Athena Grayson ...Hacking the Great Narrative... Sun, 18 Mar 2018 04:39:55 +0000 en-US hourly 1 Athena Grayson 32 32 128824109 Indie Weekend: Exploring Wed, 07 Mar 2018 21:04:13 +0000

One of the things I “get” to do as an indie is experiment. I use “get” in quotes because, as anyone who’s ever been in a lab with high school kids knows, the advantages can sometimes be…dubious. And that’s when things don’t get into downright dangerous. (Note: DO NOT LICK THE SCIENCE!)

Indie publishing has now reached a maturity where there exists, if not a paved highway to guaranteed success, then at least a beaten path on a map with a few outhouses and a general store along the way. There are definitely proven things you can do to stack the deck in your favor for success. They aren’t guaranteed to work every time or even be guaranteed sustainable for longer than a few weeks or months, but they are your best shot at the smoothest of several bumpy rides, should you choose to take them.

I’ve never been that great at reading maps. In Girl Scouts, I never failed to get my troop lost. But we always ended up lost in the most interesting places. I do that in my writing, too. I like to mix genres, flip tropes, play around with structure the way a ten-year-old plays with LEGOs. Publishing is no different. Even though I know there’s a marked trail, I still like to wander off the path looking at interesting flowers.

One of those uncharted paths is Radish Fiction and one of those flowers is Fantasy. Fantasy isn’t that far from Sci-fi, and we’re often lumped together, I know. But one of the markers on that beaten track is to stick to your genre lane when you build up a name. I’ve already broken that rule with my rom-coms and my paranormals, and I’m not afraid to be all over the map as I follow my muse (or rather, the Girls In The Basement – I don’t have a muse, I have five roommates that live in an epic basement with amazing decor including shag carpets and lava lamps. One entire room has been converted into a ball pit. I’ll tell you about it sometime). In the meantime, I’ll let Radish explain Radish in this cute little video that all readers can relate to.

One of the most fun things about wandering off the trail is taking some friends with you. In the coming posts, I’ll be introducing some friends who’ve also wandered into this little Radish garden, along with some short snippets of my own upcoming entry into Radish Reads. So keep an eye peeled for my next posting!

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Roadmaps 2018 Thu, 22 Feb 2018 16:48:23 +0000

The Way Forward

I’m trying something new here. From the time I first launched Huntress as a serial in 2015, I’ve been dumping a LOT of information into my brain about marketing, social media, book launches, series launches, what works, what doesn’t, and what will suck your money out of your wallet like a pool filter sucks out junebugs. I won’t lie and say I haven’t learned anything–I’ve learned a buttload.

In fact, I’ve also learned that a buttload is a real, honest-to-Dog unit of measurement. Infographic courtesy of Brad Chmielewski at Digital Hitchhiker.

108 imperial gallons of information is a lot to process. And unlike wine, not all marketing information gets better with age. Some of it’s even skunked from the beginning. Also like wine, large quantities of it can be a false refuge of desperate people.

Tangential to brewing is distillery. I used to work in a distillery, and the tanks of corn mash are huge and they stink and there’s a ton of crap floating in liquid. Only after the distillation process is complete and all the crap is filtered out do you get liquid that is still barely potable. You still have to put it into a barrel (oh, who am I kidding, I can’t let that one go) You still have to put it into a BUTT (there I said it) and let it sit there in a warm dark place before it turns into something you’d put into a glass and drink.


2018 is the year of distillery for me. Not that I’m going to end up soaked at the bottom of a BUTT and smelling like a distillery (although I haven’t NOT entertained that possibility), but rather that all the stuff I’ve been cramming into my head needs to be shoved into a BUTT and stacked in a warm dark place while it ages and the crap settles to the bottom, below the bunghole (I HAVE NO REGRETS!).

