This month, I thought I'd share the making of The King's Thief Artwork.
Cynthia Hlady did a fantastic job of bringing my characters to life and she's such a talent to work with.
I've fully enjoyed her enthusiasm and taking the reins of this project to make it fully alive.
I also wanted to do something fancy-smansy with my blog this month so, I'm experimenting with the features. Thus... slideshow!
*applause & cheering*
Below you'll get to see the first sketches and the finals to get an insight into what went into these beautiful paintings. And I do mean paintings. Cynthia was allowed to go with whatever medium she wanted and she chose to go with acrylic *I believe*. So what you see here are actual paintings.
Each illustration depicts a scene in the book. Can you tell which ones?
Until next time...
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Lady Dauphine keeps a secret that could restore her country from the clutches of Randish rule.
Yet the noble woman hides under the profitable guise of her courtesan business far from home. For what can one woman do against the zealous lot of religious leaders that hold Quenarre, and all its people, hostage? Only her cousin and the man who saved her life twenty years ago know her true origins.
Though not born from nobility, Chartan LeBeau commands royalty with his demeanor, subdue arguments with the language of silent intimidation, and keep the affections of the last royal descendant of the true king of Quenarre. Yet all his talents do not convince his future queen turned temptress to return with him and command an army to take back her throne. Reverting to his former station of thief, he steals Lady Dauphine and sails for the land of her birthright. But when thief and future queen learn of a court mage’s capture, he tells her to turn back while he attempts a rescue.
Despite “orders” to sail back, Lady Dauphine grows into the leader Quenarre needs in order to save a dear friend thought lost to the cruel Randish Theocracy
Excerpt from The King’s Thief
© 2017 S.N.McKibben
Seducing a man is harder than one might think. Especially if that man is Chartan LeBeau.
I don’t know why the King of Thieves returned to Xaxyia after twenty years, but I recognized him the moment his doe-skin, silver-tipped boots graced my hall.
Already he was gathering attention from my girls. Being the good courtesans that they were, each woman tried to attend him.
A small sense of satisfaction rippled through my chest when he rebuffed them all and headed straight for me. I wondered if he remembered the night he whisked me away, by my uncle’s command, saving me from death. It was the last time I ever saw the King of Quenarre, my uncle. Chartan was one of two people who knew my true origins.
Still, Chartan was dangerous.
I stayed in my chair, frozen by the beauty of him. Long legs, a perfect bulge below his V-shaped torso, hidden behind a rogue’s cape and hood. If you looked carefully, you’d find his riches within his tailor with clothing of soft fineness but not audacious gold. The King of Thieves flaunted nothing.
Though not born from nobility, Chartan knew how to command royalty through his demeanor, subdue arguments with the language of silent intimidation, and keep my affections, though I hadn’t seen him for two decades. Wooing a master seducer such as myself was not easy. He should have been a military commander, but for one reason or another he chose to remain a thief, one that caught the eye of a king… and me, a former Quenarre noblewoman.
I smiled to calm the flutter in my heart and stood to greet him. Perhaps he would not know me after all this time, but even if he suspected, I would not give my identity away easily. I knew the art of pretense now. “Dear Sir, thank you for coming to Courtesan’s guild. How may we pleasure you?”
His eyes were hidden, but his lips curved down slightly at my informal greeting. Coming to a full halt, he bowed. Then his smooth accent had my thighs clench together. “Lady Dauphine, may we speak in private?”
My stomach detached from my belly and came rushing up to my heart. But my smile grew wider, hard as it was to keep from it. “I’m sorry my dear, but I don’t entertain new customers.”
Chartan scanned the room. “I have something of import to discuss with you. I’m not interested in your services.”
I laughed. “That’s the tactic you wish to take. I assure you we are all discreet here. Perhaps you would like to speak to Lady Glen?” He’d better not. Straining to keep from shaking, I motioned to Lady Glen as she passed by. Hearing her name, she immediately came over.
Chartan waved her away. “No, this is for you only.”
“Oh, I bet it is.” I sat, showing I was not some pithy girl to shove around.
He leaned down to my ear and whispered. “I know who you are, Lady Dauphine of Quenarre, noble princess of the house Rouelle. I escorted you to safety here before the overthrow of our King. Do not chuff me off.”
It was not the first time I’d been threatened, nor would it be the last. He would not get away with blackmail. Nor would he see me panic. I kept my heart slow and retorted, “Then you will expose yourself.”
He stood and chuckled.
My nose flared, and I looked up at him. His waist was at the perfect height to unbutton his pants and bring him to his knees, the way a woman who knows what she’s doing can. Our eyes locked. Damn if I am going to give in to him. He infuriated me with his half quirk of a smile, that arrogance. His scent beat at my control.
