Michelle O'Leary's Blog

September 16, 2014

In celebration of my newest release, DeeDeck Design, I'm running a giveaway on Goodreads from now until October 1st. The lucky winner will get a signed paperback of this exciting scifi romantic suspense!

Link to: Goodreads Giveaway of DeeDeck Design

~BLURB~
Dr. Moira Bannen faces death every day. But she’s never seen a killer like this before. As a specialist working for the Department of Disease Eradication and Control, she’s battled nature at its worst. Plagues she can handle, but now someone is targeting her for eradication.

Sent to another galaxy to manage a deadly outbreak, Moira narrowly escapes an attempt on her life. Bizarre circumstances draw private investigator Jackson Coltier into her plight, and he races to save her before the killer can strike again. Together they fight to stay alive and catch a murderer. But time is not on their side and the killer always seems a step ahead…


~EXCERPT~
The amusement lurking in the curve of her lips and corners of her eyes faded into concern. “You look a little flushed. Are you sure you feel all right?”

He jumped on the ...excuse with only a small twinge of shame. “Come feel my forehead, Doc.”

She eyed him with a hint of uncertainty, like prey sensing danger in the air, before her features smoothed into a focused expression he guessed was her doctor’s face. She stepped forward until she stood between his knees. 

 He nearly drooled. She smelled like cinnamon, reflecting the streaks of brooding fire in her dark hair. She wore black slacks and a soft, purplish-gray blouse that bared her arms, throat, and upper chest. The color drew a mysterious smoke in her eyes and added a luscious sheen to her milky skin.

She was asking him a question, but he didn’t pay attention to the words, concentrating only on the honeyed sound and the cool touch of her fingertips under his jaw. His hands came up of their own volition, fingers curling around her arms and absorbing the warm silk of her skin with aching pleasure.

 She went still, eyes widening as his circling fingers slid along her skin until they manacled her wrists. Her pulse jumped in her throat and he could hardly keep himself from leaning forward and sealing his mouth over that silky flutter. The only thing that stopped him from tasting her there and then pulling her down on the bed to taste her everywhere was the alarm in those soft gray eyes.

“On second thought,” he growled, “touching me is not a good idea right now.”


~5-STAR REVIEW~
"I really liked this book, you know what is going to happen in the end of course, but it's always great getting there. There is a great romance... and a really funny start that made me laugh. Why can't we get more well written sci fi romance book like this!
Thanks Michelle, when's the next one coming?"


PURCHASE LINKS:

Amazon Kindle US: http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00MWECMCG
Amazon Kindle UK: http://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B00MWECMCG
Smashwords Ebooks: https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/468906
CreateSpace Paperback: https://www.createspace.com/4959821

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Published on September 16, 2014 09:10 • 15 views

August 24, 2014

Recently, I discovered the joys of Smashwords, an e-book distributor offering several formats for interested e-book readers. I'm still working on getting my whole list of books uploaded there, but I'm settling in nicely, making myself comfy, rearranging the furniture and whatnot. One of the things I've done is complete an interview, which I've posted here for those curious folks. For anyone interested in exploring my new Smashwords home, check this action out:
O'Leary's Smashwords Page

INTERVIEW:

When did you first start writing?
I was always a reader and scribbler of ideas, but when I was about twelve I started writing in earnest--right after I read Tolkien's "Lord of the Rings" trilogy. My imagination exploded! I haven't been able to shut that thing off since.                What is the greatest joy of writing for you? Can you keep a secret? I swear, I'm not sure it's actually me writing these things! When I sink into my creative zone, it's like a valve is turned on in my brain and words rush onto the page. Later, I'll read over my work and think, "Dang, where'd that come from??" The greatest joy for me is watching this new creation grow and change, becoming something I never imagined at the beginning. I don't write outlines, because it either kills the creative flow or I don't stick to the outline anyway. So there I sit, watching this story unfold under my fingertips and wondering (with all the trepidation and excitement of a kid on a rollercoaster ride) just what's going to happen next. Honestly, it's the most fun I've ever had.                What's the story behind your latest book? My latest release, "DeeDeck Design," started as a chapter book I posted bits at a time on my website. The idea was to give readers something more dynamic to do on my site (rather than read boring facts about me ;) and give them a taste of my work. Since I'm not the fastest writer in the universe, I wrote each chapter with an edge, hoping to create enough tension that readers would revisit weeks even months later to find out what happened next. The end result, when I finally finished and condensed it all into a whole book, is an action-packed, suspenseful murder mystery that rockets full speed from beginning to end. That fast-paced tension is also reflected in the interaction between the two main characters, Jackson Coltier and Moira Bannen, a couple of sarcastic wits who entertained me enormously in their creation! I hope they'll do the same for readers.                What are you working on next? I have about a thousand projects (only a slight exaggeration) waiting impatiently for me to finish them, or zipping around in my head looking for the exit. The one closest to being finished is actually a detour from my usual sci-fi romance, a paranormal/fantasy romance titled, "Vessel of Power." In this story, the Elemental king sends his son in search of the Vessel of Power, an item that supposedly holds the power of the gods and would make the king invincible. But the prince runs into a disconcerting obstacle--a gorgeous changeling determined to stop his search by any means necessary.