2018 is about self-care for me, and distilling what matters into my practices. It means focusing on the writing, no matter what pace I settle into. It means focusing on the evergreen marketing stuff–the stuff that gets better with age, not the stuff that flames out and is better used to peel the paint off walls.

Whether it’s wines or words, the good stuff lasts. 2018 is about the good stuff.

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Indie Weekend: A Peek Into My Writer’s Brain Sun, 18 Feb 2018 13:38:18 +0000

Falling To (Puzzle) Pieces

You know that expression, “Man plans, the gods laugh?” Yeah, they had me in mind. See, I don’t write my books chronologically. I try to, but I end up writing something at the beginning that really belongs near the end, and some things at the end that belong in the first act. What I think are middles are beginnings or ends, and the beginning ends up being the middle.

I’ve told my beta and developmental editor that when I build a book (and it is building), I put it together like a jigsaw puzzle. Some days, it’s finding all the blue sky pieces, other days, it’s finding the leafy greens or the soft purples (but no, not that purple, that goes in the other corner, see how it’s pinker than this?).

There comes a time, though, when I’m ready to work on all the edge pieces. You know, the ones that have one straight edge that defines a boundary of the picture? This time around, when I was working on the edge pieces, I realized the puzzle wasn’t matching up. The corner pieces–the major turning points in the story–weren’t from the puzzle I thought I was doing.

The Shape of Story

Funny thing about working on puzzles. You can almost never do them linearly. In the middle of looking for all the border pieces, you’ll find clusters of matching colors, obvious transitions, or unique parts of the picture that you put together on the way to establishing a border. By the time you get the border built, you have patches of story built up already, along with a general idea of where they go. All you have to do is find those stubborn transition pieces that hook your patches together. During this time, you can see much more clearly where the holes are, but it’s not so easy to figure out which pieces fit in those holes.

Yet in the end, you do finish the puzzle. It didn’t form from left to right, top to bottom, or start to finish, but rather it came into being in spots and patches, emerged from a bunch of discrete images and colors, and into a complete picture. And it’s the best feeling in the world.


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State of the Athena: 2017 Recap Wed, 31 Jan 2018 16:55:04 +0000

The Faceplant Launch

The first book in my new series, Scandal, came out and it was the best launch I’ve had to date. Well, if we’re being honest, it was the only launch I’ve had to date. My entire Huntress series launched with maybe a Facebook post of “So…this happened” but I had no idea how to really launch a book back then other than punt it out there and hope. As a result, I get a book done and go faceplant somewhere for six months while the next one is brewing, growing, and calling my name. 2017 wasn’t supposed to be the year I faceplanted and couldn’t get back up, but hey, guess what?

Rolling With The Punches

I launched Scandal (Scions Book 1) at the very end of March and was on track to launch Fallout (Scions Book 2) in May when something that is not disaster struck. Mr. Athena’s job went from being stable to “could end at any moment” which is indeed a personal disaster, but then Mother Nature was like, “Hold my beer, I’ll show you some disaster,” cracked her knuckles and my country simultaneously sank underwater, caught on fire and got blown off the map, (also what happened to our political landscape, but that’s beyond the scope of this post. Or the understanding of scholars for many years to come). So the constructing of fictional conflicts for this dystopian sci-fi sort of took a backseat to a reality that was lobbing far more dystopia in my direction than I could make up.


Pianos Don’t Fly

I confess, I did not really realize what was going on until my chief beta and developmental editrix cracked her whip and told me, “Athena, you have spent the past year and maybe more dodging pianos that have been falling out of the sky and onto your head, girl! No wonder your writing slowed way down!” See, that’s the other thing I like to do–I’m much more sensitive to other people’s stresses and challenges while I busily and casually disregard my own.
I tend to feel embarrassed about work I’ve done. I’m extroverted as hell about other people’s work, and stuff I like that was made by other people, but I’ve always been hesitant to talk about my own creations. My inner introvert puts her foot down and pulls a Greta Garbo. “I vahnt to be ah-lohn now.” (Speaking of which, did you know her Manhattan apartment is for sale? Hashtag “a room of one’s own Virginia Woolf” goals, amIrite?)

