8/8/2021 WeWriWa

Check it out! Books. You know I like books. The blog has a group of authors willing to share their snippets.

So the kittens are visiting at least one of the neighbors. I hope someone catches them and takes them in. I’m really not set up for felines. They’re both big enough now to get out in that 7 acre field behind me and get food. I’m keeping an eye on them, just in case.

Writing. Interesting thing I’ve decided to do. Tau Scorpii is going great, at 70k now and I still have plenty of things for my characters to do. I don’t think they’re happy with me right now. Most of them will get over it. Okay, some of them will.

My snippet this week, however, is from Outliers: Team Two. I’m pushing some promos this week because the book up next is the next one in the series. Here’s a look at Team Two. They don’t always agree.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~

“What’s so earth shattering, so traumatizing, that you think it would change our entire way of life? What secrets do you think you still have?”

“I can’t say,” Shan repeated.

“Why not?”

“Because I don’t want to change the way you see me. Either of you.”

“That can’t happen.”

“What if you’re wrong?” her voice ratched up a notch.

“Let her blow up the damned place and be done with it,” Ballentyne interrupted.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~

(A few more if you’d like to go on!)

“Is that what you need to do?” Green asked her.

“I’m not sure. If I wasn’t being interrogated, I could go do this.”

“Great. Who do you want to watch our perimeter?” Ballentyne interrupted before their quarrel could fire back up.

“I don’t care,” she dismounted, taking her field glasses to have a closer look. “Figure it out.”

“Your choice,” Ballentyne offered his partner, knowing their brewing conflict was far beyond mere Security matters.

“The perimeter is mine,” Green said, turning his horse and heading back to the crest of the hill that ran east to west along the dirt road. “I’ll let you know if I see anything.”

Ballentyne followed her, dismounting. “Can I ask you something unrelated to all this confusion and subterfuge?”

“Always,” she answered, squinting off towards the east.

“How did you find it in the dark, in the snow, like you had a map?”

“You’ll think I’m making it up, if I tell you,” Shan offered. “I can hear it.”

He said nothing. The idea of synesthesia was nothing new to him, and it was prevalent among the Altered.

“You’ve seen me out at night, watching meteor showers when they have star-gazing parties in the park. I hear them as well as I see them. I can hear Rock Creek as clearly as any of us can see it, even more once we get clear of the ridge.”

~ ~ ~ ~ ~

There they go, blowing stuff up again. You can check out why – Outliers is on sale this week for 99c.

PPS- I have all 5 paper backs available, US shipping only at this time. Email me if you’re interested ( topaz08 at gmail.com ). Without the spaces, of course.

WeWriWa 08/01/2021

Check it out. Authors sharing their process and some fantastic books!

Apparently, I’ve adopted a Siamese kitten living under my house. There’s a full grown black & white cat (mom?), a much larger gray and white kitten, and this teeny fluffball Siamese kitten. Maybe he’s the runt. I don’t know. I put food and water out for him every night after dark. The two bigger ones try to crowd him out, but all I have to do is tap on the window and they run. The little guy doesn’t and I make sure he eats and drinks, and when he’s finished, the other two are free to eat. I don’t know if I can catch him, or even if I should try. But, I sort of have a house guest now.

  So, back to writing. Tau Scorpii is screaming along towards ‘the end’, and I’m really pleased with it. All that plotting and planning has paid off. Of course, I have a bit of research to do, when I get to the rewriting. It shouldn’t take long. I’m aiming for Autumn 2021, so September? October? You’ll know as soon as I have a set date. There will be giveaways, signed books, all kinds of promo stuff. 

  Outliers: Texas is taking shape as well. It’s going to fill in a lot of things the first trilogy brought up. I think fans of the series will love it.

Something from Tau Scorpii. This snippet is Taryn and Aiden about to confront the alien Caerule following their caravan.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~

“Are we going to die today?” Aiden asked, not normally being one to contemplate his mortality.

“If I can manage to talk to them, we’ll be fine,” Taryn had her horse moving at a brisk trot, and it was an uncomfortable gait in the sand, plus it was getting hot. “On Flatrock, they were afraid of the rain.”

“So were we.”

She nodded, “Whatever happens, do not draw your sword – I mean it.”

