Sunday, March 26, 2017

Everything You Need To Know About My *To Be Sinclair* Series

I hope you don't mind if I get whimsical!  I haven't had much sleep, and I just finished up a huge order to print up this graphic as business cards, postcards, and a banner.  While doing all that work, I thought, "What would I use as a tag line for my books if I didn't already have them on the covers?"

 "Ghurlfriend, you need to get laid!"

I don't know if you've ever known anyone as geeky as Felicia, but I have, and do, and was, and, and.... (I might be marginally Aspie.)  And after all the lousy sex out there, it took a good man to make me enthusiastic about the subject!

-- Yes, you, Darlin' Man, my Sweet Thang!

So my sister couldn't read past the first book because Felicia gets laid like halfway through.  And to her, that's the End of Story.  How pitiful, to think the story ends once the lady has given herself to the man!  Whereas it's just the beginning of a long series, eleven more books, in which miraculous things happen because Felicia is a Very Happy Lady, because she has a Very Awesome Husband!

"Yeah, you THINK you're getting away with something, you miserable fink!"

Victor has the patience of a saint, but he's a seether.  And when he decides he's had enough, he'll hand you yer nuts on a platter along with yer boot leather and a slice of humble pie on the side.

It's all because he grew up mega-paranoid.  And rightfully so -- fer pity's sake, if you're taken to the wilderness and then to space to hide from the people who just slaughtered your family, you deserve to be!  He's been bombarded ever since, and then something really horrific happens to him.  So yeah, he has trust issues.

Thank goodness Felicia took enough psychology in college to understand the, ah, murky stuff.  Even in herself...!

  "You're absolved of almost anything if you can put me through the mat!"

Phillip's so into fighting, he'll start a bromance just to make sure his best friend's getting laid!  If he trusts you to fight no-holds, you've just won the lottery because he'll do anything just to keep you around.  Although he's intellectually astute and knows that might does not equal right, it comes a close second to being an honorable man.  The most honorable bad-ass you'll ever meet!  Too bad he's rather shy with the ladies...!

He unfortunately thinks his Imperial stature means he'll never really come to harm, despite his natural and parentally-instilled paranoia. Getting someone banned doesn't hold a candle to whuppin' their ass, though, and he's lucky he has friends at the right time and place.  And if he finally realizes he's your friend, it's for life.

"You can't argue with a sociopath.  And you certainly can't live with them."

Crown Prince Zhaiden is close to perfect, but he let his cock do his thinking one time, and had to pay for it for years.  I have to admit that I knew his ex-wife at one point.  I've had people say, "How could you DO that to him?!"  And I say, "Hey, people like that exist.  If I can help even one person recognize a sociopath and get the hell out of their way, I will have Done My Duty To My Readers."

He's such a sweetie-heart, though!  I adore his interaction with his children.  And he's pure Royalty, through and through, always considering the big picture, always expecting the best from his people, and always delighting in their excellence.  He has one big scar, but otherwise he's pure beauty.

"It's socially  unacceptable to implode."

Which is true, Stefan, but guess what?  If you don't let it out here and there, sometimes it comes out in a big, terrifying way

Brothers Josef and Evan can pretty much do so, but then again, they're typical males.  Whereas you, sweet Stefan, are a philosopher and a wannabe angel, if you could just get your emotions under control.  You're so sensitive to the public that I'm amazed you're so outgoing!

So strive for those crumbs of freedom, my lad!  They're not nearly as impossible as propriety makes them out to be.  Ask and ye shall receive, because there's glorious bounty in life, and handsome princes are hard to come by.  I'm glad you don't settle for the socialites, myself!

"Family is everything.  Well, our family, at least...."

It's amazing how three close siblings can be so totally different in their approaches to life.  Brian's a playboy, Anne's finally loosening up, and Christian just wants to be one of the guys.  This must have been the hardest book to write, because I had to give Brian and Anne equal time, when all I really wanted to do was write about Christian, the Good Guy with the heart of pure gold.