A pouch appeared in his hand, and he let the contents clink before he placed the money bag between my cleavage. “That should be sufficient to avoid unpleasant speculation.”
He stepped back and motioned his hand to indicate he would follow. I was not a horse to lead. Nor a slave to his whims. But, the side of me that wanted him in my bed snuck reason and excuses to take him to my chambers. Really, what choice did I have with what he threatened? If I refused, he’d call attention to my Rouellean heritage. It wouldn’t take too much time for the rumors to fly across the land to The Randish pope. My fate would be sealed. I’d probably be dead in a matter of weeks.
Painting on my nonchalant smile, I played demure host and did as he bade. Passing my bodyguards, Luca and John, I gave them the signal to interrupt us in two minutes.
Luca nodded. My personal security were more than brutes. They understood subtly.
Down the corridor, Chartan’s smooth voice resumed battering against the stronghold of my heart. “How much time do I have before your men crash in?”
I turned up the spiral stairs and said nothing.
“I’m guessing a few minutes,” he said. “No matter. You’ll hear what I have to say.”
I wanted to grit my teeth. Damn thief.
We crossed the hallway where several of my girls were hard at work pleasuring their clients. It was impossible to pass a door without hearing the particulars of a client’s needs. The sound of a slap on flesh halted my motion. I listened at the door from where it came. If a man was being too harsh with any of my women, I wouldn’t have him back. Another slap. My hand rested on the door knob.
“You like that, hun? You like being ruffed up?” The woman’s muffled voice belonged to Lady Andrea.
“Yes.” Responded a breathy male voice. “Please, again.”
Apparently, Duke Undore paid for a woman’s stinging scorn. Good to know.
I smiled, backed away, and continued down the corridor. Chartan waited for me with piercing eyes. Taking the stairs to the second floor, I turned into the hallway and reached under my sleeve.
“Stop.” Chartan’s deep voice halted me.
“You’ve been a larcenist too long, LeBeau.” I continued to door number twelve. This was where I played with clients and teased secrets from their souls. I pulled out the iron key to my door and showed him. “I hope you hold no dangerous value in a chunk of metal.”
“Chunks of metal, as you say, have killed men before.” Chartan took the key and inserted it into the lock. He opened the door and stepped back.
As I tried to go forward, Chartan threw his arm out and waggled a finger at me. “Not yet my courtesan.” His grin didn’t reach his eyes.
The thief’s touch was my exquisite pleasure. A genuine smile parted my lips. He took me seriously. I crossed my arms and pursed my lips in defiance.
Heart tearing itself apart but understanding what I had to do, my inner most desire pleaded with me to take him to my bosom and show him he did not need all these precautions, not with me. But it would be a lie. I would go to any length to protect my identity. If I was found out as a Rouellean it wouldn’t be long before the Theocracy of the Randish would spill my blood.
Chartan freed a dagger from inside his cape and, using the tip of his blade, opened the door wide. He looked inside, up then down, and finally between the hinges of the door.
I sighed in feigned disgust, but he had every right to be suspicious. “Have a lot of enemies?”
He went inside, quiet as a stalking cat, and swept the room.
While he was preoccupied with his security check, I walked inside and closed the door—slowly. Reaching under my sleeves, I grabbed my throwing sticks, one for each hand. I positioned the thin, three-edged, dowel-like weapons ready to turn and deploy.
My movement swift, my aim true, I lobbed the blades at Chartan’s heart.
The thief deflected one and caught the other. Then, faster than I could blink, slammed me against the wall. The point of my own dagger scraping against my chin.
Despite my attempt to kill him, Chartan’s smile was hearty and his eyes sparkled to life. “My King was right.”
“You are truly the right choice.”
“To regain the crown and return Quenarre to its glory.”
His words stung.
Quenarre. My beloved home. The land that stole my life. “I’ll never return to that place.”
“You will return, and you will rule.”
Luca pounded the door open and rushed in.
Chartan flew back, hopped in the air, and folded himself forward while sailing through the open window—backward. His flight took a blink of an eye, and he was gone before John could join Luca in my room.
My personal security, Luca, eyed me up and down, checking for any harm that may have come to me. “My Lady?”
“We’ll chase after him.” Luca peered out the window.
“Don’t contemplate jumping after LeBeau.” If Luca did catch up to Chartan, I’d lose a bodyguard. “Besides, he paid for my time.”
I reached for the bag of coin Chartan had lusciously shoved down my corset.
It wasn’t there. I reached further in. Nothing. The money was gone.
My blood boiled. “Chartan!” I slammed the window sill.