Eating Dirt Is Nutritious

So I didn’t want to spend most of 2017 gumming the floor and looking around for teeth, but I did, and it’s okay, because dirt has antibodies! And the floor, at least, is horizontal, which means you can use it for napping. And because I wasn’t hurtling forward down the highway at breakneck speed in a go-cart that had no brakes and never even saw the inside of an inspection station, I had some time to look around and see that I was not alone in my faceplanted-ness. All around me, other writers were dropping like flies from burnout. But things grow in ashes and dirt, and what grew out of our ashes and dirt was the new, green growth of why many of us went Indie in the first place. Because it’s all about the stories, and getting to tell them the way we need to, for the people who need to read them. Going forward into 2018, I’m moving out of Pianoland and back to Writerville by any means necessary.

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SFR Brigade Showcase: Heavy on the “Show” Thu, 31 Aug 2017 12:03:06 +0000

Someone’s in an anthology with some stellar luminaries of SFR!

That someone would be me, in case you were wondering. I’m pleased to add one small part of the SFR Shooting Stars’ latest anthology: Cosmic Cabaret!

Cosmic Cabaret

Where Hearts Collide in the Greatest Show in Space

Come aboard Blue Star line’s crown jewel, the LS Quantum, a luxury starship traveling through space and time. Join thirteen USA Today, Amazon best-selling, and award-winning speculative fiction romance authors as they twist their own tales on the decks and in the dance halls of LS Quantum. Embark on a journey to fall in love at the Cosmic Cabaret.

My contribution is Forbidden Alliance: A Tale of the Scions of the Star Empire.

Society tore them apart once. It’s going to take brain surgery and rocket science to put them back together.

Landing an engineer’s job on the LS Quantum is Milady’s once-in-a-lifetime chance to make a fresh start away from the past she can’t remember. When a hotshot drive designer triggers fragmented memories of that past, she must find the truths in a ship notorious for its illusions.

Thann Zalco stopped caring about anything but stardrives when he lost his love two years ago. Finding her aboard a luxury cruise vessel isn’t the reunion miracle it seems when she can’t even remember him without dangerous brain surgery. Worse, the cabal that first tore them apart is determined to make their separation permanent.

"Tease" - An Excerpt from Forbidden Alliance

The hush that had captivated the audience during her performance remained that way for almost thirty seconds as the last scent and the last lingering sparks from the light show flared up, fizzled out, and faded, leaving afterimages burned into the spectator’s eyes as a parting gift.

As she touched down, the silence swelled into a murmur which erupted in thunderous applause. The gravity field returned to normal, allowing her costume to drop to her sides, and she remembered to take a bow, even though her heart ached to be up in zero-gee once again.

In the sudden absence of the lights of the show, she could see the faint glow of the house lights illuminating the exits and the private boxes where the VIPs were located. She lifted her eyes to the top right box and met the eyes of the man sitting there. Even from this distance, she could see his silvery gray irises, or perhaps she just remembered from their time in the stardrive trough. Something drew her. She narrowed her eyes, trying to see more of his face, the lower part of which was cast into shadow. Something pulled her gaze back to that box again and again. The applause took on a rhythm of peaks and valleys, something that shook the stage beneath her feet.

She took a second bow and when the music queued up for the next act, her back teeth started to itch. She darted across the stage towards the exit, sparing one last glance toward the VIP box to see him lean forward. But the itch in her back teeth turned to a thrum, and she knew it wasn’t just the music or the audience.
It was the ship itself.

