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OUT NOW–Love You Right (Love You, Maine, Book 1) by Julia Kent (@jkentauthor) #romance #romanticcomedy #romcom #contemporaryromance

Blurb:

A missed opportunity five years ago makes for an unexpected encounter now between two people meant for each other – but who square off in a very public battle of wills in the small town of Love You, Maine, where every day is Valentine’s Day. Can love conquer all in a town steeped in it?

Kell Luview refuses to be a sucker at love again. Five years ago, he left D.C. with his tail between his legs and his heart broken. Fiercely protective of his small town in rural Maine, he’s determined to save the family tree business and avoid his feelings at all costs, no matter how much he longs to solve the mystery of what happened in D.C.

L.A. native Rachel Hart hates being underestimated almost as much as she hates this small town. She has two goals on this trip: get out of the cheesy tourist trap of Love You, Maine with a completed business deal, and avoid running into Kell, her old friend from D.C. who never became an old flame because of a huge misunderstanding.

One that still aches.

When her rental car breaks down on a logging road and Kell comes to her rescue, it’s clear he’s a changed man – and not for the good. Grumpy and reserved, he pushes all her buttons, still stubbornly convinced she betrayed him all those years ago. He’s never forgiven her, and she’s never forgiven herself for carrying a torch for him.

An embarrassing incident gets the town gossip mill going when residents wrongly assume Kell and Rachel are the newest couple to find love in the most romantic place on Earth. But the townsfolk aren’t wrong for long…

As Rachel breaks through his defenses and charms the town, he faces his biggest fear: all those pesky feelings he’s been avoiding.

Because they’re all about Rachel now.

And maybe they always were.

Can Kell and Rachel fight their growing attraction in the one place in the world where you can’t avoid love?

If you’re looking for a fun read about enemies to lovers, forced proximity, heroines who get their comeuppance and sworn bachelors felled by unexpected true love, featuring a hot bearded lumberjack impervious to poison ivy, and a city-slicker, jaded career woman with a penchant for great coffee, set in a small town in New England – then this is your book.

Grab a cup of (properly good) coffee, a can of hot cocoa mix, a jar of Fluff and maybe some calamine lotion (just in case), and get your happymeter ready as you read the very first book in New York Times bestselling romantic comedy author Julia Kent’s Love You, Maine series – where love isn’t just a feeling – it’s a way of life.

✓Standalone

✓Enemies to Lovers

✓Small town romance

✓Lumberjack and city slicker outsider

… and a cat named Calamine

Buy Links: 

Amazon US:  https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B09R15LTCH

Amazon UK:  https://www.amazon.co.uk/Love-You-Right-Enemies-Romantic-ebook/dp/B09R15LTCH/

Amazon AU:  https://www.amazon.com.au/Love-You-Right-Enemies-Romantic-ebook/dp/B09R15LTCH/

Amazon CA:  https://www.amazon.ca/Love-You-Right-Enemies-Romantic-ebook/dp/B09R15LTCH/

Apple Books:  https://books.apple.com/us/book/love-you-right/id1606788218

Kobo:  https://www.kobo.com/us/en/ebook/love-you-right

Nook:  https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/love-you-right-julia-kent/1140922643?ean=2940160825670

Google Play:  https://play.google.com/store/books/details/Julia_Kent_Love_You_Right?id=s4xaEAAAQBAJ&hl=en_US&gl=US

Print:  https://www.amazon.com/Love-You-Right-Enemies-Romantic/dp/163880060X/

Website:  https://jkentauthor.com/books/love-you-maine/love-you-right

BookBub:  https://www.bookbub.com/books/love-you-right-small-town-enemies-to-lovers-romantic-comedy-love-you-maine-book-1-by-julia-kent

Goodreads:  https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/59694646-love-you-right

Audible: https://www.audible.com/pd/Love-You-Right-Audiobook/B09Y9GVNV8

Amazon Audio: https://www.amazon.com/Love-You-Right-Maine-Book/dp/B09Y9K3QR6/

iTunes:  COMING SOON

*****

Excerpt:

“Kell,” she whispered against his mouth. “Thank you.”

“For what?”

“For this.” She motioned at the romantic dinner he’d created for the two of them, the wide table in this conference room an ample spread for a…

Ample spread.

“We haven’t even had dinner. Thank me after.”

She batted her eyelashes. “Is that an offer?”

“Rachel,” he said, moving his hand from her waist to cup her ass. “That’s more than an offer.”

He started to kiss her again, but she put her fingers on his lips. “If we don’t eat dinner first, we’ll never eat. And I have a meeting here in this very room, to try to pitch the deal again, in three days. Boundaries, Kell – boundaries. I refuse to have sex on this conference table.”

“The thought never, ever occurred to me,” he lied.

“Liar.”

“Caught.”

With a deep laugh he adored, she reached for the bottle of wine. “How about you uncork this and we start with a lovely glass.”

“Fine. The table is off the table.”