I'm anxious to finish this book! I hope readers will enjoy the story as much as I've enjoyed writing it.                What motivated you to become an indie author? Impatience. Seriously, I tried the regular book publishing route. At the rate I was going, I'd see my first book in print roughly when I was a hundred and ten. That's if any publisher or agent actually noticed me among the bazillion other writers clamoring for their attention. The process was achingly slow and demoralizing. I wanted to see my creations out in the world, to share them with others, to meet wonderful readers and find other like-minded authors. I discovered self e-book publishing and presto! An indie author was born.                How do you approach cover design? Hey, good question, because I used to try and design my own covers, thinking "cheaper is better." I've since discovered I have little talent for it and readers respond much better to a professionally designed cover. As do I, actually--seeing my work dressed so beautifully puts a big, mom-is-proud smile on my face! So unless a writer has the software, know-how, and creative talent to generate their own professional cover, I recommend finding a designer who can translate their work into a satisfying visual.

Does that mean writers have to spend loads on each cover? Hardly! Pre-made covers can be very cheap while still giving a book that professional polish. And I know there are designers who will create custom covers for a very reasonable price, because I've found one myself. The trick is to find someone who can take a genre/story/characters and create the right engaging cover for it, a visual that will make readers pause and hopefully stay a while.                What book marketing techniques have been most effective for you? Reviews! I've done lots of different things to market my work, but for all my dancing around singing, "My books are great!" the best response I've gotten is to the word of other readers. Which makes sense to me as a reader--unless I know an author well and have them on auto-buy, I'm more likely to respond to the honest opinion of another reader than any advertisement/marketing gimmick. As a consumer, I don't like being "sold" to (I mute TV commercials), so if something catches my eye, I'll look for proof that the content is worth a purchase. Book samples are also great, but require a time commitment. If a story has enough hot reviews, though, I might just spend the time.

So the next time you read something you really like, please write a review! You'll be doing some lucky author a huge favor.                What do you read for pleasure? Fiction. I'd narrow that down, but I really would read anything if the story was interesting enough. My favorite genres tend to be romantic sci-fi/fantasy (shocker, I know), but I've enjoyed most genres, from historical to hard sci-fi, romance to horror. It all depends on the story and how it's written.                What inspires you to get out of bed each day? My son! He's utterly awesome, the best kid in the universe. Raising him is even more of a joy and an adventure than writing, and for a word-addict like me that's saying something. It's a privilege to teach that child and learn new things from him every day.                Why are you so obsessed with chocolate? Chocolate is the food of the Gods. It's the most important food group. It is the element that binds the fabric of reality...okay, I might be exaggerating a smidge there. But not by much. Life would be pretty drab without chocolate. Speaking of, I hear it calling my name! It's been a pleasure spending time with you, but I really must go. Lots of love and chocolate to you, Dear Reader!   
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Published on August 24, 2014 06:13 • 7 views

August 21, 2014

I'm thrilled to announce the release of my newest romantic scifi adventure, DeeDeck Design! This story originally started as a serial chapter book I posted on my website, but when I finished it, I decided to collect it into an entire novel. My favorite part about this book (probably due to the way it was written, each chapter meant to keep the tension flowing) is the fast-paced, constant action, a wild ride that'll hopefully leave readers breathless. I also adore the snappy interaction between the hero and heroine...those who are familiar with my work will know I'm a sucker for smartasses. *wink*

I hope you enjoy!

