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Shadow of Doubt, the next chapter in the exciting Red Vixen Adventures series is now available for pre-order at Amazon.com, for the low price of $3.49!

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Love doesn't equal acceptance...

The foxen noblevixen Lady Sallivera Darktail is returning home to Foxen Prime for some much needed medical attention, accompanied by her bodyguard and lover, Alinadar. But her chance for rest is short-lived, as she must face her parents' disapproval in her choice of an ex-pirate and convicted criminal as her beloved.

Meanwhile Alinadar has her own troubles. A convicted pirate and ex-child soldier, she must attempt to reconnect to a family she'd thought long lost. But how can she find peace with so much blood on her hands? And how can she convince Salli's disapproving family to accept her?

And unbeknownst to both of them, the enemy that has harried the House Darktail for so long has one more strike prepared to doom Salli and Ali's hard fought love.

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Shadow of Doubt will release on June 1st.

I am an inspiration!!

God help me....

Anyway, my good friend and talented artist Naziha Zahed is drawing tribute pictures to all of her friends who have touched her in her life. Here's what she had to draw and say about me.

Link to original.

 photo soultouchers___royce_by_wazaga-da3nipj_zpstndseqim.png

Thank you for being perhaps one of the kindest, funniest and sweetest dirty-old-men I've ever met. :XD: And I say that with much fondness. Jokes aside, we've had many intellectual conversations over the years. I always forget you're old enough to be my dad, but then, a solid friendship has no age barrier, does it? One of the many lessons I've picked up off you was the importance of research. You've never skimped on getting your facts straight or drawing inspiration from actual cultures, even going so far as to seek out those who either are more knowledgeable than you, or better yet, live the cultures you're researching. It's a step far beyond what I've seen of other internet writers (at least those I've actually read works by). And I dearly wish more readers would recognize that in your work as much as I do and appreciate it.

May your interstellar stories reach far beyond the known galaxies, old man. And may you never be too old to write them.


So I'm working on "The Quisling's Tale"

And for story reasons I ended up Googling up a list of Swedish airlines to see what flight attendant would be tending to some human captives as they're transported to their Rest & Rec city, and also needed to find out whether European Scrabble boards have letters with umlauts.

The life of a sci-fi writer can be odd sometimes.
Poll #2045278 scraping the bottom of the barrel for YOUR views!

The Answer

...brings more Questions
Like I'd really tell YOU


Writing Update

Shadow of Doubt is in the can and just waiting for cover art.

Right now I'm putting together The Fall of Man: A For Your Safety Collection, collecting all the pre-Ring stories I've put together over the years. Needs severe editing with pruning shears, and a completion of "The Quisling's Tale". Cover art wise I may go with a generic "Modern" abstract cover courtesy of KDP's build-a-cover system, since I'm trying to reach out beyond the Furry crowd to a more general sci-fi audience.

After that I'll put together Rise of the Ring collecting some of the post-Awakening stories, and then move on to a major re-write of The Red Vixen at Sea.

Cover Art Preview

A little teaser for the final cover art. When finished it'll be part of the background of the main image.

Anyway, meet the Darktail family in happier times, from left to right Rolas, Arlonis, Matria, and Sallivera.

Rolas is not smiling as usual, but on the plus side he's finally wearing a shirt.

Poll: So "Shadow of Doubt" is done

As in story completed, edited, uploaded to KDP and waiting on cover art.

What should I work on next?

The Red Vixen at Sea (Rolas and Melanie
The Fall of Man ("For Your Safety" on Earth during the Groupmind Rebellion
The Rise of the Ring ("For Your Safety" stories set on the Ring
Short story collection (random Tez & Maria bits and other things
Stealing the Phoenix (technothriller update of "Firefox:))
Prisoners of History (first contact story set on Foxen Prime)
No! This thing! (see comments)


Writing update

Okay fixed the bits at the end of Shadow of Doubt to remove the nonsense about Ali's appearance being de-aged. Now I just need to find beta readers to look over the complete document to see if I missed anything important.

RVA: Shadow of Doubt, Renewal

She didn’t so much wake up as start swimming. Not that she’d ever been in a body of water larger than a bathtub, but it felt like swimming, or rather what she imagined swimming underwater would feel, in darkness, pressure all around her, crushing her, unable to breathe. The surface had to be somewhere, but she’d lost the way. She panicked and flailed wildly, but creatures grabbed her by the arms and legs, pinning her to the soft sand of the ocean floor until she slept again.

She woke, swam, felt herself begin to drown again. But each time it felt as if the surface was a little closer, the light a little brighter.

After a long time, she found herself laying on the shore, too exhausted to move. Vague shadows of people passed near her, but the sun was too bright to make them out. They spoke to her, but their voices were too weak to be heard above the roar of the surf.

Eventually some of the shadows became clearer. The ones in white she didn’t like very much. They made her stand and try to walk, catching her as she fell over and over again. They kept asked questions and she couldn't’ make out what they were saying. She tried to tell them this, tell them she how tired she was, but her tongue was stiff and stupid in her mouth, and all she could do was babble and drool like a newborn cub, the frustration of trying so hard making her weep.

There was another shape that was almost always near when she was awake. It was tall and spare, dressed in shades of blue. When they were near she was able to calm down, pay attention to white shapes’ demands with more patience. That shape wanted to help her, she knew.

Gradually, the shapes became people. Some she knew, like the nice lady in blue, and the ones with the black and white fur. But she couldn’t remember their names, couldn’t form the words to ask, and the frustration of trying and failing over and over made her growl and weep like a child, until dreamless sleep came again.

Then one evening, finally, she woke up all the way.

Rip Van AliCollapse )

RVA: Shadow of Doubt, Truths Be Told

Civil Protection arrived, again, within a few minutes of Zaker’s call. Detective Lt. Lightfoot arrived with them, and took statements from Zaker, Salli, Fin, Razi and Karra, as well as downloading the damning audio log from the parlor’s com. He completed his tasks with ill grace, looking decidedly disgruntled at having his investigation short-circuited by an amateur.

“If you had gotten yourself shot by that vixen,” he jammed a thumb at Nari, still unconscious and being strapped to a stretcher for transport to the CP station, “I’d be having a very unpleasant conversation with your lady mother right now.”

“Well I didn’t, so it worked out,” Salli told him. “Don’t worry, I’m certain my mother will repeat the same points that you and Officer Fin have made to me. Repeatedly.”

“Just don’t get the idea of taking up detecting as a hobby,” he grumbled.

“No worries there, Detective. I will be returning to my duties as Governor of Greenholme as soon as…” Salli frowned, thinking of Ali still lying in her hospital bed. “Well, as soon as I am able.”

“Are we done here?” Razi asked. “I want to see Ali before we have to go home.”

“I think so,” Lightfoot said. “I need to follow up to HQ and interrogate our suspect once she wakes up.”

“And I need to talk to my parents so they have a chance to chastise me,” Salli said. “Razi, Karra, I’ll follow along when I can.” She exchanged hugs with the two vixens, then took her leave and headed up to her parent’s office.

Now where did she put that Chekhov"s Gun?Collapse )

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