Saturday, June 25, 2022

I will obey your wishes - Excerpt from Cobra for #WeWriWa and #SnippetSunday

 

Welcome to Weekend Writing Warriors and Snippet Sunday. Sample the work of a new author. Read snippets of stories in different genres.

I’m continuing with my new SciFi story. It is coming up for pre-order and release at the end of this month.

Last week, Zennia had her first glimpse of the tragic hero. You can read the excerpt at https://auroraspringer.blogspot.com/2022/06/a-troubled-stranger-excerpt-from-cobra.html

The final sentences are: He spoke in a dreamlike tone, “It’s a long way down from this height. A man might jump over the parapet and dive to his death.” His accent was strange, although not as peculiar as his words.

This week’s excerpt continues directly.

Afraid he was contemplating suicide, she stretched a hand toward him, saying, “Please don’t.”

He blinked and shook his head. His bleary eyes focused on her. “Don’t what?”

She kept her tone calm to pacify him. “You spoke as if you wanted to jump to your death. I don’t wish you to do it.”

The pinched lines of stress eased and a faint smile warmed his face. “I will obey your wishes.”

Nine lines and a few more:

His gaze flicked up and down her figure. “Are you one of the natives, the Harappians?”

“No.” She touched her forefinger to the sunburst badge on her breast. “I’m a Curator from the Archives of Galactic Culture on Lumos. I’ve come to Mattapurna to study the local inhabitants and observe their festival of Vashali.”

“The celebration of the spring floods?” He shrugged. “A pagan ritual, not worthy of attention.” A moment later, his eyes lit with a spark of humor and he placed a hand on his chest. “Now with our arrival, you have a more advanced people to study.”

“Indeed, I do.” She thought his arrogance unappealing, yet she resolved to take advantage of the opportunity it offered.

He took a step closer as if he had decided she was worthy of his interest. “Will you be at the reception tomorrow, Curator?”

She replied in a cool tone, “I have received an invitation.”

His expression switched to eager. “Will you talk to me at the event? I yearn for fresh faces and novel conversations.”

Offering an encouraging smile, she said, “Certainly. Where can we…”

A gong clanged three times. Its loud ringing echoed from the walls and cut her words short.

He stiffened and frowned, his face slipping once more into a morose, blank-eyed expression. Muttering, “Forgive me. I am summoned,” he strode to the stairs. 

SciFi mystery. Interstellar spy befriends enemy commander in a tragic tale with a happy ending.

Shan Zennia, Senior Curator of the Archives of Galactic Culture on Lumos, plays a dangerous double role as a researcher and a spy for Solarian Intelligence. She embarks on a new mission to observe the spring festival on Harappi, a planet recently conquered by the ambitious Emperor and now governed by his niece, Domina Allia.

Zennia finds unexpected mysteries on the planet, including the enigmatic Nagari. Once a victorious commander in the Emperor’s space fleet and nicknamed the Cobra, he was forced to abandon his military career when Allia claimed him as her consort. Her abusive treatment has driven him to the brink of madness.

Intrigued by the ex-commander and aware of his value as a source of information on the enemy, Zennia agrees to meet him during the festival of rebirth. Opposing forces clash at the height of the celebrations, catalyzing deadly violence. Can Nagari and Zennia survive the chaos and win a new and happier life?

The ebook is available now for $2.49 at PayHip

Or you can pre-order for $2.99 at  Amazon   Apple   B&N   Kobo   GooglePlay   Other 

I’ll be happy to reply to your comments.

Please return to http://wewriwa.blogspot.com/ to sample the works of the other writers.

I’ve started to post videos on TikTok. If you’re interested, you can find me at: https://www.tiktok.com/@auroraspringer_author

All my books are discounted at my new Webstore: https://payhip.com/AuroraSpringerNovels.

 

Find a catalog of my published stories HERE.