BLURB:
Dr. Moira Bannen faces death every day. But she’s never seen a killer like this before. As a specialist working for the Department of Disease Eradication and Control, she’s battled nature at its worst. Plagues she can handle, but now someone is targeting her for eradication.
Sent to another galaxy to manage a deadly outbreak, Moira narrowly escapes an attempt on her life. Bizarre circumstances draw private investigator Jackson Coltier into her plight, and he races to save her before the killer can strike again. Together they fight to stay alive and catch a murderer. But time is not on their side and the killer always seems a step ahead…
DeeDeck Design is available through the following retailers: Amazon Kindle
Smashwords (several ebook formats)
CreateSpace (print book)


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Published on August 21, 2014 07:45 • 6 views

April 21, 2014

I recently connected with an amazingly talented designer who created such a gorgeous, exciting cover for my first published work, The Huntress, that I had to ask her for more! She graciously agreed to take on The Sunscapes Trilogy, re-designing stunning covers for Books 1 & 2 plus she created a simply riveting cover for the as-yet-unreleased Book 3, Dawn of the Red Sun. I'm very proud to show off the new covers to Books 1 & 2, plus invite anyone looking for a fabulous designer to try The Book Cover Machine run by Laura Gordon: http://www.thebookcovermachine.com

Visit my homepage, Fertile Ground, for an EXCLUSIVE LOOK at the cover for Book 3!

Amazon Kindle Sale 99 Cents: Last Chance (Sunscapes Trilogy)

BLURB:
Corrupt and malign, the corporation Quasicore has dominated Del's life for ten years, using his father's debt and his brother's safety as leverage to make him do their bidding. Forced into acts that become progressively more shady and criminal, Del finally rebels when they demand the unthinkable. To kill.

Desperate for a way out, he flees the Core, only to find himself entangled with the dazzling and dangerous Shays. Sin Shay's offer of protection seems too good to be true and her motives are suspect. Is Shay Enterprises simply a rival of the Core or a partner in crime? Is Sin's offer of a new life his last chance at redemption or just another version of hell?


Amazon Kindle Sale 99 Cents: Here There Be Dragons (Sunscapes Trilogy)

BLURB:
This second installment in the Sunscapes Trilogy continues the epic struggle between two mega companies, deciding the fate of the entire galaxy. The Endgame has begun, pitting Shay Enterprises against Quasicore—the Shay twins, mysterious and dangerous, weave a seductive web for their ruthless, lethal opponent, Webster Griffin, whose hunger for power and control might just destroy all civilization.

Here There Be Dragons continues the saga through Nick Givliani as he investigates the unscrupulous and unpredictable Shay twins and their intriguing cohort, Cassie Draegen. As Shay Enterprise’s resident genius, driven by a dark past of her own, Cassie is their technological advantage over Quasicore. A target of both Griffin’s avarice and Nick’s investigations, Cassie desperately struggles to fulfill the next step in the Shay’s complex design against their enemy.

Thanks for visiting! I love hearing from readers, so please let me know what you think in the comments.
-M

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Published on April 21, 2014 07:16 • 19 views

March 26, 2014

I'm just tickled all over at the new look for The Huntress, the very first scifi romance novel I had ever gotten published! This story and characters have a special place in my heart, so I wanted the cover to really zing. My amateur efforts at digital imaging just weren't good enough--I needed professional help. I found Laura Gordon (The Book Cover Machine) on thebookcoverdesigner.com and begged her help with this cover. Her custom design is practically perfect!! The model's face isn't exactly what Mea Brin looks like, but her kick-ass stance is perfect and that dynamic sun is too DIE for! I hope readers will be just as thrilled with the cover as I am. I'd love to hear what you think, so please leave a comment below.

New Cover Reveal The Huntress

BLURB:
The Hunter:
Traumatized at a young age by the violent death of her parents, Mea Brin becomes a Hunter, part of an elite policing force of the Planetary Coalition. She is the best of the best, ruthless and predatory on a hunt and driven by the memory of violence. But then she meets Seth Terrik, an escaped convict, and Regan Freya, a child recently orphaned. The pair make an impression on Mea that she can’t ignore—she feels a deep empathy for the girl and in Terrik she sees reflections of herself. Her choices seem limited—duty demands that she capture the escapee and turn the child over to the proper authorities. But Mea is not one to allow duty to define her. She creates a new choice.

The Convict:
Seth Terrik has spent more than half of his life in prison. All that he knows or cares about is survival and the fight for freedom until a trusting girl becomes his responsibility and a seductive Hunter offers him what looks like a second chance at life. The simple rules of his existence become much more complicated as he is forced to redefine the concepts of survival and freedom. What does a hardened criminal like him know of trust or love? Is he even capable of stepping beyond instinct and into human emotion?