For a minute she thought she saw him say something as he rose from his seat. Suddenly, she couldn’t see the stage in front of her. She could see the structures all right, stage, the props the wings, all faded out to a dim and distant series of shadows as she remembered something about that mouth. The curve of his lips as he smiled? The way his jaw moved as he formed a word she could not understand. It was right there, just on the tip of her tongue, teasing the edge of her memory —

Your next stop on the SFR Brigade Showcase awaits!


Privilege is a Prison

The heirs of Landfall's powerful nobility have all the wealth and privilege of their family status, but there's only one thing that will give them control over their own lives--the title of Scion. The only way to earn it is by carefully managing the social influence markets that rank them according to their accomplishments. At the exclusive Landfall Cultural Academy, the heirs vie to elevate their status high enough for the Cultural Trust to grant them the title and the freedom to make their own way. In this elite competition, scandal is as good as scholarship.

They can have anything they want...except freedom

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The Star Empire: The Scions Are Here! Fri, 31 Mar 2017 10:47:24 +0000

Coming from the SFR Brigade’s Showcase? Welcome! Don’t forget to return to the page for the next stop on the tour!

I’m immensely proud to announce that the Star Empire has a brand new series, and it launches today! Scandal is the first title in the Scions of the Star Empire series!

About the Scions

Meet the Scions…

The children of Landfall’s powerful nobility have all the wealth and privilege of their family status, but there’s only one thing that will give them true freedom–the title of Scion. The only way to earn it is by carefully managing the social influence markets that rank them according to their accomplishments. At the exclusive Landfall Cultural Academy, the heirs compete to elevate their status high enough for the Cultural Trust to grant them the title and the freedom to make their own way. And scandal works just as well as scholarship.

Princess Ione Ra, daughter of the Emperor of the Torch worlds, knows this intimately. Ever since age twelve, she’s been locked in social combat with the gossip journalists, the holo-razzi, and the millions of eyes that watch her every move. After ten years, she’s no stranger to turning that gossip to her own ends in the Probabilities markets, where potential outcomes and futures are bid on for credits. She’s carefully crafted a public image that feeds the worst assumptions of the gossip rags, and has no apologies about it. Her friends–even her choice of boyfriend–are all managed to maximize her Social Capital.

But no one lives in the Spires of the sprawling city-planet of Landfall without keeping their share of secrets. For Ione’s arm-candy boyfriend Den Hades, the less the gossips think of him, the better. But time is running out for Den–without managing his own SoCap to a level that would grant him the title of Scion, he’ll never be free of his domineering father’s ambitions. But not all scandals are engineered, and this one might just start something that can’t be stopped…

On Celebrity

I’ve always been mildly fascinated by celebrity gossip. When your net worth hinges so keenly on your reputation, and the number of people talking about you by the minute can add or subtract zeroes from your paycheck to the left of the decimal, then your reputation surely becomes an asset to be managed, just like your appearance and your place in the line for the red carpet. Then a few years ago, social media went from being something fun you did for amusement to the place where you made your friends, formed your opinions, and got your news. Seemingly overnight, the internets went from ordinary people doing random things going viral, to a carefully-deconstructed notion of what made something viral, and with it came valuation. Suddenly, Instagram seemed to be throwing money at people based on how many likes they got, and I got to wondering what a like- and share-based economy would look like if it were baked into certain strata of society, and the idea of the world of Scions gelled. So if you’re in the mood for something a little Gossip Girl, but a little Bladerunner, too, check out Scandal!

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The Star Empire: The Scions Are Coming! Mon, 20 Mar 2017 12:00:46 +0000 I never do these things in half-measure…

If you liked “Gossip Girl” but wanted to see more “Battlestar Galactica” or “Babylon 5” in it, well so did I, so I wrote it. Scions of the Star Empire is an exciting new series of space opera with girl-cooties, a sister series to the “Huntress” books.

Meet the Scions. They get anything they want…except a future.