Oh, and Rosita!  I think the "Easter Egg" I wrote for this book -- something like 33K words! -- is the best character development I've ever written.  Rosita deserves the knight in shining armor, who is actually a handsome prince!  The very last line in the book makes me cry, EVERY time!  Maybe I'll tell you why someday.

"My soul is bleeding out of the hole in my chest where my heart used to be."

Yeah, poor Evan.  The youngest Imperial Son has the worst things happen to him.  Still, it turned him from a typical male into a man who doesn't depend on surface realities anymore.

Since this book consists of four novellas, I kept calling it Book 6.5, but I'm changing my series so it's filed as a regular book.  This will be Book 7, and I'll keep the title the same, mostly because there are too many candidate names I could use for it.  Like  charity, cruelty, frailty, liberty, rarity, sanity, travesty, adversity, atrocity, brutality, futility, obscenity, publicity -- and only charity is considered a 'noble virtue', the guideline by which I select my titles.  And it's completely inadequate to the task, so Evan's Ladies it is.

"No one deserves this sh*t!"

Prince Matthieu will be the Emperor of his generation, so he works super-hard to keep EVERYONE on track, educated, and feeling like they're an integral part of his family.  He's the most inspirational character, yet he's also as 'real' as they get!  He'll cuss with the other Servicemen and take his fair share of duty, because he understands he'll need to know what the average fellow goes through.  Yep, he's always been brilliant, probably because of that galactic tour his parents took when he was an infant.

What totally blows him into the Dimension of Dread is when people... give up.  He doesn't understand it, until he's had his own soul shredded and realizes that he wants to give up.  But he can't, that's so not him.  But it hurts sooo bad.  But you just can't give up, not when everyone depends on you.  But--!

"Is knowing the truth essential to being right?"

Oh, Princess Grace, you have a lot of moral decisions to make, and to judge, and to act upon on the spur of the moment.  Grace is good because she has one real guiding principle: be the perfect assistant to the Imperial Family, by order of succession, naturally.  She's so seriously intellectual that she asks herself philosophical questions like the one above before she gets out of bed in the morning.

But you don't usually see or hear those questions; they're there in the background, and Grace has a propensity to find the perfect way to distract people.  My favorite line in the entire book:  "Why did it seem like everyone blamed her for their bad decisions?"  A question she instantly sets aside to get someone started on a task, naturally.  And I adore her absolutely blinding dedication to Matthieu, even though they have their disagreements, too!

"After all I've done for you?!"

This is the book that's made me re-number my series.  Prince Richard came popping out after I had already finished Ability and begun working on Civility.  I won't tell you much, except it's more romance than sci fi.

The lovely lady Meredith is his Cinderella rescue, but he's not quite sure what to do with her after that.  He's pretty enlightened for a man, tries to treat the lady as an equal, but sometimes he slips up.  But there is one unforgivable in his book:  being unfaithful.  And Merry... well, she's not really unfaithful, but it sure does look bad!

I anticipate this book to be finished by July or August.  It's already at 75K words, but there's the editing and the prep work, too. Still, be on the lookout for it!

"Happy-go-lucky hardcore heathen gets hit upside the head with True Love!"

Yeah, Brielle isn't your typical Royal by any means.  She's just out to have fun because life has dealt her terribly harsh blows.  Her self-esteem is fairly high, but it wasn't always so, and when she finally goes ga-ga for a guy, she kind of realizes he's her only hope for love.  Yet she also realizes he had contributed a lot to her mental stability at a time when she often thought she couldn't bear another moment.

I particularly loved writing this book because of a propensity I have for recognizing my mind is being blown, and how, and pursuing that new perspective or way of thinking until I can call it up at will.  Brielle thinks in terms of 'Command Perspective', but it's just maturity, plain and simple.  Still, she totally rocks!

 Books in the pipeline:  two prequels that I've work on and off on for foreeeeeeevaaaaaaah, so I'd like to actually finish them someday!  But I mostly work on what has captured my attention at the time.  Oh, and the final book of the To Be Sinclair series, Civility, which I've already started.  The only thing I'll tell you about it is that it features Princess Elizabeth, who is then 57 years old, and she's gonna have an adventure!  Wooooohoooooo!

