d be fine. “I can be up in the conference room in ten minutes, sir.” As long as they didn’t mind her looking like she’d gone straight from cleaning fryers in the kitchens to engineering and hadn’t showered since yesterday.

“Don’t bother. I’m sending them down.”

Which meant they were either Lees or …

Titan Sciarra materialized at the edge of the engineering safety doors wearing his all-black Star Guard uniform with the tiny gold leaf for his rank.

“Commander,” she said politely, not bothering to get up off the floor.

“Permission to enter?”

Rowena nodded and dropped the personal shield that kept the Danielle Marie’s engines safe from junior crew and her safe from everyone.

“Spring cleaning already?”

“If I can’t get these filter coils cleaned we’ll have to replace them and Hoshi doesn’t know who to trade for them.” She did, just like she knew almost everything else going on in Enclave, but Hoshi wasn’t going to ask and she never volunteered anything.

Titan sighed as he looked around. “I’m surprised your captain let me in if you’re this busy.”

She knew he didn’t say understaffed because he knew she didn’t let anyone else in the engine room. “Hoshi thinks you might be trying to court me. The Sciarras have better ships and political leverage. He’s willing to trade unwanted kin for that.”

“Um…” Titan looked nervous.

“It’s an assumption they run on, not me.” She put extra emphasis on THEY to differentiate the rest of the fleet from their little dangerous duo. “You’re bachelorhood is safe for another day.”

“Ro, if…”

She shot him a quelling glare. “We’ve been over this. I’m not using a marriage contract as an escape hatch from a bad situation. I don’t want to be Sciarra. You don’t want to be Lee. And, no offense, but I tried kissing you once and licking a wall is more exciting.”

Titan laughed.

Rowena went back to scrubbing coils. “What are you doing here in your all-blacks? Is this a formal reprimand for last night at Cargo Blue?”

“Nah, it’s a recruiting drive,” Titan said as he leaned against the bulkheads. “I want you to join the Star Guard.”

“Ha. Ha. Funny.” She made a face of distaste. Three years since they’d landfall on this vicious mudball of a planet, nearly 300 executions and banishments, and still the warmonger crew weren’t welcomed into the political system of the fleet.

Seats on the captain’s counsel were nice, and she appreciated that they’d spared her life – most days – but she’d find the Lee’s missing space station before the Star Guard offered her a job.

“What’s this really about?”

“Really? I need your help with something.”

If it had been anyone but Titan she would have kicked them out. But, he was her friend. Her only friend after last night. “Parts and repairs I can handle, but I don’t solve people problems. Unless we’re moving a body.”

“That’s close to my problem.”

She looked up in surprise.

“Do you know of any feuds going on in Enclave?”

“Besides the usual ones?” She pulled up a list on her implant. “I mean, the general Allied verse Warmonger tension is there. A couple of the smaller crews are scrapping over salvage rights. The Silars are baiting as many high-level officers as they can, and giving Carver blue balls in the process. Sciarras. Lees. Crack, I’d start a war if I thought you’d forgive me. Anything is better than this.” She gestured to the parts that should have been replaced a century ago.

“It’s not natural, fleet holding still. We’re explorers caught in this prison.”

“It’s for-” Titan started the standard lecture and she shut him down with an electric shock from across the room.

Rowena glared. “It was about safety. Three years ago. Now, it’s about fear.  Cultures that stagnate die. That’s what we’re doing here. We’re clinging so hard to the old ways that we’re going to strangle ourselves.”

“You saying you’re going to go marry a grounder?”

“Not if my ancestors came to a dream and told me to!” She spat on the floor. “A grounder couldn’t keep up with us. Not this generation. But, with training? Maybe my nieces and nephews could marry in.”

Titan nodded agreement. Grounders couldn’t keep up with someone augmented like they were. “How is Nia anyway?”

“Nine months pregnant, acting like she’s eighteen months along, and likely to kill you if you don’t use her proper name. Aronia is married now.”

They both chuckled.

“Ro,” Titan said. “If you wanted to attack the fleet, destabilize us, who would you kill?”

She raised her eyebrows. “What’s my goal?”

