Saturday, July 22, 2017

Veronica Scott shares Mission to Mahjundar & backstory

Thanks for having me as a repeat guest! Always love being here…
I’m still in edits on the new book (coming SOON, I promise!) so I’m going to talk about the older title I currently have on sale – Mission to Mahjundar. When I write, I like to have an element of mysticism and fantasy present, even in my ‘hardest’ scifi tales. I personally love the idea that science doesn’t answer all questions and that many things are possible, especially on the far flung worlds of the galaxy. I enjoy having my matter-of-fact Special Forces heroes encounter inexplicable things that can’t be affected or deterred with blaster fire.
The planet Mahjundar is full of elements hovering just out of sight, fantastical forces and powers at work, some benevolent and others decidedly not. Major Mike Varone, the hero of the tale, has arrived to search for survivors of a spaceship crash in the mountains. Pretty straightforward stuff…but noooo, he gets drafted into escorting the blind Princess Shalira to her arranged marriage and his own mission goes off the rails right away.  The first stop on the journey is an abandoned temple, where the lady has to retrieve the key to her mother’s tomb, which involves petitioning the old pantheon of gods for assistance. The next stop is the mother’s tomb, where even more eerie events occur (and Mike was pretty shook up from the morning ceremony in the temple). I gave myself goosebumps when I wrote that scene!
I won’t do spoilers – too much – but later in the book they end up in the mountains and encounter a civilization worshipping an ancient, blood thirsty deity who bears a strange resemblance to one of Mike’s high tech enemies out in the stars…for this character I drew on my own encounter with a truly terrifying Aztec god (in statue form only, thank goodness) in a Mexico City museum. The overwhelming horror and ‘wrongness’ of the statue (to my eyes) left an indelible impression on me and was a perfect wellspring for the emotions I wanted Mahjundar’s equivalent to evoke in Mike, Shalira and the readers.
On a lighter note, I also had fun creating a fairy tale for the planet’s backstory, about the Princess of Shadows, and how she was eventually rescued by her Prince Charming. My heroine Shalira is the modern day embodiment of that fable.
So this book combines many of my favorite elements and I was honored that it received an SFR Galaxy Award in 2015.

The story:
An attempted assassination left Princess Shalira blind as a child and, now that she’s of marriageable age, her prospects are not good because of her disability. She’s resigned herself to an arranged marriage rather than face life under the thumb of her cold stepmother. But then she meets Mike Varone, a Sectors Special Forces officer sent to Mahjundar by the intergalactic government to retrieve a ship lost in her planet’s mountains. After Mike saves Shalira from another assassination attempt, she arranges for him to escort her across the planet to her future husband. She’s already falling hard for the deadly offworlder and knows she should deny herself the temptation he represents, but taking Mike along to protect her is the only way she’ll live long enough to escape her ruthless stepmother.
Mike, for his part, resists his growing attraction to the princess; he has a mission on this planet and rescuing the vulnerable but brave princess isn’t it. No matter how much he wishes it could be.
But what should have been an easy trek through Mahjundar’s peaceful lands swiftly turns into an ambush with danger around every turn. Shalira’s marriage begins to seem less like an arranged union and more like yet another planned assassination. The more they work together to survive, the harder it becomes to stop themselves from falling in love. Caught in a race against time, can they escape the hostile forces hunting them and make it off the planet?