LeBeau was a mile away by now, but his chuckle rang in my ears. He would not win. I would never go back to Quenarre. As for his blackmail threat… if he wanted to fight in the game of espionage, he’d found a formidable opponent.
An Ice Era Chronicle (Book 2)
After spending all her life trying to be normal, Nova has given up.
She knows she isn’t like everyone else and after her break-up, she decides to dive into her work.
Even though she’s settled in her private world and has no wish to change, she finds herself sucked into a trip that takes her away from her safe and secluded world.
Arrow has been trapped in a cage for, well, he can’t recall, but he is ready to be free. As fear that the crumbling water base around him is going to crush him before he can escape, an angel appears. She is what he’s been searching for and his soul knows her. The only problem is, she doesn’t know who he is and is begrudging when it comes to helping him.
As these two broken people meet and start a friendship, a train ride will change them forever. Before long they will uncover the dark past that hunts Arrow and the even darker future that awaits them both.
Life for Arrow is about to become real, but for someone as crazy as Nova, this one man turns out to be the balance she’s always needed.
If you look at C.M.Moore's books in chronological order, They look like this so far as of 2019:
If the thought of menage, same sex relationships and other out of the normal types of love stories like that spook you─stay with the numbers:
You won't miss a lot from a plot point of view. New characters will be introduced and you'll be able to pick up right along with the rest of the crowd.
But if you are interested in and believe love is love no matter the sex, or if you're into menage of all types, or think relationships are what they are, then read both the numbers and the "Off-the-Rails" Ice Era Chronicles. Basically, you would read them all in order of book number.
1:05 A.M. (book 1)
Grinding My Gears (book 1.5)
2:05 A.M. (book 2)
Raiden out the Storm (book 2.15)
Two for Tea (book 2.5)
If this still doesn't make sense, send Connor & Monica an email. They can explain!
I thought everyone elses review was better! So, I've compiled a few...
★★★★★ Nova & Arrow Heal Each Other
This is another wonderful story revolving around the world being frozen & the surf of earth being inhabitable in The Ice Chronicles. The characters are learning how to survive in the underground water bases while trying to solve the deadly disease that threatens to wipeout all of mankind. This is a must read series for all dystopia readers & will keep you hooked from book to book.
★★★★★ Original and entertaining...
These characters are delightful, Nova is convinced she's crazy, but I think she's just passionate and maybe a little volatile at times, I say give her a pass, she was raised by Gears and Luna. Enough said!
Arrow is an enigma, there's definitely more there than meets the eye and we get to experience the wonder of his gift, as if through the eyes of a child, since he has no memories. His story slowly unravels throughout the book, as he and Nova travel together and fall in love. There are some delightfully surprising twists as truths are revealed.
★★★★★ 2:05 a.m. (An Ice Era Chronicle)
I can’t believe that I love Dystopian books or is it just this author. Not sure but, I am open to reading more of this genre starting with 2:05 a.m. the 3rd book in An Ice Era Chronicle series. It gets a little confusing here because Grinding My Gears was the second book (An Off-the Rails Ice Era Chronicle 1:30 a.m.) And, Grinding My Gears is where we first hear of Nova. She was a baby then.
Now in 2:05 a.m. she is grown and sometimes called Crazy Nova. This is Nova and Arrow’s story. There is a good story line here with action and romance. Even though, they can be read as standalone’s I would highly recommend reading them and reading them in order.
1:05 a.m. (An Ice Era Chronicle #1)
Grinding My Gears (An Off-the Rails Ice Era Chronicle 1:30 a.m.)
And 2:05 a.m. (An Ice Era Chronicle #2)
I love this series and this book. I look forward to reading more from this author!
★★★★★ Awesome read. I love Connor’s writing style
It is so original and different from anything else I have read. I have enjoyed each of the Ice Era Chronicles more than the last and Nova and Arrow’s story is no exception. Great story, awesome characters and a totally unexpected plot full of twists and turns kept me hooked from the first page to the last. Definitely a must one-click.
★★★★★ Different and interesting
I do love fantasy and romance, so this was right up my alley. It was very unique and I just cannot find the words to really describe it. It had more romance and steamy scenes than I expected, but that was fine for me because I like that. There was lots of great dialogue, Nova was very funny but serious at the same time. I loved both of the main characters personality and their interaction. I also liked the unusual futuristic setting caused by the oil wars and the ice pushing people to live underground. It was not a fast pace action style but had some action to it. I was kept engaged in the story and could feel the pull to keep reading to find out what was going to happen. The plot had a gentle flow and I was surprised with the ending, which was great. This is a standalone story, but you will get more out of it by reading the previous books to understand the setting and other characters better.