The children of Landfall’s powerful nobility have all the wealth and privilege of their family status, but there’s only one thing that will give them true freedom–the title of Scion. The only way to earn it is by carefully managing the social influence markets that rank them according to their accomplishments. At the exclusive Landfall Cultural Academy, the heirs compete to elevate their status high enough for the Cultural Trust to grant them the title and the freedom to make their own way, and scandal is as good as scholarship.

As the son of one of Landfall’s most powerful families, Denaat Hades has lived beneath the shadow of his powerful father his entire life. His status, his friends, and perhaps even the woman he cares most about, have all been products of his father’s ambition for the family name, until now. Den is about to make a name for himself outside of his father’s influence–if he can manage to do it without exposing his own terrible secret.

This excerpt is called “Fool’s Gambit” and introduces our hero, Den, in an attempt to distinguish himself before his classmates at the Academy and representatives from the powerful ruling houses of Landfall’s elite.

Fool’s Gambit


©2016 Athena Grayson Please link–don’t redistribute elsewhere. Don’t share my typos, okay? 🙂

Denaat Hades held his blade extended, his arm outstretched. He held the lunge on one burning thigh muscle while he stood in near-complete darkness, waiting for the spectacle to begin. The landscape of the party had given way to the evening’s main event—an exhibition duel and bladework demonstration between himself and the Academy’s Blademaster with a twenty-five year record.

Gone were the ornamental topiary plantings that created nooks and alcoves for socializing, and gone was the impressive display of fine foods and the waterfall made from champ-ale bubbling and fizzing over cut-crystal held under pressurized glass until it burst out of the pursed lips of a crystal nymph into glasses for guests. They’d been discreetly cleared away for anti-gravity pods holding comfortable seating for up to a dozen guests. The pods jockeyed for position along x, y, and z axes based on the credit amounts donated by their occupants, except for the single, stationary pod holding his instructors and closest classmates, fixed to the floor at the edge of the ring of drones generating the light field for the dueling area.

Gone also was his shiny, holo-patterned suit and the starsilk shirt beneath it, and the ornamental lights in his hair. His finery—picked out by his class’s style consultant to display his status and wealth—was stuffed into a storage container in favor of light, form-fitting carbon-fiber armor, with a matching face mask. Gauntlets secured to his wrists generated power for the sensors emitting an electro-mesh shield around his body that shifted with the movements of his off hand. His weapon, an elegant blade of wire and light, derived its power from his main hand gauntlet and the glove that protected his hand. Tuned to full, the blade could melt steel or puncture the transparent alloy that made up the dome above his head.

Thankfully, this was an exhibition duel. The blades would sting, but not incapacitate or kill.

He waited, holding his ready position, as the banners came down, displaying his family’s banner, with the twinkling ribbons of support from classmates and other interested parties, and the Academy banner, under which Master Kenndar dueled. Tradition kept the Academy banner free of ribbons, but his neural interface told him the odds of his loss were just under fifty percent. The markets were calling this a close thing and the players in the markets were nothing, if not savvy odds-players.

The lights came up around the ring, plunging the shifting observation cars into darkness as Master Kenndar entered from the other side of the oval. He took his cue to step forward, meeting his opponent in the center of the ring. He executed the formal bow, hand-grip, and blade salute deserving of a worthy opponent and prayed his master’s teachings weren’t wasted. He returned to his ready position to await the chime beginning the match, but not before he glanced towards the stationary box and spotted her in the front row, the lights in her hair twinkling in time with the flashes of crystal on her dress.

Ione wore a small smile of bored amusement, echoing the expressions of probably everyone in the audience, and he knew their thoughts. Yet another Academy student, ready to show off for status and praise, as if the privileges of his born position didn’t already come with their own accolades. His gaze flicked to the VIP box and he saw another bored, slightly amused expression, only he knew this one masked keen interest. As if the man sensed his scrutiny, Invicti Hades lifted one eyebrow and Den heard the words as surely as if they’d been broadcast for all to hear. What new way have you found to disappoint me?

