“Sweeps you away” — advance reviews for Under Fyre (Alien Dragon Shifters 1)

Some early Goodreads reviews for Under Fyre:

“What could be better than an alien romance from this author? Why, an alien DRAGON romance, of course! The teaser prequel was interesting, but it didn’t half-way prepare me for the wonder I would enjoy in this first full-length entry of the series. I do love a good political intrigue plot and a villain I can detest, but add that too an intriguing alien race, strong worldbuilding and smoldering hot fated mates romance will pull me in every time. I’ve come to trust this author to provide that even in her lighter sci-fi romances. Under Fyre isn’t light and humorous like the Alien Mates books and reminds me of the fun suspense that came with her earlier cyborg series.”


“Great reading! A very dramatic start to a new series. I can hardly wait for what comes next. “

“Wow what a wonderful start to a new series…The world building is phenomenal and the characters are a lot of fun.”


“This quite possibly might be Cara Bristol’s best book so far. All her books are amazing and this was no different.”

“The author sweeps you away to a new world of dragons, bringing it to life in your imagination and underpinning it with a tale of subterfuge, treachery, and a romance with the potential to change the world. I was held captive, not wanting to stop reading and at points was choked on emotion and reminding myself “it’s just a story.” 

See the complete and other Goodreads reviews here

Under Fyre will be released Tuesday, May 21.
It’s available for preorder now.

Betrayed by her people, does she dare trust a dragon?

The alien dragon shifters who discover Earth come in peace—at first. Then, inexplicably, they threaten to attack. In an attempt to show goodwill and appease the dragons, Earth sends a human woman to become a concubine to one of the Draconian king’s sons, Prince K’ev.

K’ev would sooner give up his ability to breathe fire than accept a human, but when he meets Rhianna, sparks fly, and his dragon realizes she’s his mate.

Rhianna falls for the hot-blooded prince, unaware she’s a key link in a desperate scheme to defeat the dragons, a strike that could backfire with devastating consequences. Will she figure out what Earth has planned in time to save her dragon mate? And if she does, will K’ev be able to save her planet from an angry king’s retaliation?

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Coming in just TWO weeks: UNDER FYRE (Alien Dragon Shifters 1) #SFR #PNR #shapeshifter

Release date: May 21 ~ Available for Preorder Now

Betrayed by her people, does she dare trust a dragon?

The alien dragon shifters who discover Earth come in peace—at first. Then, inexplicably, they threaten to attack. In an attempt to show goodwill and appease the dragons, Earth sends a human woman to become a concubine to one of the Draconian king’s sons, Prince K’ev.

K’ev would sooner give up his ability to breathe fire than accept a human, but when he meets Rhianna, sparks fly, and his dragon realizes she’s his mate.

Rhianna falls for the hot-blooded prince, unaware she’s a key link in a desperate scheme to defeat the dragons, a strike that could backfire with devastating consequences. Will she figure out what Earth has planned in time to save her dragon mate? And if she does, will K’ev be able to save her planet from an angry king’s retaliation?

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BN | Kobo | Apple | GooglePlay

Read the interviews with the hero and heroine of Under Fyre

Dragon Prince K’ev | Rhianna Montclair

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What I read in April…#RecommendedReads #BookReviews

I only read fourbooks in April. I need to kick it in gear or I won’t meet my Goodreads Reading Challenge to read 100 books this year. In my defense, the books I did read were all full length novels–not a single novella in the bunch. Fortunately, I’m going on vacation, and I always read a lot then, so I’ll be able to catch up in May. If you’re looking for a few good reads, check these out.

Upon the death of his father, Xrez inherits the successful, but illegal family business—a hunt, in which abducted aliens are hunted by other aliens. If the prey are captured, they are enslaved or mated. If they elude the hunters through three increasingly difficult levels, they win their release.

When Xrez steps in as the Game Warden, a new group of prey have just been brought in—humans, who are generally not used in the hunt and who are protected by galactic authorities because of their weakness.  They won’t provide enough challenge, and the disgruntled hunters will raise such a fuss that authorities who’ve been bribed to look the other way will be forced to shut down the hunt.

So, Xrez breaks the rules and inserts himself into the game to assist the humans. However, he quickly becomes obsessed with one particular human, Esme, and focuses on helping her. She comes to trust and care for him, not knowing he owns hunt, and he’s responsible for her being there.