★★★★★ great, unique series!
With this entire series, you are guaranteed a book that strays from the norm. There is nothing normal about the characters in this book either. Not even remotely. In fact, it's one of the reasons I like the series so much. You get a unique type of post-apocalyptic read where most of the population lives underground and railways still exist. Nova is Gears and Luna's adopted daughter. She has blood red eyes and crazy mood swings to match it. She goes on a little trip to help get her brother back, but encounters a locked up stranger named Arrow. Their attraction is quite intense and rather unsatisfying for quite some time. There's always something or someone in the way. Arrow's talent is quite unique. It's not every day you meet someone who can see heart strings. Another interesting character is Joe, Mac and Karma's son. Of course they all get in plenty of trouble. I would like to see more of Joe. He seems like an interesting character. I would strongly suggest reading the entire series so you know who is who. Overall, I really enjoyed this book and the whole series so far.
I Would Recommend this to Fans of:
Teaser for 2:05 a.m. (An Ice Era Chronicle) Book 2
Copyright © C.M.Moore
Place: Old United States, Dallas TX, H.S.P.C. Headquarters
Time: 2:05 a.m. Ice Year 36
Everyone is a little crazy, some more than others. Unfortunately, Nova fell into the “more than others” category. This was spotlighted by her current conversation with her ex. She summoned her best glare.
Nova repeated her peace mantra in her head so she didn’t scream. Ah crap-sticks, she should’ve never told her ex-boyfriend that she would think about getting back with him. She had used the word think, that being the important word. How long was she going to stand in her apartment doorway and listen to his begging?
“I changed my mind. I do that. A lot.” Nova cut off Troy’s nonsense when he took a breath. She leaned her shoulder on the doorway of the apartment she shared with her sister-in-law Clare. Her eyes flashed up to Troy’s face hoping she conveyed her seriousness. Since her irises were blood red, usually a dirty look was enough of a deterrent for men. Troy, however, wasn’t budging and she knew why. He wanted a Davis. That’s all she was. She wasn’t Nova. She was just a nobody with the right last name.
“But two days ago, you said you’d take me back.” The agent whined.
“I said think.” That’s it. Time to go. She needed to get to her bedroom before she hit him. She got a kink in her neck looking up at him and she tipped her head to the side to work out the ache. In moments like this, being the size of an elf annoyed the crap out of her.
“I thought you were forgiving. Is this because of Sky?” Troy flashed his pretty charming smile. The one that made her want to slap him. He was a tall lanky H.S.P.C. agent and regular women thought him handsome and oh-so-fucking fascinating. Normal women thought Nova was out of her mind for insisting the break up stay permanent. She realized all that, but the knowledge didn’t sway her decision. She’d marry a sketchy rough-and-tumble harvester before she would date him again.
“I told you I love Sky and that he’s sick. That’s a separate issue.” Irritation bubbled up in her stomach. She recognized that she was close to freaking out. There were items in her apartment she didn’t want to break. Her father was out of super-glue and her mother made her promise to work on self-awareness. She had to get away from Troy and into her room before she erupted.
“No.” Nova closed the door in Troy’s face and sagged against the wood. “There is no way to peace. Peace is the way.” She murmured her manta to the empty living room as she forced her turbulent feelings to settle. Her stomach rolled and her head started to pound. As she rubbed her forehead, her eyes popped up the grandfather clock next to the couch. It was 2:05 a.m.? Damn, what was she even doing up? Sleep would help her reset. Time for bed. A coma sounded good right about now.
Nova crossed the thick carpet and had reached the door to her bedroom when she heard the entrance to the apartment open. She spun around. If that was Troy, she was going to throw a chair at him and he would deserve it. Over and over again, her dad stated it wasn’t okay to toss furniture at people, but she was almost positive Gears would pardon her this time. She would tell Luna she was completely self-aware the whole time.
Her sister-in-law Clare tip-toed into the room toward the healing booth where Sky was quarantined. Clare apparently hadn’t seen her roommate yet. Nova crossed her arms over her chest and waited for the other women to notice her presence. Rarely was Nova overlooked. Her eyes didn’t let that happen.
“You scared me!” Clare exclaimed when she finally spotted her. Her sister-in-law spun on her heels then took a dainty step back. She didn’t out right jump, but at eight months pregnant hopping around was out of the question. “What are you doing up at this hour?” Clare tossed some of her thick blonde hair back from where the curls cascaded over her shoulder.
“Troy came by. He kept pounding on the door until I opened up. He was calling me Nutty-Nova like an endearment.”
“You’re not getting back with him, are you?” Clare’s pink lips puckered like she’d eaten a tart fruit.