“You said that, on Flatrock.”

“And they didn’t draw so let me at least try to talk to them, or you can go back to the caravan and help wrangle the horses.”

“There’s nothing you could say to make me let you go out there alone.”

(My 8!)

~ ~ ~ ~ ~

(And a few more lines.)

“This isn’t the first time I’ve tried to communicate with a band of them,” she said. “Alone.”

“I know.”

“It’s not the second time, either. I haven’t gotten killed trying.”

He was certain he’d rather be anywhere else, and that he had to be there despite all of it.

“Don’t smile, either.”

“Why in all the hells ever created would I smile?”

“Showing them your teeth is a sign of aggression.”

“We’re in so much trouble,” he noted.

Well, that reminds me I need to make some new promos and write an updated blurb. Yay me!

WeWriWa 06/27/2021

That’s the place you want to go, to find authors sharing their works in progress. Mine is below, it’s Tau Scorpii. I’m close to finishing this draft, and there’s some research I have to do before I polish it up and send it out. Autumn 2021 is my target date. I know, not very specific. Sorry. On to the teaser – please keep in mind it’s unedited and possibly has creative punctuation to fit the 10.

If you want to read a teaser from the same scene, it’s here.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~

BLURB – Tau Scorpii

Sedna is home to hundreds of predatory alien species. Humans are one of them. It’s about to get more difficult to survive.

Their clan was scattered in a war, years ago. By accident or fate, Taryn and Skye have found each other. What they face now, they have no control over. The weather is changing. Their clans must find a way to adapt, and to make peace with with themselves and other species. The alternative is extinction.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~

(This is the bunch of people that don’t like or trust each other, trying to figure out how they are going to get along long enough to save themselves.)

“Question,” Skye said, “Do you communicate with the Caerule?”

“We’ve attempted to,” Asher admitted, “The results are mixed.”

How? They don’t have the vocal capacity we do.”

They have a language,” Taryn answered. “It’s less complex than our dialects, as far as I can tell, but they respond well to sign language.”

“Is that what you were doing out at Highmarch?” Garrett asked; when Taryn responded by pursing her lips and remaining silent, his gaze snapped to Asher.

Aiden became alert, Skye and Ianto both aware of the tension in the room.

Why was she at Highmarch?” Garrett repeated to Asher.

“On my orders.”

~ ~ ~ ~ ~

And that’s 10. If you want to read a bit more, I’ve included it for more context.

I can’t let you go to this Pike’s Pass when his motives are unknown,” Skye pointed out to Garrett. “That’s my job, to keep you safe. This isn’t safe, I don’t think it ever was.”

Taryn groaned. “Men have to go out of their way to complicate everything. This wasn’t complicated, and now it is.”

It was complicated from the beginning,” Asher disputed her.

Because you made it that way,” she accused, her voice rising. “I go out, I do things for you, I get them done, I come home.”

Asher chuckled. “Nothing you’ve done, alone, has ever gotten complicated. Like finding stray chieftans and bringing a band of mercenaries to my city.”

Garrett cleared his throat.

Tell him about your uncomplicated life,” she told Asher. “Because you announced you’re Earthborn. After that, everything else is less complicated.”

She was out at Highmarch because I sent her to see where you and your little band were. I knew when you left your territory, I knew when your crossed into the High Desert. Taryn didn’t know who you were or why I cared. She rescued you on her own. I had her following you for my own political purposes.” Asher was as interested in her reaction as theirs.

As a warlord?” Skye asked. “Because Warlords, they’re assassins as often as they aren’t.”

She’s a ranger first, my warlord when she needs to be. If I had wanted Garrett, or any of you dead, I’d have sent Aiden, not Taryn.”

Aiden merely smiled as the Alles Aran glanced at him.

“Complicating things,” Taryn announced.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~

Complicated – my books develop a lot of plot as they go along, and I like it that way. I don’t want the reader to get bored. You can find my other books currently in print at my website (links to all the retailers) and get up-to-date info there as well.

PS- I have all the books in The Wildblood series available in signed paperbacks now, despite what the graphic says. US shipping only, I’m getting bookplates printed for fans overseas!

Tau Scorpii Snippet

This is an unedited first draft – yes, I know about the typos, ect.