He shrugged. “I don’t know.”

“What do you know?”

“The Jhandarmi in Tarrin think there’s a credible threat to the fleet and a hitter has been hired to kill an officer. By officer I assume they mean someone augmented, but…” He shrugged. “That’s it. So, who would you kill?”

Rowena stood up. “For pure chaos, Perrin Carver. His crew was allied with the Baulars at one point. He has fire power and respect on both sides. He’s charismatic and well-known by the grounders. Kill the figurehead and we’d have chaos.”

“No, we’d have Marshall or a Silar,” Titan said.

“Killing Marshall is always a tempting thought, but it’s not a smart play. She’s nearly as powerful as Carver, held her own against the Baulars, and her family has political connections on all three continents. That’s not an anthill you want to kick.”

Titan nodded in agreement. “One of the Silars?”

“But which one?” Rowena asked. “There’s a few thousand of them. I’d murder Hollis myself if I were ever alone with him without witnesses for no other reason than I want to wipe that smirk off his face. But, there’s the problem.”

Titan raised an eyebrow. “To many witnesses?”

“No, too much skill. If you or I wanted to kill someone how hard would it be? Warmonger or not, we’re still among the elite. Who could take you down?”

He grimaced. “Carver and I are evenly matched. He has more brute force, I’m better at shielding. Hollis Silar…” Titan made a disgruntled face, “he’s wicked fast with a knife. Lots of brute power but low focus. It’s be anyone’s fight. Marshall is better at me with a shield, but doesn’t have finesse.”

“Marshall doesn’t need finesse. I’ve seen her kill with augmented force and her bare hands. Even if you won the fight, her ghost would kill you.”

“Which leaves you,” Titan said, “maybe my cousin Mars. My captain.” He paused. “Caryll?” It was a question, not an addition to their list of elites.

Rowena rolled her eyes at the name. “No-shot Selena? Perfect aim, decent shields, and no kills to her name. She’s too nice. And that’s beside the point. What I’m saying is that if we wanted someone dead, it wouldn’t be a matter of if but when.”

“Right.”

“Fleet doesn’t hire hitters. Especially not mud-loving grounders. Not for a personal vendetta.”

Titan crossed his arms. “So it isn’t personal.”

“Or the person is very weak.”

“It could be someone from outside the fleet hiring. Anyone around here would just find a warmonger officer.”

“Rowena,” Titan’s voice held a note of warning.

She held her hands up. “I’m just saying! If you wanted someone discretely vanished, all the fleet knows to ask a Lee. Unless they wanted you dead, of course,” she said as a bit of a joke.

Titan sneered at her. “You wouldn’t take work from a Silar anyway.”

“True.” She rubbed a hand over tired eyes. “This isn’t helping, is it?”

“We have six people who probably didn’t hire the killer,” Titan said.

“Out of how many billion on the planet?”

“Keep it simple. Let’s assume the client and target are both local. A grounder hitter means outside Enclave, because they can’t get past my shield without help.”

“So your victim is someone who might leave Enclave,” Rowena said. “That narrows it down a bit.”

Titan nodded. “A bit, but not enough.” His eyes glowed for a moment. “I’ve got an incoming transmission.”

Rowena nodded to her board. “It’s secure.”

The board turned on showing Perrin Carver looking furious. He nodded. “Rowena.”

“Commander.” She looked up at Titan, trying to guess how serious he’d been about the recruiting drive joke.

“Sir?” Titan looked wary, which was promising in some ways.

Carver eyed her and grimaced. “You need to get back here, Sciarra. We have a situation with the delivery.”

Rowena raised her eyebrows.

“Sir, you sent me here to get information,” Titan said. “It’s Rowena. She’ll know in five minutes even if we don’t tell her, and there’s a decent chance we’ll have to come back and ask her to use her connections to gather intel for us anyway.”

Carver frowned. “Why don’t you work for us?”

Rowena looked up at the catwalks running over the engine. “Mmmm… almost everyone in the Star Guard has tried to kill me at least once, and I’ve killed some of their family, and Hoshi would have a temper tantrum if you recruited me before one of his nephews. Oh, and I hate you all.” Her smile was sharp enough to cut bone.

