Corvette: Pirate’s Lair

It’s a few months later than I anticipated, but it’s finally here. The exciting final book of the Corvette Trilogy. But don’t worry, Vance and crew will be back again in a new trilogy, early next year. Look for Destroyer: Declo Demons which will be the first book of the middle trilogy for this Starship Series.

In the meantime, enjoy this one and tell all your friends it’s out! The paperback will follow in a month or so.

Corvette: Pirate’s Lair

Commander Vance and his crew are about to launch their new Corvette, the SS Kootenai, with orders to find and kill the ruthless pirate Captain Vynn. There’s just one problem; the only person who knows where his secret lair is located is currently serving a life sentence in Federal prison – Trin Lestor.

Will she help find her former lover so that Vance can kill him? Or will she lead him into a trap in the pirate’s lair known as Kamaia? Join Vance, Boxer, and Rizzo on their most dangerous mission yet as they battle Vynn to the death.

The exciting conclusion to the Corvette Trilogy is a fast-moving, and action-packed ride from start to finish.

K’nat Trap Release Day

The ebook and paperback versions of K’nat Trap are now both available on Amazon. If you pick up the paperback, you get the ebook free! Can’t beat that!

As always, please leave a review when you finish reading it. Authors live or die on reviews. The more we get the better off we do and the more likely we will be able to write you more of the stories you love. So if you loved K’nat Trap, tell everyone about it with a quick review on Amazon.

Thanks!

 

I’ve got my copy!

Get yours today!

July is K’nat Month

Looking for a quick, fun read this summer? Then get yourself a copy of K’nat Trap. It’s loaded with starfighter fights, carnivorous alien squids and Special Forces Pravda. How can you miss with all of that? So go and order yours today so it’s automagically on your Kindle or Kindle app on the 18th. If you can’t wait until then, order your paperback copy now and be reading it in just a few days shipping time.

Here’s the cover blurbage:

Starstrikers agents Kiloe and Tamia team up to capture a new Votainion starfighter with NexGen technology.

On a remote, enemy held planet, a K’nat starfighter has crash landed intact. Commander Kiloe is sent on a one way mission to repair it and fly it to a nearby Alliance cruiser where Tamia is waiting to help recover the enemy starfighter. But more than just the Votainions are preventing him from recovering the starfighter. He also has to deal with a sentient alien who has an insatiable appetite. Can the Special Forces team recover the secret enemy fighter or will their efforts be thwarted by a vicious alien and best efforts of the enemy?

Here are some of the cool ships featured in K’nat Trap. You can find complete build pages in the Model Builds page of this site.

K’nat Fighter
Terrox Fighter
GCU Sherman Cruiser

The Journey Continues

What you see above, is the end of chapter two of the next Corvette novel. Being written on a shiny new System76 laptop purchased with money I earned from selling the first Corvette novella. You gotta love that. I’m writing two more Corvette books this year to satisfy the demands of readers. That’s a perfect storm for a writer. Having fans that buy your novels and want more, ASAP.

The first sequel is called, Corvette – Seer of the Black Star and will take place about a year after Corvette. Then I will write another one called, Corvette – Pirate’s Lair. As you can guess by those titles, the crew of the Weippe are back to escorting transports and defending them from shipping pirates.

In the meantime, later this summer I’ll be releasing another Star Saga book, K’nat Trap. So be on the lookout for that one. If you follow me on Twitter, GooglePlus or FB, you will probably get regular pictures like the one above as I write. Hey, I see you enlarging that image to read the page. I’m careful not to show any spoilers for those who do that. ;-)

Launch Day for CORVETTE!

Today’s the official release day for my latest novella, Corvette. You can get it exclusively on Amazon for the Kindle and in paperback. If you have pre-ordered your ebook, check your Kindle device or app to read it now! Corvette takes place before Starforgers, Book One of the Star Saga. It’s a great place to start if you are considering reading the Star Saga. Consider it Book Zero of the series.

Thirty years before the start of the Great War, a small starship has a deadly encounter with a massive alien warship on the fringes of the Outer Rim.

When Lieutenant Armon Vance found himself assigned to the oldest ship in the fleet, stationed on the edge of the known galaxy, he figured his Fleet career was over. In fact he was about to embark on the most important mission of his young career and his captain would rely heavily on him to help them get back alive after encountering a massive military warship of the Votainion Armada. In the spirit of grand Naval adventures of the past, Corvette packs exciting military action into a swiftly moving story of heroics and bravery in deep space.

As always, please be kind and leave a review. Thanks!

