Category Archives: Science fiction
A long time ago in a galaxy far, far away…no. That’s not right. A long time ago in the chaotic universe that exists inside my head, I imagined a scene. The scene was inspired by this ring. Pretty, isn’t it? It’s moonstone, a sodium potassium aluminium silicate. Interesting from a chemical point of view (having spent most of my life working as an analytic chemist, that kind of thing always gives me a thrill) but maybe a bit of a mouthful if you had to say it. Moonstone is a far more poetic description, and maybe more fitting to a scifi or mystical setting. I love the opalescent sheen and play of colours in what’s essentially a semi-translucent bit of white rock. The phenomenon is called adularescence, where the light is scattered between the thin layers of the mineral.
But back to my scene. I’d been wondering how to equip my two time-travelling central characters with a means to pay for the romantic meal they were enjoying. I was wearing the moonstone ring at the time, and it caught my eye. I imagined my heroine slipping the ring onto her hero’s finger, glinting in a halo of colours in the candlelight (yes, candles, even in the far future). The hero believing he’d been given a simple trinket.
“What is this?”
“It is beautiful.” He turned it in the light, watching the play of colour. “Thank you.”
“Oh, it’s not really an adornment. Most humans have that embedded in their arm here.” She touched the back of her wrist, and he flinched at the thought. “It’s an IDentity Ring In Situ. It’ll provide you with identification and credit to buy things. You’ll need it.”
“It’s your turn to pay for dinner.”
That story has never been finished, but the idea for the IDRIS stayed with me. By the time I wrote Gethyon, I used it as the standard form of ID, a chunk of crystal imbedded in all humans not long after birth that would record every essential detail of their lives and background.
Why a ring of crystal and not a chip? A wrist band? A digital passport even? Well, those have been done. I wanted something different, and something that would be with the individual at all times. I’d read about data storage on nanocrystals, and while they may not look like my IDRIS in their current form, I felt I could use the idea (the non-volatile storage of multiple terabytes of data on a one inch chip) realistically enough – with an artistic twist. A simple scan of an IDRIS, which can be done at a distance in the event of a criminal act, it can’t be faked, tampered with or erased. Only the ruling authority can change the data on the crystal. Only drastic measures will remove it, a fact my young hero is forced to consider…
A YA Science Fiction Novel
Released by Champagne Books 3rd June 2013
His father died. His mother abandoned him. In the depths of space, darkness seeks him.
Abandoned by his mother after his father’s death, Gethyon Rees feels at odds with his world and longs to travel the stars. But discovering he has the power to do so leaves him scarred for life. Worse, it alerts the Siah-dhu—a dark entity that seeks his kind for their special abilities—to his existence, and sets a bounty hunter on his trail.
When those same alien powers lead Gethyon to commit a terrible act, they also aid his escape. Marooned on the sea-world of Ulto Marinos, Gethyon and his twin sister must work off their debt to the Seagrafter captain who rescued them while Gethyon puzzles over their transportation. How has he done this? And what more is he capable of?
Before he can learn any answers, the Wardens arrive to arrest him for his crime. Can his powers save him now? And where will he end up next?
- BURST – http://burstbooks.ca/product.php?id_product=99
- Kobo – http://www.kobobooks.com/ebook/Gethyon/book-PBNMPmlj7E-LpAed79fkDQ/page1.html?s=Cgke5CRKHESGZxG7MmccQQ&r=1
- Amazon UK – http://www.amazon.co.uk/Gethyon-ebook/dp/B00D5UIQ80/
- Amazon US – http://www.amazon.com/Gethyon-ebook/dp/B00D5UIQ80/
- Omnilit – https://www.omnilit.com/product-gethyon-1216049-245.html?oid=
- B&N – http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/gethyon-pippa-jay/1115474634?ean=9781927454565
A stay-at-home mum of three who spent twelve years working as an Analytical Chemist in a Metals and Minerals laboratory, Pippa Jay bases her stories on a lifetime addiction to science-fiction books and films. Somewhere along the line a touch of romance crept into her work and refused to leave. Between torturing her characters, she spends the odd free moments trying to learn guitar, indulging in freestyle street dance and drinking high-caffeine coffee. Although happily settled in historical Colchester in the UK with her husband of 20 years, she continues to roam the rest of the Universe in her head. Her works have won a SFR Galaxy Award, and finaled in the Readers Favorite Award Contest and the Gulf Coast RWA Chapter Silken Sands Self-Published Star Award.