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
This title is available in Kindle e-book and paperback, sold through Amazon:
The Huntress


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Published on March 26, 2014 13:28 • 25 views

March 17, 2014

Happy Readers! I'm running a giveaway on Goodreads for my dark scifi romance, The Third Sign! I'll be giving away one signed paperback copy of this book to the lucky winner. The giveaway runs from March 15th through April 15th, so enter to win this exciting adventure today.

THE THIRD SIGN Goodreads Giveaway

BLURB:
Abandoned by her brother and out of her depth in one of the foulest prisons in the galaxy, Priya finds an ally in a half-mad newcomer with a deadly beauty and a mysterious past. Together they hatch a plan to break out of the prison, but before they attempt it, Priya’s brother Tier arrives as a new inmate. Determined to rescue his wayward sister, he is dismayed to find the child he knew has become a bitter, wild young woman, with a companion as magnetic as she is murderous. Between one woman’s fury at his desertion and the other woman’s seductive menace, Tier discovers escaping with his skin intact might just take a miracle.

They call me the Black Widow, the spider who kills and eats her mates. If I have another name, I don’t know it. My past is lost in blood and shadow. It never mattered until I met Priya, the quicksilver girl with a laugh like sunshine, and her brother, the first man to touch me without dying. For them, I would leave my darkness behind...but can I?


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Goodreads Book Giveaway The Third Sign by Michelle O'Leary The Third Sign by Michelle O'Leary Giveaway ends April 15, 2014.
See the giveaway details at Goodreads. Enter to win

Good Luck & Happy Reading! -M

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Published on March 17, 2014 08:02 • 23 views

March 11, 2014

I'm thrilled with the new look for my recently released dark scifi romance/adventure, The Third Sign! The story has so much happening in it, with three primary kick-ass characters, very distinct settings, and plenty of plot twists. It was really hard to decide what I wanted on the cover. What parts or characters should I emphasize? What kind of feel am I going for with it? Then I stumbled across this premade cover by RockinBookCovers.com and I was sold! Gritty and intriguing with that feeling of fatal seduction only the Black Widow could evoke. I hope readers like it just as much! I love feedback, so feel free to leave your opinion in the comments.

New Cover Reveal The Third Sign

BLURB:
Abandoned by her brother and out of her depth in one of the foulest prisons in the galaxy, Priya finds an ally in a half-mad newcomer with a deadly beauty and a mysterious past. Together they hatch a plan to break out of the prison, but before they attempt it, Priya's brother Tier arrives as a new inmate. Determined to rescue his wayward sister, he is dismayed to find the child he knew has become a bitter, wild young woman, with a companion as magnetic as she is murderous. Between one woman's fury at his desertion and the other woman's seductive menace, Tier discovers escaping with his skin intact might just take a miracle.

They call me the Black Widow, the spider who kills and eats her mates. If I have another name, I don't know it. My past is lost in blood and shadow. It never mattered until I met Priya, the quicksilver girl with a laugh like sunshine, and her brother, the first man to touch me without dying. For them, I would leave my darkness behind...but can I?
~ ~ ~ ~ ~
This title is available in Kindle e-book and paperback, sold through Amazon:
The Third Sign


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Published on March 11, 2014 03:23 • 21 views

March 10, 2014

Angels and Ministers of Grace, my second published novel, has been out for a while and has gone through a few makeovers and edits. With this makeover, I knew I wanted the heroine Anya on the cover, but it was hard to pick a face for her. The model I chose isn't exact and doesn't have Anya's white hair, but she has the right angelic yet sensual feel to be Anya Vaedrin. This new cover is the best yet, in my humble (yet horribly biased) opinion! I hope readers will like it as much. I'd love to hear what you think, so please comment!

New Cover Reveal Angels and Ministers of Grace
 BLURB:
Anya Vaedrin is a woman of extraordinary talents. A singer by trade, she has earned the nickname Angel with her voice, white hair, deep blue eyes—and a secret.

In a time when telepaths hold positions of power and empaths are their weak discards, Anya is an explosive mix of the two talents. Able to both read emotions and cause others to feel anything she wishes, from joy to fear and pleasure to pain, Anya is a new breed that the telepaths would give anything to possess. Or destroy.

Pursued to the ends of human occupied space by a telepathic assassin, Anya has one last hope of safety before she must brave alien territory. Far Reach Station is known for its liberal policies towards alien species, but would they give sanctuary to one of their own when she is wanted by the Telepath Guild?