 

 

 

Making of a Cover – Corvette

One of the best parts about being a self-published author is getting to do your own covers. Most writers don’t want anything to do with the process. But for me, I see it as a great way to showcase my model building hobby. I’ve always built plastic models since the time I was a kid. When I was a teenager my buddies and I would scratch build our own models from cardboard and bits of broken kits we had on hand. They were pretty cool for the time but limited to what we could scrape together with our allowances. We drew hundreds of drawings of starships we never got around to building for a Sci-Fi epic I was slowly writing. Skip forward about thirty years and now I’m writing novels about those starships and those novels need cover art.

About the time I started writing these novels I picked up my scratch modeling hobby again only this time I could afford to make them the same way they used to be made in Hollywood when I was a kid. The only tough part now was figuring out how to arrange them on a cover in such a way that would make someone want to buy the book. For this I enlisted the talents of my graphic artist brother, Byron. Byron takes the elements of each model, combines them with cool backgrounds and effects and then overlays the titles on them. He makes the models come alive as if they were real.

For my latest novel, Corvette, it all started with a thumbnail I did in Gimp using a model of a Votainion warship that I already had and a stand in model for the yet to be built corvette.

I knew we were going with orange and blue for the main colors of this series so I used those colors for the titles. It’s crude but it lets Byron know what I want without actually drawing it. Sometimes I do start with sketched but this time I just hacked together stock images of similar models to get the idea across.

Meanwhile, I had to build the actual corvette model and you know, write the book. The model was scratch built using a drawing I did based on the SS Sokol model featured on other Star Saga novels. It was built to the same scale as the Votainion warship model – 1/350. Below you can see it coming together on my workbench some time last year. For a complete account of this build please check out this post.

The Votainion warship was sketched out years ago and built a few years back for the first few books of the series. Here’s what the original sketch looked like below.

Here is a shot of the larger model under construction. For a more detailed look at how I built this model please check out this post.

Here are both models being photographed against blue screen for the cover of Corvette. I use a Canon digital SLR to photograph the models in high resolution then hand off the images to Byron for Photoshoping.

This is the first attempt at the cover using the new corvette model and the older warship model. I chose a green background because in the novel, the sh

First version with new Corvette model. This was another Gimp thumbnail that I did and the colors are all washed out so we could focus on placement of the ships.

    

I decided to try a different direction, using the Gimp paint filter. I was hoping this would produce an image that looked painted. But after examining it we decided it made the Votainion warship look like it was sculpted out of clay. I also tried making the larger ship bigger and that didn’t quite look right either.

Below is Byron’s first green nebula and laser guns. Author name has the wrong font. I had to explain that the corvette used a rail gun instead of an energy gun so we would have to change the red lasers. Also, we wondered if the background needed to be green or not, so I had him try a blue background.

    

We tested the blue background with random folks and everyone seemed to prefer the green so we dropped blue.

The cover was nearly complete at this point when I realized three major issues. First of all, the corvette looked better at an angle in front of the warship for giving the cover depth. Secondly, the author name was in the wrong font. And thirdly, the rail gun rounds just didn’t pop.

After those changes were made, the cover seemed to pop right out and demand your attention. So we left it alone and went to press with it.

This process took the better part of a year to complete and was started about the same time the book. I had to build a model at the same time as I wrote the novel, which is not unusual and affords me a great visual aide while writing. I think the finished cover is one of our best yet and should help sell the novel and bring in readers to the series. If you purchase the paperback of the novel the cover really shines with a glossy cover.

Corvette is available to purchase Tuesday, March 21st from Amazon as a Kindle ebook and a paperback.

Book Zero of the Star Saga

Corvette, my latest novella is actually Book Zero of the Star Saga series. It’s set thirty years before the Great War with Voton and is a great introduction to the universe and the entire series. Corvette is a self contained story but sets up what could be the further adventures of its crew. If there is sufficient reader demand, I could write a few more stories about the SS Weippe. Otherwise, you’ll want to start the series by reading Tales From Ocherva, Volume One.

TFO is a collection of short stories about the Stellar Rangers on a remote outer rim world that becomes a centerpiece for the Star Saga. It introduces you to Devon Ardel who will become the central character of the first trilogy. It also introduces you to two androids who figure prominently in the series: Thirty-seven and Eighty-eight. If you enjoy Space Westerns, you’ll love these hard driving stories from the frontier.

The Star Saga starts in earnest with Starforgers, Book 1.

Starforgers is the official start of the Star Saga and take Devon Ardel from her remote Ranger outpost on Ocherva to the Federation Fleet where she begins her military career. Her mother, a Senator from another outer rim world winds up becoming the President of the Federation while her daughter helps the Fleet thwart a Votainion invasion force. Filled with insane androids, crazy space battles and even space pirates, this book is a rocking start to a nine, numbered book series.

