Friday, March 16, 2018

Destination: Titan --Surviving to get there

Wearing a simple flowing robe, the old man stared out from his wrought-iron balcony to the quaint buildings below. “Is everything in place?”
“Yes, Your Holiness,” replied an eager young man in far more splendid robes.
“Failure is not an option.”
“We will not fail.  We have planned for every circumstance. Project Einstein will not succeed.”
“But it will not come back to us?”
“No, Your Eminence. No one will blame us for their demise.”
“How many back-up plans?”
“Not enough.” His ancient hand quivered as it rested upon the metalwork. “Fifteen. I want fifteen plans, each certain to succeed without the blame reaching my feet.”
“I will see it done.”
The old man turned and studied his devotee. “You have doubts, Thomas?”
“It is not my place to doubt God’s work.”
“Earth is about to fall into an ice-age of such duration and frigid temperatures that nothing is expected to survive. So you wonder why God would wish to destroy one of our chances to continue mankind on a different planet.”
The man fell to his knees and pressed his forehead to the floor. “Forgive me, Your Holiness.”
The old man walked around the prostrate body and returned to his red velvet chair with authentic gemstones cresting each upholstery tack. He sat with a heavy sigh. “It is better for the human race to die in its entirety than to survive without God.” He stared up to the arching ceiling painted with clouds and angels. “The time has come to choose eternal Heaven or Hell.”
The young man’s head rose. “Yes!” His face filled with joy and wonderment. “I understand now.”
The old man’s head wobbled, perhaps in a nod. “Then go, and see God’s will is done. Only Project Chosen can succeed. Project Einstein must be destroyed, at all costs.”

Destination: Titan
Liza O’Connor
With Earth destined for a new ice-age, seven scientists and twenty-two brilliant teenagers are gathered in a compound deep within a mountain. There they struggle to come together as a group and complete the projects needed for their survival in the inhospitable environment of Titan, one of Saturn’s moons. However, certain factions on Earth have no intention of letting Project Einstein succeed. Keeping the group alive and productive is the hardest task Colonel Lancaster and his soldiers have ever had, but they are determined to succeed no matter how well the saboteurs have planned. The continuation of the human race depends upon it.


A soldier entered the room. His expression was severe, and his hand rested on his gun. Tamara feared they had suddenly realized the color orange was a stupid differentiator.

He walked to the table and lifted the paper. Upon seeing her signature, he introduced himself as Colonel Lancaster. “Did you read it thoroughly?”

Tamara nodded.

“Then you understand that I outrank you and you will do everything I say?”

He didn’t look much older than her. “How old are you?”

“That isn’t relevant to my question.”

Max interceded. “Colonel Lancaster’s age is irrelevant, Tam. Only his rank is of importance. He is the senior ranking officer at the facility, and thus is our commanding officer.”

Tam smiled at the thought of how painful those words must be for Max to say, although to his credit, he said them with great sincerity.

“Do you find something amusing?” Lancaster challenged her.
She stared at the young man. Despite his severe look and shaven head, he was not entirely unattractive. In a “penal code” way, he might be considered good looking. She tilted her head to one side. “I was just wondering what you were so hell-bent to command me to do.”

Lancaster frowned. “If the two of you will follow me. The others are waiting in the containment room.”

They entered a small lecture room with a platform at one end. Chairs filled the remainder of the room, and twelve loud, unruly teenagers occupied the back. In the far corner, behind the podium, stood a cluster of adults. They all stopped talking and stared at Max and Lancaster when they entered. Tam was pretty much ignored.

Lancaster ordered them all to take a seat as he walked to the podium. Max pointed Tam to a chair while he remained standing beside Lancaster. Lancaster reinforced their understanding of the contract they’d just signed. He emphasized the need for immediate and total obedience when he or his men gave them an order.

One of the teenage girls raised her hand, and Lancaster gave her a nod.

“Will any of your orders be for sex? Because you’re damn hot.”

The teenagers burst into laughter and hoots.

“Interrupt me again, and your mouth will be duct-taped for the remainder of the day. But as to your question: Neither my soldiers nor I will be ordering anyone to provide sexual favors of any kind. That being said, sex among the students will not be prohibited once you have received your medical clearance. Dr. Culp and Dr. Willows will provide each of you with an extensive health exam. You will cooperate fully,” he warned, and gave the kids and Tamara a warning glance before continuing.