Anya's prospects seem grim when she is confronted by Jason Salvatore, the surly second in command of the station, and Captain Marta Jamison makes the station a dubious refuge when it becomes clear that she has an agenda all her own.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~
This title is available in Kindle e-book and paperback, sold through Amazon:
Angels and Ministers of Grace

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Published on March 10, 2014 04:30 • 16 views • Tags: cover, futuristic-romance, kindle, michelle-o-leary, reveal, romance, science-fiction, scifi-romance

February 26, 2014

For those who are curious to see what I'm working on, I'm starting a series of "Sneak Peeks" at my works in progress. My first sneak peek puts Dawn of the Red Sun in the spotlight. This is Book 3 in my Sunscapes Trilogy (scifi/romance)--Book 1 is Last Chance and Book 2 is Here There Be Dragons, just released this past Fall. I'd love to hear what you think, so feel free to comment!

Sunscapes Trilogy
This series is about the epic struggle between two mega companies, deciding the fate of the entire galaxy. The Endgame has begun, pitting Shay Enterprises against Quasicore—the Shay twins, mysterious and dangerous, weave a seductive web for their ruthless, lethal opponent, Webster Griffin, whose hunger for power and control might just destroy all civilization.
Dawn of the Red Sun centers on dark and deadly Kai Shay and Griffin's cool and clever daughter, Liaena. Set on opposite sides of the conflict, their fatal attraction for one another lends a sharp edge to their determination to win at all costs.


Dawn of the Red Sun
Sunscapes Trilogy Book 3

Prologue

Liaena remembered with crystal clarity the day the Shays came to visit, fixed the fountain, and destroyed an entire art collection. She’d only met them once before, but they’d made an impression—she’d bruised Manakai Shay’s shin for insulting her.

The day of the fountain, she met them again with a sense of dislocation. Years older, they hardly seemed the same children. Her resentful memory of them shriveled in the face of their impossible beauty and charm. Then again, she was not the same either. Her fierce fire had faded, dampened by her father’s endless cold lessons on proper behavior and obedience.

Their father was still as she remembered, a tall, lanky man with ink-dark hair and a reserved smile. His eyes held the same warm green twinkle as his children’s, as if mischievous thoughts ran rampant behind his composed face. He spoke to Liaena’s father with such amazing, fearless ease.

Webster Griffin terrified everyone. Including Liaena. She’d never seen anyone treat him with less than absolute deference. Fascinated, she watched without really hearing their words, studying their calm confidence keenly. Didn’t they know her father was dangerous? Or did they know something she didn’t?

Her father’s heavy hand on her shoulder startled her out of her thoughts. “Daughter, be a good hostess and show the young Shays our Aqualyr.” Then he turned away with Ezekiel Shay, leaving her alone with the twins.

She said nothing at first, unsettled by the adults’ abrupt departure. The twins watched her with their unnerving cat-green eyes and identical faint smiles. They were older than her, taller, intimidating. She wasn’t sure what to do.

“Are you going to kick me again?” Manakai asked with a curious tilt of his dark head.

Liaena straightened with as much dignity as she could muster, face burning. Remembering her father’s lessons, she said, “Of course not,” in an even tone.

Sinsudee slanted her brother a quick look, smile deepening. “Aena, what’s an Aqualyr?”

Liaena blinked at her, distracted. Was that a nickname? But didn’t people use nicknames when they liked someone? She wasn’t sure—she’d never been around other children. “Um, it’s the Water Room. One of Father’s art collections. All the pieces are made of water or have water in them. It’s this way.”

She headed uncertainly down the corridor then gained confidence when they followed her. They moved so quietly, though, she had to keep checking to make sure they were still behind her.

“I like art,” Sinsudee offered in a soft, lyrical voice.

“I’d rather slice,” Manakai said. “Is this water room any fun?”

Liaena shot him a puzzled look. “Fun?”

“Yeah, fun. Like games, a slide maybe. Or hey, it’d be fun to chuck things at my sister. Got any water balloons?”

“You’re a booger, Kai,” Sinsudee declared easily, smirking.

Liaena reached the entrance to the Aqualyr, turning to them with a frown. “What’s a water balloon?”

“What’s a—?” He gaped at her, which should have made him look dumb but didn’t.

“Close your mouth, brother,” Sinsudee said absently, her green eyes studying Liaena with a troubled edge. “What do you do for fun, Aena?”

