We all owe a huge debt of thanks to our firefighters, our police, first responders, even those on the Federal level, FBI and Homeland Security, even if we don’t encounter them every day. They do what they do, not for their own self–aggrandizement, but for the health and safety of the rest of us.
In A SMALL DEGREE OF HOPE, heroine Kylie Sanderson is part of an interplanetary law enforcement branch that investigates alien incursions and a lot of X-Files kind of things. The Scientific and Investigative Research Taskforce (SIRT for short), has come to find out why so many women are dying, ending up in landfills and dumpsters, half-mutated into a reptilian form unknown on the planet.
The investigation takes Kylie much deeper into the reptilian plot than she expected to be, captured by them and transformed into a mindless reptile female. Griff rescues her and she’s treated and nearly healed. But then something worse happens and Kylie’s forced into a deadly choice:
“And if you remain reptile?” Griff held her by her shoulders, watching her face with such intensity she almost expected to be burnt by his eyes.
She couldn’t think about that. Right now, all that concerned her was the safety of her sister. “Then it happens.”
He continued to stare at her.
“Griff, when I graduated from the SIRT school, I took an oath, and I believe in that oath. I promised to serve and protect those who weren’t as powerful, who didn’t have choices, who were victims. Not only have I been a victim in this, but my sister’s now pulled in, too. I can’t just walk away.”
Hail, hail to those who serve. May they always come home safe and sound.
Even the smallest degree of hope can spark love.
Against her wealthy father’s demands, and the usual blockades of a male dominated profession, Kylie Sanderson proves worthy of her position as lead investigator of planet Andan’s Scientific and Investigative Research Taskforce. Someone is killing Andan’s women in an attempt to mutate them into reptiles. Kylie makes it her mission to discover who’s behind the murders and prevent more grotesque deaths.
Shapeshifting lizard Griff comes to Andan to stop his brethren from mutating other planets’ women into mindless breeding stock. Overcoming Kylie’s suspicious and defensive nature proves difficult, but he must in order to help the SIRT team thwart his planet’s scientists.
When Kylie is abducted and becomes the first human to survive the transformation, it’s up to Griff to rescue her so SIRT can restore her human form. On the run and desperate to unravel the mysteries of Kylie’s past to solve the crimes of their present, can she and Griff forge a future for themselves?
Now available at:
And for more great Saturday snippets, check out the loop here!
Tags: alien, author, book, heroes, law enforcement, Lyndi Alexander, Lyrical Press, publishing, science fiction, Science Fiction Fantasy Saturday, science fiction romance, SFFS, snippet, strong women, writer, writing
This week’s Sneak Peek is from my soon-to-be-released novel WINDMILLS, the first in a YA post-apocalyptic trilogy. If you or someone you know liked THE HUNGER GAMES, you’ll like this too. This scene is from a confrontation after Kwan and Zhong get from Hong Kong to San Francisco:
Li Zhong started off slow, shifting his shoulders every few driveways, trying to ease the claw of tightness that seized his breath. These moments came and went; they always passed. He simply needed to be patient.
Shouts rang out off to his right, the sound of one of the roving gangs, young men with not enough to do and too much frustration pent up inside. He’d suggested to the Hsus that they might be safer elsewhere, in a rural area where the gangs didn’t prowl by night like feral cats, but they were adamant they must remain. It was their home, Hsu said. If their son ever returned, that was where he would look for them. I just hope he does not find them dead.
Zhong continued, picking up his pace as his muscles finally seemed to find a rhythm and his inhalations were less troubled, although still shallow. Rounding the corner to the drugstore, he fastened on the idea that Mrs. Hsu could get the herbs to help him and held it close, like a child’s favorite toy, letting it comfort him.
The yelling of the gang got closer, and he checked his pocket for his knife. He’d defended local women from Seajay gang members on a couple of occasions, the women mistaking him for the mysterious Enforcer the Hsus spoke of often. Now, that’s one young man I’d like to meet.
As his mind wandered, a heavy stone landed in his path. He stumbled around it, although he didn’t trip. His breath caught, sending a sharp pain arrowing through his chest.
Someone grabbed the shoulder of his jacket and yanked him sideways against the brick building on the corner. He hit his head, but he already had the knife in his hand when he straightened to face his assailant.