I hope you've enjoyed my middle-aged madness for this post!  Here are the usual social media and buy links, since it's just the thing authors have to do or they won't be taken seriously:

Author Central           


And all the usual places to get ebooks:  iTunes, Kobo, etcetera.


Friday, February 3, 2017

SFR Brigade Presents: Excerpt from Arrow of Fate

The Science Fiction Romance Brigade is a fabulous group of authors who offer a monthly Showcase to give people a taste of upcoming sci fi romance novels.    See this month's offerings at SFR Brigade Presents

My current excerpt is from The Arrow of Fate, a novel set in the To Be Sinclair universe, about 300 years before that series.  Prince Evan Grant Summerfeld is the sole scion of King Ian, a tyrant responsible for murdering his own brother for the throne while blaming it on offworlders trying to invade their planet, Fondulac.  Evan has to tread carefully around his father, especially since he distinctly sees both sides of the man's personality, while trying to convince him he's ready to take on some of his responsibilities....

Father came into Evan's bedroom just before bedtime.  As he settled in his chair, Evan set down his pen and journal.  “Good evening, Father.  Rather late for a visit, isn’t it?”
King Ian grimaced.  “I need to talk to you about security.”  He glanced toward his bodyguards, two just inside and two outside the doorway.  “Leave us.”  The two inside stepped smartly out the door into the parlor, and closed the door.
Evan’s eyebrows rose.  “What can I help you with?”
Father ran his hands up and down his thighs.  “I was talking to Sir Medford, who said he had heard this weekend that you were easily accessible.  He tried to get information from the man, but it was at a party, and he slipped away before Medford could round up enough people to detain him.”
Evan bit his lips together, trying to evaluate his father’s real concern.  “Do you mean the Lowenas?”
“Lowenas?”  Father’s brows drew together.
“Oh, sorry, my personal name for the bodyguards you assigned to me.”  At King Ian’s hard stare, he shrugged.  “They act more like scavengers than warriors, and I certainly can’t think of them as ‘high’, given their language and interests.”
“What did they do?”  Father actually acted like he cared, which surprised him.  He wondered if he could get King Ian to listen, now that he was paying such grave attention to him.
Sitting back in his chair, he assumed one of Father’s most notorious postures, setting his ankle across his other knee and grasping the arms of the chair, an attitude of relaxation from which he could burst into action if needed.  “They didn’t do anything, but they constantly talk big to each other, how they could whack so-and-so’s head off and such. 
“But I’ve never seen them work out, only carry pulse pistols.  I reckon most wouldn’t last ten seconds in a ring with me, and that they’d let me kill anyone seriously threatening me just to see me fight.  That’s what I meant by scavengers, ‘cleaning up’ after a kill. 
“And they’re nasty.  The sexual slurs they make about everyone make me want to puke at times.  I figure I’m safe simply because no one wants such low-life scum to touch them.”
King Ian’s expression didn’t change, so he continued.  “Whereas your guards never talk because it distracts them from observation.  They train together in groups so they all know each other’s moves, and they have plans so coordinated that each one could be in any position, yet perform perfectly against any threat.  In comparison, my men are fools who think power is in weapons instead of intelligence.”
King Ian’s closed expression morphed into a grimace at that harsh criticism.  “I’ll see you get new guards.”  As Evan continued to gaze at him without a word, he wondered, “Why are you staring at me like that?”
Evan swallowed, moved to set both feet squarely on the floor, and sat forward slightly with hands on his knees.  “I don’t mean to impugn your honor, but I wonder if you’ll actually do it.  Why did you never tell Lord Desai about the emblem I requested for my investiture robe?”
Father’s eyebrows rose before they crimped above his frown.  “It’s too untraditional.  And obscure. What does a bloody talon represent, anyway?”
“Logic, farsight, and necessity.”  His lips thinned in a brief smile as Father’s parted. 
“Raptors are unlike other animals in that they have absolutely no empathy.  Lord Valente can fill your ear over their sheer intelligence, all of which comes down to how they act in their own self-interest at all times, tolerating humans simply because they know they can get a ready meal out of us.
“Their vision is notorious, of course, and they only kill to eat.  They kill in battle because their handlers have taught them that’s the way to get regular food from them.  The tomahawks and dire eagles only coexist in the mews because their nesting needs are consistently met, clean and airy with the proper dimensions.  The ones we call ‘tame’ are simply smart enough to have learned beyond their instincts.”
Father’s face showed his growing fascination.  “You sound like a real scholar.”
Evan shrugged and sat back, letting one hand stroke his scar.  “Everyone underestimates me, so I listen and learn.”
Lips parted, King Ian inhaled his nonchalance.  “Tell me something I don’t know, then.”
Since he prided himself on his security and his spies, Evan unleashed a sly smile, wondering if he could finally gain all of King Ian’s trust while simultaneously blowing his mind.  He stood and went to his boot locker for his oldest pair of boots.  After handing them to him, he returned to his desk.
He couldn’t tell if it was King Ian or Father turning the boots over in his hands.  He thought it was King Ian when he noted, “There’s a lot of wear on the toes….” before his eyebrows rose.  When he directed a speculative smile his way, Evan decided that was Father.
“I, um, send a certain flower to a certain holy shrine before I visit a certain mansion of an evening.”  He smirked; if Father knew how rare those evenings were, he wouldn’t be chuckling so heartily.
“Who is she?”
Evan actually blushed.  “Ah, sorry to mislead you.  It’s one of the courtesaneries.”  Of which there were five in the capital.
Father slapped his thigh as he roared with laughter.  He howled even louder when Evan mentioned, “You did command me to tell you something you didn’t know.”
Father settled down with an amused sigh.  “I suppose two levels to the library’s roof is nothing.”  He glanced out the sixth-story window.
Evan examined his fingertips.  “Well, I wouldn’t say ‘nothing’.”  Although he wore climbing gloves for his escapades, Father didn’t need to know that. 
“Anyway, I figure that’s where the allegations of my ‘accessibility’ come from.  Very few people actually know the series of actions that precede my ventures, though, and I otherwise make sure I’m masked in public.”  He wouldn’t be adventuring again, after this, but since his investiture and subsequent plans were a month away, he didn’t care.
Father sat back with a broad smile.  “So, how else have I underestimated you?”
Evan’s mouth parted.  In order to get King Ian, he asked, “Are you sure you’re ready for that conversation?”
Father chuckled and stood.  “Not tonight.  I have the lovely lady Rosalyn waiting for me.”  He handed back the boots.  “I’ll find an opening around lunch tomorrow so you can educate me on my spectacular son.”
Father winked at him before letting himself out.  Evan was glad he would have a chance to impress King Ian.  Maybe he could get some serious work done before his investiture.