The Game Warden’s Mate is a fresh, fast-paced, fascinating read with awesome world-building and characters.  To set up not only the story, but the hunt with all its rules and features, is quite a feat.  I thought Esme was realistically drawn, her behavior consistent with how I would expect a person in her situation to act. Five stars and an A+.

Amazon

He’s a dragon who will die if he doesn’t mate. He finds his mate, but she’s human, and mating with a dragon will kill her. See the conflict?

Steam and angst! Compelling story. I think what I liked most about Kissed by Fire was the pacing. It’s a fast read, but it doesn’t feel rushed. It’s a complete story with excellent detail, but doesn’t feel “padded.” Good balance between action and description. Well-written!

Amazon

Jade is a Council assassin sent to a prison planet to retrieve a weapon of mass destruction. Ryker, an ex-Resistance member whose family was killed by the Council, also wants that weapon. Jade and Ryker are natural enemies who have more in common than they realize.

Tormented is a fast-paced, high action, steamy romance with more twists and turns than a rollercoaster. Buckle up & get ready for a great read.

Amazon

Keyla is a ghost who pops into consciousness in the apartment of four guys who share women. She has no memory of her past and is unable to leave the men without fading away. She can’t communicate with them–until one day they can see her. They’re reapers with an equally cloudy past. They distrust Keyla, believing she may have been sent to undermine them. Instead, she becomes their protector, going with them to hell to try to outwit Lucifer himself.

The heroine narrator has a wonderful snarky voice, giving this Urban Fantasy a light, sometimes humorous touch. Although this is a reverse harem romance, there is little sex in the book (I believe it happens in later books). Four Psychos is a serial, ending on a cliffhanger. If you like urban fantasy, pick this one up.

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Alien “fairy” meets cyborg in Captured by the Cyborg…

As part of my 10th “Authorversary” celebration, throughout the year, I’ll be sharing some insights into the books I’ve written. 

The seeds of inspiration of Captured by the Cyborg (Book 3) of the Cy-Ops series were sewn with book two, Mated by the Cyborg. In Mated, hero Kai Andros and Mariska are on run from Lamis-Odg (the terrorist bad guys) and Cyber Operations. They hide out on Deceptio (meaning Deception), a seemingly desolate, uninhabited moon. But the beneath the surface is a spacecraft “chop shop” owned and operated by Dale Homme, a cyborg and ex-Cy-Ops agent. The manufacturing plant is secret, because although Dale has some legit business, not all of it is on the up and up.

I fell in love with Dale and his clandestine operation, and I knew I had to write about him, so he became the hero of Captured by the Cyborg, and his chop shop the setting for the book. The first two Cy-Ops heroines are human, but in Captured, I feature my first alien heroine. Illumina (her name means light) is a Faria. If that looks like “fairy,” well, it’s supposed to. She belongs to a race of winged aliens, each of whom has a special gift. Illumina’s is the ability to integrate into any computer system. (The heroine in Rescued by the Cyborg is also a Faria; she has a different special gift).

Illumina is hiding from a violent ex-husband who cut off her wings and left her for dead. She creates a false identity and gets a job at Dale’s chop shop. He’s not fooled; he knows right off she’s not who/what she claims to be.

At one point, Dale threatens to lock up Illuminia to keep her safe. That’s where the title, Captured by the Cyborg comes from.

Another big thing happens: In Captured, Cyber Operations Director Carter Aymes becomes a cyborg! He’s a secondary character in every book. Prior to this, he was just an “ordinary” human. He gets his own book in Hunted by the Cyborg.

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Guest author spotlight: Deep, dark secrets in CONSPIRACY by Jenn Nixon #Scifi #Mystery #RomanticElements

Mari Yosoto has been keeping a dark and dangerous secret from everyone for the past three years. No one would believe her anyway, her ex-fiancé had seen to that. Instead of wallowing in misery, she stays busy, shuttling cargo to the Moon and back, enjoying the easy work and time alone. An old EarthCorps acquaintance asks for her help, and Mari can’t say no, even if it means working with the ex’s former best friend.

Although Trevor Nash took the missing person’s job to help his former commanding officer, deep down he needed to see Mari again. After trying and failing to find out what happened to her, Trevor makes the best of an odd situation, hoping he can remind Mari of their budding friendship and finally get some answers. When the mission goes sideways and they find the not-so-missing girl, a centuries-old conspiracy theory comes to light and the only thing more unfathomable is learning Mari’s secret.