The Excerpt  
This scene occurs late in the book, when Shalira is beginning to recover her eyesight. She and Mike’s teammate, Johnny Danver, are on their way to rescue Mike, who’s been captured by the local high priest. (I talked about Johnny, who got his own book later, in my last visit to Liza!) But first they have no choice but to walk through the inner sanctum of the god’s temple.
The evil emanating from the room ahead was already taking her breath away. The sensations were much the same as when Ishtananga had led her past the statue, but now she was more nervous because she and Johnny were vulnerable, so much depending on their success in finding and rescuing Mike and Saium. She closed her eyes tight as they crossed the threshold, knowing she could make her way perfectly well without seeing the horror they were walking past.
She thought she heard a voice, whispering just below the threshold of her hearing, urging her to open her eyes and behold the glory of Tlazomiccuhtli. Horrified, she let out a little gasp and bit her lip, fighting the effects of the mental assault. The temptation to peek, a little bit, at the effigy they were passing became more than an irritation, then a compulsion she had to actively combat. She realized Johnny was barely walking.
“What’s the matter?” she whispered.
There was no answer, and he stopped.
“Johnny.” She shook his shoulder, horrified to find his hand was now at his side, blaster pointed at the floor. With her abnormally keen hearing, she was positive no one else had entered the room. Opening her eyes, she tried again to jar her companion into speech or movement. Following the direction of his gaze, she beheld Tlazomiccuhtli for herself and fell to her knees, retching at the sheer horror. Arms crossed over her gut, Shalira raised her head to take another cautious glance in the torchlight.
After a single, horrified glance, Shalira forced herself to look away from Tlazomiccuhtli, shaking her head, trying to clear the dizziness.
She stood, checking on Johnny who seemed locked into position, literally transfixed, either by the dark powers Tlazomiccuhtli wielded or his own memories, or both. Shalira glanced at her hands and realized she was projecting pale green light from every pore. Startled, she stepped back, losing contact with the sergeant. Instinctively she clutched her amulet and found it warm to her touch. Pavmiraia must be protecting me, as much as she can in this horrible place. Frantic with the need to move, Shalira tugged harder on the paralyzed Johnny but couldn’t rouse him from the trance or traumatic state he was in. Unblinking, he stared straight at the effigy, his body rigid.
Dizziness was overtaking her senses, whether from the smoke or the influence of Tlazomiccuhtli she wasn’t sure. Reaching a decision, she closed her eyes and took off her amulet, which she looped over Johnny’s head. The end of the chain slipped from her fingers as if pulled and she heard the locket clatter onto the stone floor. Kneeling, Shalira swept the floor with her hands. Frustrated, she risked opening one eye and immediately felt the pull to turn toward Tlazomiccuhtli and worship him. Fortunately she caught a glimpse of her locket, shining with the pale green glow, half-hidden under a table supporting a cage of hissing snakes. Forcing herself to move away from the statue, praying the snakes couldn’t escape the enclosure, she crawled to retrieve the locket and brought it back to Johnny. As soon as she fastened the chain around his neck, he jerked and blinked, rubbing his forehead.
“Can you walk now?” Shalira asked, closing her eyes against the hypnotic pull of the god, but not letting go of his sleeve. “Close your eyes and lean on me, soldier.”
He mumbled something in Basic that she took for agreement.
She led him out of the chamber, counting the steps and listening to the echoes, although it was hard to hear over the voices in her head, calling her to return to Tlazomiccuhtli’s embrace.

Buy Links: 
Amazon     Barnes & Noble   iTunes      KOBO   

Author Bio:
Best Selling Science Fiction & Paranormal Romance author and “SciFi Encounters” columnist for the USA Today Happily Ever After blog, Veronica Scott grew up in a house with a library as its heart. Dad loved science fiction, Mom loved ancient history and Veronica thought there needed to be more romance in everything. When she ran out of books to read, she started writing her own stories.
Seven time winner of the SFR Galaxy Award, as well as a National Excellence in Romance Fiction Award, Veronica is also the proud recipient of a NASA Exceptional Service Medal relating to her former day job, not her romances! She recently was honored to read the part of Star Trek Crew Member in the audiobook production of Harlan Ellison’s “City On the Edge of Forever.”
Amazon Author Page: 

Wednesday, July 19, 2017

Cynthia A Clement shares aHunter4Fire

aHunter4Hire Series

Imagine what would happen if a group of Elite Alien Warriors crash landed on Earth. This is exactly what occurs in my SciFi Romance Series. These aliens look human, but are larger, stronger, and genetically modified to be the best soldiers in the universe. They come from a planet where women rule and men obey. They’ve been bred to protect all women and children, and live by a Sacred Code that places honor above all else.