“Wars over,” Carver said as Titan said, “She’s joking.”

:Am not.: She sent the thought to Titan on a tight beam. :None of them were there for me when I needed help. No one defended me.:

:This is me defending you. No more wars.: Titan’s voice stayed impassive but there was a rush of emotions attached.

She rolled her eyes. “Sorry, hangovers make me grumpy.” It was a weak excuse but Carver looked ready to forgive.

“There’s a problem with the supply delivery in Tarrin,” he said.

“I’ll take a squad to pick it up instead of sending two people,” Titan said. “It won’t be an issue.”

Carver shook his head. “It was dropped off last night and the alarm went off ten minutes ago. The Tarrin police called me and the Jhandarmi. You need to get to the main office and handle things here while I go figure out the situation.”

“Yes, sir. I’ll be there immediately,” Titan said.

“Are you out of your star-crazed mind?” Rowena demanded.

:Rowena Eden Lee!:

:Titan Sa’ĩr Sciarra!: Rowena gave him a mental push. “Perrin, we’re on lockdown. Did you slam your head against a hull this morning?”

Carver looked confused.

“You can’t go, sir,” Titan said. “If you die, there’s going to be chaos.”

“I can’t send a pair of rookies out there either! I’m not getting anyone else in the fleet killed today.”

The need to volunteer choked Rowena. She’d trained for this. Worked her butt off for years to know how to handle exactly a situation like this.

“I’ll go,” Titan said. “Captain Sciarra won’t mind, I’m a neutral party so none of the other captain’s will feel insulted, and my crew is stable enough that if something happens to me they’ll survive.”

“No!” Rowena protested in unison with Carver.

Agreeing with him left the taste of bile in her mouth.

On the screen Carver leaned back in his chair. “I know Tarrin. I grew up here.”

“I make a better defensive shield,” Titan argued.

Carver shook his head. “You don’t look like a grounder. You don’t move like one.”

“I’ve taken the training to leave Enclave,” Titan said. “I know all the distribution routes. If you’d let me go out to guard a minister from the OIA why not to do this? All I need to do is go to a building and check the records. It’ll take less than an hour.”

“A little bit more,” Carver said. “Teleporting in is going to attract the kind of attention you can’t afford.” He shook his head. “I’ll go. The family that adopted me after the crash still sends me clothes on my birthday every year.”

“I’m serious, Carver,” Titan said, standing up. “Sir. If someone’s going to get shot at, let it be me. I can take the hit. Even if I get killed, it won’t endanger anyone else. I’ll let my captain know I volunteered. Rowena is my witness.”

:This screams trap in big, blood-red letters.:

:Let someone try,: Titan said silently. :Let them see a Sciarra.: For a moment a flame-blue knife flickered into existence in his hand away from the screen, then burned out.

Carver looked unhappy.

“You know it’s the best choice,” Titan said aloud.

“Doesn’t mean I like it,” Carver said. “Fine. Go. Report back as quick as you can. Lee?”

Rowena raised her eyebrows in question.

“If you hear anything on the back channels about this, tell me immediately,” Carver ordered. When she didn’t respond quickly enough he snapped, “I mean it!”

“Yes! Fine! Good grief, Carver. You’re commander of the Star Guard not the hull cracking Marshal of the Fleet!” She rolled her eyes at him. And to think they’d almost been friends once. Ugh.

Titan slapped the com console, turning it off and making it wobble.

“Gentle with my tech. I don’t have the replacement parts for that.”

“You should have been polite.”

“I should also be a ranked officer who isn’t treated either like a pariah or a child,” Rowena said, trying to check her annoyance.

He winced. “I’m sorry. It’s not…” He closed his eyes and dropped his shield enough for her to catch the terror he was carrying. The fear that one wrong move would plunge them all into unending darkness.

Carefully, she wrapped an inner layer of her own shield around her sympathetic thoughts and then sneered. “All doom and gloom, Sciarra? Living in this gravity well is making your brain melt. This isn’t a problem. It’s a temporary setback.”

His laugh was weak, unbelieving. “And last night?”