The lurking paranoia he’d lived with for ten years summoned itself to the forefront of his awareness as the lights in the arena changed to a soft blue. The chimes sounded for Ready and Arm, and his blade flared to golden life. Across the ring, Master Kenndar assumed his own ready position. Den felt the eyes of the spectators crawling over him, adding weight to his protective gear. Waiting for him to fail.

The last chime sounded. Engage!

He leapt forward, his awareness extended out to the blade’s end, as he’d been taught and trained by Kenndar to do for ten years. And knew he’d made a mistake.

If you’d like to be notified when Scions launches in a month or two, and get sneak-peeks and exclusives on my books, plus some sweet-ass deals on sci-fi, fantasy, and romance every so often, stick your email in the box. You get a free box of books in the deal, and I don’t do spam.

Original Poetry: Christmas Eve on Friendship Station Thu, 15 Dec 2016 04:01:32 +0000 Christmas Eve on Friendship Station

An original send-up by Athena Grayson (with apologies to Clement C. Moore, Coca-Cola, and astrophysics)

‘Twas the night before Christmas, all through the space station
Not a creature was resting, or taking vacation.
The techs shifted cargo from shuttle to ship
While inspectors checked mass outside gravity’s grip.
The launch window opened, the countdown proceeded
For the vessel undocking, bringing Mars what it needed.
When outside the station, in the vacuum of night
There appeared a great beacon of unexplained light!
The station chief hollered for the science mechanic
To explain this anomaly before inciting a panic.
The mechanic had studied astronomy and physics
But it’s quantum mechanics whose laws bind St. Nicks.
“There’s no way that a sleigh pulled by reindeer could travel
through a vacuum ‘tween planets without time-space unravel!”
But as she stared out the viewport, biting her lip
That sleigh warped a bubble around the Mars ship.
“The physics are certain, if that ship escapes
We’ll be knocked out of orbit unless it’s replaced!”
The chief and mechanic held hands out of fright
As the sleigh warped away with the ship in the night!
But the shockwave of matter’s abrupt subtraction
Only left in its wake their mutual attraction.
“Holy ****, a parcel!” said the tech with a bleep
The station chief winced. Please let me be asleep.
Let this be a dream, let my mind be a-wander
Let that sound be my nightmares, and not the station transponder.
But the Earth spun below, in its blue and green beauty,
And the mechanic next to him was kind of a cutie.
The tech brought in the box, it measured very dense
The chief, mechanic, and scientist couldn’t make it make sense.
The scientist pulled his scanner, took some readings, and said, “Whoa!”
“This box replaced the mass of the entire Mars cargo!”
The mechanic gasped. “What could replace the mass of all our cargo bays?”
“There’s just one thing,” the scientist said. “Fruitcake for the holidays!”

You can get 40% off The Chase and tons of other books at Kobo for this week! Apply the code 40DEC at checkout!

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Indie Weekend: Moon Dance Cover Reveal Mon, 08 Aug 2016 16:49:57 +0000 Some of you may know I’ll be part of a box set of paranormal romances coming out this September (and now, the rest of you know, too). I haven’t talked much about the set (or anything really) because I’ve been busy writing my contribution to it–another novella in the Winterjacked series. Like its sister novella, Kaidan: Snow Bride, it tells the tale of the parents of one of the leads in the main series. Like its sister novella, it, too, is part of a box set with a shared theme.

Researching this was fun. Because it took place in the early 70’s, I got to nag my parents about the “flavor” of the era, and mix their stories with my own (very vague) memories of a few years after. There’s a very distinct feel to the fashions of the early 70’s. And I don’t just mean all the wacky polyester blends. 😀 The fashions remind me of the intersection of rebellion and flexibility (and no, I don’t mean double-knits, either!). The rigid traditions of yesteryear were still breaking down, but not against a battering ram of a single, solid opposition. Civil Rights, Women’s Lib, Anti-war sentiment, and a fragmenting music scene all contributed to chip away at a monolithic culture that seemed implacable until it wasn’t. To be honest, I can’t imagine the same blend of hope and innocence and cynicism and rebellion mixing the same way today. Not that we don’t have our own blend of it, as we continue to shape and mutate the ideas that our crazy predecessors put in place, but the flavor of the early 70’s was a taste all its own. I’m glad I was able to borrow a few tablespoons for this novella, and I hope I did it justice.