Together with their newly formed ragtag team, Mari and Trevor team up and undertake a mission unlike anything either of them has faced before with life-altering and possibly deadly consequences.

An excerpt from The Monarch Mission Files: Conspiracy

Nash was already saying ‘we’, a team building exercise everyone had taken in EarthCorps training. He lifted off the hover car’s bumper, moving to the driver’s side and jutting his chin toward the passenger’s door. He was always a good, fair guy, much more so than his best frecking friend. “Happy to give you a lift home, get clothes and whatnot?”

“Nope, everything new. I have ten thousand K plus to spend. Take me to Walzon, they have what I need.” Mari shrugged, slipping into the other side of the very rounded off hover car, hating the trippy translucent paint. The aluminum they used made the vehicles less sturdy. She liked hard steel, which is why she enjoyed flying. Even the Personal Flying Vehicles were still made of metal, it was hard to trust anything less.

“Buckle’s auto, just lift—” Nash smirked, lifting his arm.

Mari gasped when the belt secured her against the seat, strapping down both her arms.

She shut her eyes.

Beep, beep, beep.

The seatbelt moved into place, freeing her right arm, which reached out and clamped onto the door handle.

“Mari?” Nash’s voice was soft, concerned. She knew why. She had three years to replay those moments in her head, listening to the voices in the surgical suite when she woke. He was there too, in the background with the ex, she remembered what they both had said.

After a deep breath, her grip went lax and she tucked her left arm over the belt before glancing over. “Ready when you are.”

Nash’s head tilted. “Mari. We’re gonna be in tight quarters for a week, regardless how fast this ship is. Can you do this?”

“It’s not claustrophobia.” Deep inside, Mari didn’t actually know if she still had the guts to do something like this again and when his gaze softened, she remembered something else Nash had said after she woke in the surgery suite. I hope she leaves your ass. It was the last thing she heard him say to the ex before she passed out from the pain. Her chuckle came out more tersely than she meant, so she shrugged. “We should probably find a Do-All-Stop and get a drink after we shop…if we’re working together, you need to know what you getting into. Well, most of it.”

Get The Monarch Mission Files: Conspiracy from your favorite bookseller

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Is she crazy?! An interview with the heroine of Under Fyre #dragon #SFR #PNR

Recently, I sat down with the heroine of Under Fyre (Alien Dragon Shifters 1). Rhianna Montclair, an expert in Draconian Relations, is accompanying the president’s daughter to Draco, a planet inhabited by alien dragon shifters. This is a transcript of the interview:

Cara: How can I say this tactfully…are you CRAZY?? Alien dragons are threatening to attack Earth and you’re going to their home planet. Have you lost your mind?

Rhianna: I don’t really want to go. You’re right. It IS crazy. But we’ve reached a crisis, and sending a woman to become the consort to a member of the royal court might be the only chance to prevent  a war Earth would lose.

Cara: So you’re going out of patriotic duty?

Rhianna: Partly. But also to support my friend Helena Marshfield.

Cara: The president’s daughter?

Rhianna: Yes. We’ve been friends since college. She’s the consort. Her family has done so much for me, and when she and the president asked me to accompany her, I couldn’t refuse. She’s the lead; I’m the support on this project.

Cara: Don’t you have a degree in Draconian Relations?

Rhianna: Yes. I think that’s one of the reasons why they asked me to accompany her.

Cara: Didn’t you meet the prince of Draco once?

Rhianna: One of the princes. I was in the fifth grade. The dragons had just discovered Earth and had come here on a goodwill tour. I wrote an essay and won a visit by the dragon delegation for my school. Prince K’ev threatened to eat me. I thought he was joking at the time. Now, I know he was mocking me. Dragons can’t be trusted.

Cara: Do you know why they threatened to attack Earth? It seemed rather sudden.

Rhianna: It was very sudden, and I have no clue. It’s one of the things I hope to find out when I get to Draco. People are terrified. They’re hiding in garages and basements, anyplace they think won’t burn.

Cara: Because dragons throw fire.

Rhianna: Yes.

Cara: And Helena asked you to accompany her.

Rhianna: Yes.

Cara: Excuse me for asking, but…do you trust her?

Rhianna: Of course I do! She has my back, and I have hers. We’re like sisters. We even look alike. Why would you ask such a thing?

