Princess of Amathar – Chapter 19 Excerpt

As flame and ordinance shot through the air all around the ship, I gathered my company together on the deck of the vessel, as did the five other security companies on board. Our squadron and the one commanded by Ulla Yerrontis were flying high above the city drawing fire, and engaging the battleships. Vandan Lorrinos was moving his squadron in low and attacking the ground installations with shipboard weapons, as well as landing thousands of Amatharian troops. The final squadron under Reyno Hissendar waited in the rear as reserves.

A huge explosion on a lower deck indicated that the cruiser had been hit by one of the Zoasian missiles, and it brought my mind away from previous plans and into the present. The missile had been fired from one of the battleships, and it moved toward us. Amatharian light guns from the batteries above and below us opened fire on the approaching enemy and explosions ripped across her bow but she still kept coming. For a moment, it looked as though the Zoasian would plow its squared front end into our side, but at the last minute, it pulled up and crossed above us.

Several dozen bombs dropped from the open decks on the lower portion of the black death machine, and ignited all around us, sending flaming metal and Amatharian body parts across the deck. Then two score or more long ropes fell from above, and hundreds of heavily armed and armored Zoasians slid down onto our ship. My team began cutting them down with our light rifles, but for every one we shot from his rope, two more landed on the deck unharmed, and ready to engage us in hand to hand combat.

I yelled to my company to attack, and together we rushed forward to meet the Zoasians. I pulled my long sword from his sheath, and as I raised it high above my head, I saw it glow brightly with the power of the soul within. I brought it down upon the first enemy soldier and it left him two smoking halves of his former self.

These black reptilians were slower than we, but they were powerful. One picked up a large piece of jagged metal about ten feet long, which had torn loose in an explosion, and attempted to hit me with it, as though it had been a great bat. I ducked below it and jumped toward him, sword outstretched. For a moment, he looked down at the smoking hole I had left in his chest, and then he toppled over dead.

Another security team from the other side of the cruiser arrived to help us repel boarders, and we began pushing the Zoasians toward the rail. A black beam shot past my head, scorching my shoulder. A shot from one of my men blasted through the body of the attacker. I bounded forward to meet another enemy, but there were none left. This group of Zoasians had been repelled.

“Look over there,” said Tular Maximinos, suddenly at my shoulder. It was his company who had come to our aid.

I turned to see one of the black Zoasian battleships explode into a huge fireball and fall into the city below, setting off even more explosions. The battle seemed to be going well, and I could see three other enemy ships burning in the sky, as they spun out of control. All of the ships in our squadron were still in the air, though many had taken quite a bit of damage. I imagined that the squadron making the direct assault against the city was incurring even greater losses, but we had our reserves, and we knew what we were after.

Suddenly all the soldiers on deck were knocked from their feet, myself included. I jumped up to see another Zoasian ship grinding along our bow. The two ships had collided in mid-air, and the enemy was sliding down our side. As the black battleship moved closer to where we stood, it began to move away.

“Come on,” I shouted to my men, and taking a running leap into the air, I crossed the distance to the reptiles’ airship. This wasn’t really part of a plan. It just seemed like a good idea at the time to take the battle to the enemy.

Landing on the deck with a thud, I turned around to see how many of my company had made it across with me. About thirty others, including Tular Maximinos, had made it. One young warrior had not been able to make the jump, and was still falling the several thousand feet to the ground below. The remainder of our small battalion had remained behind, being unable to cross the distance before the two ships had moved too far away from each other.

“Where now?” I called to Tular Maximinos, as there seemed to be no Zoasians on deck.

“To the engine room!” he called back, and the two of us rushed toward the back of the ship, followed by thirty or so men and women.

A wide path ran along the side of the vessel between the superstructure and the edge, gave us a metal avenue down the length of the ship. It was good that it was a broad space too, because there was no rail along the side, as there was on Amatharian ships. We had gone down about half the length of the mile long vessel when I heard weapons fire behind me. I turned to see over a hundred Zoasians at the bow of the vessel, where we had just been. They were firing at us, and had already shot two of our team.

I sheathed my sword, and whipped out my light pistol. The Amatharians with me did the same, and we soon had the hulking reptiles diving for cover.

Princess of Amathar – Chapter 17 Excerpt

Looking up frequently at the flying marvel above us, Vena Remontar and I made our way back to the home of her cousin. The great battleship was not alone in the sky. Beyond it I could just make out two similar ships hovering above the city. I hoped that they were part of the fleet that Norar Remontar was preparing for his sister’s rescue. Vena Remontar stopped at the entrance of the building, and said her goodbye.

“Thank you for everything,” I said.

“It was my pleasure, knight,” she replied. “We will meet again soon.”

I made my way up the forty-five flights of escalators to Norar Remontar’s apartment. No sooner had I entered, than my Amatharian friend appeared from another room.

“You are finally here,” he observed.

“Yes.”

“You are to come with me,”

“What now?” I asked.

“My grandfather wants to see you.”