 

Thursday, June 23, 2022

Mid-year Report on my Writing and Publishing Progress

 



New Series and Two Books Published

Earlier this year, I decided to write a shorter Sci-Fi story to jump over writer’s block. Since the new story fit in the setting of an earlier novella, Captured by the Hawk, I created a new series of standalone stories. The stories in Second Chances in Space feature different combinations of interstellar spies, space pirates, and a widow or widower finding romance. The background conflict is the fight against the aggressive Emperor of a major galactic sector. 

 

Lured by the Lion 


Sci-Fi adventure and romance with a moody hero and pirates.

After the death of her ailing father, Jocelyn Navarre Yazzie is free to roam the galaxy in the Star Condor, the spacecraft she inherited from her deceased husband. She embarks on a trip to deliver her father’s bequest to her aunt on a rural planet outside the civilized sectors.

A chance encounter with the crippled Leonardo Horlis changes her future. Leo Horlis suffers from a debilitating malady and expects to live for less than a year. Josie is strongly attracted to him, yet she cannot hope to compete with his beautiful dead wife, whose portrait dominates his house and his memories. Sympathizing with his grief and illness, Josie offers to transport him in Star Condor to the top medical center of the ultracivilized inner planets.

Their attraction intensifies in the cramped quarters of her ship. But, Leo has a dangerous secret that threatens to terminate their voyage and their lives. Can Josie and Leo escape the perils and vanquish the ghosts of their past to find happiness together?

 

Stung by the Cobra   


SciFi mystery. Interstellar spy befriends enemy commander in a tragic tale with a happy ending.

Shan Zennia, Senior Curator of the Archives of Galactic Culture on Lumos, plays a dangerous double role as a researcher and a spy for Solarian Intelligence. She embarks on a new mission to observe the spring festival on Harappi, a planet recently conquered by the ambitious Emperor and now governed by his niece, Domina Allia.

Zennia finds unexpected mysteries on the planet, including the enigmatic Nagari. Once a victorious commander in the Emperor’s space fleet and nicknamed the Cobra, he was forced to abandon his military career when Allia claimed him as her consort. Her abusive treatment has driven him to the brink of madness.

Intrigued by the ex-commander and aware of his value as a source of information on the enemy, Zennia agrees to meet him during the festival of rebirth. Opposing forces clash at the height of the celebrations, catalyzing deadly violence. Can Nagari and Zennia survive the chaos and win a new and happier life? 

 

Print books

I’ve been making paperback versions of my stories. At this stage, about three-quarters of my books are available as paperbacks.

 

New Direct Bookstore.

My books are now available at a discount in my virtual store (https://payhip.com/AuroraSpringerNovels).

 


 

Expansion in Social Media

This June, I began to post videos on TikTok. You can find me at https://www.tiktok.com/@auroraspringer_author


 

Friday, June 17, 2022

A Troubled Stranger - Excerpt from Cobra for #WeWriWa and #SnippetSunday

 


Welcome to Weekend Writing Warriors and Snippet Sunday. Sample the work of a new author. Read snippets of stories in different genres.

I’m continuing with my new SciFi story. It is coming up for pre-order and release at the end of this month.

You can read last week’s excerpt at https://auroraspringer.blogspot.com/2022/06/an-unusual-combination-excerpt-from.html

I suspect you would like to meet the ‘hero’. This week, I’m skipping ahead to introduce Nagari. He doesn’t appear very attractive at first. Zennia and her host have climbed to the top of a castle tower. (I have removed a couple of sentences about the view.)  

Opposite the stairwell, a man was leaning his hands on the stone parapet and staring down. His black uniform, straight-backed stance, and cropped corn-yellow hair marked him as one of the imperial invaders, a military officer or a royal guard.

Her brows lowered in a frown, Pittiprati stopped by the stairwell. She turned aside to stare over the parapet at the river as if she were loath to approach the enemy stranger.

Curious about the man, Zennia resolved to investigate. She ambled in a circuit inside the parapet, admiring the vista across the city to the great river and the forested slopes rising into the hazy mountains.