Cara: Sorry. It just seemed strange to me.

Get Rhianna’s full story in Under Frye (Alien Dragon Shifters 1). If you missed Prince K’ev’s interview, you can read that one here.


Betrayed by her people, does she dare trust a dragon?
The alien dragon shapeshifters who discover Earth come in peace—at first. Then, inexplicably, they threaten to attack. In an attempt to show goodwill and appease the dragons, Earth sends a human woman to become a concubine to one of the Draconian king’s sons, Prince K’ev.

K’ev would sooner give up his ability to breathe fire than accept a human, but when he meets Rhianna, sparks fly, and his dragon realizes she’s his mate.

Rhianna falls for the hot-blooded prince, unaware she’s a key link in a desperate scheme to defeat the dragons, a strike that could backfire with devastating consequences. Will she figure out what Earth has planned in time to save her dragon mate? And if she does, will K’ev be able to save her planet from an angry king’s retaliation?

The release date is only one month away! Preorder is available on all bookseller sites.

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Why cyborgs??? Some insight into the Cy-Ops Cyborg Romance series

This year is my 10th anniversary as a published author, so throughout the year, I’ll share some personal tidbits about my books, why I wrote what I wrote, what I intended.

What if your survival depended on the person you had wronged? Could you trust him to protect you?

That’s the inspiration behind Stranded with the Cyborg, the first book of the Cy-Ops Cyborg Romance series. As a teenager, Penelope, aka Pia, the president’s daughter, leveled false accusations against the Secret Service agent assigned to her. When the story opens, she’s an adult, an ambassador with the Association of Planets, and regrets terribly what she did. She wants to make amends.


Brock hasn’t forgiven her for how she ruined his life. He’s now a cyborg, a member of Cyber Operations (“Cy-Ops”). He’s ordered to protect her. It’s an assignment neither of them wants, and it only gets worse when their ship crashes on an alien planet. Stranded is an enemies to lovers romance.

Saving the girl and the galaxy…

A common trope of many cyborg romances is for cyborgs to be victimized by the humans/military who created them. I chose to go another route. My cyborgs are ex-soldiers who were critically injured in the line of duty. The transformation to cyborg gave them a second chance at life. I wanted to emphasize heroism. The theme of the series is “saving the girl and the galaxy one mission at a time.” I love reading stories about covert, spy operations, so my cyborgs belong to a black-ops organization called Cyber Operations. Very few people know they exist.

As with the Breeder series, the Cy-Ops series has a deeper meaning and purpose. I wanted to make the stories relevant to today’s world, so I tackled an issue not often dealt with in romantic fiction: religious terrorism.

Fighting religious terrorism is one of Cy-Ops’s key missions. Lamis-Odg, a nation planet of fanatics, is out to destroy anyone who doesn’t believe what they believe. Cy-Ops knows the acts of terror are masterminded by Lamani, the Lamis-Odg leader, but they don’t know who he is, and learning his identity and finding him, is the thread that runs through the series. It’s not all about Lamani, though. The cyborgs battle other villains, too. Captured by the Cyborg, Claimed by the Cyborg, and Rescued by the Cyborg feature villains other than Lamis-Odg.

All the books of the series are stand-alones. Each one has a different H/h who get their HEA with no cliffhanger. Although the hunt for Lamani is a theme throughout the series, each book’s plot is specific to that book. So you can read them out of order or just read the ones that interest you the most. 

Saving the girl OR the galaxy…

The inspiration for book 2, Mated with the Cyborg, was to put a man at odds with his duty. He has to make a hard choice…does he follow through with his mission to help take down a terrorist (the greater good) or does he save one young woman from a horrible death? Oh, by the way, the young woman happens to be the daughter of the terrorist he’s fighting against.

Cyborg Kai Andros has infiltrated the space station of a high-ranking Lamis-Odg general. If anyone knows where Lamani is, General Obido does. Disguised as an android, Kai goes undercover as the general’s daughter’s servant, in hopes of getting close to the general and hopefully find out where Lamani is.

What he learns is that the general intends to have his own daughter murdered. Kai believes she’s innocent of the atrocities her people have committed. What’s a cyborg to do? Does he follow through with the mission to get the intel that might save the galaxy? Or does he rescue an innocent?

An excerpt from Mated with the Cyborg

(Note: R981 is Kai. They believe he’s a robot, so they refer to him by a model number, not a name. Obido is the general.)