Hunters were forbidden to mate on their home planet, but once they land on Earth, they find their one and only pair bond. They will do anything to protect their mate, including dying. As they adjust to life on Earth, they use their unique skills to protect those in need and exact justice.

The seventh book follows Firbin and his mate Marissa as they struggle to stay alive and prevent a deadly weapon from getting into the wrong hands.


He’s bound to his code, but she’s the one he wants. Will love bring them together, or will duty tear them apart?
Firbin is part of the attack on an Albireon stronghold when he rescues Marissa. His expertise in weapons and explosives is needed for the continued skirmish, but he can’t abandon the woman he is starting to bond with ….
The last thing Marissa remembers is speaking with her boss, the CEO of a multi-national oil company. When a new lethal weapon is used against the Hunters, it is imperative that they track down the location of the devices before they are unleashed on the human race. Will Marissa be able to help them locate the deadly armaments?
As the pair work to stay alive, tensions flare and sparks fly. Can Firbin and his team find the weapons before it is too late? Dare Marissa believe that the bond between them is real?


Firbin would be the last to leave.
It was his responsibility to ensure that he destroyed the stairs and any access to the rail system from the base. When he was finished, it would take a long time to clear the debris. Every stone and step was to be demolished to rubble that would clog the entranceway. That would buy them enough time to reach safety.
He was connecting two of the ignition switches when someone sat on the stair beside him. “Aren’t you going with the others?”
Shock and then a shiver of pleasure went through Firbin at the sound of Marissa’s voice. “I must set the charges. You need to leave.”
Marissa took off one of her shoes. “I’m staying with you.”
“It is not safe.”
“You’re here.” She grabbed the heel of the shoe and slammed it against one of the stairs until it broke it off. “There. Now I’m even.”
Firbin looked up with a frown. “I do not understand. How can a person be crooked?”
“My shoes.” Marissa held up a navy pump in one hand and its heel in the other. “Somehow in the scuffle that brought me to this place, the heel of one of my shoes was broken. Now I can walk on my own.”
“You did not like me carrying you?”
Marissa shrugged. “Maybe I liked it too much.”
Firbin grinned. She was an unusual person. Most people in her situation would have rushed away to be with the others where it was safer. Instead, she thought it was safe with him. The only explanation was that she did not understand his work.
“I am the explosives expert.” Firbin placed more of the thermite along the railing. “You need to get a safe distance from me.”
“Are you good?”
“I am a Hunter. We do what is honorable and right.”
Marissa giggled. “I meant are you good at explosives?”
“I am the best.”
“Then there is no need for me to run.”
“It is as you wish.”
Firbin shrugged and continued setting the charges. Time was important and if Marissa wanted to stay beside him, so be it. It was comforting in a strange way. He wasn’t going to force her to do as he asked. She was a woman. Women were to be obeyed.

Book Link:

About the Author

Cynthia Clement is an award winning author who began writing stories in her teens, but it wasn’t until her forties that she became serious about writing. She believes in second chances, exploring new ideas, and bringing the impossible to life. Her novels, whether historical, contemporary, or science fiction, all focus on love, honor, and intrigue.

She lives in Canada with her husband of thirty-three years, her son, and one dachshund, Norman. She has an eclectic range of interests including paranormal phenomena, ghost hunting, quilting, reading, gardening, and great conversation.

Her first book, The Seduction of Sarah, was a finalist in the HOLT Medallion Best First Book Category. Her book, aHunter4Rescue, has placed first in the 2014 International Digital Awards in the Paranormal Category and received third place in the 2014 ACRA Heart of Excellence Reader's Choice Award, Paranormal Romance Category


Sunday, July 16, 2017

Rosalie Redd shares Clone Me A Lover - New Release

Today, I have Rosalie Redd over with her latest book, Clone Me A Lover.