So, to celebrate the release of Gethyon, I’m offering a piece of crystal of my own, available internationally. Just use the rafflecopter to enter, and tell me in the comments which is your favourite gemstone and why. And don’t worry, I won’t require you to know its chemical formula to enter.
From a marketing point of view, probably the very most important aspect of a book is its cover. Especially if this is an unknown author, the cover should signal the content’s genre. A picture of a crinoline clad lady in the arms of a muscular man may lead to an assumption of regency romance. An image of a bunch of space ships in a battle might lead you to imagine space opera. The recent discussions about genre have caused me to re-evaluate what it is I write. I had imagined that because there are relationship issues in my books that I could badge them as science fiction romance. But after much soul-searching (described here) I think my original instinct was right. I write science fiction with a dollop of romance. The closest fit is space opera, or science fiction action/adventure. Or, if it floats your boat, ‘planetary romance‘. In that last one, romance is used in its old definition, not boy meets girl, hearts aflutter.
Okay, so I write space opera. If I persist with covers sporting well-ripped blokes, I’m probably unlikely to attract many of the traditional purchasers of SF and I may well put off some of the people who do read SFR and may be disappointed in the fact my books are not ‘romances’ in that the romance is not the driver of the plot. So I have changed my covers.
The new cover for Starheart portrays the space opera nature of the plot, along with a few plot elements such as asteroid mining and a ringed planet. I’ve also changed the blurb to better reflect the book.
Freighter Captain Jess Sondijk thought she had her life under control until Admiral Hudson Confederacy battle cruiser stops her ship to search for contraband. His questions reopen matters she had thought resolved. What if her husband’s death during an official boarding wasn’t accidental?
Hudson has his own questions. Who in the Confederacy is trading with the Ptorix? And what price is high enough to pay for starhearts, the prized jewels the aliens call the windows of the soul?
Jess and Hudson’s interests collide in more ways than one as they follow a shadowy trail of deceit and corruption in search of the truth. But while Jess is more than willing to put her life on the line to protect what’s hers, Hudson must balance the risk of inter-species war at worst and the end of his career at best, in a deadly game of political intrigue, murder and greed.
Yes, love and sex are part of my plots. Love is a real and very powerful emotion and I believe that delving into that part of human nature reveals a side of people that is ignored or glossed over in many action-adventure stories.
For those of you you have read my books already, I hope the covers don’t disappoint. For everybody else, I hope the covers work for you. Please let me know what you think.
A few posts have appeared lately about science fiction romance as a genre. Stuart Sharp took a swipe at the scientific credentials of SFR in this article. His post attracted some spirited response and this post at Tracing the Stars. Reading the comments is always such fun, isn’t it?
Mind you, I’ve taken a swipe at the scientific credentials of some SFR writers, too. Heavy on the romance, light on the science. Rest assured I’m not the only one to roll my eyes at yet another story about the tall, handsome, well-endowed alien men who need to kidnap Human women to replace the females they have inadvertently misplaced. But then again (and I’ve said this so often) if Star Wars gets a guernsey as science fiction, it seems all you need is a few planets and a space ship.
However, the purpose of this post is not to gripe about the science, but to look at the issue from the opposite point of view. What do romance readers think of science fiction romance?
I confess I don’t read romance much. I’m too interested in action and adventure to find a love story absorbing. Which probably tells you a fair bit about my writing. Some little while ago I wrote a blog post for a mainly romance audience at Keith Publications. I think it’s worth repeating.
Does the very idea of science in a romance scare your little cotton socks off? I guess for some people it would. It’s that word ‘science’, isn’t it, conjuring up visions of test tubes and physics and math.
But there’s much more to science fiction than that. Think about this. The difference between fantasy and science fiction is that in fantasy, magic is allowed. In a fantasy, the author doesn’t have to explain how the great warrior suddenly disappeared – she’s got a magic ring. But in science fiction, the author would explain that the ring is a crystal which excites the warrior’s aura, increasing the wavelength of light given off to a wavelength undetectable to the human eye. The warrior is therefore rendered invisible to those looking at her. (Or some such plausible rigmarole). There now. That’s wasn’t so bad, was it?
Let’s consider a piece of science fiction everyone has heard of – Star Wars. Some die-hard science fiction fans (like me) will say it includes a lot of fantasy and even more dodgy science. Which, as it happens, is true, but who cares? It has spaceships, princesses, ray guns, aliens and a whole heap of fun. And a little bit of romance.
