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.

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!