Saturday, July 22, 2017

GIZMOS, Beauty & the Beast fan fiction

Robin, Mouse decided, knew everything worth knowing. She didn't make him feel stupid, or that he wasted her time when he asked questions. She got him in to see symposium exhibits that almost everyone else was prohibited from seeing. He was impressed when she pulled out a gold plastic card with her name on it and flashed it at the guards at the doors, then gestured Mouse in with her. At one place, she even introduced him to a man in a white lab coat as her friend, Arthur. That was when he told her that his friends called him Mouse. Robin smiled wider, eyes sparkling, as though he had given her a wonderful present. As they walked through more exhibit halls, she explained anything he wanted to know. He hung on her every word, as breathlessly eager as when Father read aloud.

"How do you know all this?" he asked, when she paused for breath.

"I just do. I read it, or I hear people talk about it." Robin looked around the hall. Dismay crossed her face when she found the clock.

"What?" he blurted, sure something terrible had happened.

"I was supposed to check into my hotel an hour ago. If I'm late, I could lose my room, and I'll probably miss Dr. Maximovich's lecture." She rubbed her eyes, like Father did when he had a headache. "The story of my life -- always goofing up somewhere."

"Then run." Mouse couldn't understand why she was so worried about time. To his delight, Robin laughed.

"Mouse, I am so glad I met you. Will you save me a seat, if I don't get back in time?"

"I'll go with you."

Friday, July 21, 2017


            Common sense said the pirate vessel blockading the colony world Sorendaal wouldn’t be very impressed to know he was on board the Stellar Peace. Not unless they wanted him to do some weapons research for them.

            “Getting a signal,” the communications officer said. He sounded surprised.

            Darrak didn’t turn to look at the man. He could tell by the rank, salty damp odor that the man had ruined his uniform with nervous sweat. If he had been part of the military instead of a volunteer for a semi-suicidal peace mission, he would have been booted from the service. Fortunately – or unfortunately, depending on the viewpoint – this wasn’t the military. Darrak hoped he never saw any military belonging to the Central Allied Worlds, because they were the enemy.

            Ironic, considering that the pirate crew that effectively blockaded Sorendaal from the rest of the universe was high on the list of preferred allies in this battle to hold civilization together. It just proved how turned around and inside out everything had become, when the government he once served was the enemy and the pirates that had claimed control of this colony world presented the best chance of stability and safety.

            “Stellar Peace, this is the Nova Vendetta. We have received your signal,” a woman said. “Why should we believe a word you say?”

            “Can’t be,” Captain Marker whispered, and turned in his command chair to lock gazes with Darrak.

            “Wrong, captain,” the woman said. “This is the Nova Vendetta. We are not a ghost ship, as we will prove if you give us any reason to believe you’re here to cause trouble.”

Thursday, July 20, 2017


            Kiryn emerged from her bedroom with her tears dry and her head aching, and found her father’s former crew waiting. They were a vast difference from the refined, powerful people of Sorendaal’s colonial government who had surrounded her when the news of the starship’s destruction first arrived. No wine or other refined, expensive beverages for these men. Tanned by radiation, scarred by shipboard explosions, grim and heavy-set, they sat around the oval table where her father, the governor, had entertained ambassadors and officials. Their glasses were filled with murky brews that could have come from the coolant tanks of their battered, fierce starships.
She was gladder to see these men than anyone else who might have come to console her. Kiryn knew they wouldn’t speak soothing words and offer useless philosophy and homilies to to ease her pain. They would be just as angry as she that Captain Niall Encardi, the Terror of the Spacelanes, had met his death at the hands of the government that had once begged, long ago, for his help.

            What did it matter if galactic civilization and the government of the Central Allied Worlds shredded a little more every day, and the soldiers in the attacking ships had been rebels? The government provided those weapons and trained those soldiers, and failed to keep its vaunted control over the far-flung colonies throughout the galaxy. The end result was the same. Her father and mother were dead, despite their ship being clearly marked an ambassadorial vessel and transmitting their identification on all frequencies.

            Their deaths hadn’t been an accident.

Tuesday, July 18, 2017


Commonwealth Universe novel
Downfall/Era I

This week's book is actually a novella. This week's and next week's books were once part of an anthology called Damsels OF Distress -- meaning the damsels caused the distress, rather than being in it.

For those who might be interested, PIRATE and SADDLE were based on some fun speculating based on two favorite old movies. First: What if Captain Blood had a daughter? and then: What if Zorro had a daughter? And what if their stories weren't set in the past, but on a far distance planet in the future? And so we have stories of two strong young women filling in when their heroic fathers aren't around.

from Writers Exchange

As civilization crumbles, Kiryn realizes the only way to protect her planet from pirates is to become one. She takes up the mantle of her father, a reformed pirate who saved his homeworld.