Having no answer, Liaena shrugged and silently opened the door, waving them through. She watched them as they entered, waiting for the gasps of amazement, the awe and avarice the opulent water room usually wrung from visitors. But the Shays only glanced around with mild curiosity at the hangings, sculptures, and framed art.

“Huh.” Manakai stopped next to the ornate marble fountain in the center of the room, hands on narrow hips. He sent Liaena a grim look. “No slides.”

“This one’s pretty,” Sinsudee commented, gesturing to a water sculpture held together by a film of glowing multicolored energy. “Looks like an angel. I don’t get that one, though.” She pointed to a tangle of tubes with colored fluid bubbling through them, and then made a face over her shoulder. “Is it supposed to look like a pile of guts?”

Liaena felt a strange sensation in her chest like a bubble trying to escape and realized it was the urge to laugh out loud, something she hadn’t done in a long time. They weren’t afraid of her father and they weren’t impressed by his wealth. Her father flaunted this collection but it bored and grossed them out. Crushed under a wave of youthful admiration, she swallowed her laugh and watched them with wide eyes.

“Your fountain’s busted,” Manakai announced, staring at the thin streams of water gurgling apathetically out of hidden spouts. Then his face brightened. “I can fix that.”

Sinsudee winced and swiveled toward her brother. “Um, Kai…”

Manakai bent, searching the base of the fountain. “Just have to find the control panel—yes! Here it is.”

“We’re not supposed to touch things—” Liaena said on a surge of alarm when a panel slid open under his fingers.

“Seriously, brother, this is not a good idea.”

Manakai knelt next to the fountain, studying the panel display with an absorbed expression. “Told you, I can fix it. Dad says I have a natural talent.”

Moving behind him, Sinsudee bent and frowned over his shoulder at the display, her hair cascading forward in a rush of blue-black silk. “Dad was just being nice. You break things more than you fix them.”

“Oh shut it, Sinsi. This thing reads like there’s low pressure. Bet it’s the regulator.”

“It’s just slow not broken,” Liaena tried feebly. “I’m sure maintenance could—”

“Why wait?” Manakai said, shooting her a dazzling smile. “We’re here now. Just gotta find that regulator.”

Sinsudee reached over his shoulder and touched the display, pointing when a schematic of the fountain appeared. “It’s right there. But I’m pretty sure that’s not the problem.”

“Bet me.” He closed the panel and sidled along the edge of the fountain, opening a different slot. “Who put his own slicer together from parts?”

“Oh sure, you did a great job. Does it fly yet?” Sinsudee scoffed. But though her tone was full of sisterly contempt, she didn’t stop him from sticking his hand inside the fountain, crouching to get a look for herself.

Manakai glowered at his twin and mumbled, “Bad parts.” Then his expression lightened, eyes gleaming with triumph. “I found it! Okay, gimme a sec…”

Liaena stared at the two of them, nonplussed. Her father had given her a simple order. How had it gotten so out of hand? Yet she couldn’t stop watching them, absorbing everything about them. Having spent most of her isolated life with adults who either ignored or avoided her, these two were an exotic revelation. They glowed with energy like mini-suns, fearless and vibrant. They reminded her of her mother’s island, of the beaches that had been her playground, of warm light and life.

“There!” Manakai bounded to his feet with athletic grace and made a theatrical ta-da gesture. The fountain rumbled oddly, the gurgle of water lurching to a foaming stream. “Your fountain is fi—”

Water exploded from the spouts, spraying in all directions.

“—ixed,” Manakai sputtered, turning his face away and holding up a hand to ward off the deluge.

Liaena clapped her hands over her mouth, staring in frozen horror at the catastrophe unfolding before her. The water pressure was so great it knocked sculptures off stands, hangings and frames off walls. It ricocheted off the ceiling and drenched the entire room. Cold water soaked her hair, her clothes, dripping down her face like ice tears.

Then Sinsudee laughed. The sound held no malice, no ridicule, just pure humor and lyrical delight. She held out her arms, looking down at her water-logged self. “Kai, you’re an idiot!” she chortled then stepped forward, angled her hand in one of the streams, and hosed down her brother.

He yelped in gleeful outrage and splashed her back. They chased one another around the fountain, laughter ringing through the small room.

Liaena found herself giggling behind her hands, shivering with cold and terrified wonder. The Shay twins had taken disaster and turned it into a playground without a hint of fear for what they’d done. Weren’t they worried about what their father would say, what he would do to them? Instead they were having…fun.