Drawing parallel to her target, she examined the yellow-haired man surreptitiously. He gave no sign of noticing her approach. His rugged profile was marred by tightly compressed lips, suggesting the anguish of a strong unpleasant emotion. And the way his fists were clenched tightly on the top of the parapet increased her uneasiness about his mental state.

Ten lines and a few more:

Halting a pace away from the stranger, she made a casual remark, “Isn’t it a lovely view?”

He turned slowly toward her. His face was as ghost-pale and haggard as if he had not slept for many days. Hollow cheeks, pinched eyebrows, and bloodshot eyes with stormy gray irises accentuated his miserable appearance.

He spoke in a dreamlike tone, “It’s a long way down from this height. A man might jump over the parapet and dive to his death.” His accent was strange, although not as peculiar as his words.


SciFi mystery. Interstellar spy befriends enemy commander in a tragic tale with a happy ending.

Shan Zennia, Senior Curator of the Archives of Galactic Culture on Lumos, plays a dangerous double role as a researcher and a spy for Solarian Intelligence. She embarks on a new mission to observe the spring festival on Harappi, a planet recently conquered by the ambitious Emperor and now governed by his niece, Domina Allia.

Zennia finds unexpected mysteries on the planet, including the enigmatic Nagari. Once a victorious commander in the Emperor’s space fleet and nicknamed the Cobra, he was forced to abandon his military career when Allia claimed him as her consort. Her abusive treatment has driven him to the brink of madness.

Intrigued by the ex-commander and aware of his value as a source of information on the enemy, Zennia agrees to meet him during the festival of rebirth. Opposing forces clash at the height of the celebrations, catalyzing deadly violence. Can Nagari and Zennia survive the chaos and win a new and happier life?

The ebook is available NOW for $2.49 at PayHip

Or you can pre-order for $2.99 at  Amazon   Apple   B&N 

I’ll be happy to reply to your comments.

Please return to http://wewriwa.blogspot.com/ to sample the works of the other writers.

I’ve just begin to post videos on TikTok. If you’re interested, you can find me at: https://www.tiktok.com/@auroraspringer_author

All my books are discounted at my new Webstore: https://payhip.com/AuroraSpringerNovels

Find a catalog of my published stories HERE.

Saturday, June 11, 2022

An Unusual Combination - Excerpt from the Cobra for #WeWriWa and #SnippetSunday

 


Welcome to Weekend Writing Warriors and Snippet Sunday. Sample the work of a new author. Read snippets of stories in different genres.

I’m continuing with my new SciFi story. It is coming up for pre-order and release at the end of this month.

In last week’s excerpt, Shan Zennia had coolly negotiated spaceport security on the planet of Harappi. You can read the excerpt at - https://auroraspringer.blogspot.com/2022/06/her-credentials-excerpt-from-cobra-for.html

In this weeks’ excerpt, I’m skipping a few lines. Zennia has met her hosts, Ghandry and Pittiprati, and they have walked out of the terminal. Here, Zennia discovers a local curiosity.

A sleek flitter zipped overhead, carrying the elite to the mansions of the new city. Beside the road, a line of animals and carts waited for less eminent travelers. The carts had four large wheels and wooden sides with poles at the corners to support a fabric cover. One of the animals, some species of horned cattle, was yoked to each cart. This unusual combination of technologically advanced flitters with primitive animal-drawn transport met with Zennia’s approval. She enjoyed this type of variety in her research expeditions.

Walking along the row of carts, Ghandry examined each in turn. He halted by one animal harnessed to a vehicle with a blue cover, and spoke to the youth standing nearby. The bare-chested youth wore a knee-length sarong knotted around his waist.

Nine lines and a few more.

Pittiprati touched the animal’s cheek and explained, “Sabu is this ox’s name. He often gives us a ride. Sabu cannot speak, but he understands what we say.” She patted the ox’s neck. “Curator Shan Zennia is our guest for the festival. Please look after her if she needs a ride.”

