Deadlines are set for FreeFall, Backworlds Book 7. So, its arrival is no longer some far-off, fanciful dream.
- First Draft Done!
- 1st edit 10/14
- Goes to my awesome beta readers 10/14.
- Beta readers send feedback by 11/11
- 2nd edit
- Due to editor (and I sent her a big, fat check) 12/5
- Due back from editor 12/11
Depending on how many edits and my work schedule will dictate how fast I can get the book out. I’m shooting to have it in fans’ holiday stockings. If not, we’ll ring in the New Year with Backworlds 7.
Stay tuned for progress reports!
Here’s an excerpt from chapter 1!
His chest tightened, and Craze’s hand twitched, the thick pads of his burly fingers knocking against his muscular thigh. Either the new weapon would work and the war would never happen, or it would fail, and Craze would die along with the Backworlds.
The Backworlds had to survive. He had become the most hated man in the galaxy for negotiating a pact with one enemy in order to defeat a more despicable one. All to give his people a chance.
The tenuous alliance had produced a plasma-based EMP, a weapon calculated to hobble the mechanical systems of the worse enemy, a race of aliens with no conscience—living, sentient ships. If the enemy systems were overcome, the aliens’ ability for mind control would end. If so, it would make their defeat a thousandfold easier. Then Craze could return to his normal life—a nobody barkeep eking out a living on the edge of the known galaxy instead of envoy to a questionable ally.
One cloud-like ship, an alien enemy, lurked outside the view panels of the battle cruiser. It had broken off from its pack gathered beyond the star systems of human expansion and had been picked up by tracking. The alliance of Backworlds and Foreworlds was quick to take advantage. Too quick? Craze wouldn’t put it past the alien enemy to have devised some sick trap. Everything the enemy did smacked of a twisted, murderous psychology, a race priding itself on immense cruelty and no mercy.
Made up of spheres, the orbs of the enemy vessel moved in a constant, hazy blur, almost a figment of the imagination. Craze knew it wasn’t, he knew the sentient ship to be a nightmare called Quasser. Quasser hurled death and misery on all who encountered it, doing horrible, unthinkable things. The alien ship couldn’t live. Nor the other eight hundred forty-seven like it.
On the navigation console beside Craze on the war deck, the clock ticked down. In fifteen seconds, fate would decide whether the Backworlds would go on or not. He had sacrificed everything for this one moment of ‘maybe’. He had given up his home, his friends, the right to live among his people, and any hope of a tomorrow among his kind. The ‘maybe’ had to be a victory.
The air grew thick. The acrid scent of fear wafted around the deck, planting itself in Craze’s wide nose. Silence pounded against his sensitive ears, despite being surrounded by Foreworlders and Backworlders.
On one side of him stood Ambassador Sanjy Strom, the Foreworld liaison, the person with whom Craze had brokered the filaments of the fragile new alliance. At six feet and two inches tall, she came close to matching Craze’s height. Her long, flat face held onto a stoic expression, and her steel-blue gaze didn’t waver from the Quasser, daring the alien to defy her. Yet, her fingers flexed over and over. She inched closer to her people, widening the impenetrable divide between the Foreworlds and the Backworlds.
The twitch over her brow meant she hadn’t told Craze everything about this venture. He studied her, as worried about what the Foreworlders were up to as the Quassers. He couldn’t imagine how the new weapon could be modified to be used against the Backworlds, but he didn’t have their capacity for cruelty. Time and again, he attempted to think like them, and time and again he failed.
With every ship crewed by a mix of folks from both sides, he pushed the worry away. For now. Whatever the Foreworlders planned, it wouldn’t happen today.
A friend stood on Craze’s other side, Dactyl, a former lawman and a keeper of secrets. Sweat beaded on his broad forehead, and his long, brown hair had matted where he kept swiping.
“Do you sense anythin’ from it?” Craze whispered.
Dactyl shook his anvil-like head. He had once been enslaved by a Quasser and had a telepathic connection with the evil things. “Nothing at all, which is really worrisome. It should be thinking something. There’s no way it doesn’t know we is here.”
Not a positive sign. Craze expected it, but hoped for his luck to turn. The universe had been dishing shit at him since his pa had thrown him out of the house. Six years ago. Seemed longer. Craze would have bet two lifetimes had passed since then. He rubbed at the stiffening muscles of his clenched jaw.
Flanking the Foreworld battle cruiser, smaller spacecraft peppered the black ether of space. Their hulls blended with the nothingness, adding their vigilant witness to the most momentous event, the first shot of a new war.
“Don’t let it be the last,” Craze said to himself.
Read the rest HERE
Here’s Another Upcoming Great Release From Crystal Collier!
Coming November 1!
Time is the enemy.
In 1771, Alexia had everything: the man of her dreams, reconciliation with her father, even a child on the way. But she was never meant to stay. It broke her heart, but Alexia heeded destiny and traveled five hundred years back to stop the Soulless from becoming.
In the thirteenth century, the Holy Roman Church has ordered the Knights Templar to exterminate the Passionate, her bloodline. As Alexia fights this new threat—along with an unfathomable evil, and her own heart—the Soulless genesis nears. But none of her hard-won battles may matter if she dies in childbirth before completing her mission.
Can Alexia escape her own clock?