“No. I got up to punch him, except at the last-minute sanity returned. I closed the door in his face.”
“Thank goodness.” She sighed as her shoulders dropped. “You’re very forgiving Nova, one of your good traits but he doesn’t deserve it.” Clare paused. “That’s your only good trait, being that you’re all—” Clare waved her hand up and down. Nova understood the reference to her perpetual rioting mental state. Her emotions could ascend then descend at the drop of a hat. It was a side effect of her gift, but knowing that didn’t make it better.
“I know.” Couldn’t argue there.
“And, I guess you’re kind sometimes,” Clare looked thoughtful as if this was the first time she was considering who Nova was. She should’ve left the room while she had the chance. Talking to Clare was like having a conversation with a mix of her parents.
“You’re kind and all,” Clare continued. “But he slept with everyone the year you were together. I mean it. Like, he slept with the whole H.S.P.C. Headquarters.” Clare waved her arm around like Nova didn’t know where they lived. Some days conversing with Archer’s wife was exhausting.
“Yes, I know. Thanks for the recap.” Nova rubbed her forehead. Getting back with Troy was a dreadful idea. He only wanted her because her brother was Archer Davis, the son of the famous Gears. Archer and Clare were a power couple in the H.S.P.C. and Troy had used her to get closer to the family. Besides, she had Sky. Troy had never accepted that she’d fallen in love with her patient upon first sight.
But that was neither here nor there, and Clare still hadn’t gone on to her bedroom. The realization that they stood in the middle of the living room, struck Nova. At two in the morning, no less.
“Why are you up? I assumed you’d be in the central lab, either that or sleeping.” Clare was a slave to finding a cure for Snow Flu, so it wasn’t strange to see her up at this hour. But since getting pregnant, she had an established schedule.
“I was looking for you. I tried your room earlier, but I didn’t hear you and you locked the door. I thought maybe you’d taken your sleeping drug.”
That was typical of Nova. She took her sleeping drug right before she got violent or manic. Right now, she should take the medication and lock herself in her room, not chat with Clare. The overwhelming emotions shimmered directly under the surface of her calm façade.
Her eyes scanned Clare, maybe Sky needed more of Nova’s blood.
“That’s where I’m going, but,” Nova spun around and started for her room. “If you need me for Sky, I’ll be there.”
“No wait.” Clare’s words stopped her. “Have you seen Sky?”
Nova gulped down panic.
“I checked on him two days ago.” Her eyes flipped to the glass that separated the observation room from the rest of the apartment. Through the thick protective glass, she could see her sleeping patient. Part of the reflection revealed her blood-red eyes. “I thought you were with him. I went to my room after the fight with dad.”
“I was with him.” Clare’s voice dropped to a husky whisper.
As Nova pressed closer to the glass, her eyes widened. Sky’s hair was white. None of his dark locks remained. Anger at herself shot through her blood. This wasn’t phantom fury, as her family loved to call it.
She had chosen to lock herself in her room since throwing a chair at her father was unacceptable. She’d had no choice but to sequester herself, but Nova regretted every moment away from Sky. In the time of her severe mental breakdown, her favorite person had gotten sicker. What would’ve happened if he died alone? She’d never recover.
Spinning away from the window, she pinned Clare with a sharp glare.
“What happened to him?”
“He’s getting worse.” Tears filled Clare’s eyes.
Crap-olla, she made a pregnant woman cry. Nova dropped her eyes to the floor. She might be nuts, but she wasn’t mean spirited. After she crossed the room, Nova awkwardly patted her sister-in-law like she’d seen Gears do to weeping women. If her brother were here, Archer would give her an earful for upsetting his match. Good thing she hadn’t seen him in a while.
“It’s okay. You’re a brilliant scientist and doctor just like my dad. You’re a true healer like my mom. You’ll save Sky. I know you will.” Pat, pat, pat. Clare had to save him. Sky was Nova’s whole world.
“I can’t.” She cried and buried her beautiful face into her hand. “And I made it worse. “
“How?” Sky never became more ill. He had plateaued. Clare might be over-reacting. Pregnancy hormones most-likely got the better of her.
“A few weeks ago, I heard of someone who survived Snow Flu. No one has ever gotten sick then survived.”
“Yeah, and…” Nova already knew that. Where was this going?
“Anyway, I thought the blood might be the missing piece of what I’m looking for.” More tears made a path down her pale cheeks. “I figured if I could see how someone’s body fought Snow Flu, then that blood might hold the answers I need.” Clare sniffled. “I’m so close. Your blood is amazing, but your gift doesn’t allow you to catch Snow Flu. That’s not the same as having the illness than surviving. You see how it’s different.”
