Let's be sociable!      

She isn’t angry. She’s just very, very disappointed.

Okay. Maybe she’s angry. But not at you.

A new book is out!

A few years ago, I introduced The Commander’s Warrior Mate:

She’s filthy, she’s murderous, and she lives in a cave.
She’s also his mate.

That launched us into an adventure with Jess, a semi-feral woman who lived in a cave. She was swept off her planet to live on a starship, where she aggravated and enchanted the ship’s captain, Pryce. The pair led each other on a lively chase.

Now Pryce and Jess are back in a sequel, The Warrior Mate’s Revenge. There’s passion, danger, monsters, and as with any situation involving Jess, a bunch of her homemade weapons.

I hope it will bring readers joy, or at least entertain them.

It’s available for Kindle and Kindle Unlimited, via Amazon:

Blah blah blah

Now that the sales pitch is out of the way, can I kick off my shoes and be informal?

My lord, this book has been a journey!

I may have noted elsewhere that I worked on The Commander’s Warrior Mate at my husband’s hospital bedside after he had a brain injury. Things were rough for awhile. It was a relief to let my mind escape to another reality.

Time passed. I sprung my husband out of the hospital and brought him home. He gradually learned how to speak and walk again, and he taught our son how to shave. During the periods when he was resting, I finished the book.

No sooner had it hit Amazon than I started on the second volume, The Warrior Mate’s Revenge. “Piece of cake,” I thought. “I know how the story should go. It’ll take me a couple of months to draft and maybe another month or two to revise.”

Ha ha ha ha.

I’ll bet you know what comes next. Yeah. The pandemic.

My son attended school remotely, so there was a constant wonk-wonk-wonk of teachers’ voices over his Chromebook. I got really involved in his schoolwork, plus there were distractions like rats and squirrels duking it out on our deck. (“My money is on the rat,” my son told me, as we watched the fight. “Rats are more streetwise.”)

Occasionally one of his teachers would let out an F-bomb, which I always found cheering, or we’d entertain ourselves by screaming and putting out a kitchen fire that had resulted from roasting marshmallows over a toaster. Good times.

Then lockdown lifted, at least a little, and students went back to school in masks, with plexiglass partitions between their desks. I missed my son, but without the constant racket in my workspace I was able to focus on writing.

I looked over chapter one of Warrior Mate’s Revenge. It had eighteen revisions, and another chapter had thirty. It was high time I finished the book, but things were a muddle, like a pile of dough that’s risen and then been stomped on a few times.

One of my goals is to always do better, to always give readers a better experience. It was clear that if I wanted to accomplish that before my son headed off to college, I needed some help. I ended up enlisting a developmental editor, who helped me beat the basic story into shape.

That mostly went well, although sometimes we argued:

Some may recognize that pose from the first book cover. I ended up putting her in a leather dress and changing his expression. She looks wary though, and with good reason.

Editor: “Who is Doctor Ales? I’d blue pencil that line and get rid of her.”

Me: “She was an important character in the first book. And no, I’m not getting rid of her. She’s going to be super important in the third book.”

And so forth. Now that book is out and we’re arguing about the next one:

Me: “I want the third book to be about Dane and Five.”

Editor: “I disagree. You should continue Jess and Pryce’s story.”

Me: “But Dane and Five need to develop their relationship.”

Editor: “It’s your book, but I disagree. The first two were about Jess and Pryce. The third should wind up their story and all of the loose ends.”

Hmm. Maybe. I have a bunch of scenes drafted with Five. What’ll I do with that stuff? Turn it into a novella? Offer it as a promo for newsletter signups?

Then there are the concept graphics for the series, almost none of which have wound up on book covers.  Pryce macking on Jess in a forest, Jess waving knives around, Pryce carrying a wounded Jess in his arms. Hmm. Are they something readers would enjoy? Maybe they’d make a nice computer wallpaper collage as a thank you to newsletter subscribers?

Darned if I know. Stay tuned! And if you want an email notification of whatever I write or offer next, subscribe to my newsletter.


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