Ta da! This is the cover for Warrior, the third and final book of the Breeder sci-fi romance series. Mina Carter, who did the covers for Breeder and Terran, also did this one. I have set a tentative release date of mid-to-late October. It will depend on how quickly it goes through editing.
And that’ the GOOD news, the bad news is that yesterday Breeder, the first book, was slapped with an “adult filter” by Amazon and relegated to the Amazon dungeon. Poor Omra. First she’s enslaved in the Breeder Containment Facility on Parseon, now she’s imprisoned in the bowels of Amazon! The only way you can access Breeder on Amazon is through a direct link OR on my Amazon Author Page. My publisher Loose Id is working on the trying to remove the adult tag.
A female fighting for freedom. A male armed with determination. Can they save their people?
As a despotic Qalin marches through Parseon intent on conquering every province, Commander Marlix pledges his sister to another Alpha to protect her. Desperate to decide her own fate, Anika flees and finds refuge with the guerilla resistance movement against Qalin. Marlix’s beta Urazi, a male of lesser status, tracks her intending to bring her home to fulfill her duty. But when love blossoms between them, and provinces fall to Qalin, Anika and Urazi realize home has ceased to exist and they alone are all that stand between the people of Parseon and the end of the world?
A new Warrior excerpt!
(Anika has fled an arranged breeding. When Urazi, the hero, goes in search of her to bring her back to fulfill her duty to Parseon, he encounters a couple of vagrants…)
“So what province did you say you were from?” Icor, his face blackened by soot, except for a pus-oozing red scar zigzagging from eye to chin, stared at Urazi from across the smoking fire.
“I did not.” Urazi picked a stringy strand of meat from his teeth with his dagger. He had found a sizable fowl scratching along the road and had wrung its neck, intending to eat it when he stopped for the night. Just as dusk had darkened the sky, he’d happened upon two males hunkered around a fire, sheltered from the worst of the bitter wind by a lean-to of metal scraps and half rotted boards. A TERRAN BAZAAR sign that once had symbolized a thriving economy and a promising future served as roof paneling of the makeshift dwelling.
Urazi had offered to share his meal in exchange for a night’s haven.
“What brings you to these parts?” Suspicion narrowed Icor’s eyes. Distrust had replaced hunger, now that the latter had been appeased.
The feeling was mutual. “What makes you think I am not from here?” Urazi parried.
“An inflection in your speech indicates you originate from another province,” the alpha’s accurate perception increased Urazi’s wariness. Who were these males who wore tattered uniforms of status? Why did they huddle in squalor rather than supporting the war effort—for whatever side?
Were they deserters? Refugees? Robbers? Spies? Urazi had encountered all four during his month’s journey.
First he had searched Marlix’s province. After finding no trace of Anika, with hope sinking, he expanded his search to Commander Dak’s territory. Anika had lived at the Enclave and before that at the BCF, both of which were in Dak’s province. In hindsight, Urazi realized he should have begun here. The province probably felt like home, and where did one flee to but home?
Urazi schooled his expression to shield his worries. He had assumed he would have found Anika by now. Of course, a chance existed Zoulin had located her already and delivered her to Ilian. Urazi had no way of knowing because he’d left his PCD at the domicile so Marlix could not track him. He forged on because he had nothing to return to except a flogging. The Alpha would be furious he’d disobeyed his direct order, and regardless of preference, Marlix would have no choice but to make an example of Urazi to retain his honor.
Urazi could endure the strike of the barbed-tipped whip if it would save Anika. He was less certain he could bear to hand her over her to Ilian, but his ability to care for her had worsened since he’d become a fugitive. He sized up his camp mates. Like them. Perhaps they were betas on the run in alpha dress too?
Urazi’s hair had been cut shorter than the chin-length beta style, a holdover from the time he Marlix had donned disguises and hidden at the Enclave, but Urazi had trimmed the regrowth and donned a gray winter alpha uniform.
By far, his behavior represented the biggest element of his masquerade. Urazi affected the bold strut and the hard of a male of status. Sometimes he almost believed his fiction. Most often reason ruled, and he remained conscious of the fraud he was.
“We are all from somewhere,” Urazi answered, sharpening his dagger on a stone. “The war has turned many into itinerants.”
Hoari, the questioner’s companion, nodded. “Many have passed through.”
Caution urged reticence, but he would not locate Anika if he did not inquire. “I am looking for someone,” he admitted. “A female.”
“They are skittish and hard to catch.” Hoari’s ribald bark hinted he was not averse to bending Protocol and slaking his lust with an available female.
Icor did not join in the humor, but picked up a shiv, a jagged piece of glass wrapped in cloth at one end, and stabbed it into the fowl carcass, which they’d picked clean.
“Who is this female you seek?” Hoari asked.
“I had purchased a breeder, but she escaped before I could take possession,” Urazi assembled a story, avoiding any mention of Anika’s link to Ilian or Marlix in case his camp mates’ loyalties resided with the Qalin-Artom bloc.
“How long has she been missing?”
“About a month.”
Hoari drew his brows together in a pensive frown. “About three weeks ago, we captured a female for our use, but I do not think she is the one you seek.”
“Female drakor.” Icor spat.
Do not let it be Anika. I would prefer to not find her, than to think she encountered these alphas. “And why is that? Was her appearance so unseemly that she would produce ugly offspring?” He faked a casual, humorous tone.
“She was not unattractive for a female,” Hoari replied. “She had a bounty of hair and amber eyes. She wore the oddest footwear. Terran, I suspect.”
Urazi’s blood chilled. What had they done to her? “What happened?”
“She attacked Icor and escaped.” Hoari motioned toward his wounded companion.
Urazi closed his eyes in thankfulness. He sucked in a surreptitious breath of relief, but rage began to build. He opened his eyes. The answer to his next question would determine whether Icor and Hoari lived or died.
He twisted his mouth into a semblance of grin, and stroked the blade of his knife. “Did you at least get to use her before she fled?”
Breeder and Terran will soon be in PRINT (Breeder probably by the end of October). They’re available now in ebook form from Amazon, ARe, BN, etc. The books can be read as stand-alones, but one will appreciate the changes the society goes through if they are read in order.