“And?” Nova stopped herself from asking how this all made Sky worse.
“And I asked Archer to go into the Northern Earth Dens to bring me some of this survivor’s blood. I thought the job would be simple. Find the person who survived, ask for a sample.”
“Why didn’t you send someone from the task force, a fully trained agent?” Nova felt more trepidation as this story developed. “Why did you ask your husband?”
“I couldn’t ask an agent because Doctor Gears is the boss and he said this was hearsay.” Clare wouldn’t look Nova in the eye. “I didn’t have enough proof to send anyone into that part of the underground area. He said going was too dangerous for agents, especially without having a real reason. He made sure no one would go. He thought I might go behind his back.”
“You did go behind his back.” Nova squeaked. “You sent your poor husband off on a mission that might not even be successful.”
“I sent Archer. He didn’t come back.” Clare swallowed hard. Tears splashed on her wringing hands. “See, I made it worse.”
Yeah, this totally sounded worse.
“Dad was right. You shouldn’t have sent anyone in the first place!” Nova took a deep breath and tried with all her might not to holler. She reminded herself for the second time not to make a pregnant woman cry.
“I sent my brother Dan after Archer when I got concerned.” Clare wound her hands into her lab coat. “Dan contacted me. He said he tracked Archer down. He went to get him, but his CC broke, so he needs a new one.”
“What’s a CC?” Nova had a surge of curiosity. Part of her inquisitiveness made her an excellent research assistant, but part of that also got her sucked into whatever Clare was doing.
“CC is my new invention. I made the gadget for Archer. CC is a mini-computer that has all my intelligence inside of it. The device can put together everything I can put together. The computer can track people, and give other information. Archer calls it his Clare Computer or CC. The name stuck.”
If Nova tried to keep up with everything Clare invented, she’d go crazy. Well, she would go crazier.
“So, Dan found my missing brother? And now he needs a CC?” Nova felt panic gather in her gut. She didn’t need an emotional breakdown, she needed to listen. Gulping air, she desperately tried to stay centered. What should she do?
“I need help.” Clare wailed. “And I don’t have anyone. Archer is gone. I sent Dan after him and now Dan needs CC. There is nothing left I can do to—” Clare stopped crying abruptly. The switch from tears to a predatory smile was so sharp that the action reminded Nova of her bad days. Clare eyed her like candy. “You could help me Nova. You’re my only hope.”
Nova took a hasty step away from the other women. She was familiar with Clare’s devious I-have-a-plan look. True, sometimes that expression led to amazing things Clare and her father would create, but at this moment, Nova didn’t trust it. Especially, with words like “only hope” thrown in.
“I’m your only hope? That’s unfortunate.”
“You’re kind and helpful. You’d help me.” That sentence was a little too final.
“I’m also manic with spurts of rage and severe clinical depression.” Best to remind her sister-in-law who she was.
“That probably just a side effect of your gift.” Clare shrugged like Nova’s brand of crazy didn’t merit her genius. “You can deliver CC. Bring CC to Dan for Archer. It’s all to help Sky. You want to help Sky, don’t you? Come with me and we can just talk.” Clare headed to the door.
“I don’t know, Clare.” Talk? Somehow, she doubted they would just talk.
“Come with me to the lab for a minute.” Clare produced a tissue out of the pocket of her lab coat and nosily blew her nose. Nova felt unease trickle from head to toe. A part of her warned she would get in way over her head.
“There is no way to peace. Peace is the way—” She whispered to herself to calm her nerves.
“Nova.” Clare cut off Nova’s hushed whispers.
“What? Can’t you see I’m trying to find some inner peace?”
“Don’t waste our time. You don’t have any. Now, will you help me?”
“This is the kind of crap that happens to me.” Nova glanced once more at Sky. Only when she viewed him did she feel a tiny bit tranquil.
“Come on.” Clare raised one perfectly sculpted eyebrow over her puffy eyes.
Nova paused while she kept considering if this was a good idea. She needed to sleep. This wasn’t good decision-making time, but curiosity took this moment to rear its head. She followed Clare out the door.
C.M. Moore was raised with a combination of military and Catholic values. He didn’t do a lot of writing as a kid. He did, however, master the art of sarcastic guilt trips.
After grumbling and whining his way through the “hardest” part of his life (high school), he joined the Army. The grumbling and whining stopped immediately. Uncle Sam was not accepting of those antics, and instead, the military nurtured his core values and solidified the sarcastic traits. He also had to write reports, which were not allowed to be sarcastic.