I for one, cannot wait to read it!

Clone Me a Lover
Rosalie Redd 


Love is a dangerous, forbidden emotion.

Human clone Angelo Thirteen craves something illicit—to fall in love. When a tenacious female Altonian retrieves his escape pod from the rubble of a shipwreck, he may just get his chance. Drawn to her determined spirit and mesmerizing golden eyes, he must pierce the battle thickened walls surrounding her heart to uncover what he covets most.

Elle cares about two things in the universe—her ship and her brother. When her sibling is imprisoned on a savage ice world nothing will derail her from her recovery mission, that is, until she rescues a sexy human clone from the icy coldness of space. Falling for his tender, sensuous nature wasn’t part of her plan and now she must choose between saving her brother from Alta’s prison or risking her heart.
Lose yourself in the Interstellar Lovers series with this delicious tale of sensual discovery and longing.


 “I…didn’t hear you come in. How long have you been here?”
He leaned against the doorframe, his arms crossed. A slow smile tugged at his lips, and she focused on them. They were so tempting, and it was all she could do to pull her gaze to his eyes.
“Long enough to watch you make that…squirrel?”
A nervous laugh broke from her lips. “This is an ornithium, a small sub-surface dweller from our planet. The tiny creature comes above ground to retrieve nuts that fall from the trees during the season’s first frost. It is the good luck symbol for our winter celebration—Lintria, representing hope and love, for if this small animal can survive in the harshest of conditions, so can we.”
“I see. When is your next observance?” His calm demeanor called to her, sending a tingle of curiosity and excitement along her nerves.
“In a few days, when our sun is lowest in the horizon in the southern hemisphere. This special day is celebrated by everyone in our culture.” Her throat constricted. Not everyone. Toman was still in jail. If she didn’t return to get him out before the celebration, he’d observe the rite in the mines and never participate in another. I can’t think about that.
With a quick swallow, she focused her attention on the sexy man in front of her. “Thank you, again, for replacing the reactor.”
His gaze flicked to her mouth before returning to her eyes. The brown in his irises deepened.
Warmth spread between her thighs, and she bit her lip.
He took a step forward, closing the distance between them. “It was the least I could do, given you saved me from a long, cold, lonely journey through space.”
“Well, then, seems we’ve saved each other.”

Book links:






Author bio:
After finishing a rewarding career in finance and accounting, it was time for award-winning author Rosalie Redd to put away the spreadsheets and take out the word processor. She pens paranormal, science fiction, and fantasy romance in her office cave located in Oregon, where rain is just another excuse to keep writing.

Social media links:

Thursday, July 13, 2017

Janie St. Clair shares Freelance Exorcists

Science fiction and world religions collide in the thrilling series:

A group of teens must work together to banish evil spirits according to their own religious traditions. But where reality ends and the fantasy begins… that is for the reader to decide.

Organized religions get a bad rap these days. Most of what we see in popular media are members of religious traditions depicted as dark and sinful, ignorant and naïve, or misguided and judgmental. However, there is another side to each religious tradition: life-changing wisdom, devotions that inspire love and understanding, and the tools needed to defeat the forces of evil.

The FREELANCE EXORCISTS Series gives each of the world’s most popular religions a chance to have their softer, more rational voices heard and their doctrines explained. At the same time, the reader will be sucked into a fast-paced fantasy plot of super-powered teenagers who vow to protect unsuspecting humans from the machinations of ancient, invisible, evil spirits.

The series will deal with most of the major world religions to show that beneath all our perceived differences, our commonalities reveal deep truths about our existence. Beneath it all, we each hunger for a taste of the mystical.

"Just as a candle cannot burn without fire,
men cannot live without a spiritual life."
 -the Buddha

The series starts with Buddhism in
Peter Hunter and the Minions of Mara

Peter tried to convince himself that his karate teacher was just a little weird. Then in the fall of his eighth grade year, all his opinions changed: Sensei was completely and utterly crazy. He wanted to recruit Peter to become his apprentice in performing Buddhist exorcisms all over town.