“They let you out alone, old man? Don’t they worry what might happen to you?”
For more information about WINDMILLS and more excerpts, click the tab above. The book comes out in the next several weeks from Zumaya Publications and will be available in ebook and print at Amazon. com and other online retailers.
Here’s the blurb:
For other Sunday snippets, visit Sneak Peek Sunday.
The day for WINDMILLS’s release is coming along fast, and I wanted to include another snippet of this incredible book of my heart. After all the hardship I’ve gone through to see this one finally in print, it’s almost like childbirth–including the pains!– to send it into the world!
She finds there’s not so much pain in deciding what to take as there is in what to leave behind, as seen in this scene with her young cousin:
Her eyes focused at last on her well-worn stuffed dragon, the astrological symbol of good luck and her constant companion through her childhood, its faded velvet once red with shiny gold trim. She started to tuck it into her bag, but it felt out of place.
“Shuai, can you keep my dragon for me until I come back?”
Shuai slid off the bed and hit the floor, inching across to perch on the other bed where the dragon lay in state, guarding Kwan’s pillow.
“Do you mean it?”
“Look at him–does he look like he wants to cross an ocean?”
“Not really.” The younger girl took the dragon, cuddling him. “He is like an old grandmother, wanting his toes to stay warm by the fire.”
It wasn’t till much later that night, lying in the dark, listening to the familiar sounds of the street outside, that Kwan admitted having thoughts very similar to poor old Dragon.
For other excerpts from the book, see the WINDMILLS tab above. For those who haven’t caught up on the story’s premise yet, here’s the teaser:
Tags: adventure, author, book, Lyndi Alexander, publishing, science fiction, Science Fiction Fantasy Saturday, science fiction romance, SFFS, snippet, strong women, writer, writing, YA, Zumaya Publications
Never a dull moment in Lyndi-land!
Just when I thought my May promotion would all be about A SMALL DEGREE OF HOPE, I found out from my editor at Zumaya Publications that the first book of my SF YA post-apocalyptic would be released nearly a month early. Awesome, right? 🙂
This is the story of Lin Kwan, a young Chinese girl who finds herself caught in the middle of world-changing events after a terrorist attack wipes out much of the Caucasian population of the world.
But more than this, it’s a story of survival. Kwan’s voyage to a decimated America, accompanied by her sensei Li Zhong, is traumatic, and surely would tear the heart from a lesser soul. The world she finds in San Francisco isn’t any better, but she’s determined to complete the task her father has set for her.
Today’s snippet is from the POV of the sensei, who’s just learned that his young charge has been summoned to bring a supply of fresh Chinese herbs across the ocean to America. Unsure where to even get the herbs, or how to travel, or even what Kwan’s father has done with his sanity to ask her to come on such a dangerous trip, Zhong returns to his dojo:
Even in mid-evening, the crush of humanity that called Hong Kong home remained boisterous and determined to suck every bit of life from the day. Young women with too much makeup and skirts too short strolled along the edges of trash-filled alleys, hoping to make a few yuan for groceries; young men congregated, looking for easy marks to rob. Neither would find their desires granted by Li Zhong.
As he passed, they fell silent, hesitating, looking up from their card games, mild flirtation fading from their eyes. He’d lived nearly six decades, the last one here on Hong Kong, but he knew none thought of him as an old man. His reputation as a martial arts master likely made up part of that respect, but an undercurrent of fear lived there, too, a word whispered, now and then, after a dark moment of recognition.
The ghost who walks through shadow.
Zhong had left his years in the service of the People’s Army behind, but his reputation had not vanished as easily. The distant detritus of Zhong’s silent, deadly work as an assassin for the Ministry of State Security trailed him like remora, hungry to suck up the bloody leavings.
Zhong is a strong companion for Kwan to have in her travels; she is no shrinking violet herself. Their story is full of danger and darkness–see more at the tab above and in the weeks to come.
There is an ancient Chinese proverb that goes: “When the wind of change blows, some people build walls, others build windmills.” Hence the title of the book. 🙂 And also the impetus for all the action to come.
For more fascinating snippets from authors around the world, check out Science Fiction Fantasy Saturday!
Tags: adventure, author, book, Lyndi Alexander, Publications, publishing, science fiction, Science Fiction Fantasy Saturday, SFFS, snippet, strong women, Windmills, writer, writing, YA, Zumaya Publications
How does the world end? Let me count the ways… in Fire? Ice? Wind? Water? So many possibilities.