Asher, telling his potential allies/enemies a little bit about his background. He needs their cooperation and none of them are particularly cooperative. There will be chaos.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~

Summary

When Taryn rescues another human from a marauding band of Caeruleum, she is reunited with clansmen from her past. It puts her at odds with their new chieftan, as well as her own partner, a powerful privateer. They discover, there are more imminent problems, ones they cannot control, and must unite to survive. Easier said than done, when each of them have their own plans to set in motion.

Sedna is home to hundreds predatory alien species. Humans are one of them. They’ve been there long enough to adapt, but not so long that all of them have forgotten, it’s not their world. The weather is changing. Humans are no longer at the top of the food chain.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~

“I was seven when we were taken. Planetfall, the adults called it, but no one remembered what actually happened. There was a flash of light. It felt like I was floating, then I couldn’t breathe, I couldn’t move, couldn’t see.” Asher stood away from them, glancing back to see where Aiden was. “Then I woke up on another world, with twin stars, the sky almost orange, and alien beings we couldn’t understand and were terrified of.”

How long is this story going to be?” Ianto finally had something to say.

I could tell you about everything I’ve seen and everything I’ve done, and you’d still chose to not believe it,” Asher said. “I spent nearly twenty years in the Terran complex before I ventured out.”

Why?” Garrett asked.

Because I could.”

Taryn had a sick feeling, understanding some of the cryptic things he’d said over the years. “Why haven’t you gone back?”

Because I can’t,” he told her.

Who did you kill?” Skye asked, voice dripping sarcasm.

Asher let it go. “The expeditions I sent north were fully aware of the consequences. It’s possible to view the cities safely from a distance, but there’s a barrier around them. It doesn’t harm living things. You can only cross it once. That’s why you can’t let expeditions head south of Pike’s Pass. If they cross, they are there forever.”

The warlords fell silent.

Suppose we wanted to see this for ourselves?” Aiden asked first.

“You are free to go. The humans in the various cities set up borders and warnings. You can communicate, if you happen to speak the same dialect. Some are friendly, others will simply ignore you. That’s up to you.” he indicated all of them. “After you get the pass blockaded.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~

Autumn, 2021

Snippet – Tau Scorpii

I’m getting to the uphill climb with Tau Scorpii. As usual, the plot has been much more complicated than I originally thought, but I guess that’s how I write. This book is exciting for me because it’s not the series. I love ‘the series’, but it’s good to know I can write something else! I’m hoping to have a release date in the early autumn. When I know, you’ll know.

In the meantime, I’m playing with learning how to make book trailers. I did a quick one for The Vista. Plans for Tau Scorpii include a much-improved book trailer and some real advertising. Grand plans, I know.

So this is a snippet from one of my favorite scenes. Taryn and Skye aren’t quite certain how to act around one and other. Things are about to heat up, in more ways than one.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~

“Walk with me,” Skye beckoned to Taryn, moving to the side of the road.

Garrett nodded and headed for the caravan, knowing where he wasn’t wanted.

“I’ve been told,” he began as she dismounted and moved next to him. “I’m over-reacting to this situation.”

“Getting stuck with a caravan, or about you and I?”

Another thing he liked about her, that she was so straightforward. “Pick one.”

“Us,” she said without hesitation.

“I don’t see you as Shaye. I know that’s who you were, but not for me,” Skye explained.

“That was a log time ago. You never changed your name.”

“No one was looking for stray warriors from Tycho Alles. Ianto had distant blood kin in a ruling family, and as far as we know, you two were the only survivors related to the Patrons.”

“It doesn’t matter now.” She was walking close enough beside him, her hand brushed his every few steps.

“It does.”

“Skye, let it go.”

He cut in front of her, making her stop. “Say that again,” he leaned close, challenging her.

She didn’t waver. “There’s nothing you can do to change it.” Then she fiddled with the collar of his dusty vest, pretending to straighten it. “The past is gone. Let it go.” Neither of them blinked. Taryn pulled him forward and kissed him, brushing her lips over his for a few lingering moments. “I know you were a good man. Show me who you are now,” she whispered.

“You might not like who I am now.”

“I was going to say the same thing. I’m not your princess,” Taryn used a childhood fairy tale to make her point.