I nodded in understanding, and followed the tall Amatharian out the door and up three more flights of escalators. We stepped thorugh a large entryway and waited outside a large navy blue door. This was a type of waiting area that one might find outside any large office. Had I been in New York or Los Angeles, I would have expected a secretary or a receptionist at a desk, but in Amathar they don’t have receptionists and a secretary’s job is a bit different than on Earth—more like a librarian. Visitors to an Amatharian office observe strict rules of etiquette, just as they would when visiting an Amatharian home. And those Amatharians who work in an office, are pleased to receive visitors themselves.

The door was opened and we were admitted to the room. Inside we found a magnificent hall, the center point of which was a great long table of carved wood, lined on either side by forty heavy wooden chairs. One entire wall of the room was glass, and looked over the courtyard that was the most impressive feature of the building. The other wall was lined with banners, each carrying the crest of a knight of the Sun Clan.

Four Amatharians waited for us within the room. The man who opened the door was the tallest man that I had yet met, something over seven and a half feet. Just looking at him frightened me. I could imagine how an enemy facing him felt. He was middle-aged, with streaks of grey shooting through his straight black hair. His hawkish nose and a large scar across one cheek, gave him the look of a predator. He was clad in the garments of a knight, though his tabard was fringed with gold trim; his crest was an eye with a flaming sun as its pupil. He was Reyno Hissendar, Norar Remontar’s uncle, and the chief of the Hissendar Trading Group.

The second fellow was equally impressive, though not because of height. He was a formidably muscular man with a piercing gaze and a tightly set jaw. His tabard too was fringed with gold, and his crest showed a flaming sun within a circle. His bodysuit wasn’t black though. It was tan. I had seen Knights in other colors, Nicohl Messonar for instance, wearing the colors of a teacher. Tan was the traditional color of archaeologists. He was Vandan Lorrinos, a highly respected member of the Sun Clan, and a fleet commander.

The third person in the room was a woman. She was a breathtakingly beautiful older version of Vena Remontar, or for that matter, of the Princess. She was just over six feet tall, with long straight black hair framing her beautiful dark blue face. She had the same stern look about her that I had found in Nicohl Messonar, and the same ability to seemingly look into a person’s heart. She stared at me with what I thought was a look of more than simple appraisal. She was the mother of Vena Remontar and the aunt of Norar Remontar, and her name was Mindana Remontar. She wore a bodysuit and tabard, but without the crest, indicating she was not a knight. Her bodysuit was dark blue, marking her profession as biologist.

The final individual in the room was the man for whom I had been summoned— the Overlord of the Sun Clan, Nevin Lorrinos. There was no doubt that he was Norar Remontar’s grandfather, for he was tall and handsome, with the same prominent features and the same noble bearing. He wore a great black robe with a golden crest above the heart— crossed swords over a flaming sun, the same crest that Noriandara Remontar had worn. I bowed low to him.

“Greetings knight,” he said.

“Yes,” said Mindana Remontar. “You have certainly wasted no time integrating yourself into our culture.”

“I was drawn to Garden of Souls when I came near,” I said. “Of course I still have much to learn about Amathar, but I already know that I want to make a place for myself here.”

Vandan Lorrinos grunted approvingly.

“That is one of the things I wish to speak to you about,” said Nevin Lorrinos. “You are without a family, which is a great handicap for you. But my heir tells me that he thinks you are worthy and a good friend and I trust his judgment. For that reason, I would like to offer you a place in the Sun Clan.”

His Robot Wife – Final Edit

I just finished the final edit of chapter six of His Robot Wife: A Great Deal of Patience.  It will be ready on time, I swear it!  As soon as I am done, I’ll set a release date for Senta and the Steel Dragon Book 9: The Dragon’s Choice, and then start the final edit for that one.  If you are a fan of that series, I think you will love it.  It also sets up book 10, which will be a big story arc ending.

Back to school

I am writing this as I sit in my classroom the Friday before the school year starts.  By the time you read this, I will have already taught a few classes.  I can honestly say that I am not looking forward to the school year.  I didn’t finish as much writing as I wanted to over the summer, but I did get some done.  I finished HIs Robot Girlfriend: A Great Deal of Patience, which I am in the final edit of now.  I finished Senta and the Steel Dragon Book 9: The Dragon’s Choice, which I will begin the final edit of as soon as I finish Patience.  And I guess that’s it.

This year, however, I have a prep period every day.  Hopefully this will enable me to finish my school work at school and let me have my evenings at home for writing.  We shall see.

 

My Books – Part Seven

Astrid Maxxim and the Electric Racecar Challenge (2016)

I had plotted out  Electric Racecar Challenge, and was just getting ready to start.  Then, I was reading a story in which a character was in a car wreck and ended up with a chunk of their memories missing.  This was devastating for that character and they never were able to recover.  I thought that this was just the sort of beginning that would be a challenge for Astrid to overcome.  This also added an interesting subplot that I was able to explore that tied into catfishing, which was big in the news at the time.

A Plague of Wizards (2016)

After the traumatic into to Electric Racecar Challenge, I decided I wanted something like that for the next Senta book.  This was not part of the overall arc that I had planned.  But Senta had become so powerful and important, I wondered what would happen to her friends and Birmisia if she were to just disappear.