As captain of the legendary pirate ship, Nova Vendetta, she makes her homeworld a haven for the downtrodden. Then the scholarly representative of a neglected colony comes as a peace envoy and makes her think of more than just surviving. When the two of them are shot down in the badlands of her planet, they become partners to survive, then friends, then maybe something more.

Monday, July 17, 2017

Off the Bookshelf: REMEMBRANCE, Meg Cabot

The most recent Mediator novel.

Jesse and Suze are getting on with their lives. Or at least, they're trying to. He's doing his internship, on his way to being a doctor. She's earning her counseling degree and working at her former high school. Unfortunately, a former ghost and the mediator who time-traveled to bring him back to life aren't allowed to settle down into happily-ever-after. At least, not without some complications and ghostly bumps along the way.

An old, egotistical nemesis returns. He's using his millions and his power and influence to force Suze to team up with him. And if he can send Jesse back to the world of the dead, even better. Then there's the very angry, protective ghost who doesn't seem to understand that Suze is trying to help her very trouble, best friend from elementary school. Then to make things even more complicated, Suze's step-nieces seem to take after her side of the family ... but they aren't blood relatives, so how did that happen?

Another fun romp with some serious, more grown-up overtones. I hope this won't be the last Mediator book, now that Cabot has returned to the trials and tribulations of the mediator and her (former) ghostly true love. I was disappointed to read that she has stated there will be no more 1-800-where-r-u books (Hint: read them!) but since she hasn't stated there are no more Mediator books ... hope remains!

Saturday, July 15, 2017

GIZMOS, Beauty & the Beast fan fiction

"Do what?" Robin asked, typing her initials into the scoreboard.

"Score so high."

She glanced over her shoulder, smiled at him, and turned around so she leaned back against the game. "If I tell you the secret, promise not to tell anyone else?" Her smile grew wider when Mouse nodded. "Okay. You watch for the patterns of the program. It's all on computer chips, right?"

"Chips?" Mouse muttered, lost. "Oh -- yeah -- chips."

"Computer programs. Once you figure out the pattern, you can predict what's next and avoid getting zapped." She glanced over her shoulder at her score, and shrugged. "At least, predict most of the time. Never said I was perfect."

"Neat. How long?"

"How long for what?"

"Figure the pattern." Mouse wished he had a quarter.

"Three days, and I still don't have it down pat."

"Three days? How many quarters?"

"I cheated. My mother bought the game for me."

"Not cheating."

"Want to try?" She smiled at him, dug in her pocket, and came up with a quarter.

"Can I?" Mouse's face lit up like the game had exploded all over him.

Friday, July 14, 2017


Commonwealth Universe novel
Khybors story

From Writers Exchange

“Interfacing?” He sat up straight, alerted to the implications that didn’t quite solidify right away in his thoughts. Rorin always loved that churning of theories and possibilities, and waiting for a brainstorm to hit.

“Never mind that. You were asking about Elin. She’s out on a training expedition right now. Don’t expect her back for three, four days.”

“Training who?”

“The children. All the children who survived. She’s the only mother they have now, and the way they cling to her … it’s a little frightening, if you take enough time to sit back and really think about it.” He settled back further in his chair and clasped his hands on the cluttered surface of his desk.

“What’s frightening about it? Elin’s always been especially protective of children. That’s her whole dream, inherited down through the family line. Finding a place where the children can be safe. You’d think a poisonous place like Norbra, our enemies would leave us alone and hope the world would kill us off, so they don’t have to expend time and resources.” Rorin grunted and fought off a shudder of pure disgust. “That hope certainly didn’t pan out.”

“Definitely not, and they’re going to regret …” He sighed. “It didn’t occur to me until now, the way you’re talking, you’ve taken the big step, haven’t you? No turning back.”

“If you mean that I’ve made it impossible for my superiors to ignore that I’ve got Khybor blood and Khybor sympathies, absolutely. I’m committed.” He grinned. “So … how is Elin doing with instant motherhood?”

“It’s been an interesting experience. She’s ready to die for those children, and they know it, and they also know she won’t tolerate even one second of rebellion. It’s life-and-death, even inside the walls here. I might be the administrator, and officially I’m the final authority, but the truth is that Elin is queen of Norbra. We’re all here to support her vision, her plans.”

“That makes more sense than anything I’ve heard in a long time. So, how do I find her majesty and pay my respects?”

Dr. Teller tipped his head back and laughed.