Skye had been read the same stories when he was young. “I’m not your knight in shining armor.” It was a stare-down, and for a few moments, and he didn’t know if she was going to kiss him again or slap him. Both would have the same effect. “This isn’t over, it’s not even started yet.”

~ ~ ~ ~ ~

Subject to editing, of course, but I love this scene. It’s indicative of their relationship.And now, for the promo part of this post!

~ ~ ~ ~ ~

Tau Scorpii: The Myth of SolTerra

Sedna is home to hundreds of predatory alien species. Humans are one of them. It’s about to get more difficult to survive.

Their clan was scattered in a war, years ago. By accident or fate, Taryn and Skye have found each other. What they face now, they have no control over. The weather is changing. Their clans must find a way to adapt, and to make peace with with themselves and other species. The alternative is extinction.

And of course, all The Wildblood books are available on my website. I have signed paperbacks, too, for readers in the US. Email me if you’re interested.

Another Week, Another Month – Another Book!

A snippet, then promos! This is from Bloodlines. I’ve been busy co-ordinating covers for the trilogy so I can move on to Tau Scorpii and get that finished before autumn. After that, the follow-up of Outliers: Team Two, working title Outliers: Texas. Yes, I’m going there!

~ ~ ~ ~ ~

It was a nightmare; she knew it, and there was nothing she could do to stop it. The fear was already there. Shan could hear voices outside, somewhere. They were angry voices, arguing and shouting. She moved to the window, recognizing the room as one of the private chambers for Council on the second floor of City Hall. The view west revealed Station Two, burning, and a bonfire in the street out front. People were fighting, baseball bats, 2×4s, anything they could find. Someone was shooting randomly from the rooftop of the old bank.

“Get away from the window,” a disembodied voice warned.

There was no one else in the room. Shan turned to look. It was pitch black and empty, creaking like old buildings do.

Fire in the Station was spreading upwards, glass breaking, smoke whipping in the air like there was a wind, but there wasn’t. She went back to the scene unfolding, knowing a group of Vistans were about to come out of the bank and confront the Scavengers en masse. Security had re-enacted the scenario with trainees over the years, showing them how things could go wrong, and how things could go right, in the middle of an attack.

“I said, get away from the window,” Rafe growled, striding into the room. He grabbed her by the hair, dragging her back towards the blackness beyond the doorway.

It was like she was in water, moving in slow motion, trying to fight back, to break away. He spun her around, hand on her throat.

A brilliant flash of light from outside drew their attention, and he released his grip on her. The light grew until it blotted out everything else. They both stared, watching as it faded. Shan knew what it was, knew it was the warhead on Missouri Breaks. Then the people outside began screaming. The windows shattered inwards.

http://www.topaz08.com

Outliers is a new release, I haven’t changed the price yet, it’s still 99c. Grab it now!

Outliers Pre Order & WeWriWa

First the WeWriWa! Click on the pic for more blogs about writing and books!

wewriwahttps://wewriwa.blogspot.com/

 

There’s so much new stuff in WordPress, please forgive the mess this post will be. This is the opening of Outliers, which I’m sure you’ve noticed is on pre-order now.

 * * * * * * * * * 

~I see you.~

Shannon had a bird’s-eye view of the Junction, a deadly place when the snow melted and nomads moved. Once, when there were many people, they traveled these crossroads by the thousands, to cities that held millions. Before she was born, when a World War changed everything.

Even humans.

The memory was like a nightmare, but this one was something she could manipulate and control. There was no danger. She needed to learn what they had concealed from her when she nearly died there, two years ago.

  * * * * * * * * * 

That’s it. This one if full of head games and hints of future novels and the previous trilogy. I hope it’s entertaining. It certainly kept me up many hours. On to the promo!

 

 

Outliers_promo_2a

Pre-Order now for 99¢!
Outliers: Team Two A Wildblood Novella
 
Welcome to the world of The Wildblood.
Trust is dangerous; ignorance is deadly.
 
A generation after World War Last, children of the survivors struggle to overcome the all-too-human penchant to fight with each other. The only thing more dangerous than the people you don’t know are the people you know.
Outliers: Team Two – the newly formed Team Two attempt to hide the secrets of The Vista and its Altered, the genetically enhanced humans, while remaining loyal to the oaths they swore to protect their home. The Vista is no longer alone in the world, and the world is a complicated place.
 