◊   ◊   ◊

The next morning, two of King Ian’s own guards stood beside the lifts in his foyer as if they had replaced the first four Lowenas.  Evan granted them respectful nods, which they returned.  “Good morning.  What are your names?”
He shook hands with them before herding them into the eastern lift to the basement for his workout.  “I’ve noticed you scoring impressively in your workouts, Sir Laetres.  I’ve often longed to spar with you, but I always got the impression that, as Father’s personal security, I wasn’t to challenge any of you in any way, lest someone think badly about it.”
“Ah, yes.  That would look bad, wouldn’t it?”  The wiry Sir Laetres stroked his chin.  “We lined up a real treat for you today, though.”
“Oh?”  He was about to ask what when the doors to the lift opened.  His subsequent broad smile made both of his lips sting at the puckers of his scar.
Eight of his previous guards were lined up near the mats, in workout clothing and with no weapons.  Half of them fidgeted nervously while the others paced or breathed deeply to pump up their psyches for the upcoming debacle.  “I see you’ve found some workout partners for me today.  Thank you.”
“King Ian’s idea.”  Sir Mason bowed.  “We’ll be the moderators of the fights.”
“Any rules?”  Evan rubbed his hands with glee before removing his shirt.
“Not really.  He simply asked us to step in if it appears you’ve grossly underestimated your opponent.”  Sir Laetres shrugged at his raised eyebrows.  “I take that to mean he doesn’t want you killed.”
Evan laughed; then-Prince Ian had to have given Sir Graeme specific instructions to kill him two years ago, undoubtedly so he could get himself another heir.  He had always wondered if his current survival was proof against the possibility King Ian might never impregnate another woman, or if he just couldn’t figure out how to off him that would play well enough with the commoners.
This was obviously a test his father approved of, but he had to couch it in terms the commoners would understand: make sure his son is tough enough by throwing him a challenge, yet make sure he’s able to attend his own investiture in a month’s time.  He could hear his frugal father in his mind: Can’t let all of Lady Elita’s work go to waste, after all.
Swinging his arms to warm up, he stepped on the mat and beckoned to the men.  Of the eight, the one he thought actually had a chance of marking him stood forth.  They bowed, and Evan took a couple of minor blows before knocking him out in less than ten seconds. 
As one of the Palace’s night guards dragged the man off the mat, Sir Mason called on his wrist phone for a janitor to clean away the blood Lowena #1 had spat out before the knockout punch.  Another night guard took a wad of money out of his pocket and paid a few of his quietly-jeering comrades.