“Bruised egos,” Rowena said. “I was mad Silar was paying more attention to No-Shot than me.”

A guffaw of laughter burst from Titan’s mouth and he gripped his abdomen. “Oh, ancestors! No! I have this image in my mind.” He covered his mouth and shook his head.

Rowena smiled. “See? It’s not all bad.”

“Remember when we did those training flights on the old fighters and the environmental system malfunctioned on mine?”

She nodded.

“It feels like that. I’m frantically trying to reset the system, telling myself not to panic, an praying to my ancestors that the light will flip back on. Every breath is getting harder. And… the lights not coming on.” He bit his lip.

“You survived.”

“I keep thinking my luck’s run out.”

She picked up the coils, working with her hands helped her think. “You crashed, that night. Mal and I thought you were dead. But you got home. Ancestors, or guardian spirits, or random chance… whatever. You teleported from the planet’s surface to the medical ward on your own power.”

Titan ran a hand over his damaged left arm. “I don’t know if I was entirely alone. It never felt that way.”

“And you aren’t alone now. I’ve got your back. If you get in trouble out there, holler. I’ll break your shield and come get you.”

He smiled. “Thanks.”

“Go on.” She waved him out of her engine room. “Go be a good little guardian and save civilization.”

“See what you can find out about all this? Please? Names of anyone who might be outside the shield, and anyone who might be nursing a serious grudge.”

Rowena nodded. “I will, but only because it’s you asking.”

“You’re the best, Ro.” Titan stepped into the hall to teleport out.

“Stay safe, Sciarra.”

She watched him wink out and then reset her shields.

An assassination and a theft. She hadn’t seen those coming.

Somedays she missed the clean order of battle. It had been awful. People had died by the dozens every day. But people hadn’t lied about how they felt.

If they were angry, they shot at you.

If they were happy, they told you.

If they loved you, they kissed you.

Not that anyone had loved her, and it wasn’t like she’d ever trusted the rest of her crew to have her back, but it had been uncomplicated. She followed orders, shot at her targets, and waited for death to enlist her in the Lost Fleet with her ancestors.

Now… she looked around the poorly lit engine room, silent as a tomb.

Now she had to make other plans. Death wasn’t coming for her, and neither were the living. She was in limbo, the living dead. Unwanted and forgotten by everyone but Titan.

Titan better come back safe.

The only reason she didn’t punch a hole through the Enclave shield and fly one of her ships off to the black was because she knew Titan would be upset. He’d already lost too many friends, suffered through being injured and helpless while people he loved died around him.

She couldn’t bring Mal back, or Titan’s parents, but she could make sure he had a friend no matter what.

 

Start at Chapter 1
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The Silliness of Butterflies

There’s something a bit magical about butterflies, isn’t there? The bright colors, the paper-thin wings, the way they glide and flit across a summer glade like broken rainbows… I find them fascinating. This little guy (gal?) had an injured wing and was crawling through the grass near a playground full of kids. I took a few pictures and found some nice bushes safely away from small feet. This is a Canadian Tiger Swallowtail Butterfly, native to Canada and Alaska.

Look at that cute furry body! Aren’t butterflies extraordinary?

What are the little things in life you find magical even though they’re ordinary?

 

 

 

 

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A body at rest stays at rest unless acted on by an equal and opposite force.
– Newton’s First Law of Motion

Selena Caryll lost everything in the war: her ship, her crew, her family. The only thing keeping her going is the hope that somehow the feuding, ground-bound settlers and the fuelless space fleet can set aside their differences. But getting the politically-fractured fleet moving again is more than she can manage alone. For now, she has to settle for working undercover with the planetary police force.

When someone tries to reignite conflict between the planet-siders and the fleet, there’s only one person who has the rank and ability to help Selena protect the fleet: Titan Sciarra, Fleet Guardian—the one man she’s tried hardest to avoid since the war destroyed her life.

In a world where the stagnant weight of tradition can be as deadly as any knife, the only way to survive is to keep moving.

Start reading now!
Chapter 1
Meet The Characters

New chapters will post to the blog every Tuesday and Friday between now and the release!