Peter thought he had enough on his plate with the normal stresses of teenage life: dealing with parents, fitting in, making good grades, and getting the girl. How could he possibly be expected to add “battling ancient evil spirits” to the list?

In Peter Hunter and the Minions of Mara, one boy is given the necessary tools to take on the ancient, invisible forces of evil that ensnare humans daily. Peter finds his life revolutionized by Buddhism. He finds his life further transformed when the myths and lore of dark spirits are discovered to be real and active, hidden in plain view.

Can he overcome the temptations of Mara and his minions while protecting his fellow humans from their wrath and trickery?


“Do you believe in spirits?” Sensei asked him.

Peter felt a shiver up his spine. “Like ghosts and stuff?” he asked.

“Almost every world religion has some belief of spirits either good or bad, who interfere with our lives. Even in Buddhism, there’s Mara and his minions, called the asuras. According to the Buddha, they tempt men and women to make choices that distract them from the way of enlightenment. Do you believe any of this?”

“I’m open to the possibility,” Peter answered, “but honestly, I haven’t given it much thought. Why?”

Sensei Rob took a breath. “When I was younger, I took a year to study in India. While I was there, I met this guy. A Tibetan shaman or guru, like a spiritual expert. I witnessed him perform a ritual and save someone’s life. Afterwards, he told me that the spirits don’t just tempt people. Sometimes they take over their bodies.”

A fresh wave of goosebumps prickled Peter’s skin and he sincerely wished Sensei Charlie were there.

“Are you talking like demonic possession?” Peter gulped.

I don’t believe in all this paranormal crud, Peter reminded himself. Why am I getting freaked out here?

Rob nodded. “The guru, –Yes he was his name– said he could cast the asuras, the dark spirits, out of people and exorcise them.”

“And you,” Peter paused, “believed him?”

“I wouldn’t have, if I hadn’t seen it for myself. When a dark spirit takes over a person, you can tell. I mean, weird stuff happens, but it’s more than just that. You know it’s wrong. It reverberates within you, freezes you to the core. You can’t really say what it is, you just feel the darkness. I saw Yeshe expel the spirit from the person and then he went back to normal like it had never happened.”

“So what are you…?”

Sensei Rob held up a hand to stop him. “Asuras are spirits who bear ill will towards humans. They want to cause us pain. Yeshe said he had made a pact with a good spirit, called a deva, a spirit of positivity and kindness. This deva would act in him and through him and help him expel the bad spirits. It was really a lot to take in, as I’m sure it is for you right now. But then, the strangest thing happened.”

“Stranger than everything else?” Peter asked dryly.

“Yes, he told me that I had been chosen to be his successor.”

Peter felt another chill up his spine.

“He said there was another deva waiting to make contact with me. If I accepted the mission, I’d be able to save people from the asuras, too. So I let him train me to be an exorcist. And that was about fifteen years ago.”

“So are you saying…?” Peter started.

“Shh,” Sensei Rob said sharply. “Then when I returned to the states and settled in this town, I became the exorcist here. The devas position at least one of us in designated areas. So when someone’s possessed by an evil spirit and they’re ready to be free, I rush out to help them. Sometimes it’s an easy fight and sometimes I get injured.” He pointed to the bandage on his forearm. “It’s not an easy job, but I know I’m helping people. That makes it rewarding. So there you have it. That’s why I had to leave suddenly last time.”

Rob paused. Peter waited for him to say something.

“Oh. Am I allowed to talk now?” Peter asked.

“Yes, you’re allowed, punk.”

“Okay,” Peter bluffed a calm and disbelieving attitude. “Assuming this is the truth, why are you telling me?”

“Because you’re next.”

Another shudder seized Peter’s senses.

“Uhhh… What now?”

To learn more, visit the blog at:

If you’re ready to commit, check out the books, available for pre-order on Amazon:

Thrilling action, charming characters, wit, and wisdom combine in a story that will leave you wishing it were real...
...and thanking God it’s not.