* * * * *
 
The Wildblood Trilogy Onewww.topaz08.com
The Vista, Renegades & Bloodlines
No one remembers what started the war, the big one. Civilization stopped, and what came next was fueled by rage and fear.
 
Twenty years on, a tiny refuge, a place called The Vista, may be one of the last vestiges of humanity. Isolated, guarded, and hiding a dark secret, the people have survived World War Last, and they are content with that. Their children, however, are not. The search for others will send them out into a world they know nothing about, where the line between enemy and ally is blurred.
 
All are available in paperback and eBookswww.topaz08.com

WeWriWa 12/20/2020 Part 2

Ok, trying this again. Check out the WeWriWa blog for authors sharing their books, bit by bit. It’s fun.

I’ve been AWOL this year, mostly, but I’m writing. This snippet is from Tau Scorpii, the book 2nd in queue to be released in 2021.

Summary

When Taryn rescues another human from a marauding band of Caeruleum, she is reunited with clansmen from her past. It puts her at odds with their new chieftan, as well as her own partner, a powerful privateer. They discover there are more imminent problems, ones they cannot control and must unite to survive. Easier said than done, when each of them are strong-willed, intense, and have their own plans for the future to set in motion.

Sedna is home to hundreds predatory alien species. Humans are one of them. They’ve been there long enough to adapt, but not so long that all of them have forgotten, it’s not their world. The weather is changing. Humans are no longer at the top of the food chain.

(Garrett is injured, Taryn is bossy. They have just met. No, they are not the romance sort of thing that happens later.)

~ ~ ~ ~ ~

Garrett flexed his limbs, his leg, carefully, flinching, “It’s not deep, but out here,” he shrugged, “Bad enough.”

“Or you could drop your pants and let me stitch it,” Taryn offered.

“Have you ever worked on a human patient?”

Folding her arms, she nodded towards the eastern horizon, “Do you see that tiny cloud, way out there – that might be a puff of smoke, a Denzik herd stampeding, a crawler kicking up dust. My opinion, that is a haboob about to start up and roll this way and we’re going to have to dig in right here,” she indicated the dune they stopped beside. “You can sit here and bleed, or you can let me fix it, because I’ve sewn up dozens of wounded animals, humans included.”

Pushing himself up and out of the crawler, he balanced carefully, towering over her, then moved aside. “Dig your hole and we’ll get on with this, I’m no good to you crippled.”

~ ~ ~ ~ ~

And that’s my 8. Sorry for the creative punctuation!

I have a number of books in the works. Outliers: Team Two will be the first one out next year, followed by this one. With some luck and some persistence, a third book will happen although I’m not entirely certain which.

The Wildblood: Trilogy One books have all been reduced in price, in anticipation of a new one. The box set is also on sale until Christmas.

WeWriWa 10/25/2020

If you enjoy these snippets, head on over to the WrWriWa blog and find a bunch more. It’s fun!

https://wewriwa.blogspot.com/

I’m at that stage of a book where I wonder if it’s actually a book, or a train-wreck. I keep reminding myself that it’s a draft and I can fix it all up and make it presentable. Self-doubt must be a constant for authors, because I do this every book. This one seems to be worse, but it’s because I want to make it a stand alone, and it’s not, not yet, not until I do some polishing.

Anyway, some words.

You know what happened in The Wildblood: Trilogy One, but what are the stories you don’t know? Outliers explores parts of The Wildblood world kept hidden, the stories yet to be told.

A generation after World War 3, children of the survivors struggle to overcome the all-too-human penchant to fight with each other. The only thing more dangerous than the people you don’t know, are the people you do know.

(Shannon and Green discussing the path their lives have taken, and the single reason she questions if she’ll ever have children.)

~ ~ ~ ~ ~

“I met someone, both of his parents were Altered, and he has inherited as well as engineered Altered genetics. He might be an ally, and despite that, he scares the hell out of me.”

“Why?”

“It’s a fairly simple thing, for me to sense other Altered; that ability has changed, too, but that isn’t the part of this that’s bad. When I ‘see’ him like that, it’s different,” Shan remembered the encounters.