That’s the opening step of WINDMILLS, a story of survival after the United States is attacked with a bioweapon that genetically sorts out and kills Caucasians.
A year after the first bioagents have been released, 16-year-old Tzu Lin Kwan receives a summons from her father who’s defected to America–bring him Chinese herbs that might stop the mutations and save the remaining population of the world.
Surely he knows this will not be easy. No airplanes. No electricity in a good part of the world, without enough people to keep machinery running even to generate it. The Asians, the blacks, the Hispanics and other ethnic groups begin to find themselves in the majority for the first time. Many changes are on the horizon, if the virus can be stopped.
So, accompanied by her martial arts sensei, she sets out on a hellish boat trip across an uncivilized Pacific Ocean, unaware that their inquiries have alerted the Chinese MSS, their secret service, and an assassin has been set on their trail. Will they even survive to complete their mission?
EXCERPT: (as Kwan and sensei Zhong get ready to leave Hong Kong)
Li Zhong surveyed the docks out of habit, checking for possible threat. He’d worried that his inquiries had triggered some alarm on behalf of his former masters, even though no one had approached him openly. Then, he chided himself for being too paranoid. Even in a crowd this size, no one seemed to be particularly interested in them. Why should they be? An old man and a boy taking the ferry across the harbor. Hardly remarkable. Which is just how I want it.
They boarded the ferry without difficulty, Kwan rushing onto the upper level that provided a better view, taking a seat close to the rail, her pack next to her feet. He hurried to keep up with her puppy-like enthusiasm. The wind blew warm across the water, ripe with the smell of salt air. It felt good to be going somewhere for a purpose.
He wiped his brow on his sleeve and counted the beats of his racing heart, willing it to slow down. You’re getting to be an old man, my friend. His lips clamped together, he stared at the steel-and-glass buildings of the city as the ferry crossed the harbor, using that concentration to calm himself. Kwan needed him.
He had let that thought drive him though the last two months as the details of this grand mission came together. Determined to make this voyage, she would have gone by herself if he had not accompanied her. The idealism of the young—How long had it been since he’d believed that right would succeed in this life, just because it should? Reality was often quite different. What was moral, or right, often surrendered to a less-noble imperative. Sometimes, it was a financial cause, but more often a political agenda. Like the intent of those misguided souls who’d launched the SH.
While anti-American proponents around the world celebrated the initial attack, the terrorists had not only killed their chosen target but themselves and a major percentage of the non-white population of the world. Sloppy work. That’s what happened when you let amateurs run the show.
Another reason why his presence here was necessary. He could only pray that his aging heart would allow him to continue until the journey’s end. The doctors, both Western and Eastern, had warned him of his limited life expectancy. An old stab wound had never quite healed, the legacy of an assassination attempt years before. But Kwan didn’t know this. And he wouldn’t tell her.
Word has it at my publishing house that this trilogy could be the new Hunger Games… strong girls, damaged heroes, determined villains, a cast of interesting and diverse characters with plenty of action and still plenty of heart. It’s a great read for young men and women both. Pick up your copy on June 15!
Find more great snippets this week at Sneak Peek Sunday!
So excited! It’s my first time posting at the SFR Brigade Presents event! Today I’ve got a snippet from coming-soon novel A SMALL DEGREE OF HOPE, a story with a new kind of shapeshifter love interest–an alien reptile:
His were words similar to others she’d heard from boys over the years, girls too. Best Friends Forever. I’ll love you until the end of time. We’ll never be apart. Many different phrasings, never really thought through, just offered as temporary comfort.
But Griff? She’d risk her life that he truly meant every word. What a glorious being he was. And how lucky she was to have him standing by her. As she held him, his skin rippled. Startled, she pulled back.
“Do not be alarmed, Kylie,” he said from a human mouth. He had returned to his disguised state. “I wish for your comfort. I can maintain this form for now.”
Guilt dripping over her like chilled honey, Kylie turned away from his earnest gaze. She wanted to apologize, but she couldn’t find the right words.
He pulled her close, tilting her face up with one hand. “When humans wish to express their emotion for someone, they do it in this manner.” He kissed her. “Like this?” he whispered.