Evan moved to the next mat and beckoned for another Lowena.  Even if the rest came on as a group, he had a good chance of thrashing them before getting too tired.  He laughed again, imagining the man was actually his father.

I promise, this IS a sci fi romance, but the heroines haven't been introduced just yet.  It takes two chapters of action just to describe why these characters are so complex in the first place!
I anticipate Arrow of Fate will be done by summer 2017, available at the usual retailers, and a stand-alone, unconnected to my previous books except by the occasional mention of similar planets and technological developments.

Thursday, January 12, 2017

Daily Depression Management: Some Possible Answers

My favorite painting:  Flaming June,
by Frederick,Lord Leighton
I wake up around 9:00 a.m.  Since this is the most energy I’ll probably have today, I get out of bed and take a shower.  It takes me a full forty-five minutes: some twenty just getting through the shower, then drying off, moisturizing, brushing my teeth, and double-checking to see I haven’t forgotten anything. 
I’d guess I usually put on three applications of deodorant before I’m SURE I remembered it.  But, that’s life with brain fog.  I’ve stepped out of the shower without rinsing the shampoo from my hair before, too ashamed to admit how many times I’ve probably done that over the past fifteen years.
It’s time for breakfast, but insulin, first.  I have a little kit in the fridge to keep my materials together: two kinds of insulin and their corresponding needles.  I have this down pat, now, so it’s not quite 10:00 by the time I’ve put the kit back into the fridge.
I’m thirsty, so I try to figure out whether to make instant tea or just throw some baking soda in a glass of water.  Baking soda would be easier, because I don’t have to use a spoon, just sprinkle some in.  I’ve probably been eating too many acidic foods lately, anyway, so time to alkalize my body.  Now it’s 10:00 a.m. and yes, I just spent fifteen minutes making a decision (while preparing my injections) and acting on it.
I usually eat a banana and an apple for breakfast, but I forgot to buy bananas yesterday.  Thank God today isn’t a yoga day, which starts at 10:30.  I’ll be able to fix myself something to eat for once, instead of just fruit and nuts.
I see an avocado, and remember buying it last week, not quite ripe.  Squeezing it, I decide it’s now or never.  Scrounging in the rest of the kitchen, I come up with more ingredients: chips, baby spinach, a yellow bell pepper, an onion, salsa, sour cream.  Too bad the hubby’s not here to fry some hamburger so I can officially call it ‘taco salad’, but I have to be on top of my game to trust myself with the open flame of a gas range anymore.  Hell, I barely trust myself to cut up the onion and pepper without accidentally cutting off the tip of a finger.
Me and my rock.
The salad is mostly done, when hubby walks through the door.  He says he forgot a paper at home, but I suspect he’s picked up on my wish to have meat on my salad; he’s remarkably psychic with me.  He starts the meat, and I note the time: 11:45.  Yes, it took me an hour and forty-five minutes to gather the ingredients from my tiny six-by-nine-foot kitchen to fix a salad, all while my insulin is dropping my blood sugar and I’m growing increasingly hungry.  And I'm lucky I didn't happen to think any thoughts that would make me burst into tears, too.
I come in here to write on this blog, and the meat is done at 12:05.  Hubby calls me in, I add the meat and salsa, and sit at the computer to eat it while cruising Facebook.  I’d like to think I made a lot of decisions to account for the hour and forty-five minutes it took to fix myself lunch, but the only one I can remember right now was asking hubby to take some old beans out to the compost area.  Even then, I completely forgot to have him include the kitchen scraps I’d been generating from my salad.  How much of this can I blame on brain fog, anyway?
Now it’s 12:33, after noon, so time for my ‘head meds’, my daily antidepressants and supplements.  I pick up the gallon baggie from the arm chair’s table on my right to line the bottles up on my tray table.  I take them individually out of the bottles, swallow them with the baking soda water, put them all back in the baggy, and transfer the baggy to the extended window ledge on my left.  It’s the only way I can keep from taking them more than once a day.  When it’s past midnight, I’ll put the baggy back on the arm chair table.