HOLY HELL! KAI Andros almost fell over. This was what Lamis-Odg considered deformed, ugly? Fortunately, his black contact lenses concealed most of his shock. Intel intercepted by Cyber Operations had reported the fifth daughter of one of the most infamous terrorists had a “significant facial defect.” Her eight sisters had been married—mated was the term these people used—but no one wanted her, fearing she would produce hideous offspring. He hadn’t seen her face until now.

In the genetic game of chance, Mariska had been dealt a royal flush. She was fucking gorgeous.

Don’t gawk! A real android wouldn’t react, but as a cyborg, a red-blooded heterosexual man working undercover as a robot, how could he not? Her creamy skin was flawless without so much as a bump or a freckle. She had regal features, a classical nose, large symmetrically placed golden-brown eyes, and a full, pink mouth drooped in obvious distress, though no less alluring for it. He would have sworn she had some Terran blood, except the notoriously xenophobic Lamis-Odg wouldn’t have “tainted” their gene pool with the DNA of another race.

He glanced at Janai. White and red, old and new scars crisscrossed her mottled skin. Besides the irregular ridges outlining her face, two lumps protruded from her forehead like vestigial horns. Talk about unattractive—

“I have found someone to ignore your imperfections and take you as his….concubine.” Obido averted his gaze as if he couldn’t bear the sight of his daughter.

Her throat moved as she swallowed. “May I ask who?”

“You do not know him, but his name is Zog.”

Kai ran the name through his microprocessor. The identification popped up. That couldn’t be right. Maybe the information was outdated ? His databank hadn’t been refreshed in a couple of months. Maybe there was another Zog of another race?

The general eyed his daughter. “Do you still bear the mark?”

“Y-yes.”

“Show me.”

Her hands shook as she pulled aside the neckline of her dress to reveal a small, rosy splotch. Nothing remarkable, just an insignificant reddish birthmark removable with a simple laser treatment, but the general’s face tightened with displeasure, and he executed a sharp pivot. “Cover up.”

She reattached the veil before she adjusted her clothing.

“You leave tomorrow,” Obido said. “If you please the Ka-Tȇ, we’ll send others, and, in exchange, we will be permitted to establish an outpost on Katnia.”

Fuck. Zog was Ka-Tȇ. Obido had sentenced his daughter to a savage death. Didn’t he have any idea who the Ka-Tȇ were? What they did?

The bipedal alien race more resembled hairless, tailless panthers than anything humanoid or Odgidianoid. Ka-Tȇ had sharp teeth and six fingered hands tipped by razor claws with which they slashed and tore at their mates during sex. A non Ka-Tȇ species, Mariska would not survive. How could a father do this to his daughter? Did she have any idea what fate awaited her? From her calm demeanor, Kai doubted it.

“As the Great One wills it, I shall obey.” She confirmed his hunch about her ignorance. “Will R981 accompany me?”

“No, there will be no need. He will be reassigned. You are dismissed.”

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Close encounters of the dragon kind…an excerpt from Under Fyre #SFR #PNR

(Rhianna Montclair is sent as a stand-in for the president’s daughter to become a dragon’s concubine. )

“I’m not sad,” she denied.

“Do all humans lie about their emotions?” He leaned in close again, his mouth partly open, his muzzle almost brushing her face. “You should know dragons can smell an untruth a mile off.” His massive chest moved with his inhalation. Were they like cats with vomeronasal organs allowing them to analyze scents?

Emotion was a state of mind, a thought combined with a physiological response. Odorless. But maybe dragons had a knack for reading people. In her Draconian Relations classes, she’d received training in the art of negotiation, aka dissembling, but it hadn’t felt comfortable to her. She considered herself too honest to be a good liar. Time to get over that! They plan to destroy the Earth, and I’m worried about lying? “I feel a lot of things right now,” she said.

“Really?” Yellow eyes gleamed with curiosity. “Like what?”

“I feel you’re invading my personal space. Could you move back a little?” She shoved against his chest. It was like touching a hot, dense, immovable mass. His body heat scorched her hand. He didn’t budge an inch, and from deep in his chest, she heard the low rumble of a growl.

She jerked her hand away. Oh god. I touched a dragon prince. Without permission. A huge violation of protocol, according to what she’d learned in her Draconian Relations classes. For all she knew—because there were quite a few gaps, not to mention outright misinformation in what she’d been taught—inappropriate contact could be punishable by torching. “I’m sorry. I’m sorry.” She pressed a hand to her throat. Don’t kill me. She’d shaken his hand upon boarding the ship, but only after he’d invited the contact.

He stepped away. While she drew ragged breaths into her lungs, he raked a hand over his horns and, before her eyes, shifted into a more human form, claws retracting, horns shrinking, scales becoming fainter. His skin had only the slightest gray-green cast. The change did not reassure her. It reinforced the unpredictability. Who knew what he would turn into next?

As a child, she’d believed the adults when they told her dragons were harmless. Ignorance was a poor excuse for bravery. Predators to the core, dragons only appeared to be civilized, and she’d been conned into flying off alone to Draco. She’d been locked in a cage with a sleeping lion. What would happen when it awoke?

Available everywhere. Reserve now for a May 21 release.

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A different twist on a shifter romance…Under Fyre backstory spotlight

In every shifter story I’ve read (wolf, big cat, dragon, bear), the shifter can only take two forms: human OR his/her animal. It’s either/or.

In Under Fyre (Alien Dragon Shifters 1), the Draconians can control their shift and appear as close to dragon or human as they choose. They often appear in what I call, “demiforma” or half shift, midway between dragon and human. That gives them the ability to speak and a more compact shape (full dragons are HUGE). When they really want to kick some ass, then they’re in full dragon form.

Under Fyre story description

Betrayed by her people, does she dare trust a dragon?

The alien dragon shapeshifters who discover Earth come in peace—at first. Then, inexplicably, they threaten to attack. In an attempt to show goodwill and appease the dragons, Earth sends a human woman to become a concubine to one of the Draconian king’s sons, Prince K’ev.

K’ev would sooner give up his ability to breathe fire than accept a human, but when he meets Rhianna, sparks fly, and his dragon realizes she’s his mate.

Rhianna falls for the hot-blooded prince, unaware she’s a key link in a desperate scheme to defeat the dragons, a strike that could backfire with devastating consequences. Will she figure out what Earth has planned in time to save her dragon mate? And if she does, will K’ev be able to save her planet from an angry king’s retaliation?

Under Fyre is available for preorder on all bookseller sites. Release day is only about a month away! Reserve your copy here:

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A look back at BREEDER, the Sci-fi Romance readers LOVED and HATED….

My sci-fi romance Breeder was one of those books readers loved or hated. There was little middle ground.

This year, 2019, is my 10th anniversary as a published author. I signed my first publishing contract 10 years ago in July. I’m marking the occasion by taking a look back at some of my most memorable books.

Here’s an excerpt from Breeder, followed by some personal insight into the story, why I wrote it, what I was thinking…

Breeder
Chapter One

If not for the sneeze, Dak would have exited the musty, dank corridor, but the muffled sound caught his attention. When he squinted into the darkened cell, he spotted a female crouched on a straw mat in the corner. He hadn’t noticed her on his way into the Breeder Containment Facility; the habitation unit had appeared empty.

Dak turned to the BCF director and sighed. “What about her?”

The beta’s already crooked mouth drooped farther in distaste. “My apologies, Commander. You don’t want that one.”

Sival’s disparagement piqued Dak’s interest. The director’s opinion had proven worthless; none of the breeders he’d preselected for inspection had been close to satisfactory.

“I would like to see her.”

“Very well, Commander.” Sival saluted and opened the habitation cell with a master entry card. Dak stepped into the small enclosure. The director followed, and the metal gate clanked shut.

The naked female drew into a tighter ball and tucked her face deeper into the crook of her arm. Other breeders had preened as soon as they’d noticed him and his chest-insignia identification. He wasn’t just an alpha. He was the Alpha.


The lack of respect and failure to adhere to Protocol by acknowledging his presence struck him as odd. Dak frowned. “Is she mentally deficient?”

Sival tightened his lips. “No, stubborn, ill behaved. She wouldn’t befit an Alpha Commander.” He nudged the female’s hip with the toe of his boot. “Rise to your feet.” When she failed to respond, he prodded her again.

Dak forestalled him with a wave and grasped the female’s arm. “You will stand.” He hauled her upright.