Not much romance, I grant you. On the flame scale, it might score half a flame. Maybe a glowing coal? But a romance for all that. Remember the rather chaste kiss between Han Solo and Princess Leia in ‘The Empire Strikes Back’? I’ll bet I wasn’t the only one hoping they’d get it on a bit better than that. Soooo disappointing. But… Star Wars is a family show, not suitable for any hot stuff.
Enter science fiction romance. It’s a growing sub-genre catering for folk who like their spaceships, aliens and rayguns mixed with a little bit of hanky-panky. Or maybe rather a lot of hanky-panky. It’s what I write and this next bit is going to look a lot like self promotion. Okay, yes, it is. But it also proves the point.
Here are a few reviews for my ‘Iron Admiral’ SF romance books, all Amazon reviews. (You won’t find them on Amazon because the book was re-published and the reviews didn’t transfer) Click on the covers to link to Amazon.
‘I had heard of this book quite a while ago and read some glowing reviews, but had delayed purchasing it because it isn’t my usual style. I like pure romance and when I deviate from that, I typically read fantasy or some variant of that. However, I bought this one, thinking that I would have it on my kindle for a back-up read, when I wasn’t reading something else. Once I started, though, I was hooked and didn’t really put the kindle down for more than a few minutes until I had finished both books the next afternoon. … I highly recommend this for people who love science fiction and romance together or separately.’
‘There is sufficient SF detail to satisfy the Geek in me with an emotionally adept character led story line that has enough erotic flavour to get me hot under the collar… TOH never knew what hit him after I read [this book]… Romance readers will love this. SF readers will love it as well, though. The worlds and the technology are well thought out, enhancing the space opera feel. The whole package is beautifully presented and I can highly recommend this book.’
‘I loved this book. I loved Allysha, I loved Saahren, I loved the main plot and all of the little subplots, I loved the science, I loved the politics, and I absolutely loved the ptorix. If you’re a fan of Star Wars or Star Trek or Battlestar Gallactica, you will probably really enjoy this book. It is so, so good.’
I could add a few reviews of a similar nature for my other books – Morgan’s Choice, Morgan’s Return and Starheart. Sure, I have abs on my covers. They sell books to red-blooded women (and a few blokes). But I also try to make my science plausible.
So you see, the bias goes both ways. And that, folks, is a shame.
If you’re a lover of romance, I would love you to leave a comment and tell me what you think.
I’m really not sure why, but I’ve found myself remembering Star Wars lines. Maybe it’s because I’m writing. Anyway, here’s a few of my favourites, a number being by him on the left. I found a few Youtube snippets, too
“These are not the droids you’re looking for.” http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=h7l8rWfLAus
“I find your lack of faith disturbing.” http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Zzs-OvfG8tE
“Aren’t you a little short for a stormtrooper?” http://starwars.com/watch/encyclo_princess_leiaorgana_a.html
“Will somebody get this big walking carpet out of my way?” http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=31A1WbkeD2I
Han: “We don’t have time to discuss this in committee.” Leia: “I am NOT a committee.”
“You have failed me for the last time, Admiral.” http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UYZoxY3sawE
“Apology accepted, Captain Needa.” http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=69WbIEEs288
“Do. Or do not. There is no try.”
Luke: “I don’t believe it!” Yoda: “That… is why you fail.”
Darth: “I… am your father.” Luke: “Noooooooooooooooooooooooooooo” http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=peh2T2543ec
and of course “May the Force be with you.”
Do you have any favourites to share?
I’m in the midst of writing new tiger story, the sequel to Black Tiger. It’s a stand-alone book, starring the two main characters but the setting is quite different, and based on the tiger trade in the US. In a recent post, I explained how I came to the decision that I’d write that story and I’m well under way.
Of course, I’ve done, am still doing, the research and I’ll check with people who know more than I do if I got it right. Thank goodness for the internet, and Google Earth. That said, you can’t beat experience. You can’t beat ‘been there, done that, bought the tee-shirt’.
The story starts in New York and I have been there, for just a few days. Sorry, I don’t heart NY. I’m not a big city person, and neither is Sally, my heroine. We both loved Central Park, though. It so happens, too, that the scene where Sally ends up in Harlem because she failed to realise she’d caught an express train also happened to me. Although I didn’t find a tiger in Harlem. Unlikely you say? Sure – but it has happened. Here’s the story of the Harlem tiger.