Now it’s 12:47, and I’m wondering whether to mention all the other little things that have been going on all day long.  Waking up to one doggie’s puking sounds, and getting them out the door when I noticed she thankfully didn’t puke, just made the sounds?  The phone calls I ignored so they would go to voice mail and I could get my breakfast salad done?  Staring at the avocado pit in my hand, wondering if I should ‘start’ it – as if I could finally remember to water a plant every day for however long it takes to grow into a tree?
I was 'up' for Maxine's 90th birthday.
A fabulous dinner for a
fabulous lady!
This is what really ticks me off.  It’s 1:00 p.m. and I haven’t gotten anything done but this blog.  I’m a fairly smart person – I got a 4.0 GPA for my master’s degree – but most people judge ‘smarts’ by how fast you can act, correctly, to situations.  And depression is such a severe lack of energy that you get overjoyed when you can manage to think a concrete thought.
When your ‘flashes of brilliance’, or, say, something you must remember, overcome the brain fog for an instant, you cling to them desperately.  I complained about not being able to think to some of the people at my yoga studio the other night, and one person said she’s had that happen, but it was an allergy that didn’t make her sneeze, and recommended NasaCort.  Another person spoke about how this NasaCort really helped, so I spent about ten minutes before yoga chanting NasaCort in my mind.
During final relaxation, I panicked when I realized I had forgotten the name of the medicine.  When we sat up, I suddenly remembered and blurted out to her, “NasaCort?”  She said yes, so I physically chanted NasaCort, NasaCort, NasaCort to myself until I got to the store, some twenty minutes later.  I’m certain anyone watching me fill my car at the service station thought I was some lunatic, talking to myself.
One of the ways I’ve been managing my depression lately has been to NOT fight it, but rather, try to figure out what it is teaching me.  That's really the big question:  WHY do I have depression?  Obviously something’s not right, or I wouldn’t have it.  
So I’ve tackled the physical side, changing my diet and doing yoga and minimizing stress, which is what probably caused the adrenal overload and nervous breakdowns in the first place.  I’ve tackled the mental side, taking antidepressants and working with psychologists and going through fifteen years of abandoned junk in my house in my year-and-a-half-long ‘spring cleaning’, still in progress.  But what about the spiritual side?
I’m a practical person, but also spiritual.  And if there’s one thing the spiritual community constantly emphasizes, it’s that things happen for a reason.  So, what is the reason I have depression / bipolar disorder?  As in, what's the lesson it's meant to teach me?
Brain fog: I’ve prided myself on my intelligence, so I needed to experience being virtually incapacitated in order to get humble.  Now I try to discover everyone’s hidden genius.  Whether they graduated from high school or not, I feel like everyone has a secret superpower, like quilting or baking.  EVERYONE has something they can teach me.
A book I wrote with/
for Aunt Maxine
Lack of energy:  I used to be able to work twelve and fourteen hour days as a teacher, so I needed to slow down.  I’ve used my bedridden status to come up with stories I type up and publish when some days I can barely sit up in an overstuffed armchair.
Inability to get anything done:  I was an alpha-overachiever for so many years, so I should realize my value, and everyone else’s value, despite not having ‘anything to show’ for my efforts.  Now I realize we aren’t ‘worthy’ because of the things we can do; we are worthy because we are alive.
Unstable body:  I quit testing for karate belts at my brown belt level because by law you have to declare your ability to defend yourself when you reach black belt.  So lurching into the furniture and walls while walking through the house has undoubtedly taught me not to judge anyone’s clumsiness, or any physical condition at all.  Can you deny Stephen Hawking, another sufferer of depression, is currently the most brilliant man alive?
So maybe I do have a few answers.  I’m taking better care of my overall health, that is certain, and I’ve seen some improvements, especially doing yoga.  I’d hate to think it’ll take me another fifteen years to get out of it, though.  I pray daily for a miracle, but until then, medications are my mainstay.