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Destination: Titan
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About the Author
Liza O’Connor lives in Denville, NJ with her dog Jess. They hike in fabulous woods every day, rain or shine, sleet or snow. Having an adventurous nature, she learned to fly small Cessnas in NJ, hang-glide in New Zealand, kayak in Pennsylvania, ski in New York, scuba dive with great white sharks in Australia, dig up dinosaur bones in Montana, sky dive in Indiana, and raft a class four river in Tasmania. She’s an avid gardener, amateur photographer, and dabbler in watercolors and graphic arts. Yet through her entire life, her first love has and always will be writing novels.

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Tuesday, March 13, 2018

Korjh's Bride by Clarissa Lake

Thanks Liza for the opportunity to share my new release.
Liza responds: The pleasure is all mine! Now let's get to this fabulous new story!

Korjh’s Bride A Cyborg's Mail Order Bride
 (Interstellar Matchmaking Book 1).

I have somewhat eclectic tastes in the books I read. A few months back, I started reading cyborg romances of several different authors, and I was hooked. Then my publisher asked me if I could write a mail order bride alien romance. But I was gearing up to write my first steamy cyborg romance, and my heart was set on it.

Since I had already laid the groundwork for interstellar matchmaking in the Narovian Mates Series, I decided to use that universe to start this new series. The Narovian Mates series began in a hypothetically contemporary world where Earth has just joined the United Galactic Alliance of Worlds. With the change in status from a protected world to a member world, it gave the Narovian Matchmaking Service the opportunity to publicly open for business on Earth.

With my heart set on writing a steamy cyborg story and my publisher’s encouragement to write an alien mail-order-bride story, I decided to do both in the same book.

Korjh Benjegt was not always a cyborg. He was a Narovian natural human living in a backwater farming colony that was attacked by aliens who killed his family when he was just fifteen landing him in an orphanage. As soon as he was old enough, he joined the Alliance Defense Force to fight the Drayids alongside cyborgs who were created to augment the volunteer military force. After suffering catastrophic injuries in battle, Korjh was converted to a cyborg to save his life.
He was completely reborn. The difference between Korjh and the test tube cyborgs was that he remembered growing up in a family:

Zara Maples wants to escape her lackluster life and find her soulmate, so she applies to the interstellar Narovian Matchmaking Service which finds people’s soulmates based on genetics. Korjh, a Narovian cyborg, retired from battle, once a full human, longs a family of his own like the one he lost as a boy in an alien invasion.

Retired to a backwater colony of Modonne where he can’t get a date because he is a cyborg, he applies to the Matchmaking service to find his genetic complement, his soulmate, because unlike Narovian felines he cannot recognize his fated mate. After two years they find him a mate on that “dirt” planet recently accepted into the Alliance.

Cyborgs are dangerous, aren’t they? Only an ignorant human from a planet called Earth (translated as dirt) would come across two sectors to Modonne to mate with a cyborg. But to her, he seems warm and caring and so attractive as they correspond. Of course, it can’t be quite that easy. While Korjh can be sweet and considerate, he can also be scary and aggressive.

Was he the man of her dreams or nightmares?

Korjh’s Bride A Cyborg's Mail Order Bride 
(Interstellar Matchmaking Book 1) Excerpt:

Korjh commed about a half hour after first meal and had her blushing with his first words,
“Hello, my beautiful wife,” he began with a smile. “I can hardly wait to hold you in my arms and claim you in every way a man claims a woman.”

“Korjh,” she protested weakly. “I am looking forward to our first kiss, and to feel your arms around me.”

“You are just so beautiful and sexy,” he said with a heart-melting grin.

“I could say the same of you,” she said with a soft laugh.
“And you have a wonderful laugh,” he added. “This is so much better than one-sided conversations.”

“It is,” she admitted.

“Have people said things to you about me?” His expression grew serious.

“They think I don’t know what I’m getting into---I don’t understand why. Being a cyborg doesn’t mean you’re not human.”

“And I have never killed a human or even a humanoid, just Drayid bugs,” he asserted. “I swear on my life, I would never harm you in any way.” The expression in his eyes softened as he looked at her.

“I believe you Korjh,” she assured him. “I have believed in you all along, or I wouldn’t be on this ship coming to your world.”