Murmuring, “Hello, Sabu,” Zennia stared in interest at the sturdy animal yoked to the cart. It had a humped back and white spots dappled its chestnut brown flanks. Its head, on level with hers, bore two long curved horns with the tips wrapped in blue cloth. Despite those formidable weapons, it returned her gaze though mild brown eyes.

After a short exchange with Ghandry, the youth stepped to the animal and whispered in its ear. Then, he pulled down the side of the cart and beckoned to her. “Please to climb in, Curator.”

She complied, choosing the wooden seat at the front. Her host joined her, while his wife sat behind.

The youth raised the side of the cart and tapped the animal’s flank. The ox grunted and plodded along the road toward the city.

Surprised at the absence of reins or a human guide, Zennia glanced back at the line of carts. The youth, instead of walking beside the animal with their cart, had moved on to another customer. She looked at her host and arched her eyebrows in a question. “Does Sabu know where you live?”

His eyes crinkled in amusement. “Sabu knows our house. Our cattle are well-trained and familiar with the city streets.” 

SciFi mystery. Interstellar spy befriends enemy commander in a tragic tale with a happy ending.

Shan Zennia, Senior Curator of the Archives of Galactic Culture on Lumos, plays a dangerous double role as a researcher and a spy for Solarian Intelligence. She embarks on a new mission to observe the spring festival on Harappi, a planet recently conquered by the ambitious Emperor and now governed by his niece, Domina Allia.

Zennia finds unexpected mysteries on the planet, including the enigmatic Nagari. Once a victorious commander in the Emperor’s space fleet and nicknamed the Cobra, he was forced to abandon his military career when Allia claimed him as her consort. Her abusive treatment has driven him to the brink of madness.

Intrigued by the ex-commander and aware of his value as a source of information on the enemy, Zennia agrees to meet him during the festival of rebirth. Opposing forces clash at the height of the celebrations, catalyzing deadly violence. Can Nagari and Zennia survive the chaos and win a new and happier life? 

The ebook is available for pre-order at:  Amazon   Apple   B&N 

In the next couple of weeks, I’ll set it up at the other retailers and on my direct store.

I’ll be happy to reply to your comments.

Please return to http://wewriwa.blogspot.com/ to sample the works of the other writers.

I’ve just begin to post videos on TikTok. If you’re interested, you can find me at: https://www.tiktok.com/@auroraspringer_author

All my books are discounted at my new Webstore: https://payhip.com/AuroraSpringerNovels.

 

Find a catalog of my published stories HERE.

Tuesday, June 7, 2022

Coming soon - Stung by the Cobra #SciFi with Mystery and Romance

 


SciFi mystery. Interstellar spy befriends enemy commander in a tragic tale with a happy ending.

Shan Zennia, Senior Curator of the Archives of Galactic Culture on Lumos, plays a dangerous double role as a researcher and a spy for Solarian Intelligence. She embarks on a new mission to observe the spring festival on Harappi, a planet recently conquered by the ambitious Emperor and now governed by his niece, Domina Allia.

Zennia finds unexpected mysteries on the planet, including the enigmatic Nagari. Once a victorious commander in the Emperor’s space fleet and nicknamed the Cobra, he was forced to abandon his military career when Allia claimed him as her consort. Her abusive treatment has driven him to the brink of madness.

Intrigued by the ex-commander and aware of his value as a source of information on the enemy, Zennia agrees to meet him during the festival of rebirth. Opposing forces clash at the height of the celebrations, catalyzing deadly violence. Can Nagari and Zennia survive the chaos and win a new and happier life? 

Available for pre-order at:  Amazon   Apple   B&N  

 

Excerpt from Chapter 1

Curator Shan Zennia gazed at the wall screen as the space shuttle zoomed toward the planet of Harappi. Her first glimpse of the location of her new mission stirred a familiar thrill of excitement. She touched the badge of office she wore on a chain around her neck. The badge, a silver sunburst around a pearlescent disk, doubled as a recorder of her observations for the Archives of Galactic Culture. This assignment promised to be especially intriguing with the potential clash of two rival parties amid the ritual celebration of Vashali.