Green knew who she meant, even if he wasn’t supposed to and he also knew very few things scared her. “You can’t sense him.”

“It’s almost the opposite, like staring at the sun – he blots out everything else, and when I look away, the afterimage is still there, for a long time. It hurts.”

(And that’s 10! Just to finish the idea, a few more.)

“You?” he said, alarmed.

“I get a blazing migraine. It fades, with the afterimage. I’ve only tread that ground twice. Honestly, Damon,” she dropped her voice to a whisper. “I’m afraid, if I tried any extended contact with him, it would kill me, or fry my brain. Something painful, and permanent.”

~ ~ ~ ~ ~

Shannon is the Gen En, the Altered, and her secrets run deep. Born weeks after the events they call World War Last, she has never known any other life – the struggle to survive, and the struggle to conceal what she is. Sworn to protect The Vista, she’s been exiled for her efforts. It won’t change her loyalties, it will only make it more difficult to uphold her oaths.

Ballentyne was a teenager during the war and has believed for decades that it was long over. Making sure any resurgence stays clear of Montana has become his main priority, even if it means alienating friends and family.

Green has ambitions to become a doctor, knowing his time in Vista Security is limited. He has watched Security splinter, and his friends die. Only one thing is keeping him there now, and that is Shannon.

Team Two – The first book explores Capt. Shannon Allen and Team Two, Capt. Damon Green and Maj. Mick Ballentyne; their efforts to hide the secrets of The Vista and its Altered, the genetically engineered humans, while remaining loyal to the oaths they swore to protect their home. The Vista is no longer alone in the world, and the world is a complicated place.

This novel is a segue between The Wildblood: Trilogy One and the upcoming stand-alone novels.

WeWriWa 10/18/2020

Check out the WeWriWa blog! You won’t be disappointed. I mean, authors willing to share their Works-In-Progress. Also stop by Snippet Sunday for even more books.

Outliers has gone off to some Beta Readers. This should be interesting. Then of course, edits. I won’t even comment on that. I’m curious as to how this will be received. It’s the same world, same characters, different parts of a larger story. We shall see. Here’s some words from it.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~

You know what happened in The Wildblood: Trilogy One, but what are the stories you don’t know? Outliers explores parts of The Wildblood world kept hidden, the stories yet to be told.

A generation after World War 3, children of the survivors struggle to overcome the all-too-human penchant to fight with each other. The only thing more dangerous than the people you don’t know, are the people you do know.

Team Two – The first book explores Capt. Shannon Allen and Team Two, Capt. Damon Green and Maj. Mick Ballentyne; their efforts to hide the secrets of The Vista and its Altered, the genetically engineered humans, while remaining loyal to the oaths they swore to protect their home. The Vista is no longer alone in the world, and the world is a complicated place.

This novel is a segue between The Wildblood: Trilogy One and the upcoming stand-alone novels.

(Harlan and Kaden, and the dilemma of the Wildblood. Shannon is helping them clear out an old biotech facility and doesn’t really know what she’s doing. They are in another state.) Sorry for the creative punctuation.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~

Harlan went back to reading the newspaper, the weekly six page edition printed in Black Hills and distributed around the territory; current number of subscribers was four hundred and a few, but many households still held multiple families. The Vista and his city had a number of similarities and the haven was only one of them. No one, even Team Three, had thought to ask, either. When MacKenzie made the trip over, in the summer, he’d give him the tour.

Kaden stopped in mid-stride, rubbing his eyes, “She just set off the security measures on the second level.”

“On purpose – why?”

“On accident, and I have no idea how, luckily, it’s just a sonic blast; when she wakes up, it should take me about an hour, hour and a half, to get the rest of the files moved. She’s going to have one hell of a headache, and that’s going to bleed over to me.”

“Can I do anything for you?”

“Get this alliance set up so I can head south and not have to keep picking up Wildblood strays you send my way.”

~ ~ ~ ~ ~

Hopefully the editing isn’t as painful as I imagine. I’ll have a pre-order up ASAP, but I want to get this out there. My Real Life issues have once again been put on hold, and I have no clue how long it’s going to last. So, a promo!