30 March 2013

Another Excerpt from DEATH BRINGS VICTORY

Been a bit down lately, so haven't had a snippet posted for Saturday over the last couple of weeks. While I try to figure out what I should work on next, allow me to offer up a longer excerpt from my novel Death Brings Victory. And if you haven't picked up a copy, head on over and pick the store you frequent most...

And now for the excerpt...Aston's gone off with a Rulusian officer who serves as the ship's medic. Playing doctor? Uh oh...

We stepped inside, where about half of the stacked bunks were empty. She helped me unzip the white pressure suit, and I stepped out of it before plopping my butt down on an unused cot. Facing Jaclyn, I watched while she stepped over to the corner, rummaging through a wall-mounted medical supply cabinet. I stared at her thin, green figure in its black dress uniform.

She grabbed supplies while she talked. “It looked like they were going to blow your ship to bits out there.”

I hadn’t been so scared of death in quite a while, but played it cool. “I’ve been through worse.”

“I’m sure.”

She shut the small metal cabinet door, walked over and sat beside me. A small medication dispenser was in her right hand and a flexible pad in the other.

“Strip,” Jaclyn commanded.

I chuckled. “We barely know each other.”

She rolled her eyes. “You want me to fix up your shoulder or not?”

I reached for my right side, but pain roared through my left shoulder as I did. Clenching my teeth, I changed hands and awkwardly grabbed for the zipper at my neckline.

“Let me help.” Jaclyn placed her gear down, then reached across my chest. Her face drew near mine, with her silky smooth skin close enough to touch. A floral scent invaded my nostrils. She gave a little smile and winked before pulling the zipper down to my waist. The slick, black body suit slid off my chest, the material falling in a pile around my waist. Beads of sweat formed all over the exposed skin, and begin rolling down toward the bedding. She moved away slightly and stared at the various scars on my chest, the largest in particular running a quarter of the width across my torso.

“This must have a story behind it.” She raised an eyebrow, running a finger just below my ribs along the old wound. It took every bit of willpower I had not to jump at her touch.

I pursed my lips. “Bar fight.”

“The other guy must have been pretty upset at you.”

I didn’t even remember what we’d been fighting about. Strange, since I’d almost died.

“I imagine so.”

She pulled her finger away from the scarred tissue. “Looks like you’re lucky to be alive.”

“Guess so.” The other guy wasn’t so lucky. I omitted that tidbit of information.

She noticed the scarring in my shoulder. “Another fight?”

I grimaced, not willing to talk about that one. “You could say that.”

She lifted an eyebrow, but sensed my reluctance. Others tended to push for more, but Jaclyn simply pointed past me. “Turn.”

I followed Jaclyn’s instructions, then felt the medication dispenser prick my shoulder. A numbing fog spread throughout the area and brought instant relief.


“Don’t thank me just yet.”

I heard the rumpling of plastic and looked back as she scrunched the pad back and forth in her hands. It wasn’t something I’d seen before. I scrunched my eyebrows. “What exactly is that?”

Her light green eyes sparkled. “You’ll find out soon enough. Don’t worry.”

For emphasis, she leaned over and planted a kiss on the back of my damp shoulder. It would have served a little more use if she hadn’t used the numbing agent first.

Finished with her work on the pad, she laid it onto my shoulder and I nearly screamed as the fire-hot surface bypassed the numbing medication completely. I swore it burned the first three or four skin layers off.

“Aren’t medics supposed to do no harm?” I complained.

She chuckled. “You forget this isn’t my main job. Now, stop being a baby. It’ll be over soon enough.”

And as Jaclyn suggested, the heat passed into my shoulder and the pad normalized at a lower temperature just before she ripped it off. It felt better, but I wasn’t sure the excruciating pain had been worth it.

“Thanks.” I started to stand.

She pulled at my suit, sitting me back down. “Still not done.”

Then, she massaged my shoulder with her soft, green hands. The numbing agent was wearing off and it was almost as if my shoulder was good as new. I decided the pad had indeed been worth it, if only for Jaclyn’s touch.

I smirked, still facing the other direction. “So, you often take a hands-on technique in doctoring your crew?”

“No.” She planted another kiss. This time, the sensations raced full steam ahead.

I stumbled over my words. “Well, then...” She gripped my shoulder and massaged a bit deeper. I stopped talking.

Then, another voice interrupted. “What is this?”

Rione stood in the doorway when I turned to look. Her pressure suit was off, but she still wore the black body suit, while her long black hair was matted from the heat and humidity. Her emotion ridges were deep red in anger.

Jaclyn kept her focus on me. “Fixing Aston’s shoulder.”

It didn’t faze Rione. “Captain Dillager wants us to join him in his quarters. All of us.” She stormed out.

“What’s her problem?” Jaclyn pulled her hands away.

I shrugged, before easing my body suit back on and slipping out of the pressure suit completely.

