Book number three, Poisoned Pawn, arrives this weekend. I'm thrilled with the release. This is my third book! Eight more to go in the series. Eight more book launches, at least, in the future. (Go here for links for the whole series.)
This whole journey of writing and then publishing my stories has been enlightening. Why do I do this? Most days I don't know. Writing a book is very personal, at least for me. I get tangled up in my characters, to the point they become real to me. When I send that story out for others to read, it's almost like releasing my most secret diary entries in public. I learn more about myself by writing than I have any other way.
For those who have taken a chance on me as a new author, thank you. For those who have sent me emails and notes, thank you. It means a lot to me to know my story resonates with you.
Here's Chapter One of Poisoned Pawn.
Here's a deleted scene from the book. (The plot needed to be tightened up and quite a bit ended up in the virtual trash bin.)
And here's Chapter Two:
I sat in the cell on Viya Station and fumed. The last time I’d been on Viya, I’d left a trail of destruction and almost caused a war with the Sessimoniss. Most of it hadn’t been my fault, but the station authorities still held it against me. I wouldn’t have come but the only cargo we could get on Tebros was for Viya. The pilot we’d hired, because regulations insisted on two, had gotten into a nasty brawl in the worst bar on Viya. When the authorities showed up, they arrested me. My pilot ducked out and disappeared. If she ever showed her face at the ship again, she wasn’t getting back on. Her contract was void.
I kicked the wall a few times out of frustration. The guard yelled at me to quit or be fined even more. I quit.
Another long hour passed.
The guard appeared, keys jangling. He opened the door and waved me out. “You made bail. Don’t come back.” He gave me a look that promised lots of pain if I did.
“I’m not planning on it.”
Jasyn waited in the foyer area, tapping her foot impatiently, but still gorgeous even though I knew she hadn’t had any sleep for almost two days. Next to her I was short, dumpy, and mussed. She didn’t do it on purpose, she was just so naturally beautiful that I couldn’t compete.
“We’re broke now,” Jasyn said as we approached the airlock of the ship. “We have barely enough to pay docking fees, if we leave in the next few hours. It’s a good thing the cargo I managed to find is pay on delivery. No deposit. What were you thinking?”
“I was getting Letha back,” I said, slapping the controls for the hatch.
“So where is she?”
“I’d like to know myself.” We stepped through the hatch.
“What happened, Dace?” She turned to face me, dropping paperwork on the small galley table. “You’ve got a black eye.”
“Letha was in a bar, drunk and starting fights. I tried to stop her.” I touched my cheek by my eye and winced.
“You were the only one they arrested.” She rummaged in the locker behind her for the small med kit. We had a more complete medical bay in the back cabin, one I hoped we would never have to use. With my luck, I’d spend more time in it than out, I thought sourly. Jasyn put the kit on the table. “I’m the one who’s supposed to get in fights with men who don’t understand no.” Her voice was gentle, taking the sting out of her words but not out of the antiseptic she dabbed on my cheek.
“Letha wasn’t saying no, either, which is where the problem started.”
“I take it we’re short one pilot?”
I nodded while she put the kit away. “You get to hire the next one. I’ve had lousy luck.”