The screen displayed the view of Harappi from high altitude above the atmosphere. White clouds drifted over dark green landmasses and blue green oceans. Colonized in the distant past, the planet was still covered in tropical jungle. Its inhabitants were concentrated in coastal cities and small settlements in the mountains and arable plains.

In the adjacent seat, Dhawal murmured, “Home.” He glanced at her, a beatific smile on his chubby face. “Mata begged me to spend Vashali with her. It’s the holiest of festivals. I’ve visited for Vashali every year since I took the job on Marina. Our family bathes together in the River Vash. We offer flowers and pray for a favorable year.”

She merely nodded. Dhawal had repeated this explanation in almost identical words at least once a day during the voyage. Despite her cool indifference, he had buzzed around her like a mosquito for the entire four days of travel. Perhaps he was lonely. Or she reminded him of his mother. Whatever his motive, she had no desire for entanglements, romantic or otherwise. She had endured his smirks and copious complements along with the other discomforts of her journey.

A frown clouded his genial face. “This year, it’s different…” Falling silent, he gripped the armrests and stared at the screen. 

Glad for the respite from making a polite reply, Zennia shut her eyes and considered the dramatic change in the lives of the Harappians over the previous year.

The planet was unfortunately situated in the nebulous region of galactic space abutting the Emperor’s Sector and the smaller Sectors of Chaktagoonacott and Ptavi. In his warped ambition, Emperor Hadros deemed the planet ripe for exploitation. He had sent his battleships. After a short, fierce combat, his space fleet had defeated the poorly armed Harappian star fighters. Three months ago in standard galactic time, he had declared victory. Imperial troops had occupied the capital city of Mattapurna. They had executed the reigning monarch, Maharaja Bahadur, and killed or imprisoned the members of the royal family.

According to Imperial propaganda, the Harappians were delighted to be liberated from the Maharaja’s oppression. Zennia suspected the reality was totally opposite. She would soon learn the truth.

In a final blow, the Emperor had designated his niece, Princess Allia, as the new ruler of Harappi. Twenty-five days ago, Domina Allia and her retinue had descended on the conquered city. Plenty of time for the natives to experience the true nature of their overlord. Zennia pitied the Harappian people. Judging by her reputation, Allia would be a cruel and tyrannical ruler. She would be eager to crush its inferior inhabitants and seize the products of their farms and mines.

As senior Curator, Zennia had obtained permission to observe the spring festival of Vashali for the Archives. The ostensible goal of her mission camouflaged her covert task to probe beyond the official propaganda. She would transmit encrypted reports on the city’s residents and their conquerors to the Solarian Intelligence Service. If her instincts were correct, the jubilation of the annual festival might induce the Harappian resistance to strike at the conquerors, and in consequence, provoke violent retaliation. She had approval, if an opportunity arose, to nudge events toward a favorable outcome. Any interference must be discreet or she risked smudging her pristine reputation as an impartial observer.

The shuttle rocked in the turbulent upper airstreams. Fighting off a wave of nausea, Zennia performed her breathing exercises. Was she growing too old for interstellar travel? Her muscles were stiff after the inactivity of her journey in the cramped passenger quarters of a space freighter.

The embargo on space travel to Harappi had been lifted only ten days earlier. She had quickly negotiated passage on one of the first freighters to stop at Harappi. The ship carried a cargo of much-needed supplies. As the only unaccompanied female passenger, she rated a separate cabin for the four days of the voyage. The others had to share double berths. The freighter lacked the luxuries of a space cruiser and offered no entertainments. Passengers had meals with the crew or used the self-service galley and ate in their cabins.