“I hope you will be happy with me, Zara, because once I hold you in my arms, I don’t think I could give you up.”

“I don’t give up that easily. Besides, the matchmaking service considers us soul mates genetically speaking,” Zara remembered. “They don’t differentiate because you are a cyborg. You passed the psych profile. Besides, every marriage takes some adjustment. I am coming to you with the belief I will fall in love with you.”

“I will do my best to make that happen. I’ve waited a long time for the service to find you because I am a cyborg and because I’ve been a warrior most of my life.”

“But you were cleared psychologically,” she reminded him. “You wouldn’t have been cleared to settle on Modonne without it.”

“That mean’s nothing to a lot of people who have never fought to survive. My cybernetics make me sub-human as far as they are concerned. The nanites have altered me genetically,” Korjh said, “and they will change you as well.”
“I know, but they’ve assured me these changes aren’t harmful. In fact, they said the nanites will keep me healthy and make me heal faster,” Zara said. “I’m ready to get some of those little buggers.” She smiled at him.

“That’s my girl,” Korjh chuckled. “They will also slow the aging process and ensure that we can make babies together.”
Korjh went on to talk about his day and show pictures of his horses and his farm and a beautiful sunrise. He had already given her a video tour of his home which had been excavated from the rock four feet under the topsoil. Most of the house was comprised of modules transported out into the desert.  There were also more rustic rooms with rock walls of granite smoothed and polished.

It all made Zara long to be there with him. When they finished their com-chat, she went back and played back the recording. His words and the look in his eyes made her long to be in his arms with her body pressed against his.

She wouldn’t let anyone convince her that he was going to be anything but the love of her life. She believed in Korjh. It didn’t matter if any of them did or not.

“Before I came here, I had a job and friends and time for things I like to do,” she said. “Now that I’m gone Ellie doesn’t even email me, and I haven’t seen or talked to another woman since I got here. I miss those things.”

“You knew things would be different here, that we would be isolated out here with no close neighbors. I told you this,” he said.

“I didn’t know I would feel so homesick and like I have nothing useful to do. That my friend wouldn’t keep in touch with me.”

“So, I am not enough for you,” Korjh said, frowning.

“This isn’t about you. I changed my whole life to come here and be your wife,” she said. “I didn’t realize I would feel this way. Face it, there isn’t that much to do here. You have machines doing everything. Just about all we do is eat, sleep, and have sex.”

“And that makes you unhappy?”

“No---yes. It’s like we are on a permanent vacation. I need something useful to do.”

“Sex with me makes you unhappy?”

“No, you’re not listening,” she protested.

“That’s what you said,” he reminded.

“That’s not the way I meant it.”

“Then, what did you mean?”

“That there is more to life than bodily functions. I need mental stimulation and a sense of accomplishment,” she said. “Like when you built this house and this farm. I need to make something of value, myself!”

“I’m not stopping you from doing that. You have your drawing screen, and you brought your sewing things,” he said.

“But it’s hard to be creative when you are hovering over me every minute,” she said. “I feel like I should hurry and finish and give you attention.”

“I don’t understand,” he admitted reluctantly.

“I know you don’t,” she said and got up from the table and went to him. “Things here are so different from Earth. If we lived there, you and I would have jobs, we wouldn’t have all this time with just each other.”

“You are not happy here,” he said and frowned.

Zara gripped his big hand in hers. “I want to be here with you. I’m just a little homesick and lonely for my friend.”

“Do you want to go back to Earth?” he asked, staring down at her.

“No,” she said after a moment. “I just need you to give me a little space.”

“You are mine, I have to take care of you---make sure you have everything you need. Isn’t that what a husband is supposed to do.”

“It is, but not every minute of every day. Don’t you have things you want to do by yourself?”

“Not when I can be with you instead,” he replied. “If there are, I can do them when you are sleeping.”

“You really don’t get it. You’re like a stalker watching every move I make.” She let go of his hand and walked a few steps away then turned back to face him.  “You’re making me crazy!”

“I will take you back to the Medical Clinic. They have gene therapy for that,” he said solemnly.

She gave an inarticulate shout of frustration. “You’re the one who needs therapy! It is perfectly normal for a woman to want a little time to herself,” she knew her voice was raised, but she didn’t understand how he could be so obtuse. “You need to find something to do on your own while I am working on my designs---a couple hours a day…”

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