Be healthy, all.  Namaste.

Monday, November 28, 2016

Cyber Monday Promo with S.M. Schmitz

The future's so bright, I gotta wear shades!

Come find out why we love science fiction romance, at, where you'll find over forty of the hottest ebooks out there for $.99 or even FREE!  Tons of them are series starters, too!

I have my first book, Dignity, up for $.99 -- it's the most recent (3rd) edition.  I don't plan to fiddle with it any more, because it's as perfect as I can make it. 

I've been rewriting all my books, to tighten them up and deal with minor issues.  I've completed up to Dynasty, including the CreateSpace editions, and hope to get them all finalized in all formats by the end of the year!

As always, you can get the ten books in the To Be Sinclair series at Amazon, Smashwords, iBooks, Payhip, Barnes and Noble, Kobo, and more places than I know exist!

And please, support my fellow independent authors.  You can make a big difference simply by discouraging ANYONE from pirating ebooks!  First, authors usually have something on sale at any given time.  Second, they're usually waaaay cheap, especially compared to hardbound, paperbound, or even traditionally-published ebooks.  The most expensive ones I have out are $4.99, and that's for a huge, creaking 200,000 + word novel!

Third, paying a pitiful few dollars is the ONLY way to get your favorite authors to keep writing!  We wouldn't self-publish if the presumption is that someone will steal our work.  We are like the mom-and-pop store on the corner, trying to make ends meet.  So every single sale means a lot to us!

I hope everyone has an awesome holiday season, and I hope to be putting out three new books in 2017: all of them are prequels set in the Sinclair universe, but a few hundred years before the main series.


Tuesday, June 28, 2016

SFR Brigade Presents: Excerpt from ABILITY

The Science Fiction Romance Brigade is a fabulous group of authors who offer a monthly Showcase so folks like you can get a taste of upcoming sci fi romance novels.    See this month's offerings at SFR Brigade Presents

My current excerpt is from Ability, book 9 of the To Be Sinclair series, which is now available for pre-order and will be live on July 20th:

The first female navigator in the Demesnes' Service, Princess Brielle Sinclair proves she can handle it all -- her duties, the hazing, her surly bunkmate.  She's totally ace, but her cyborg implants also give her the ability to 'see' stelluric waves, the building blocks of wormholes and stargates.

A technological disaster shortens Brielle's liberty on the planet Venturi, and leads to the retrieval of her sophomore chemistry lab partner, Lord Zak Ellison, a deep undercover agent dealing with the disaster while enslaved by a mysterious being. When her ship then gets embroiled in a puzzling energetic influence from Venturi, the Emperor needs her to handle the situation. 

How can Brielle extricate Zak from this horrible assignment, as well as help him with his troubled past? And what will it take to deal with the stelluric problem they've nicknamed the 'hellbeast'? 