Now we get to the reason I’m writing this blog post, because I wrote a scene describing my abused tiger finally being released in a tiger sanctuary. Writing this, even thinking about it now, brought a tear to my eye. Why? Well, the world has turned many times since I was a child. I used to love to go to the zoo and see the animals. Our local zoo was small and these days has an enviable reputation in conservation of animals such as orang utans. But back then, like every other zoo in the world, animals were kept in concrete pens. I thought nothing of it at the time; few people did. But then opinion began to change about how animals should be kept, and the zoo changed its housing policy, first for the non-dangerous residents such as the deer and kangaroos. Then it was the big cat’s turn. Bear in mind these animals were never ill-treated. Many were born at the zoo. I’ll remember forever watching on TV as these cats (they were lions) first went into their new enclosure. And those memories are in this piece, as is footage from Carolina Tiger Rescue of a tiger being released into his new home. The writing is very raw, will probably change a little, but you get the idea. I hope. The tiger’s name is Ulysses.
Barbara Kranstein waved a hand. The forklift roared into life, edging the long prongs into the truck’s interior, then lifting. The operator backed the vehicle and the cage emerged with Ulysses standing, his tail waving. Sally felt his agitation and moved to where he could see her. Max, Bill and the forklift operator shifted the wheeled cage around and through the space between the double gates into the enclosure. It looked good, with a concrete den in a bank, a pool and wide areas of grass, as well as trees.
“We put food in the den for him,” Kranstein said, her gaze fixed on the cage.
When men were back behind the outer fence, Max pulled a cable that raised the second gate, then the cage.
Ulysses just stood for a few long moments. Sally sent him thoughts – safe, good, food, safe – and set her camera into video mode. Ash should see this, too. His head lowered, Ulysses took a step forward. Then another, patting the unfamiliar surface. A stride. And now he was beyond the gate and on the grass. The big cat threw himself down and rolled, this way, then that, wriggling his spine, chuffing his pleasure. Sally’s eyes brimmed, but she kept filming. Eyes closed, the tiger threw his head back and sucked some grass into his mouth. Another roll, back onto his stomach. Now he rose and padded over to the pool, large enough for a tiger to wallow. Once again, he patted, testing with one paw. When he walked into the water and collapsed with an almost human sigh, Sally couldn’t see properly any more.
I was quite sure, not so long ago, that I was going to write a new Morgan Selwood story this year. And maybe, later on, I will. But not just yet. The story just would not flow. I don’t believe in muses, I don’t believe there’s such a thing as writer’s block. In the immortal words of Yoda, “Do, or do not. There is no try.”
I thought the story was there. It was going to be based on a real, historical event but set in space. I started, wrote a few hundred totally forgettable words and went and kicked a few things. Sure, life was a huge distraction for me in the last little while, but now I’d started again, surely I could get on with it.
You see, the thing is with me that I can’t write it until I can (vicariously) live my story. I stand outside watching the sunset, going through lines of dialogue in my head. Or sometimes out loud. The scene plays, I sort of know what things look like and I can add details in an editing pass, no problem. With the Morgan story, it just wasn’t happening. One reason was that I hadn’t sufficiently converted the plot to space opera. That’s what the Morgan stories are about. Planet-hopping, high action is what I imagine readers will expect. This was going to be very, very planet based. I needed to rethink the action so I could add a spaceship and a space battle or two.
So I left the story in limbo and went and did something else, which was checking out Big Cat Rescue in Tampa, Florida. (On line, of course, although I’d love to visit.) One or two people have encouraged me to write another Black Tiger story and since tiger conservation is dear to my heart, it made sense. (For those who don’t know, all profits from ‘Black Tiger’ go to tiger conservation.
I watched a string of videos and read the stories about these cats and how they are treated. Tigers, lions, leopards and the like are not house pets. You cannot take the ‘wild’ out of them. One of the most telling statements I heard/read was that while a tiger will fight to the death for her cubs and is a wonderful mother, when they are grown there isn’t any lingering love. A tiger will fight its mother for territory. She’s just another rival. So bleating “but I reared him from a cub” when the cat turns and bites you isn’t worth a piece of… anything. In a number of cases, cats have injured or killed their ‘owners’. And some of the conditions these poor beasts were kept in… look for yourself. Check some of the other stories, too. And read the stories about cubs exploited in ‘pay for petting‘ practices.