A small part of her remembered what that was and stirred. Warmth spread through her, as though she was dancing on a beach again, listening to her mother’s laughter.

“Aena, grab him!” Sinsudee called in a light, breathless voice. “We’ll show him fixed…”

The door slid open and Liaena froze again, ice shooting like white lightning through her heart. Their fathers stood on the threshold, expressions blank with surprise. Liaena’s father touched a control next to the door. The fountain gasped and died.

For a moment, silence held, broken only by the drip of water off every surface.

Then Ezekiel Shay said in a low, rueful tone, “Oh, Sun’s Blood,” and his children stepped forward together, their laughter gone.

“Sorry, Mr. Griffin, I was just trying to fix—”

“—I tried to stop him, but he wouldn’t—”

“—fountain wasn’t working right, so I thought—”

“—never listens, he’s always trying to—”

“—tweak it a little, it’s a mess but—”

“We’ll clean it up,” they said in unison.

“Web, I apologize for my children.” Mr. Shay was gazing at the twins, hands clasped behind his back. Liaena searched his features for disapproval, anger, malice. All she saw was mild censure and furtive amusement. “At this age, they’re twin typhoons. I’ll reimburse you for any damages, of course.”

“No need,” Liaena’s father said with a chuckle, casting an indulgent smile on the twins. But she saw the chill in his eyes and shuddered. “We did send them off to entertain themselves, though this wasn’t quite what I had in mind.” That hard, icy stare flicked to Liaena long enough to freeze her heart with the promise of painful punishment.

Ezekiel Shay made a sound of amusement, his gaze moving to her as well, though his eyes twinkled warmly. “Don’t be too hard on your daughter, Web. Not much can stop these two when they get rolling and I doubt very much she helped.”

“Oh, no,” Sinsudee said hurriedly, stepping forward and sending Liaena an anxious glance. “Aena didn’t do anything.”

Manakai volunteered, “She tried to tell me to leave it alone.”

“Well, there you go,” their father said, mouth twitching with the beginnings of a smile. “Sin, Kai, apologize to your hostess for the trouble you caused her.”

Liaena realized she still had her hands clasped over her mouth and dropped them, shuffling nervously as the Shay twins approached. She tried to speak, to say they didn’t have to apologize, but her voice failed her. Sinsudee reached her first, wrapping her in a gentle hug. Liaena made a squeaking sound, body stiff with shock.

“I hope you’ll forgive us,” Sinsudee whispered in her ear. “And if you want to kick Kai again, that’s okay with me.”

She let Liaena go with a muffled snicker, stepping aside for her brother. Liaena stared up at Manakai, wondering with dizzy horror if he was going to hug her too. Instead, he gave her a dazzling, charming smile and clasped her hand in his. His touch was shockingly warm.

“I’m really sorry, Aena. I hope you don’t get in too much trouble.” Then he bent and kissed her cheek, sending her world into a spin. “It was fun, though,” he whispered with a mischievous grin and a wink.

Then they left her there, wet and dripping, full of unnamed emotion, etching the day on her memory in bright, unbreakable lines.

~Dawn of the Red Sun will be coming soon~

AVAILABLE NOW: BOOK 1 & 2 OF SUNSCAPES TRILOGY

  


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Published on February 26, 2014 09:30 • 26 views • Tags: futuristic-romance, preview, prologue, romance, scifi, scifi-romance, sunscapes-trilogy, teaser, works-in-progress, writing-samples

February 7, 2014

To conclude my showcase series spotlighting my published novels, this seventh post focuses on my very first published novel, The Huntress. It may have been my first step into the publishing world, but I'm still quite proud of it and still very much in love with the characters, from the Huntress herself, Mea Brin, to the object of her hunt, Seth Terrik (aka: Bay Stone). A wild ride and hot romance, The Huntress has a bit of scifi action for everyone! And it doesn't stop there, the fun spilling over into a series of short stories titled Stepping Stones (further down in post).



Amazon Purchase Link: The Huntress




BLURB:

The Hunter:
Traumatized at a young age by the violent death of her parents, Mea Brin becomes a Hunter, part of an elite policing force of the Planetary Coalition. She is the best of the best, ruthless and predatory on a hunt and driven by the memory of violence. But then she meets Seth Terrik, an escaped convict, and Regan Freya, a child recently orphaned. The pair make an impression on Mea she can’t ignore—she feels a deep empathy for the girl and in Terrik she sees reflections of herself. Her choices seem limited—duty demands that she capture the escapee and turn the child over to the proper authorities. But Mea is not one to allow duty to define her. She creates a new choice.