About the Author:
Janie St. Clair has lived most of her life lost in another world. She was frequently trapped in a faraway galaxy, a parallel dimension, or an ancient civilization lost to time. From an early age, she has been trying to entertain and inspire others, whether through acting, singing, dancing, painting, or writing. She has also lived with a fervent passion for studying the religions of the world and discovering the common beliefs that connect us all. Her current project, Freelance Exorcists, seeks to marry her two passions into one thrilling tale.

Monday, July 10, 2017

KG Stutts shares her Amethyst Chronicles, new covers


Book 1 & 2 have their shiny new covers. I love them! Can't wait to see the cover and read book 3.

If you haven't read book 1 & 2, check them out.

Amethyst Chronicles: Winter's Kiss

Amethyst, a team of purple-eyed, genetically engineered super-soldiers and Earth's greatest weapon. Led by Ember Wilson, they destroy a weather machine created by Dr. Clayton Rudo who claimed he was going to use his device to save the planet. Amethyst was tried for treason and placed in stasis. Two years later, Dr. Rudo rebuilt his machine and froze Washington, D.C. and the west coast of the United States.

General Tom Blanchard brought Amethyst out of stasis to work with an elite Air Force team, led by Major Liam Ross. Tensions between Ember and Liam rise as they butt heads. Can they work together before Earth is completely under ice?
Book One  is available now at Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and Kobo.

Amethyst Chronicles: Croceus Poison

Ember lost it all when she lost Amethyst.

Now, as she recovers physically she must come to terms with her new reality. The struggle to find herself again will push those who care the most away even the men who love her.

In time, an opportunity to recreate her transformation presents itself. Will she risk herself to find what she had? Is it worth her team? Her heart?...

Book Two is now available at Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and Kobo

Third book in the series, 
Amethyst Chronicles: Past Reflections,
will be available in September!

Just another reason I'm looking forward to September!

About the author: K.G. Stutts is the author of several sci-fi romance series as well as a few romance stories. She has a degree in massage therapy. As a contributor to Independent Writers Association (IWA) her insights can be seen regularly there and on her own blog at and her website at

When she's not weaving words, she enjoys reading, playing RPGs, hockey, wrestling, and football, and is a big sci-fi nerd. Currently she resides in North Carolina, USA with her husband, Brad.                

Friday, July 7, 2017

JC Hay Discusses CyberPunk & shares Dubai Double Cross

Lifting the shadows on cyberpunk

Hi everyone, you may remember when I was here a couple of months ago talking about Firefly, Space Opera, and how it influenced my story Hearts and Minds. This time around, I want to talk about my other great science fiction love, and why Cyberpunk Romance is totally a thing.

Cyberpunk first showed up in the 80s as a perfectly timed amalgamation of futurism, the budding hacker mentality, and trans-humanism. The ideas of making a better body and the merging of mind and machine were matched against a future that only the excesses of the “Greed is Good” 80s could envision. Giant multinational corporations had eclipsed local governments, and fought their own wars with their private armies. Glittering chrome and bright neon defined the city streets, all shot through the rainsoaked, shadowed lens of the postwar noir aesthetic.

Stories like Neuromancer, Mona Lisa Overdrive, and Mirrorshades served as my gateway drug, and hooked me on this dangerous new future that felt so much closer than glittering spaceships and FTL travel. George Alec Effinger’s When Gravity Fails transported me to new places my quiet suburban life hadn’t before imagined. And films like Blade Runner firmly cemented the images of cyberpunk in my brain.

All of these things were part and parcel of what I wanted to recapture when I decided to create my first series setting. I updated some of the ideas, to match changing technology, and introduced a singular shadowy enemy – Corporate Services. The clearing house organization that hired and employed mercenaries to keep the the corporation’s hands clean. Most importantly, I wanted the heroes and heroines of my stories to reflect my love of cyberpunk’s "high-tech lowlifes" and my firm belief that everyone, no matter how broken they feel, deserves a happy ending.