BODIES IN MOTION: Chapter 2 Part 2

TITAN

Titan went to his desk and pulled up Carver’s contact information.

Ten seconds later a projection of Commander Carver appeared, floating over Titan’s desk.

The commander ran a hand through his hair and sighed with annoyance. “Another problem?”

“Maybe a small one. Captain Caryll opted to leave Enclave for her another housing option.”

Carver shook his head. “Not a problem. She has an apartment. It’s well shielded.”

Titan hesitated. “Sir… was…” He sighed in frustration, not sure how to explain his concerns.

Carver looked tired, and his attention kept shifting from the monitor to something else in the room. Probably Genevieve Silar.

“Sir, if she’d been one of my crew, I wouldn’t leave Caryll alone tonight. She wasn’t just angry. Her defensive shields were up, she was taking things hard. And I know Yeoman Lee was out of line. I’m fully aware of that. But…” He shrugged.

The commander motioned for someone to join him, and sure enough the young Silar lieutenant slid on his lap wearing little more than a pink night slip.

“Lieutenant,” Titan said politely, keeping his gaze pointedly on his commander’s face.

Carver had a steady lover who’d probably be his wife by the time the year was out, he didn’t need to rub it in. Besides, pale pink was an atrocious color on Silar. She needed a steel gray or copper red, something martial.

That could be filed under the list of things he would never, ever tell anyone.

“Gen, do you think Selena was acting abnormal tonight?” Carver asked.

“She was cranky, but she wanted to go somewhere in Tarrin proper, not Cargo Blue. That’s it,” Silar said.

“You don’t think she was upset by what Rowena said?” Carver asked.

Silar shook her head, tossing bright red curls that caught on the commander’s bristles.

Titan squelched a surge of jealousy. It had been a long time since he’d had someone to hold that close. Continue reading BODIES IN MOTION: Chapter 2 Part 2

BODIES IN MOTION: Chapter 2 Part 1

TITAN

There was nothing worse than being called by the commander to handle a disturbance ten minutes before the end of shift.

Titan checked the time as he left his desk. Cargo Blue had been open less than three hours and already there was a fight that would close it down if someone lodged a complaint with the Captain’s Council. He pulled up his shields and a Guardian Veil that allowed his implant to produce a visual representation of the shields everyone was wearing.

Then he sent Rowena a ping telling her to stay on the Danielle Marie until he sorted this out. They’d have to celebrate her birthday elsewhere.

Rowena sent a memory of bright blue drinks tinged with anger and humiliation. She was already at the bar.

Already fighting.

Titan ran, skidding on the loose gravel outside of Cargo Blue. It was a tangle of blue lights and yellow-green shields. He could see the information eddying there, everything someone might think a potential lover might want to know: name, rank, age, crew information, battle record… it swirled a few inches above their skin, data slowly snaking along their shields.

He pinged Rowena again and got a location lock. He tried to send her a message, to warn her he was coming in uniform and couldn’t help in a brawl, but she was either to focused or intentionally blocking his contact.

It was easier for his nerves if he pretended it was focus. But he’d been friends with Rowena since forever. She only blocked him when she was planning to get into the kind of trouble that started wars.

Pushing through the crowd, he caught sight of Rowena’s black hair, stepped in, and pulled her away from the woman she was arguing with.

An angry fist backed by telekyn collided with his jaw and rattled his brains.

Continue reading BODIES IN MOTION: Chapter 2 Part 1

BODIES IN MOTION: Chapter 1

A body at rest stays at rest unless acted on by an equal and opposite force.
– Newton’s First Law of Motion

Selena Caryll lost everything in the war: her ship, her crew, her family. The only thing keeping her going is the hope that somehow the feuding, ground-bound settlers and the fuelless space fleet can set aside their differences. But getting the politically-fractured fleet moving again is more than she can manage alone. For now, she has to settle for working undercover with the planetary police force.

When someone tries to reignite conflict between the planet-siders and the fleet, there’s only one person who has the rank and ability to help Selena protect the fleet: Titan Sciarra, Fleet Guardian—the one man she’s tried hardest to avoid since the war destroyed her life.