Kanana: The Jungle Girl (2016)

I started working on this book about 2011.  I worked on it off and on for a couple of years. When I got back to it in 2014, I decided that I didn’t like the story in the first person, so I went back and rewrote it in the third person.  Then I decided that it was better the way that I had it before.  I went back to the first draft and continued it until there were only three chapters left.  Then I set it aside.  I finally came back to it at the end of the 2016 year, and it was fairly easy to finish up.

His Robot Wife: A Great Deal of Patience (Coming Soon)

This book will be out in September 9th, 2017.  I got the idea for this book in 2014, while working on Charity.  I started it right after A Plague of Wizards, but paused to work on the next Senta book, and Kanana.  This is by far my favorite robot book.

The Dragon’s Choice (Coming Soon)

I started working on this after A Plague of Wizards and it was the quickest book I’ve ever written, unusual since, I think it’s nearly the longest Senta book.  It continues the story of the same main characters in A Plague of Wizards.  The first draft of this book is done, and as soon as the final edit of A Great Deal of Patience is done, I’ll start the edit on it.

My Books – Part Six

Astrid Maxxim and the Antarctic Expedition (2014)

It had been less than a year since I had written the second Astrid Maxxim book, but I jumped right into the third.  I had set up the plot idea with a little tidbit in the first book.  As I was writing, I for some reason forgot that the book was plotted out to be 20 chapters of 1500 words each, and instead wrote the first seven or eight at 2500 words.  I stopped and reworked what I had written before continuing, but I never really got it squared away.  So Astrid Maxxim and the Antarctic Expedition not only has chapters of varying lengths, it’s the only Astrid book with only 19 chapters.  This book was about making Astrid grow up a little bit.  In doing so, she becomes a little less Tom Swift and a little more Steve Jobs.

Astrid Maxxim and her Hypersonic Space Plane (2014)

When I was done with the third Astrid Maxxim book, I jumped right into the fourth.  I had intended to wait until Astrid was a little older before throwing her into space, but I decided that if she was going to do all that I wanted her to do, she had to get started right away.  This book was an easy write and I was thrilled to work with Matthew Riggenbach at Shaed Studios on the cover.  We went through more revisions I think on this one than others, but he was awesome and I really like what he came up with.

His Robot Girlfriend: Charity (2015)

I wanted to write another robot book, but I just didn’t have a story for Mike and Patience.  I did, however, come up with a story about another robot and robot owner.  I think storywise, this is the best of the robot books up until this point, but many readers missed Patience.  I had thought, as I started writing this, that it would be the first in a series of His Robot Girlfriend books about other characters.  By the end however, I had the beginnings of the next Mike and Patience story that would build on events here.

The Price of Magic (2015)

It may seem from the dates that I jumped on this fairly quickly after The Sorceress and her Lovers, but it was over a year and a half between writing them.  This despite the fact that this is really just a continuation of the earlier story.  It became very clear to me while writing this book, that there would definitely be a five-story arc.  So books 1-5 are one story arc.  Books 6-10 another, with Book 0 standing alone.

My Books – Part Five

Astrid Maxxim and her Undersea Dome (2013)

I had always planned on returning to Astrid Maxxim and I did as soon as I could.  It was still two years though, since the first book.  I also wanted to follow the pattern of the Tom Swift Jr. books of alternating from space to sea.  I really was trying to capture the feeling I had in my youth, reading my favorite books, so I followed basic generalities.  The books would be positive and nostalgic, yet they would showcase modern technology.  On the other hand, there were things I didn’t like.  Nothing ever seemed to change Tom Swift’s world, despite his amazing inventions, and time never passed.  Tom was always 18.  I would make sure that time passed for Astrid, and her inventions would change her world.

His Robot Wife: Patience is a Virtue (2013)

His Robot Wife continued to be my best seller, despite the fact that I wasn’t really happy with how it turned out.  I decided to write a new robot book– a better robot book.  I plotted out all the details of the new book and worked on it extensively before writing.  As I was writing though, I kept changing what was going on.  I came up with several new ideas that would influence later books, but I don’t think I did them justice in Patience is a Virtue.  It is a pretty popular book– my best seller next to the first His Robot Wife.

The Sorceress and her Lovers (2014)

When I started The Sorceress and her Lovers, I was thinking of it as a single book in a series.  By the time I was reaching the end, I was thinking of it as the first book in a new series of five.  I went back and edited it to reflect my new ideas, but I’m not sure how effective that was.  Despite being my favorite books to read or write, sale of the Senta series are some of my lowest.  If I was a real professional writer, I would concentrate on things that sell, I guess.  But I want to write the things I like to write.  I have a dream that one day, the series will find its audience.  I think it would make a great HBO series– kind of a cross between Game of Thrones and Downton Abbey.

Desperate Poems (2014)

I have several thousand poems that I’ve written over the years.  Most of them are crap.  However, I cobbled together enough that I thought were pretty good and published them as a free ebook.  Few people read poetry and even fewer by an unknown poet, but its out there.  When I was a kid, I used to call myself a poet.  Now that I have a published book of poems, I really am one.