“Just like this.” His mouth soft against hers, his taste was reminiscent of his musky scent, slightly spicy and alluring.
To find more SFR snippets from authors around the world, visit the SFR Brigade site here. For more information about this book which will be available in ebook JUNE 3, click the tab above or visit www.lyricalpress.com.
This month, my Science Fiction and Fantasy snippets will likely all be about my June release, A SMALL DEGREE OF HOPE, coming from Lyrical Press. It’s a sci-fi romance with an unusual twist. Everyone can understand the appear of cuddling with a warm, furry werewolf now and again, but in this story our shapeshifter is an alien reptile.
To be fair, Griff is a “good guy.” When his kind come to the planet Andan, determined to make over the female population into lizard breeders, Griff comes to stop them. He also falls in love with the cop investigating the resulting deaths, Kylie Sanderson. When she’s captured by Griff’s brethren, she goes through a bit of hell:
The reptiles passed an electronic device over the lock, and the door released. The women didn’t react, but kept mournfully rocking, even after the reptiles entered the cage and closed the door. Each approached one of the women, making an odd, throaty sound almost like purring.
As though hypnotized, the women’s moaning stopped. Each laid her head against the broad gray chest of a reptile male, who stroked her back rhythmically, comforting her as if she was a child having a bad dream. Nothing romantic about it–certainly nothing sexual. The point had to be the test of control.
When the lizards quieted, the women stumbled away from their captors, tortured sounds issuing from their throats. The look in their eyes, though, more hopeless, desperate, even, than those of war prison camp survivors. Such horror.
Is Kylie going to be changed into a reptile, too? Or will Griff’s desperate attempt to bring her back succumb to the iron will of his kind?
Find other great science fiction and fantasy snippets at Science Fiction Fantasy Saturday this week and every week.
Read more about this book, including several other promotional stops/excerpts at the tab above! May the fourth be with you!!
This week’s snippet goes back to one of the elf queen’s human friends, Lane Donatelli. For those who’ve read the YA Clan Elves series, you’ll remember Lane is a former foster-care child who compensates for his anxiety with food, especially cupcakes, and he’s a master computer whiz.
But he also needs to pay his bills:
Lane retreated to the Cave, his carefully-constructed getaway inside the apartment, four computers ensconced in a space enclosed by walls built from an assortment of cardboard boxes, crates and storage bins. Once upon a time, his whole life had been centered within these artificial walls, very much like Crispy had constructed his own “safe” place, his agoraphobia keeping him inside the apartment until his therapist—and a generous helping of elven magic—had invited him back into the world.
Lane’s egress into the greater world had taken a different form. Plopping down in his well-padded manager’s chair, he noted the blinking icon that indicated he had email waiting for him. Clicking on it, he revealed seven notes from fans new to his recently-published digital book, The Elf Princess.
He’d taken the adventure he’d shared with Jelani, Astan and the others, and written a thinly-disguised version of the story, careful to set it near Butte instead of Missoula, to protect the clan’s existence in the Montana woods. The manuscript had been rejected by a dozen agents as “too outlandish,” proving to Lane that truth was indeed stranger than fiction. Finally, he’d tapped one of his gamer buddies online, they’d whipped the manuscript into shape for e-publishing, and he’d published it himself.
His gamer friends spread the word, and as they were a widely-diverse group, Lane had sold a good number of copies already, a fan base developing almost without his effort.
“Now if I can only figure out how to leverage this into a fully-paid appearance at the San Diego Comic-Con…”
THE ELF GUARDIAN is the fourth book in the Clan Elves of the Bitterroot series, available at Dragonfly Publishing and at Amazon.com, Barnes and Noble.com, at Apple ITunes and most other online outlets. Find out more about the series at the tab above or at the home of the Clan Elves online.
Find more delicious low-calorie snippets at Science Fiction Fantasy Saturday today!
Tags: author, Bitterroot, book, Clan Elves, Dragonfly, Dragonfly Publishing, elf, Elf Queen, elves, fantasy, Lyndi Alexander, publishing, Science Fiction Fantasy Saturday, SFFS, snippet, supernatural, The Elf Child, The Elf Guardian, writer, writing, YA
Release date finally! I’m so excited. I wanted to have this book in hand before I started writing HORIZON STRIFE, which is due to the publisher by July 1. Just a chance to immerse myself in Captain Rogers’ world again. His attitude sometimes reminds me of Mal Reynolds, and I just LOVED that show, always will.