In a world where the stagnant weight of tradition can be as deadly as any knife, the only way to survive is to keep moving.

 

SELENA

The problem with vacations, Selena reflected as she adjusted her sweater outside of Cargo Blue, was that at the end, reality was always waiting. A quick search of the local security cameras found one that showed the peeling sunburn on her right shoulder blade.

Such was the curse of pale-skinned, ship-born Fleet personnel. Anytime she left the foggy belts covering the city of Tarrin, she barbecued like a shrimp. Otherwise, she’d flee even further from the Enclave and make her home on the equatorial beaches of the planet they were trapped on.

She panned the camera and checked her left shoulder. Black ink, dotted with stars, made a starscape that disguised three silver scars as three shooting stars. The painting covered her shoulder blade and part of her arm. As the artist had promised, the skin-paint had kept her from burning. With a few adjustments, her uniform covered most of the temporary art, which would keep her from having to explain to her fellow fleet officers.

Her arm warmed, an advance warning that someone was about to try to contact her through the tech implant tucked between her radius and ulna. She hesitated too long and the call came through, a persistent ping against her skull as the phantom image of her best friend floated on the edge of her vision.

Selena turned off the visual receiver, and answered. “Genevieve,” she said with a smile as the image of her vivacious, red-headed friend appeared.

A Grounder would have thought she was talking to herself, but Grounders wouldn’t set foot near the Enclave. The fleet ships hulking on the rocky beach served as a permanent reminder of the last war—and Selena’s folly.

Not a mistake. A decision.

The only people with any right to judge her rested with the Lost Fleet, just like the rest of her ancestors—

Continue reading BODIES IN MOTION: Chapter 1

How To be Successful

It’s been said before by far more brilliant people than me, but there is a single key to success in any creative field: DON’T QUIT.
The difference between every bestselling author and everyone out there who says they want to be those authors is one person hit that goal already and one person hasn’t yet.
People complain about mediocre writers and wonder why their amazing work isn’t getting published, and then they give up. And that’s the answer right there. The writers who give up because it’s too hard, or no one understands their genius, or they aren’t selling well, or they can’t find the market are giving up.
 
Stick with it. Keep publishing. Eventually your backlist will be “discovered” and you’ll sell.
 
People talk about GRRM, and Tolkien, and McCaffery like they always sold well. They didn’t. GRRM has a zillion books. Tolkien wrote short stories and essays on fables before Lord of the Rings. McCaffery has at least three series that only die-hard fans have even heard of.
 
Harry Potter wasn’t a phenomenon until Book 4.
 
Twilight wasn’t big until Book 3.
 
Harry Dresden took 5 books to become huge.
 
The authors people talk about being bestsellers don’t realize most those authors published 5-10 titles before they became recognized, and usually have 20 failed projects unpublished before that. Most of them have been doing this for 10 years before you even know their name.
 
If you quit because your first book was rejected, or you’ve only sold two and your agent can’t sell three, or because it just seems so hard you won’t succeed at publishing. You can’t. The odds are not in your favor.
 
What you have to do is roll with the rejection and write the next book. Find a new way to market. Maybe switch agents. Or genres. Or pen names.
 
Kim Harrison has a wildly successful career that most people say started with DEAD WITCH WALKING. Did you know she published two fantasy novels before DEAD WITCH WALKING and the publisher refused to buy the third? She could have quit writing and done something else, but she didn’t. She switched genres, switched pen names, rebranded herself and came out even stronger. I don’t know her personally, but I know there had to be tears and doubts. I know she was tempted to quit, but she didn’t. 
The path to success is littered with the people who fell down and quit.
If you want this: KEEP GOING.
Keep writing. Even if your progress is slow. Even if there are setbacks. KEEP WRITING. KEEP WORKING. KEEP GOING.

BODIES IN MOTION Cover Reveal!

 

A body at rest stays at rest unless acted on by an equal and opposite force. 
– Newton’s First Law of Motion

Selena Caryll lost everything in the war: her ship, her crew, her family. The only thing keeping her going is the hope that somehow the feuding, ground-bound settlers and the fuelless space fleet can set aside their differences. But getting the politically-fractured fleet moving again is more than she can manage alone. For now, she has to settle for working undercover with the planetary police force.

