One nice little surprise for me when I got home was a new review on Amazon for my latest book, The Stuff of Legend. There were only three, so a fourth one stood out. It was written by a man, and I got that wonderful feeling that he 'got' my stories. I hope he doesn't mind me quoting:
"Like all the books in this series, this one has a intriguing plot with lots of suspense and action. The romance is sweet and does not overshadow the story. I have really enjoyed all of the Ptorix Empire books and look forward to any more this author writes."
Thank you, sir, for taking the time. This author really appreciates it. Yes, if you're looking for a straight romance read, my books are not for you. The romance is just one plot arc. With that understanding, here's a little piece from Starheart, which is a mystery with the added complication of a growing attraction between a shady smuggler and a Confederacy admiral. This is just about the first scene in the book, where Jess's freighter has been stopped by a battle cruiser. She has been taken on board the warship for interrogation.
Jess stared around her at clean, grey walls and floors and a row of no less than ten lifts. A group of people appeared from a doorway, also heading for the transit foyer. Three officers, all senior. She fixed her ‘not sure why this is happening but I’m being co-operative’ expression on her face as they approached.
Well, well, well. The captain, a senior commander and a rather dishy admiral. Tall, thick brown hair, heavy eyebrows over blue eyes that just right now were shifting his gaze all over her body and most especially down that carefully-judged split at the front of her shirt. She smiled at him, taking care to adjust her hair while she did so. Now what would a Star Fleet admiral be doing at Nordheim?
Beside her, Lieutenant Douglas and the two escorts stiffened to parade ground attention.
“What have we here, Lieutenant?” the admiral said, still staring at her. The look in his eye sent a sexy shimmy down her spine. No prizes for guessing what was on his mind right now. And under different circumstances, she wouldn’t mind. No, not at all.
“Captain and First Officer of a suspicious ship, Sir. The Saintly Maid. They’re here for interrogation.”
Jess widened her eyes. “Suspicious ship? Oh, really, Lieutenant, you must have mistaken the Maid for some other ship.”
The admiral was grinning. The transit car the senior commander had summoned arrived with a gentle ping. The captain and the senior commander both had their bodies pointed towards the open door but the admiral lingered, gazing down at her. “Delightful to meet you, Captain…?”
“Sondijk .And equally delightful to meet you, Admiral…?”
“Hudson. Ullric Hudson.”
She gave him a long, hard, lingering once-over, her gaze traveling slowly up his body to his eyes. “Welcome to Nordheim, Admiral Hudson.”
He chuckled, jerked his head down in a brief nod and followed the two officers into the transit.
Freighter Captain Jess Sondijk thought she had her life under control until Confederacy Admiral Hudson stops her ship in search of contraband. Although he’s taken with the lovely Jess, Hudson’s after bigger fish than a small-time smuggler; somebody’s trading with the alien Ptorix – and offering them a large enough prize to induce them to part with their beloved starhearts, the jewels they call the windows of the soul.
Hudson’s questions open old wounds for Jess. She decides to investigate the circumstances of her husband’s not-so-accidental death. Soon her life’s headed into an increasingly dangerous spiral – for her, her friends, and her family.
Only Hudson can help. But in this deadly game of political intrigue, murder, and greed, one false step will cause inter-species war. Hudson is forced to make difficult choices – Jess, starhearts, war, and his commission.