The Convict:
Seth Terrik has spent more than half of his life in prison. All that he knows or cares about is survival and the fight for freedom until a trusting girl becomes his responsibility and a seductive Hunter offers him what looks like a second chance at life. The simple rules of his existence become much more complicated as he is forced to redefine the concepts of survival and freedom. What does a hardened criminal like him know of trust or love? Is he even capable of stepping beyond instinct and into human emotion?


EXCERPT

Mea could see his shadow but not much else. He, on the other hand, could see her more clearly. She let her eyes travel down then back up, taking in every muscular inch of him. “I could always sweeten the deal.”

The point of his knife at her chest stopped her forward momentum. Eyeing it for a moment then grinning up at him, she stepped to the right and began circling. “By that I mean if you haven’t found transport by the time I’m done here, I could take you myself to a destination of your choice.” She was pleased to see that he didn’t turn with her, just watched her when she moved behind him. “Think about it. Good food, hot shower, soft bed…”

On the last two words she ran a nail across the back of his neck. He reacted instantly, knocking her arm away and grabbing her throat. Slamming her up against the wall, he pressed the cold edge of the blade to her jugular. Stifling long years of training, she relaxed in his grip.

“I said, not interested.” His deep, inscrutable voice didn’t sound the least bit unnerved, but his actions said otherwise.

She chuckled low in her throat. “All right, stubborn. If your mind is made up.” She ran the backs of her fingers along the inside of his wrist.

He immediately released her and stepped back.

She had to bite her lip to keep from laughing. Oh, what a tasty treat you are, tiger, she thought with hungry humor.


HERO & HEROINE:

Mea Brin: A bounty hunter who tracks down baddies and brings them to justice. Her life is thrown into chaos when she meets an escaped convict she doesn't want to hunt.

Seth Terrik/Bay Stone: Escaped convict and consummate survivor; he doesn’t believe in love until The Huntress and an orphaned girl teach him.


AMAZON REVIEWS:

5-STARS - "The Huntress" by ItsWindy
Amazingly human. Action adventure romance and mystery. Strongly passionate. Once you get a glimpse of these characters you're caught in a fascinating venture. You won't be bored!


5-STARS - "Fantastic!" by liirogue
I couldn't put this one down. I was completely drawn into the world and became attached to the characters. It's sci-fi, but it doesn't get bogged down in techie descriptions like so many others in this genre tend to. Highly recommended - great mix of adventure and romance.


5-STARS - "Satisfyingly Excellent" by Mara
Mea and Seth/Stone are perfect for each other and the world-building is great. It is detailed enough to be comprehensive without the error that so many writers make, of being so detailed that it becomes a bore. There's lots of room for the reader's own imagination to fill in, and to allow the author to write more stories in the same universe. Same with the back story of the protagonists. Perfect!


5-STARS - "Loved It" by Megan Gambrell
Stone and Mea are the cutest couple. Regan is so intelligent and cute. Warren and Ema were funny and were very supportive of Mea and Stone. Highly recommended if you enjoy action packed romance stories. YOU MUST READ THIS BOOK!!!!!!!5!


5-STARS - "The Huntress" by Tree
After several thousand scifi books and a handfull of romance novels (not my usual cup of tea), this author has done a rolicking, wonderful thing. She has out-sexied the old prigish scifi of the fifties and sixties, probably out-sexied the majority of romance novelists. But, better yet, Mea is the more human and humane hero that we could hope our daughters and sisters could believe it possible to be. In spite of all the violence and bleakness in the life of a Hunter, this author dares to unmask her men, women and children as being people who have more in common than not. Afraid, hungry for closeness and kindness, and finally suffering the despair of not knowing if caring is even possible. The whole thing would be almost laughable EXCEPT this writer seems to know that we're all hopelessly at the mercy of those we love and need the most and of the quiet dread of all lovers that their beloved may not just be late to supper, but may well be lying dead somewhere. Cry for the mortals!


5-STARS - "Awesome!" by Silverlake
This book is so awesme! I love it! I would highly recomend this book to romance lovers and action lovers. Although, I would not recomend this to kids under 14.


THE CONTINUATION OF THIS STORY IS ALSO AVAILABLE:

Amazon Purchase Link:
Stepping Stones: The Huntress Series of Short Stories


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Published on February 07, 2014 11:09 • 21 views