It was also through the characters that I leaned hard into the genre’s "punk" aesthetic – these were not tales of dashing, billionaire playboys, except tangentially. I needed characters barely getting by in the cracks of a society that was at best indifferent to them. Mercenaries, thieves, boxers, and prostitutes. People who had little power other than what they could grab for themselves.

Despite having bionic arms and cybernetic eyes, despite being hackers and bodyguards, I wanted characters that didn’t just deserve a happily ever after; they earned it. Each of them carries their wounds – some more visibly than others. There’s no cybernetic upgrade to fix what’s wrong; only their willingness to give and receive love can heal them. 

For a limited time, the first book in the series is on sale for $0.99 – but I’m also giving away a copy to one lucky person who posts in the comments section below. Stop in and talk about your favorite cyberpunk stories, or what cybernetic enhancements you might want for yourself. I’ll look forward to seeing your replies!

Back Cover:
Elise is looking for an exit. Too many years as a top-talent thief in the digital shadows have whittled away her patience and her humanity. She’s not looking for complications, but with one more job, she’ll finally have enough money to leave the life for good.

Na’im does what he must to survive. Whether it’s selling his body to the corporate glitterati, or going on the run when things get bad – but even a survivor can be caught off guard, and his boss’s murder has left him with no one to trust but a thief with her own agenda.

Together, they’re on the run trying to figure out who framed them both and stay one step ahead of the murderer who’s close behind. Trust is a rare commodity for accidental lovers, but in a dark future where everything can be upgraded and emotions can be programmed, sometimes all that can keep you human is your heart.

Buy Link

Excerpt from Dubai Double-Cross:
Elise sighed. So much for this being a milk run. Just once I want to have a mission go one-hundred percent according to plan. She started to holster her pistol when a movement from the bathroom caught her attention. She rolled behind the bed and brought the weapon up, the green dot highlighting the center of a well-sculpted, hairless chest.

Damn, money and taste run hand in hand. Elise peeled her eyes away from the man’s gorgeous frame. He had the perfect complexion that came with wealth, but his well-defined abs and power-laden chest were natural. Nothing vat-grown about his physique at all, Elise noted with appreciation. Not that I have time to care about such things right now.

She zeroed the pistol on his head as she stood. “Step away from the bed. Who are you?”

Fear, grief and rage chased each other across the man’s face. “What did she ever do to you?”

Elise wiggled her pistol to call his attention to it. “Gun. I ask the questions. Let’s try again. Who are you?”

“Na’im. I’m Jalil—Miss Zaahir’s personal assistant.”

The euphemism made sense in pseudo-conservative Dubai, where the appearance of propriety needed to be maintained in spite of what happened behind closed doors. Still, she couldn’t resist wondering what enhancements he had beneath the surface—stamina, heightened sensitivity, almost certainly a skillset for a wide array of bedroom activities. It depended on how Zaahir’s tastes in the bedroom ran. She glanced at his temple and made out the port covers for an extensive cortical unit. “Na’im, step away from the bed.” When he complied, she continued. “Miss Zaahir was dead when I entered the room. With you being in the bathroom at the same time, you can understand why I am disinclined to trust you. So you stay still, and we’ll have a little talk.”

Despite herself, Elise let her vision dip to take in the full show. Na’im didn’t so much as blink at the examination, leaning against the wall next to the bathroom door. He pointed at his hips. “May I at least grab a towel?”

About JC Hay
JC Hay writes romantic science fiction and space opera, because the coolest gadgets in the world are useless without someone to share them.

In addition to Romance Writers of America, he is also a proud member of the SFR Brigade (for Science Fiction Romance), the Fantasy, Futuristic, and Paranormal Romance chapter, and a proud member of RWA’s PAN (the published authors network).

In addition to piracy in high space, JC writes the Corporate Services series, a set of connected cyberpunk romances set eighty years in our future where the limits of humanity are being stretched and tested.


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