Bad Girl As A Hero

Can a villain be a hero in her own story? This is the central premise of my novella, The Blood Empress. Empress Nykostra is the ruthless leader of the Votainion Empire and the prime instigator in the war with the human Alliance. Her parents were killed in a vicious attempt to overthrow her Kastra as the ruling house of Voton. Thrust upon the throne of the largest space faring empire in the galaxy as a girl of only nine, she was immediately controlled by the royal Soothsayers. Rebelling against their hold on herself and her people, Nykostra took her daddy’s falchion and beheaded her chief Soothsayer the Kwizara Lonn. In a rage of violence and uncontrolled anger, she drank his still warm blood and gained his ancient ability to see the future. Thus was born the Blood Empress of Voton.

This is all we know of her from the novel, Starforgers. Until now.

Nykostra’s journey was far from over and it took her off the Votainion home world and directly onto the fiery sands of yet another Votainion enemy. The Blood Empress is a coming of age story unlike any other in the galaxy. It’s the story of how a young woman fell in love, avenged herself and eventually sided with another alien enemy to end a war. For generations the Votainion Empire had been at war with the Benzotii. Valuable war resources were being held up in this war by nearby Votainion Kastras. Resources that Nykostra needed to fight her war with the human Alliance. In order to get those warships she needed to end the war with Benzotii. This is the story of her thrilling adventure to the Benzotii planet of Con One and how she lead a rebellion against one of her own Kastras to end the war. It is the story of a young girl becoming a woman and a legend among her own people and the Benzotti people.

The Blood Empress takes place between The Rising, Book 2 and Counterattack, Book 3 of the Star Saga. It’s a stand alone story that can be read on it’s own or you can read it after reading The Rising. If bold characters, exciting action and thrilling plots are your thing, you’ll love this book.

Currently available exclusively on the Kindle.



Historic Inspiration For My Sci-Fi Novella

I’m currently writing a novella set just after Starstrikers. It’s called K’nat Trap and its about the efforts of the Starstrikers to capture a new Votainion starfighter that has NexGen technology. That won’t make any sense to you unless you’ve read Starstrikers. Neither will knowing that the novella stars Kiloe and Tamia from the Starstrikers novel.

The scenes I’m currently writing for this novella take place on an Alliance starship that has been fighting on the front lines of the war with the Votainions for some time. I’m trying to capture the cramped conditions reflected by WW2 naval carriers. This involves reading books about WW2 and looking at images of ship interiors from that time period on Google Images.

Airmen are prepared men---In a photograph notable for its sharpness and depth of perspective, Navy fighter pilots are snapped in the ready room of their aircraft carrier before a strike somewhere in the Pacific in a recent battle operation   Feb. 27, 1945

The above picture is the look and feel I’m aiming for in my story. It’s a great image with tons of detail.

Airmen's Restful Air -- Indicative of their lack of tension, Navy fliers Lieutenant (jg) John H. Cantrell (left) and Lieutenant John L. Carter catch 40 winks in the ready room of their carrier while awaiting the word to man their planes during a recent battle action in the Pacific.  Lt(jg) Cantrell is from Portales, N.H. and Lt. Carter from Jacksonville, Florida.  Released November 28, 1944.

I love this one of some pilots waiting to launch on a carrier during WW2.


This is a modern carrier equivalent, sorry for the small size.

Take away’s for my story include the comfy chairs they sit in, cramped quarters and how their gear is both worn and hanging nearby. I like the moody atmosphere of the older ships and will describe my starship as being old, stuffy and dimly lit. I’ve been in a few Navy ships in museums and they have a certain smell just with all the gray paint and machinery, but you have to imagine how they’d smell if they were filled with nervous pilots.

Of course my starship will have holographic projectors and other high tech stuff but I’m using real life history as my inspiration in an attempt to make my fiction more realistic and to paint images and moods in my reader’s head.


The Blood Empress – Big Picture


My latest novella is quite different than the last one. It’s not about a starfighter squadron, in fact it’s not even about the good guys. The Blood Empress is about Empress Nykostra, ruler of the Votainion Empire. In Starforgers, Book 1 of the Star Saga, you are first introduced to the young Empress who has sent her military off to the far side of the galaxy looking for Kerra-Jorro, the home world of the Votainions. In that novel Nykostra beheads her Soothsayer and drinks his blood because he didn’t approve of her holy mission to find the Kerra-Jorro. After having done that the Soothsayer’s blood changes her and she begins to see her own future and the future of the Empire. From that point on she is known as the Blood Empress.

This novella is about what happens when she decides to leave Voton, the seat of Votainion power and venture out into space against her handler’s and a new Soothsayer’s wishes. It’s a coming of age story in which a sheltered young girl finds her destiny on a far off world and returns to shape the Empire into her own vision. I had a great time writing this story and it’s packed with adventure and action. Nykostra’s story was originally going to be in the second book of the series, The Rising. But while I was outlining that book, I realized her story was too big for one novel. So I created a novella that comes between books 2 and 3 of the series.

I later realized that there was room for a second novella in between book 1 and 2 and thus was born Devon’s Blade. So if you are reading the Star Saga in order here is the chronological order of the books:

Starforgers, Book 1 | Devon’s Blade | The Rising, Book 2 | The Blood Empress | Counterattack, Book 3

Fortunately, I’ve written the two novellas to be stand alone stories. Some characters in the novellas appear in the main books or are mentioned for narrative flow. But you can read each novella as a stand alone story. This novel, novella, novel, novella, novel pattern is also being used by Disney for the new Star Wars movies. Disney calls the in-between films Anthology Movies. So I think the idea is catching on in both literature and film.

I’m already hard at work writing the novella that will come after Book 4, Starstrikers in the second trilogy of the Star Saga. It’s another strarfighter type story called Knat Trap. I hope to have it out next summer. I’m also plotting and preparing to write Book 5, XiniX. So there will be the same pattern of novel, novella in the next “trilogy” of the series.

All of the first trilogy books will be out by January of next year. So in a couple of months, readers will have a clear path from which to read while they wait for me to write the next “trilogy”.

You can pre-order The Blood Empress today, it will appear on your Kindle the day before Thanksgiving. That’s about a week from now.