Well, all of a sudden I had my story. I hesitated for a few days, coming up with a powerful villain who could match – indeed, defeat – my two weretiger protagonists, Ash and Sally. I’m having fun again, enjoying the difficult process of writing a book. Half the profits for this book will go to a US tiger rescue group. Not because it’ll help tigers survive in the wild – it won’t – but because these beasts don’t deserve to be abused for the sake of human exploitation and greed. I admire what BCR and Carolina Tiger Rescue are doing (I’m sure there are others), and fully support their actions to ban people from keeping exotic animals as pets. In Australia, you need special permits to allow you to keep reptiles or protected native birds. You’ll only find a tiger in a real, accredited, zoo, not stuck in a tiny, concrete cage at a gas station like Tony the truck stop tiger.
I’ve mentioned elsewhere that there are more tigers in backyards and ‘zoos’ in the US than there are in the wild. But those cats are usually born in America, they are hybrids derived from matings between whichever tigers are around. You think puppy farms are bad? And (like cats and dogs) most of these beasts will live miserable lives and end up dead, killed for their hides and body parts.
OK, time to get off the soapbox. Breathe deeply…
Now then, back to writing and being diverted from a project…
Has something like this ever happened to any of my writer friends? Please share.
May the 4th. Star Wars day. Back in 1977 a Galaxy Far Far Away crawled up the screen of a theatre near you. Since then, a whole new generation has been introduced to the worlds of the Force and an industry is in full swing, churning out books, toys, games, costumes – you name it. Yes, the science is suspect (at best), the worlds are alternative Earths, the aliens awfully humanoid. But through it all, I loved it and I still do.
Back then, I was teaching. My ten-year-old class loved the new movie. I didn’t go and see it until the long summer break, some nine months later. I’m not a great movie fan and science fiction for me was Asimov, Clarke, Heinlein, Bradbury. I’d LOVED 2001: A Space Odyssey, so this kid’s SF fantasy romp was beneath my level of sophistication. Still, needs must. I went along to the movies and was surprised to find I thoroughly enjoyed it. Lucas hadn’t needed to call it “A New Hope” back then. I particularly, especially loved that opening scene where the ISD (Imperial Star Destroyer to those not in the loop) chases Leia’s consular ship. Yes, I ducked. That was truly awesome.
But when The Empire Strikes Back was released, my mood changed from “what fun” to a gibbering, orgasmic mess. I saw that movie four times in ten days. Why? Luke Skywatcher? Nah. Luke never did it for me. Han? Yeah, okay, not bad. Darth Vader???? Oh, yesssss. Tall, dark and powerful. In ANH he was portrayed as a shouting bully-boy with smudges on his face mask, albeit with a quirky sense of humour. In TESB he has grown. He’s the man in charge. His face mask gleams. His sense of humour is still there. And he’s got… EXECUTOR. Be still my pounding heart. The ultimate spaceship. Oh, man. That scene where Vader is at the picture window on the bridge, surveying the Imperial Fleet, every massive ISD dwarfed by the mighty flagship. Excuse me while I dribble. And with the Imperial March playing in the background – da da da dada da dada daaaahhhh…
I bought the figures, the models, the books (don’t bother) and eventually, the movies – in VHS (I still have them). I reckon I’ve seen TESB a hundred times or more.
I couldn’t wait for
Revenge Return of the Jedi. But it didn’t really do it for me. Oh, the speeder bikes were cool and Executor was back. But some of it was so… dumb. Like Leia in a metal bikini. WTF was Jabba the Hutt intending to do with her? I mean… you hear the stories about sheep and camels. But really? Surely Jabba would be expected to take a fancy to one of his own kind? Later on, the Emperor’s idea of persuading Luke to join him would’ve had him kicked out of the snake oil salesmen’s guild. Very clumsy. And building another Death Star with the same intrinsic fault? Dumb dumb dumb. And then they crashed Executor. My heart was shattered.
Still, I was desperately disappointed when the series ended. Fortunately, spin-off books began to appear, some worthwhile, some garbage. Timothy Zahn’s Heir to the Empire trilogy was a stand-out (here’s my take on why) and Brian Daley’s The Han Solo Adventures was also well worth an afternoon or two. Alan Dean Foster’s Splinter of the Mind’s Eye was a bit of fun, set between ANH and TESB.
Like many others, I was ecstatic when Lucas announced the three films filling in Darth Vader’s early years. But I’ll talk about those movies another time.
Your turn. What did you love and hate about Star Wars? Are you still a fan?
My contribution to this week’s SFR snippets is a piece from my space opera, Morgan’s Choice.