When someone tries to reignite conflict between the planet-siders and the fleet, there’s only one person who has the rank and ability to help Selena protect the fleet: Titan Sciarra, Fleet Guardian—the one man she’s tried hardest to avoid since the war destroyed her life.

In a world where the stagnant weight of tradition can be as deadly as any knife, the only way to survive is to keep moving.

 

BODIES IN MOTION will be serialized on the blog this summer with new chapters every Tuesday and Friday starting June 13th. The full novel will be available in print and ebook September 19th, 2017.

FAIR WARNING: I’m Scheduling Things

Here’s the deal… my computer is getting packed on June 19th, I don’t know what day I’ll lose internet, and between here and there I have SO MUCH WORK TO DO!  There’s packing, writing, house repairs, kids, school things, craziness. So much craziness! And keeping up with blog posts and tweets isn’t going to be possible.

For every social media outlet I have I’m scheduling posts now. And I may not be around to turn them off in the event of a world tragedy. After June 26th I’ll be off the internet for about a week. Once I cross into Canada I’m not even sure my phone will work. That means that I can’t turn off an auto-post if World War III breaks out.

Scheduling things in advance, and not being there to turn them off, is always a calculated risk. Even if you aren’t scheduling sales tweets there is always the risk that a tense chapter of the serialized novel might come out at the same time as a major tragedy. Or that a post on diversity might pop up on the day someone says something that insults women, or minorities, or religions, or atheists, or LGBTIA+ people (which is every day if you read the wrong Twitter feeds).

If that happens, please understand that it isn’t intentional and I’m not trying to fan any flames, start a war, or be insensitive.

If possible, I’ll log on and delay or delete a post as needed.

Hopefully everything will be wonderful while I’m away and we’ll all continue on without a hitch. But, if there’s a hiccup, please bear with me.

 

<3 Liana <3

 

The Great Escape… Leaving Alaska

Getting ready to travel always puts me in a reflective mood. Did I learn anything from being here? Did I do any good? Am I going to bring something better with me on this move that I didn’t have before?
Alaska has been a really interesting trip outside my comfort zone. It’s beautiful. I traveled through most of the United States and good chunks of western Europe, and there’s really nothing that compares to Alaska. The sky is a brighter blue. The vistas stretch for miles. And Alaskan summer is lush, green, and lively in a way that even the tropics can’t compare to. I can here not really expecting to love Alaskan summers, but I did. It’s so charming you can’t help but love it.
While I was here I picked up some new skill sets. Nothing strictly Alaskan, but I found the long winter nights and gray, bleak days left me craving color and I started painting. I failed art in grade school and always hesitated to go back and try again. But my daughter wanted a paint party for her birthday, and youtube had painting tutorials (a lot of painting tutorials). It was a lot easier to paint than I thought.
Am I great at it? No.
Are my paintings original? Not really, they’re more like fanfic of a youtuber’s painting. But it’s a start.
Will I ever be an amazing, museum-worthy painter? I could be if we knocked off a bunch of artists, or I practiced more, or the zombies in the apocalypse ate all the good art… there are options. But, to be great at painting I would need to spend a lot more time on it than I have. And my goal really isn’t being museum-worthy, it’s not even to be etsy-worthy. I’m painting because I enjoy painting. Because I like seeing bright colors and learning new techniques.
Am I a better person leaving Alaska than I was when I arrived? I like to think so.
Just career-wise I made a lot of big jumps while I was in Alaska. I was here when my first novel hit the stores. I did my first book signing at Fireside Books in Palmer. In more personal matters I think I grew up a little, learned to be a better parent, spent more time with the love of my life, spent more time exploring the world. I hope it’s all adding up to making me a better person, even if I still haven’t learned how to get to bed at a decent hour.
And what’s next?
I’m moving 3000 miles at the end of the month, headed for Washington State in the Pacific Northwest. We’ll be landing in the Seattle area, which I’m told is beautiful and full of farmer’s markets. What’s waiting there for me? I’ll let you know when I find out!