I plan on publishing this novel in August, so I thought I’d give you a little excerpt today. The novel is science fiction, with a good dose of ritual magic tossed in. Here’s the blurb:
Kaili left her home world five years ago to take part in telepathic communications experiments in hyperspace. The people of her planet, colonized to provide a depleted Earth with necessary metal and other minerals, developed psi abilities over the generations they have lived there and learned to manipulate Elemental energies- what outlanders call magic. The experiments failed, but Kaili decided to stay with the Interstellar Security Corps. Not everyone in her family was happy with her decision.
Now, she and her partner, Jeff, are returning to Geb. Kaili’s grandmother has died after a long illness, and Kaili’s sister will be invested as new head of the family mining business and the planetary ruling council. Someone does not want her to stay in control of either. There have been accidents at the mines, and evidence of other problems. When Kaili turns up missing the day before the ceremony, Jeff has to use some “magic” of his own to find her, and they have to rely on their partnership as they race to save the business, and Kaili’s sister’s life.
And the excerpt:
“Good,” she said. “We can get breakfast in the kitchen. After, I would like to visit grandmother’s crypt. Since I couldn’t be here for the funeral, I feel I should at least visit her now. Humfrid is having a transport meet us later to take us to one of the copper mines outside the city. Philip is there today, and knows we are coming, so we should be in good shape when we get there.” Jeff followed Kaili to the back of the house, and into a large, airy kitchen. Cooktops, ovens, and other kitchen appliances lined the far wall. The center of the room was dominated by a long, narrow, stainless steel table, divided into workstations. Each station had a small refrigerator below, and divided bins on a shelf above to hold ingredients. Utensils were arranged in canisters at each station. Suspended from the ceiling, and running the length of the center work area, was a rack hung with cooking vessels. White-coated cooks worked at several of the stations, chopping and cutting. Several more were cooking at the back. A large, rotund man with a flushed face and white hair in disarray hurried forward as they came in.
“Lady Kaili!” he exclaimed, throwing his arms wide. “I am glad you came to visit us back here. But I would have sent food to you, you know.” He pulled Kaili into a bear hug that lifted her off her feet. When he set her down again, Kaili tugged her short jacket to straighten it.
“Martan, it is a pleasure coming down here,” Kaili said. “It always smells so good!” Jeff realized she was right. The kitchen smelled of bacon, yeasty bread, cinnamon, and other enticing food aromas. Jeff realized he was quite hungry.
“And this must be Captain MacKenzie?” the chef asked, holding out a meaty hand. Jeff shook it, and found Martan’s grip strong. “I trust the coffee was to your liking this morning?” Jeff nodded.
“It was quite good, thank you,” Jeff said. “Better than the stuff we usually have.” Martan beamed.
“We have only the best, I assure you. Since the mines expanded to the southern continent, folks discovered it was the perfect place to grow our own coffee. Imported some plants and we grow our own special blend.” he said, then turned to Kaili again. “Why don’t you go to the nook, and I will have breakfast sent right away. I know for a fact that your transport won’t be ready for a little while yet. You have time to sit and eat a proper meal.” He wagged a finger at her. Turning to Jeff, he continued.
“When this one was a child, it was all we could do to get her to sit and eat a real meal. She was never still long enough! It was my biggest challenge. That and keeping her from stealing all the cinnamon rolls before anyone else got to taste them!” Kaili laughed.
“Well, you do make the best cinnamon rolls in the entire universe, so who could blame me?” Martan beamed again, and shooed them out of the kitchen. He turned back to his assistants, barking orders. Kaili led Jeff to a small alcove cut into one of the walls off the kitchen proper. The outer wall was rounded to follow the contour of the tower it was set in. Large, multipane glass windows looked out on another view of the gardens, these with a variety of vegetables and fruit trees. Bench seats were built under the windows with upholstered cushions woven with bright flowers. An iron table with curved legs and a glass top sat in the center of the room. Four iron chairs with cushions that matched the window seats were arranged around the table. A squat round vase filled with fresh flowers was on the table. Everything was painted in a pale, creamy yellow. There were framed pictures of flowers and garden scenes on the walls, adding a hint of color. The room was bright, airy, and inviting. Kaili pulled out one of the chairs and sat.
“Grandmother used watch the sunrise and have breakfast here every morning,” Kaili said, as Jeff sat across from her. “We’d come in later and have cocoa with her before she went to her office or the mines. I think this is the room that reminds me of her, more than anywhere else.” She gazed out the windows, a smile curving her lips. Jeff sat at the table, watching, not wanting to interrupt her memories. She turned back to the table as two of the kitchen staff brought in plates of eggs and bacon. Another carried a bowl of fresh fruit salad, and a plate of cinnamon rolls. They set the food down, and left. One returned a moment later with a pot of coffee, two mugs, and cream and sugar. The food was good, and Jeff cleaned his plate in short order. Kaili gestured with her fork to the platter.
“You have to try one of those rolls,” she said. “Best in the universe. I’m not kidding.” Jeff pulled the platter closer and cut one of the huge pastries in half. It was delicious. It had a yeasty aroma and taste, and just enough bite from the cinnamon to offset the not too sweet frosting. He took a sip of his coffee, and another bite of the roll.
“You may be right about those,” he said. “If I had those in front of me every day, I wouldn’t fit through the ship’s hatch!” He put his coffee cup down and leaned slightly forward.
“Circle Unbroken” will be available in mid-August from most ebook retailers.
Stay tuned for more info, excerpts, and maybe a contest or two!
Available now from Smashwords, Amazon, and most ebook retailers: