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?”
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.”