I managed to build my Horizon Crossover page this week almost in time. But it helps fill out the story and has all the buy links. So I’m pretty happy. (Yes, I know THE ELF GUARDIAN came out this week too, but that’ll have to wait for next week’s SFFS.
So, snippet for this week–
Captain Rogers takes his ship down to the nearest planet, Mariel, for repairs. He and a couple of his officers mosey into the nearest town to unload some scrap metal and buy land to bury their dead.
Careful to stay in character, he waved a hand at the thin almond-eyed server and asked for some sandwiches and more drink.
“Sure, Captain—you’re a captain, aren’t you?” she whispered, sounding desperate.
“Does it show?”
She studied him with more than idle curiosity and then went to the back.
Dani arrived at the bar a few minutes later. The captain pulled out a chair for her and she slipped into it, face flushed. “I unloaded all the uridium scrap for coin and they wanted more!”
Rogers nodded, noting the farm boys had now focused on his table. “If you want a drink, I expect the boys will buy you one.”
“It might be a great offer, but I’m not looking for love, sir.”
But then they don’t leave the bar without the Captain finding himself a wife. Always something…. 🙂
Find other fascinating snippets at Science Fiction Fantasy Saturday today and every week!
Tags: adventure, author, book, debut, Dragonfly Publishing, Firefly, Horizon Shift, Lyndi Alexander, pirates, science fiction, Science Fiction Fantasy Saturday, science fiction romance, SFFS, snippet, space, space battle, space opera, writer, writing
Four books releasing in March? What the heck was I thinking???
Oh yeah, I remember. I’m going to That Book Place for an Author’s Fair in Madison, Indiana, and I wanted to be able to take new books with me. *headdesk*
So I have the fourth book in the Clan Elves series, THE ELF GUARDIAN:
And a story, “A Recipe For Success,” in SIDEKICKS, the new speculative fiction anthology from Alliteration Ink (writing as Alana Lorens):
And a new contemporary romance called BY ANY OTHER NAME coming from Desert Breeze Publishing March 23…(also writing as Alana Lorens)
Holy Mother of bacon and blueberry muffins, Batman!
I feel like I’m tied to one of the fans on a windmill, spinning around trying to see which book I’m talking about THIS time.
Oh, wait. I know. I’m talking about the first book in the Horizon Crossover series, HORIZON SHIFT.
Here’s the blurb: When Captain Temms Rogers of the Confederation spaceship Doubtful disobeys orders to attack innocent civilians, he and his crew become hunted rebels. In the midst of a desperate space battle, they risk using an experimental alien device that opens a wormhole which hurls them into a new universe.
(Yes, the name of his ship is the Doubtful, and yes, there’s a good reason for it. It’s in the book. 🙂 )
Captain Rogers has a lot on his mind, what with trying to save what’s left of his ship and his crew in the new universe. Even his sleep is troubled with worries:
When he finished saying grace, the children passed bowls of food and chattered about school as Connie corrected their grammar and manners. He could only watch–he couldn’t move.
Connie said something about the Confederation school and Tommy bragged about how he couldn’t wait to become a Confederation officer like his dad.
Temms wanted to tell Tommy he was forbidden to go. Tommy passed the tray of broiled meat, and small marks appeared on his shirt, red marks that got bigger and more liquid. Blood.
Tommy babbled about joining the Confederation corps as he slowly bled out and Connie looked at Temms, accusing him.
“How could you let this happen? How could you?”
He couldn’t move.
Here’s another snippet from December 2012 from HORIZON SHIFT, and here’s where you can catch a whole bunch of assorted free snippets from authors around the world at Science Fiction Fantasy Saturday– come by and read them all!
Tags: Alana Lorens, Alliteration Ink, author, Author's Fair, By Any Other Name, Clan Elves, Clan Elves of the Bitterroot, Dragonfly Publishing, fantasy, Horizon Crossover, Horizon Shift, Lyndi Alexander, pirates, publishing, science fiction, Science Fiction Fantasy Saturday, SFFS, Sidekicks, snippet, space battle, space opera, That Book Place, The Elf Guardian, writer, writing