She averted her face, so he grabbed her chin. Tangled hair the color of black heating stones fell away from an oval face to reveal eyes like the Parseon moon. The glimmer of intelligence sparking within the violet depths aroused his interest more than anything else he’d seen so far. Nature had bestowed the Parseon people with an exceptionally strong immune system so that they rarely required medical intervention, but breeders by nature were weak, and so many of the ones he’d seen had seemed dull or ill or both. This one’s skin, when unsmudged by grime and dirt, probably glowed like the pale sands of the Ospian Sea. He supposed, as breeders went, she wasn’t unattractive, although the stench emanating from her was. His beta would throw a fit if he dragged such a creature into their domicile.

“Why is she so filthy?” he asked.

“She refuses to bathe.”

As Dak scrutinized her facial features for shape and symmetry, he noted little imperfection or dysgenics other than her lack of hygiene and her gender. When cleaned up, she would please the eye, but to bear his sons, it mattered more that she be healthy and strong.

He released her face and assessed her from head to toe. He exceeded the height of most males, while she stood smaller than the average female. The top of her head failed to even meet his shoulder. She was thinner than other breeders too, although her chest bore an abundance of fatty breast tissue. In the chill of the cell, her nipples had puckered to hard points.

Despite the coolness, he was experiencing a rise in temperature. A dormant lust chose that moment to kindle, causing heat to coil in his abdomen and groin. He could not remember the last time he’d experienced such a spontaneous reaction—if he ever had. With the pads of his fingers, he probed the sides of her neck for swollen areas. The way she trembled under his touch aroused a sliver of sympathy. Breeders lacked courage, and uncertainty frightened them. Not all alphas and their betas treated breeders well, but if he chose her, she’d be adequately fed and housed. Command of his province consumed his time and energy, which left his beta alone for long stretches. A breeder would relieve Corren of household chores and provide him with a physical outlet.

“What is she called?” Dak asked.

“Her sire named her Omra.”

Peace, it meant.

He parted her lips with his fingers and slipped a digit into her mouth, running it along her upper gum line to check the solidness of her teeth. At a flash in her eyes, he jerked his hand away a centisecond before she snapped her jaws together, so that her incisor only grazed the tip of his finger.

Sival’s face reddened. “Commander, I apologize. I will have her flogged.”

“Unnecessary. I’ll take care of it.” He unclipped the sudon from his belt.

What inspired Breeder? What does it really mean?

The inspiration for Breeder (a M/F sci-fi romance) sparked from three simple concepts: what if a misogynistic civilization devalued its women so much that it relegated them to the role of breeding slaves? What if heterosexual relationships were considered unnatural, deviant and wrong? What if the core beliefs upon which an entire world was founded was completely false?

Breeder is set on a brutal alien planet with a caste system. The strongest and most intelligent men are deemed alpha and are afforded all the privileges of their rank. Below them are the betas, males considered weaker and less intelligent. They perform the support roles in society and basically serve as “wives” to the alphas. At the bottom of the heap are women, slaves who are imprisoned until they’re needed for breeding.

Overseeing this structure are six Alpha Commanders (note the capital A), the most elite of the elite, the rulers of the planet who ensure no one deviates from the caste structure or “protocol.”

Alpha Commander Dak, needs a son to carry on his legacy, so he purchases a breeder slave. But, he comes to see Omra as a person and against protocol, falls in love with her. Their relationship not only jeopardizes their lives, but rocks the foundation of their society.

Each book in the trilogy (Breeder, Terran, Warrior) focuses on a different H/h who get their HEA with no cliffhanger. However, what happens to their planet and society isn’t revealed until book 3 (Warrior).

Breeder, originally published by Loose Id in 2013, was my first science fiction romance series. After I went Indie, I re-released it in 2017. If you’ve read the light, humorous Alien Mate or Dakonian series, well, Breeder is completely different. It’s edgy, dark, and intense, but ends with hope (and an HEA for the H/h).  It’s a compelling story that is too edgy for some readers, but it’s unforgettable. Many reviewers have called it my best work, and it’s been compared to Margaret Atwood’s, The Handmaid’s Tale.

Breeder can be read just for the entertainment value. But, it does have a deeper message. In writing Breeder, I’d hoped to cause people to question their most basic, core beliefs. The absolutes. Are they really true? Or do they believe those things because they’ve been taught they’re true? Are you willing to question your absolutes?

If you decide to read Breeder, I’d love for you to drop me an email and tell me what you think. (And, of course, reviews are always greatly appreciated).

The Breeder series is available everywhere.

On Amazon | Universal link to other booksellers

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