As a further distraction from her queasiness, Zennia surveyed her fellow passengers in the shuttle. The majority, like Dhawal, planned to celebrate the festival with their relatives. Seated immediately in front of her, Amrita and Tamish, a quiet old couple, were looking forward to meeting their new grandchild. Big blonde Olaf Ivanov, a journalist with Galnews, had seized two adjacent seats in the front of the cabin. He refused to be parted from his bulky recording equipment. Paval and Kavish sat on the opposite side of the aisle. She knew little about the two men. Unlike the other passengers, they had declined to discuss the nature of their business on Harappi.

She had recorded her fellow travelers during the journey and cataloged their foibles for the public records of the Archives. No, she decided. She was not yet ready to retire from her position as traveling curator. People and their interactions still fascinated her.

She looked up at the display. Her destination, the City of Mattapurna, was marked by an arrow in the southern region of a large continent. She had arrived near the end of the rainy season and dense clouds obscured the landscape. Ominous bands of thunderclouds spread across the continent from the white peaks of mountains in the north to the southern ocean. At this altitude, no evidence was visible of the battle with the Emperor’s space fleet.

Dropping into the layer of clouds, the shuttle dived into a clear space between adjacent dark bands of cloud. The capital city lay below. The old city, its streets flooded by monsoon rains, nestled within a gleaming loop of the River Vash. Clusters of newer buildings sprawled across the plain farther west of the river. The shuttle descended toward the spaceport on the western border of the city. Mounds of rubble, toppled sky towers, and gaps among the buildings marked the destruction wrought by the Imperial fleet. If she recalled correctly, the original spaceport had also been demolished in the invasion.

The space shuttle decelerated in a raucous shudder and glided to land in the newly constructed spaceport. Clouds of steam hovered above the large puddles left on the concrete by recent rainstorms. Three of the Emperor’s star fighters, black as space itself, stood at the far side of the airfield. Several space tugs and scouters were parked in the public section. A space tug lifted skywards from an adjacent runway. Interstellar travel had resumed, although sparser than normal for a thriving community.

The shuttle taxied to a spot by a large awning erected over the entrance to the passenger terminal. The standard Quickset block of the terminal with a row of narrow windows signaled its hasty construction after the war.  

Zennia slipped the strap of her bag over a shoulder and filed out of the shuttle with the other passengers. Stepping outside into the sweltering heat, she inhaled and exhaled in slow breaths to acclimatize her body. A curator must endure the same conditions as the subjects of her observations. Ignoring the blasts of hot air from the scorching concrete, she activated the iridescent disk of her badge to record the surroundings. A lush green jungle flourished outside the barrier fence enclosing the spaceport. To the north, gloomy clouds reared as a backdrop to the jungle and concealed the mountains. In the eastern direction, heat haze blurred the city buildings.

She joined the passengers at the edge of the canopy. As they looked around uncertainly, four guards in the somber black uniforms of the conquerors marched out of the terminal. Their stern expressions and hand weapons were far from welcoming.

“Get in line,” the leader shouted. “All incoming travelers must show their credentials.”

Paval muttered a protest at the delay. Amrita sobbed and mopped her eyes, impatient to see her family.

Unsurprised by the officious interrogation, Zennia waited for her turn with the serenity of her vocation.

Olaf Ivanov shoved to the front of the line and broke into a loud dispute with the guard about his luggage.

Zennia quashed a smile. The argument was so typical of the brash journalist. He ought to know better than to squabble with the security guard, especially with one of the imperial troops. Their combat training left no place for compassion.

Still protesting vociferously, Ivanov was dragged inside the building for further interrogation.

Dhawal glanced at Zennia and gave a faint smile. “Shan Zennia, I cannot express the depth of my enjoyment of your delightful company. It has been a true honor.” He bowed and offered her a place in front of him in the line. “Please go ahead. I’m waiting for my bags.”

She declined with a shake of her head. She had no reason for haste. Behind the windows of the Quickset terminal, people in white or vividly colored garments were waiting for the new arrivals. Her hosts would be among them.  