Now, without further ado, please ooh and aah over the cover for this upcoming contribution to Love Potion #9: 14 Paranormal Romances featuring USA Today, Bestselling, and Award-Winning Authors.

Moondance Cover

Moon Dance: a Winterjacked Frost Bite

Moon Dance: a Winterjacked FrostBite

When Amaryllis flees the Otherworld’s Winter Court to escape the attentions of a cruel prince, she finds herself in the human world of 1972, where women like her have won the right to choose their own destinies. Ryder, outcast from both Winter and Summer Courts, has committed the ultimate transgression and annexed a realm of his own. Without an ally, he could lose it all to the eternal war of the Otherworld, unless the runaway princess agrees to be his bride. When Otherworld politics break through to the ordinary world, Ryder and Amy must find strength in themselves–and trust in each other–to keep both worlds in balance.


SFRB Summer Blog Hop: Other Worlds Mon, 11 Jul 2016 03:59:51 +0000 SFRB2016SummerA whole new world…

That’s the theme of this week’s SFRB Summer Blog Hop, and it’s a good one. One of the most fun aspects about developing the settings for my Star Empire saga (soon to be two series, and possibly a third) is getting to develop the strange and wonderful worlds my futuristic characters get to visit. In the Huntress series, I’ve got four main settings where the characters discover more about each other and their society.


Each of the planets represents a different phase of their burgeoning relationship, and a different facet of their society. The Jewel system boasts a host of habitable planets and a vibrant Jumpgate system bringing traffic back and forth between them. Not all worlds are equal, though, and life on some of them is harder than others. A whole new world is just a Jumpgate away, but that Jumpgate may be further out of reach than the other end of the galaxy.

Tenraye is a bucolic world formerly known for fine wines and rich foods, a prosperous playground of abundance…until the people began to believe their prosperity attracted danger.

Guerre is a rough world of cave crystals, native aliens, and ancient secrets slowly being sacrificed to the grinding forces of progress.

Capitol is a city-planet, a worldwide urban sprawl whose spires concentrate the halls of power, but whose depths can be some of the most unexplored, and a person can easily be forgotten in its depths.

Varuna, the warm ocean moon of Iolia, offers spectacular views, warm shallow seas, and sanctuary in the shadow of a graceful gas giant whose system is known for its loose relationship with laws.

In my WIP, the sister series of “Huntress” (called “Scions of the Star Empire”), the citizens of the Torch have lost access to most of their Jumpgates. Their capitol planet, Landfall, possesses four habitable moons, however, and two minor planets at the LaGrange points of its orbit. There are plenty of places to play in the Torch system…but not all of them are safe.

If you’d like to learn more about the worlds of the Star Empire, you can check out the books at this link (where you’ll find links to your favorite retailers). And if you join my private readers’ group, you can get the first three episodes of Huntress absolutely free, plus sneak peeks to exclusive content, extras, bonus features, and the chance to get in early on my new releases. Just put your email in the box below!

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I’ve had a lot of fun creating these star systems, and the people in them as they live, love, and adventure. And yet I know that my own little creations can’t really hold a candle to the amazing and astounding alien worlds that are out there in our galaxy–or even our very own home solar system–for real.

You don’t have to leave this world to get great sci-fi romance, or get a chance to win exciting prizes from our little week-long tour of the science fiction romance brigade universe! Just follow the blog hop below, and don’t forget to sign up for the rafflecopter!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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