She helped me with the zipper, her face right next to my own when she finished. “We’ll continue this later.”
Be sure to let me know what you think of this excerpt, or of the entire novel, if you've already read it.

18 March 2013

Happy Birthday, Death Brings Victory!

Celebrating one year in publication, Aston's third and latest novel, Death Brings Victory! If you haven't picked up a copy yet, why the heck not?

15 March 2013

SFFS: Bring on the Natives (Another FALLEN Snippet)

Welcome back to yet another installment of Science Fiction Fantasy Saturday here on the blog. Thanks for all the feedback you give on my snippets, and be sure to go visit all of the other writers through the SFFS link above.

This week, I'm continuing on with last week's snippet. from FALLEN. The natives are restless (or at least standing outside his ship)...

Ultimately, I couldn’t bring myself to harm anyone who wasn’t out to do the same, or usually worse, to me. I needed to clear these folks out of the area.

“Are they armed with weapons?”

“It is unknown whether the items they’re carrying are tools or weapons. They’re handheld and not energy-based.”

I wasn’t about to take any chances, so went straight for the secret compartment under my cot. Rather than stick with my old, trusty Mark II blaster, I decided to pick up my disintegrator cannon. I planned on giving them a proper demonstration on why they needed to vacate the area as soon as possible.

While you're waiting for next week's snippet, be sure to check out all of my other novels and novellas.

08 March 2013

SFFS: Another Snippet From Fallen

Welcome back to yet another installment of Science Fiction Fantasy Saturday here on the blog. Thanks for all the feedback you give on my snippets, and be sure to go visit all of the other writers through the SFFS link above as well.

This week, I'm jumping ahead a little bit (can't give away *ALL* my goodies, after all) in FALLEN. Aston escapes Jaysen Ro for the time being (as if there was any doubt), but has crash-landed on a nearby planet. Enjoy today's snippet...

Swapping out new modules for new ones took no time at all, and I certainly hoped Ro’s ship had suffered more damage than mine. If not, my escape plan was going to be short-lived.

Except Jeanie had to make it all the more interesting. “There appear to be several beings approaching.”

“It can’t be Ro and his thugs.”

“These seem to be natives of the planet.”

“Can we still lift off?”

Jeanie took a moment before responding. “The most likely result would be to cause them harm from flying sand from the underbelly exhaust ports.”

It was still mighty tempting, considering I didn’t know these people at all.

While you're waiting for next week's snippet, be sure to check out all of my other novels and novellas.

07 March 2013

Repairing the Blogroll

Apparently, when re-working my blog to my main site, my blogroll (over on the RH side) was completely eliminated. I've attempted to add as many as my feeble mind could remember, but I'm certain I've missed a bunch. If you notice yours isn't listed, let me know in the comments section and I'll get it added back in...

05 March 2013

An End of an Era

After nearly five years of my old website (with some even telling me that it looked like it was made in the 90s...oddly enough, the 90s were when I first got on the internet and started writing HTML), it was time for a change...so I've converted my blog here into a pseudo-site. Hopefully this will mean I'll be creating more posts on a more frequent basis. Be sure to wander around and let me know if you find any issues that slipped through the cracks (and not to worry, all of your old links should still be functional...).

02 March 2013


A friend of mine today in writer's group made a comment that got me thinking (which is never a good thing, ask anyone), along the lines of the fact that I'm always critical of items that end up in front of my editing pen. Now, this friend happens to be a full-time writer, multi-published, with publishers that have distributed her books far and wide, and we've been friends a long time. She has also been a big fan of my books (and vice versa) ever since she first saw them, so I'm not so sure about her taste, but hey...

The author in question...I do love her books, so go give them a read.

The comment struck me today for some reason. I've given comments and critiques to folks for many years, and I'm no different (in my mind, at least) with her than I am with any author. I have this built-in need to do my best for anyone, because that's how I'm wired. Writers always see things in another author's work that the other author may never see (and I'm not immune to that issue). That leads me to always give every thought that comes into my head when commenting or critiquing to the fullest extent, when another author asks (and when I have time to do it). The way I figure, I'm trying to give another author a tool to use for the next time they're editing their own work, to help them improve.

I've noticed, too, that I tend to get odd reactions from my direct employees (where my job puts me in a place where I need to comment and critique on their work), in that they almost seem fearful of my critiques. My assumed duty is the same thing there. I'm not trying to be mean or supercritical, just to help them improve so that they'll have the tools they need for the next time they're doing the same work.

My guess? This is why the comment hit me today...that maybe my mindset has been off-kilter this entire time. Perhaps all of those who've received writing critiques view me in the same vein as my employees (presumably) do...that I'm mean and supercritical. Perhaps my perception of what the feedback should be is not the same as those who are looking for my feedback.

So, then the question is...is being supercritical an issue?

I'd love to hear your thoughts...because at the moment, I have a chapter from Nancy that needs a critique.