When she reached the front of the line, the guard inspected her identity chip and barked, “Curator Shan Zennia, what is your business on Harappi?”

“I have come to record the celebration of Vashali for the Archives of Galactic Culture on Lumos.” Amused by his confusion, she held out her sunburst pendant, her insignia as a traveling curator. Her title and badge of office granted her access to inhabited planets throughout the galaxy to record the local culture.

Scrolling through a list of names on his tablet, he looked up. “Curator, your visa is valid. But the city is under martial law. Where will you stay? None of the hotels are open.”

She replied in a calm tone, “My welcome is assured. Arrangements have been made for me to reside with a host family.” She flashed a smile. “A curator must mingle with the local residents to fully experience the cultural event she is observing.” 

“If you are content…” His voice trailed away. Recovering his bravado, he jabbed a finger at her. “Where is your luggage?”

She patted her bag. “Everything I need is in here.” The bag held her tablet, toiletries, a change of clothes and a formal outfit. Her hosts would help her to procure traditional dress for the festival.

“It must be scanned.” He took her bag and handed it to the guard with the probe. A minute later, he returned the bag to her. He gestured to the gate in the barrier. “Curator, you are free to enter the city.”


Friday, June 3, 2022

Her Credentials - Excerpt from Cobra for #WeWriWa and #SnippetSunday

 


Welcome to Weekend Writing Warriors and Snippet Sunday. Sample the work of a new author. Read snippets of stories in different genres.

I’m continuing with my new SciFi story. I hope to publish it by the end of this month.

Current Blurb

SciFi mystery. Interstellar spy befriends enemy commander in a tragic tale with a happy ending.

Shan Zennia, Senior Curator of the Archives of Galactic Culture on Lumos, plays a dangerous double role as a researcher and a spy for Solarian Intelligence. She embarks on a new mission to observe the spring festival on Harappi, a planet recently conquered by the ambitious Emperor and now governed by his niece, Domina Allia.

Zennia finds unexpected mysteries on the planet, including the enigmatic Nagari. Once a victorious commander in the Emperor’s space fleet and nicknamed the Cobra, he was forced to abandon his military career when Allia claimed him as her consort. Her abusive treatment has driven him to the brink of madness.

Intrigued by the ex-commander and aware of his value as a source of information on the enemy, Zennia agrees to meet him during the festival of rebirth. Opposing forces clash at the height of the celebrations and thrust Nagari into deadly chaos. But, all paths flow into the sacred River Vash with its promise of change and rebirth. Are Nagari and Zennia destined to win a new and happier life?  

In last week’s excerpt, Shan Zennia has just landed at the spaceport. The arriving passengers are met by armed men in the uniforms of the Emperor’s forces.

You can read last week’s excerpt at https://auroraspringer.blogspot.com/2022/05/an-unwelcome-tropical-environment.html

The last sentence was; Their stern expressions and hand weapons were far from welcoming.

[I have removed less relevant sentences about her fellow passengers apart from the journalist.]

“Get in line,” the leader shouted. “All incoming travelers must show their credentials.”

Unsurprised by the officious interrogation, Zennia waited for her turn with the serenity of her vocation.

Shoving to the front of the line, Olaf Ivanov broke into a loud dispute with the guard about his luggage.

Zennia quashed a smile. The argument was so typical of the brash journalist. He ought to know better than to argue with the security guard, especially with one of the imperial troops. Their combat training left no place for compassion.

Still protesting vociferously, Ivanov was dragged inside the building for further interrogation.

When she reached the front of the line, the guard inspected her identity chip and barked, “Curator Shan Zennia, what is your business on Harappi?”

Ten sentences plus a little more:

“I have come to record the celebration of Vashali for the Archives of Galactic Culture on Lumos.” Amused by his confusion, she held out her sunburst pendant, her insignia as a traveling curator. Her title and badge of office granted her access to inhabited planets throughout the galaxy to record the local culture.