Morgan bolted, back toward the reflecting pool where the shuttle stood.
Behind her the building moaned as if in pain. She turned as a wall of sound crashed around her. Smoke surged. Fragments of rubble pattered out of the sky like some strange hail. Somebody caught her arm. “Quickly, this way.”
They darted down a passage between two buildings.
No, this was wrong. Morgan slowed, pulling back against the insistent tug on her arm. “The shuttle’s that way.” She peered, trying to discern the face behind the helmet.
Hands grabbed her, pulled her arms back behind her.
She arched and fought, straining against the pressure. The man released his grip a little and fumbled with something. Morgan kicked backwards. Her boot connected. He swore and moved his leg. She whirled and twisted, broke one arm out of his grip. Someone else thrust forward, hands outstretched. She wrenched her arm free and thrust her head at the new attacker. The head butt clashed against her assailant’s helmet and he staggered back. Now. She sprinted. Three strides and arms locked around her thighs. The roadway rose to meet her.
A hand reached over her shoulder and pressed the helmet release. The sections snapped down into the suit. She felt a sharp jab in her neck.
Thanks for reading – and be sure to catch up with this week’s other contributions.
|1.||Misa Buckley||3.||Maria Hammarblad|
|2.||Rachel Leigh Smith|
Sometimes things happen which we’d rather avoid. One of those just happened to me. For reasons beyond my control, I’ve had to change my publishing arrangements. So there’s going to be a bit of ‘blink and you’ll miss it’ going on with all my titles. All my books have been taken down from Omnilit and Smashwords, which means they’ll disappear from Barnes & Noble, Kobo and Apple. One by one, they’ll be removed from Amazon. It has already happened for Supertech and A Victory Celebration. But they’ll all be back as soon as I can manage it – in ebook, anyway. Print versions may return later.
But the Good News is…
I’m taking the opportunity to make a few small tweaks to some of my titles. Reviews are people’s opinions, nothing more, nothing less. Some people like my books, others aren’t quite so impressed, a few hate them, and that’s fine. But sometimes, people will actually say something that sticks. For instance, in Morgan’s Choice some people said the romance between Ravindra and Morgan didn’t seem likely, or was contrived. What I tried to write was a situation where neither person wanted a relationship to happen, tried to avoid it, in fact. Perhaps I over emphasised the denial at the expense of the growing attraction. Now is a perfect opportunity to add a sentence here, a line there, to hopefully make my point a little clearer.
In The Iron Admiral, some people remarked they couldn’t visualise the human ships, although I had described the Ptorix ships very clearly. Mia Culpa. In fact, I know exactly what the human ships look like – I drew a plan of Saahren’s flagship, Arcturus. But the description was lost in editing, no doubt because I listened to that ‘rule’ that says not to use too much description. Again, a few sentences might help. We shall see.
So keep an eye out on your favourite ebook platform. All my books will be back. And remember, if you mention particular points in your review, you might just be making a difference. I won’t be cutting back on Jess’s swearing in Starheart, though. That’s the person she is. If the F word offends – don’t read the book.
For this week’s SFRB Presents, I thought I’d give you a look at the second of my two Iron Admiral books. In this brief interaction between Grand Admiral Saahren and the lady he loves, Allysha Marten, Saahren has turned up at the Fleet Ball, which Allysha has attended (in all innocence) with a young officer in her team. Saahren has asked her to dance.
“He’s one of my team, that’s all. I was doing him a favor.”
Double lines appeared between his eyebrows. “Yes, of course. He has a fiancée, has he not? And after the ball? What then? Back to your lonely apartment, by yourself?”
She bristled. “Of course.” What was he thinking?
“I have a better idea. You could come home with me.” His eyes gleamed with hunger, his voice soft as velvet. “I’ll be leaving soon.”
She shook her head. “No. No, I can’t do that. I came with Todd.” She blocked off the other little voice that whispered you’d like to, though; you’d certainly like to.
“So? Say goodnight to your people. Come with me.”
She locked eyes with him, those obsidian eyes that seemed to stare into her soul. “No.” The rest went unsaid; you can’t make me, I’m not yours to command.
He bent over her, so close she felt his breath on her cheek. “Then when you get home, call me. It’s time we… talked, my love.”
She didn’t miss the pause. Talking, eh? “Don’t call me that.”
“You can’t change the way I feel about you, Allysha. It’s pointless trying to avoid me, trying to hide.”
Thanks for dropping by. Be sure to check out all the other great reads in this week’s snippets.