Connor served his country on three separate tours. His first tour was like a six-month spring break in England. Easy duties requiring minor brain synopsis; his kind of work. His following tour to Iraq tested his metal, and proved to his wife, who had previously served overseas, that he could survive it too. His third and final tour to Afghanistan rocked his world. In Afghanistan, Connor was tasked to a Route Clearance Platoon, where he cleared routes of roadside bombs. The job was pure boredom interjected with moments of sheer terror. Connor is attributed with five finds, and nine strikes to his vehicle over a one year period. He finished his tour and came home with several new medals upon his chest. A Purple Heart being one of them.
Connor has several injuries which limit his mobility and his career options. He has a Traumatic Brain Injury and other physical issues. He now volunteers with veteran organizations and helps with a small bookstore his wife and he built. After Connor had returned to civilian life, he took a few writing courses which inspired him to put pen to paper. He’s not sure why that metaphor is still in use when everything is done on the computer. Connor believes it should be, give your fingers hours of cramped exhaustion.
Years of watching his wife devour romances caused him to want to write a book she would want to read. With the support of family and friends, Connor began writing his first book with his wife, Monica. There were many, many copies that ended up under his bed until now.
The final draft of his romance 1:05 a.m. follows an assassin trying to get out of the game, and a base security officer who is looking for the same peace of mind. This book is a sexy love story in a world covered in ice and snow. His home in Minnesota gives him plenty of inspiration.
When Connor can step away from his finger exercise on the keyboard. He is a stay at home husband and father. He helps his two daughters with their homework (yet he distinctly remembers graduating from homework) and aids his wife with their bookstore. He also enjoys hunting and fishing near his home in central Minnesota, and his hobbies are building projects and growing a white trashy beard.
If you wish to contact him, he loves to talk to his fans. Send him a message at email@example.com.
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Corran Antilles is having a bad life. Schlepping cargo for the Federation doesn't pay. Even worse, the corporate hauler assigned to him malfunctions inside Trevithick Station. Before Corran's ship-trouble costs him his life, he's able to land, but at the price of his job.
Down on his luck, with no money and no way to get home, Corran thinks he’s hit the jackpot when a stranger approaches and offers him the chance of a lifetime. But of course, nothing in the Federation is free, and there's always a catch
If your new here, you're in for a treat!
This maybe the last of the FREE published stories that I've won an award for so pay attention! Below is CHAPTER 3 of "Dangerous Gamble".
If you'd like to tip me for this story, I invite you to purchase another story of mine on any retailer. Check out my books on these fine retailers:
Also, because this is a free story it will be doled out in parts. All the parts will be connected so you can follow the completed story.
Last we saw our hero he was sitting in a cantina when Felix approached him with a shady proposition. Now, Corran has his own ship but at what price?
An Elite Dangerous FanFic
© 2015 S.N.McKibben
As stars went by I sat back in my pilot’s seat, marveling at the Sidewinder’s supercruise ability. This was so cool!
My fifth job put me in Imperial space. I figured if my patron was an Imperial, maybe I should be there too. Silly logic, I know, but I felt a certain amount of obligation to Felix. Another part of me was, as they say, waiting for the second engine to blow.
For now, I was trying to find jobs. A harder prospect than I’d thought. They were increasingly difficult to get. Trust was never my strong point. Maybe it had to do with that.
The Sidewinder rattled and stuttered. Shit. Here it comes. I was so used to ship malfunctions I wasn’t looking at my controls. Everything reported normal. What the hell? The blue sheath that normally surrounded me in supercruise shifted in a whirlwind like I was caught in a twister. Great. I’d heard about this, but I’d never thought I’d be victim to one. Traveling from planet to station never involved interdictions.
“Bask in the Emperor’s glory—by crashing into a sun, you nerf herder.” I swung towards the escape vector, trying to turn left and down. It felt like pushing string through mud. My Sidewinder shuddered and pitched right.
Spiraling for my escape, the guy behind me stayed on my tail.
“You’re good, I’ll give you that,” I said.
My ship was pulled out of supercruise. The frame shift drive wouldn’t recharge in time to get away. I was stuck out here with this ass.
A voice filled with hostility came over the comm. “Who the hell are you?”
“Excuse me, dickless wonder, but you interdicted me.”
“Dickless wonder? That’s rich. You didn’t even bother to change the paint job. You thought you were so high and mighty you’d shove it in my nose, didn’t you?”
What the hell was he talking about? “Who are you?”
“I’m Aurellio Crown, and you’re in my damn ship.”
There it was. If something was too good to be true… it usually was. “I swear I didn’t swipe your ship. It… it was given to me, okay?”
Aurellio howled. I heard a crash, then crackles on the comm. “Fucking Felix!” he hollered.