Scrolling through a list of names on his tablet, he looked up. “Curator, your visa is valid. But the city is under martial law. Where will you stay? None of the hotels are open.”

She replied in a calm tone, “My welcome is assured. Arrangements have been made for me to reside with a host family.” She flashed a smile. “A curator must mingle with the local residents to fully experience the event she is observing.” 

“If you are content…” His voice trailed away. Recovering his bravado, he jabbed a finger at her. “Where is your luggage?”

She patted her bag. “Everything I need is in here.” The bag held her tablet, toiletries, a change of clothes and a formal outfit. Her hosts would help her to procure traditional dress for the festival.


I’ll be happy to reply to your comments.

Please return to http://wewriwa.blogspot.com/ to sample the works of the other writers.

All my books are discounted at my new Webstore: https://payhip.com/AuroraSpringerNovels.

Find a catalog of my published stories HERE.

 

Wednesday, June 1, 2022

Saturday, May 28, 2022

An unwelcome tropical environment - Excerpt from new story for #WeWriWa and #SnippetSunday

 


Welcome to Weekend Writing Warriors and Snippet Sunday. Sample the work of a new author. Read snippets of stories in different genres.

If you’re in the US, I wish you an enjoyable Memorial holiday weekend.

I’m moving on with my new SciFi story. Thanks for your suggestions on the opening section. I’ve already revised that chapter. You can read the earlier draft at https://auroraspringer.blogspot.com/2022/05/an-intriguing-mission-excerpt-from-new.html

Background: Curator Shan Zennia has traveled to the planet of Harappi to record the annual spring festival. In her covert role, she also plans to report to Solarian Intelligence on the conditions after the planet’s recent occupation by the Emperor’s troops. The new overlord, Domina Allia, has a particularly nasty reputation.

Note: Zennia wears a Curator’s badge of office, a silver sunburst around an iridescent disk that records her observations (a mini-video recorder).  

The space shuttle decelerated in a noisy shudder and glided to land in the newly constructed spaceport. Steam hovered above the large puddles left on the concrete by recent rainstorms. Three of the Emperor’s star fighters, black as space itself, stood at the far side of the airfield. Several spacetugs and scouters were parked in the public section. A spacetug lifted skywards. Space travel had resumed, although sparser than normal for a thriving community.

The shuttle taxied to a spot by a large awning erected over the entrance to the passenger terminal. The standard Quickset block with a row of narrow windows signaled its hasty construction after the war.  

Zennia slipped the strap of her bag over a shoulder and filed out of the shuttle with the other passengers. Stepping outside into the sweltering heat, she inhaled and exhaled in slow breaths to acclimatize her body.

Ten sentences plus a little more:

A curator must endure the same conditions as the subjects of her observations. Ignoring the blasts of hot air from the scorching concrete, she activated the iridescent disk of her badge to record the surroundings. A lush green jungle flourished outside the barrier fence enclosing the spaceport. In the distance, gloomy clouds reared as a backdrop to the jungle and concealed the mountains. In the opposite direction, heat haze blurred the city buildings.

She joined the passengers at the edge of the canopy. As they looked around uncertainly, four guards in the somber black uniforms of the conquerors marched out of the terminal. Their stern expressions and hand weapons were far from welcoming.

I’ll be happy to reply to your comments. If all goes well, I hope to finish the editing and publish this story later this summer. 

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Tuesday, May 24, 2022

More Views from Dartmoor, UK


 I’m posting more scenes from our week exploring Dartmoor in Southeast Britain.  

The top photo shows the cottage we rented in Higher Whiddon Farm. The owners keep thoroughbred horses. 



 
We visited Wistman’s Wood on National Trust land. It is a grove of unusual stunted old trees and rocks covered in moss.

 


I had to search for the names of these two unfamiliar flowers: Welsh Yellow Poppy and Pink Purslane.


On our final day, we climbed Yar Tor and took pictures of several Dartmoor ponies. Here’s a closeup of a white mare and large foal with a view across the moor to Sharp Tor.