Before you rush off and purchase second numbered book of the series, you might want to have a smaller adventure with our hero, Devon Ardel.

In between the numbered series books I delve into one or two of the main characters and fill in the gaps, so to speak with a novella. Devon’s Blade is the first novella gapper book and it’s set a year after Starforgers. Set on another backwater world is the story of Devon’s attempt to turn the fortunes of a starfighter squadron based on the water world of Kew. If you like fighter pilot stories this is your jam. Devon’s Blade is filled with aerial combat in a classic tale that could have been told in any age of flight.

The Rising, Book 2 is set two years after Starforgers.

Devon is in her mid thirties now and she’s feeling pressure from those above her pay grade to become a starship captain. She’s unexpectedly pulled from combat and rushed home for a family emergency. While home on leave she becomes a defender of a Silicant that has been convicted of murder. What at first glance is nothing more than a critical look at android rights is in fact about a rising of the Silcants from servants of humanity to their own, free beings. In the end Devon finds herself heading off to command school with the promise of becoming a starship captain.

But first, we have time for another quick novella.

The Blood Empress is about the young woman who rules the Votainion Empire. It’s a high adventure story about a young girl becoming a woman and discovering her true destiny as the leader. This novella is often overlooked by readers of the series but those who do read it are treated to a wild adventure filled with alien worlds and lots of daring do. Not your father’s coming of age story.

Finally, the first trilogy of numbered books comes to a close.

Counterattack, Book 3 of the Star Saga is the final chapter of Devon Ardel and the young Alliance fleet. Her story connects directly to the Blood Empress’s story in one, titanic battle for survival. It’s the tiny human fleet vs the massive Votainion armada. While it is the end of the first trilogy in the saga, it is not the end of the story. But this book does mark the end of the period in time known as the First Generation.

When next you pick up a Star Saga book, we will have jumped half a millennium into the future of a long, bitter war.

The second trilogy, of the Star Saga story will follow the exploits of a Special Forces team known as the Starstrikers. It is known as the Second Generation and it is still being written. I’ll be relaunching this trilogy with new cover art and a new novella, later this year. Stay tuned…

 

 

Devon’s Blade Recognized Again

devons-blade-cover_awards_medsize-680x1024

Library Journal’s 2016 Indie Ebook Awards have awarded Devon’s Blade with an Honorable Mention for Science Fiction. You can read what they said about it here. This little novella is my most awarded book, but I still can’t seem to get many customer reviews for it on Amazon. It doesn’t matter how awesome your book is, if you don’t have reviews, you can’t advertise and you don’t get sales. Please, if you’ve read this book, leave a review for it.

Something Different

Having finished the first draft of my novella, Corvette and moving into the editing phase for my novella, K’nat Trap, I’m ready to start moving on to the next novel. This one is a stand alone SF novel not set in the Star Saga. It’s called Betweos and the story originated with my brother, Byron some thirty odd years ago. This is the novel I’ve been waiting to write for about a decade now. All the novels I’ve written to date are just practice for this one. Hopefully I’ll be able to do the story justice.

What’s it about, you ask? Well, that’s hard to say, exactly. I hope to have a decent description or pitch line for it soon. Here’s a possible back cover tag line – “The first casualty of war, is the truth.”

betweos

This novel will be shopped to agents and traditionally published. So even after it’s completed, it could be years before anyone reads it. But if none of the Big Five publishers want it or I can’t get an agent to represent it, I’ll release it myself. Rest assured, it won’t be trunked.

Book Launch!

Tuesday, 26th of July is the release date for COUNTERATTACK, the third book of the Star Saga. This is the final chapter of the Starforgers Trilogy.

Starships led by Captain Ardel are blasting the Votainions out of space in a relentless show of force. 

Their success on the battlefront is too easy for Ardel and her fellow captains. They all know the enemy is pulling back not being driven out by force. However, the President of the Alliance is convinced that the Empress is seeking a truce and he’s made Ardel’s ship the official envoy. If that wasn’t bad enough she’s also burdened with a half human half Votainion child interpreter created by a top secret program to help with the negotiations.

Empress Nykostra lingers just out of reach, marshaling her forces to take back the legendary home world of her people. Her eroding mental health has the Chief Strategist contemplating her murder in order to ensure their victory over the Alliance Fleet. Can Captain Ardel and the Alliance Fleet ward off the largest counterattack in the history of the war or will a mad Empress fulfill her destiny and bring down the fledgling Alliance?