“Hey! Don’t talk about Mr. Wulfhart like that.” If what Aurellio said was true, I felt sorry for him, but I wasn’t going to hand over my one chance to get out of the hell I’d been born into. “Look, I don’t know what’s up between the two of you, but this ship is mine now.”
“Hello?” With my luck, he was getting ready to blow me out of the galaxy.
“You’re right,” Aurellio said finally. “So, I got replaced by you?”
“Felix is your patron now?”
“Yeah.” This whole situation smelled fishy. “So wait, was he your patron before me?”
“Well, he’s not my patron anymore.”
Did that mean the same thing would happen to me? Would Felix dump me after a time? What had Aurellio done to lose his favor? “Why would he do that?” I mused, mostly to myself.
“Because he’s an Imperial ass.”
“There has to be more to it than that.” And stop calling Felix an ass. But before the same happened to me, I was going to find out how to avoid or prevent it. “You did nothing to lose his favor?”
Aurellio sighed. “Not unless being the best is cause for it.”
“Oh, the best, huh?”
“A little space rat like you wouldn’t know who I was, or my reputation.”
True, but… “Well if you’re so high and mighty how come I haven’t heard of you?”
A pause. “The hell! Did you not hear my name? Aurellio C-R-O-W-N.”
“I’m the Senator’s son.”
“Are you incredibly dense? You’re in Imperial space. That means, if I wanted, I could kill you without recourse.”
Well this conversation turned dark fast. “So why haven’t you?”
“Because I’m better than that.”
“Then why do you want this starter kit back? Why don’t you get your daddy to buy you a super-cruiser like a Clipper?” Some guys were just born into wealth. Meeting Aurellio proved I never wanted to come across another rich kid again. Prick.
“It’s a matter of honor. You wouldn’t understand, space rat.”
“Hey, Sunshine, I bet if I had a privileged lifestyle like you I could do better.”
“Meet me at the Star and Garter,” I said. If we went back to the start maybe I could find some answers.
“At Trevithick Station?”
“That’s the one.”
“Tsk. Before all this I’d never been there,” Aurellio uttered sourly.
“Sorry for making you come down to the slums, Sunshine.”
Some guys always had to have the last word. I wasn’t that petty.
Part 3 END
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Victoria "The Brat" McQueen
"Starving Artist" Vic McQueen is on her last year of high school and looking to go to RISD─a prestigious art college. She helps her mother clean houses and while her mother pushes her to clean houses for a living, her father encourages her to got to art school.
Her parents are not perfect people but she loves them. However, things go even more sideways when she discovers she has the ability to find lost items. You name it, she can find it through a creepy old bridge that seems to be a figment of her imagination. But people can see the bridge but they can't go through it without her.
The orphan librarian has abilities of her own. With the exception of Zachary Quinto's makeup job, Maggie Leigh's (played by Jahkara Smith) effect with reaching into her bag of tiles like a Hermoine's bottomless purse is both fascinating and creepy.
Maggie is a medium, which is different from "creatives" like Vic and Charlie. But she talks to tiles and they tell her things so that's a cool gift.
She is Vic's consciousness in trying to save these kidnapped children that Charlie Manx absconds with.
Already people are asking if Charlie Manx is really a villain. He kidnaps children of abused homes and takes them to Christmas land─a place where unhappiness is against the law.
But a highly moral person would argue that he's taking these children from a bad situation and putting them into a worse predicament.
He sucks the life from these children to make himself immortal and then dumps them back out.
The makeup transformation of Zachary Quinto is amazing. The two photos on the right are the same guy.
I’m not talking about the 1922 film that added “A symphony of horror” to the definition of Nosferatu either. This was way before that. So long in fact, the origin of the word can’t be found and is so different from “vampire” which makes me come to this conclusion.
Forward to 2019 and we have NOS4A2—a clever license plate and a very fitting one for a 1938 Rolls-Royce Wraith. It’s also fitting that the driver sucks the life out of children.
Season End Update
This show ended way too soon, I wanted more! And, with an "ending" like NOS4A2 it looks like we will get more!
As the season progressed, we got to see more of Charlie Manx's world. It was interesting and pulled some pieces together. It also brought a family issue to a head that also tore them apart. I had a few issues with a few things that happened in which I argue with myself, justifying the choices the writer's made. But I'm not giving spoilers so that's all I'm going to say.
All-in-all, I would watch Season 2 and anticipate the shows return. *cross your fingers*
I WOULD RECOMMEND THIS TO FANS OF:
CHILDREN IN PERIL
COMING INTO SUPER POWERS
SUPERHERO ORIGIN STORIES
Get a free read to see if you like my style.
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