Nodding sagely, Ortiz directed one nod out toward the mat.  “Want to spar?”
“I only spar with Sentinels.”  At his notable surprise, she shrugged.  “I was responsible for the medical discharge of two cadets in boot camp.  I’m not about to pit myself against men who have something to prove by beating me, or who might hesitate because I’m a woman.  Because I truly don’t fight to work out; I fight to kill.”
Ortiz swallowed.  “Mind if I spread the word?”
“Not in the least.”  She stretched her legs again.  “I better do my sit-ups to balance out all the emphasis on my traps and lats.” 
“Yeah, I can see why you leave it for last.  Why do you do them upside-down, though?” 
“Because I think legs should be as useful as arms, especially if the ship were to ever lose gravity.” 
Grinning at his further surprise, she went to hang the weight bar on the highest notches she could reach, wrapped her knees over it, and began her sit-up routine.  Left, center, right, center, she never counted these, instead letting her mind roam freely until she could do them no longer. 
Hanging there afterward, heaving great breaths, she stared upside-down at the men, a few of whom were staring right back.  She wished she could spar with them, but these weren’t the sharpest, smartest, or fastest men in the Service; Sentinel recruited those men.  She simply couldn’t justify risking her life, or anyone else’s life, just to ‘work out’. 
With one more sit-up, she grabbed the bar, dropped to the floor, and practiced some crescent kicks to loosen her legs before heading back to her bunkroom.  Ortiz must not have spread the word fast enough, because four men jumped her as soon as she left the gym, each grabbing one limb. 
Fighting as dirty as she could, she bucked, bit, screamed with rage, and broke one man’s neck when she kicked her foot out of his grip and squarely into his head, feeling the crack through her cleats.  As he fell, sheer adrenaline and a twisting trick helped her pull another man over her body, breaking his forearm against her hip in an ugly compound fracture that spurted a generous amount of blood all over her, causing him to howl. 
“Hey, hey!” one fellow shouted, letting go of her other arm. Landing on her hands, Brielle twisted her other leg out of the last guy’s grip, gained her feet, and backed up against the wall of the corridor.  “We were just gonna treat you to a bit of hazing.” 
“Yeah, well, guess what?  You just cost your buddy his life.”  Brielle spat toward his face, with the bloody spittle falling just short of his feet.  “And that’s what I think of hazing.”  
She ran up the corridor as fast as her exhaustion would allow her.  Looking back just once, she saw the men huddled in grief over their companions, as men from the gym and nearby Sick Bay, Dental, and Psych departments came out to investigate the extremely brief incident.

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Friday, May 20, 2016

Kindle Scout campaign: Ability

My blogging hiatus has resulted in my latest novel, Ability!  The tenth book in the To Be Sinclair series (one was Book 6.5), Ability features Princess Brielle Sinclair, the first woman to qualify for the all-male Service of Sinclair Demesnes.  Here is the blurb I wrote for the Kindle Scout campaign:

A princess battles an odd threat to her ship
The first female in the Demesnes' Service, Princess Brielle Sinclair proves she can handle it all -- her duties, the hazing, her surly bunkmate. Yet when she discovers an old classmate holding down a deep cover on a troubled planet, she faces a nightmare of epic proportions that no one else understands -- except Zak! 
Brielle is glad to have found him, but now her ship is in danger. Can she preserve her reputation and master her unusual innate talents while combating this mysterious threat?
Length:  112,600 words.
You have 30 days to 'nominate' a book, and you can have 3 nominations at once.  Once that book's campaign finishes, it opens up another nomination you can make.
I've read that Kindle Publishing doesn't necessarily offer contracts based on the nominations, but I'm sure they are a good indicator.  The terms of the Kindle contract are pretty good:  five years, a decent advance, clauses for if the book doesn't sell very well.  Regardless, I'll be publishing Ability this summer!
I was disappointed that the initial excerpt is only 5,000 words, though.  That isn't even halfway through the first chapter for me!  I spend a good deal of time with world-building just so when I eventually mention 'pre-emps' or an EVA suit's O2 valve blowing, you'll be able to imagine it instantly and integrate that image with the action.
Enjoy the campaign!  And all the usual:  share with your sci fi friends and relatives, tweet it, etc.  Here's the link:
And thank you for your support!  It's been a long, hectic time since I've had a chance to blog.  I'm hoping to find what passes for 'normalcy' soon!