*****

Author Bio:

New York Times and USA Today bestselling author Julia Kent writes romantic comedy with an edge. Since 2013, she has sold more than 2 million books, with 4 New York Times bestsellers and more than 21 appearances on the USA Today bestseller list. Her books have been translated into French, German, and Italian, with more titles releasing in the future.

From billionaires to BBWs to new adult rock stars, Julia finds a sensual, goofy joy in every contemporary romance she writes. Unlike Shannon from Shopping for a Billionaire, she did not meet her husband after dropping her phone in a men’s room toilet (and he isn’t a billionaire she met in a romantic comedy).

She lives in New England with her husband and three children where she is the only person in the household with the gene required to change empty toilet paper rolls.

She loves to hear from her readers by email at julia@jkentauthor.com, on Twitter @jkentauthor, on Facebook at @jkentauthor, and on Instagram @jkentauthor. Visit her at http://jkentauthor.com

Social Media Links:

Website:  http://jkentauthor.com/

Facebook:  https://www.facebook.com/jkentauthor/

Twitter:  https://twitter.com/jkentauthor

Newsletter:  http://bit.ly/2PIBi9n

Instagram:  https://www.instagram.com/jkentauthor/

BookBub:  https://www.bookbub.com/authors/julia-kent

Goodreads:  https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/3238619.Julia_Kent

Amazon Author Page:  https://www.amazon.com/Julia-Kent/e/B00A99V268/

Release blitz organized by Writer Marketing Services.

 

Dragon Ascending Part 11: Brand New KDG Read

Happy Friday everyone!  Normally the first Friday of the month means an update of books I’ve enjoyed reading, but that post hasn’t happened because NaNoWriMo got in the way. Instead I’m going to give you lovelies another episode of  Dragon Ascending. Last week we discovered that Fury and his crew are being stalked. This week we get a little more intimate look at Fury’s stalker. I hope you’re enjoying Dragon Ascending, the sequel to Piloting Fury, as much as I’m enjoying sharing it with you. As always, I love it when you share my work with your reading friends, so feel free. In the meantime, enjoy!

If you missed the previous episode of Dragon Ascending follow the link for a catch-up. If you wish to start from the beginning, of Dragon Ascending. Follow the link.  

For those of you who would like to read the complete novel, Piloting Fury, book one of the Sentient Ships series, follow the link to the first instalment.

 

Dragon Ascending: Book 2 of the Sentient Ships Series

On a desolate junkyard of a planetoid, scavenger Lenore Felik, disturbs something slumbering in a remote salvage dump and uncovers secrets of a tragic past and of the surprising role she must play in the terrifying present she now faces.

Robbed of her inheritance after her tyrannical father’s death, Tenad Fallon is out for revenge on her half-brothers, one who happens to be the sentient ship, Fury. Fury, with his human companions, Richard Manning and Diana McAllister, has his own agenda – finding the lost sentient ships and ending the scourge of indentured servitude in Authority space.

 

 

 

She flinched and forced a sour smile as the bot began its work. Her older brother and her father were not the only ones with very specific needs. She would have left the wounds untreated to prolong the pain if it had not been for her crew. She had learned long ago, growing up in the viper’s nest, that a Fallon never showed weakness, and while she could disguise most injuries, she expected this time that there was a cracked rib. The bot knew well enough to treat only the most severe injuries, only the most visible, at least there was that much, and then she could have the pleasure of the pain — the pain of the guilt. The longer the pain lasted, the less often she needed to run the risk of being found out. Though those who did find out would certainly not survive that knowledge. What a fucked up bunch the Fallon bastards all were. She wondered if SNT 1 was equally fucked up.

The man on the bed moaned and shifted. She studied him for a moment. “Diagnosis?” She asked the med-bot, which stopped its work on her ribs and scanned. “Internal bleeding, ruptured spleen, broken wrist and two fractured ribs along with various bruises and contusions,” came the reply.

“Prognosis?”

“One hundred percent recovery, however time in the infirmary will be required.”

That was disappointing. She should have known better than to use someone who was not an indentured. To use and indentured to service her needs and then have him healed would have only been protecting her investment, and an indentured knew better than to spread rumors. She sighed, flinched again at the Med-bot’s efforts, and said, “‘tran him out.”

Instantly the bed was empty. The voice command to her computer had been obeyed to the unwritten letter. Wherever into the vacuum of space the man had been ‘tranned would not be visible to any of the present crew. Yes, it was disappointing. It was always better with a non-indentured. There were so many more delicious risks. But if her sexual partner didn’t have the good graces to die in the act, then the situation had to be sorted. Sometimes, in some places, she could pick up someone at a bar or choose someone who could be easily explained away and easily replaced. Her predilection was best timed perfectly. That she had not done so this time was a testament to how truly angry she was at her brother’s interruption of her plans.

This communications officer was the loss of a resource that would be difficult to replace on Vodni Station. Oh she’d had her eye on the man for a while, but it had been her plan if she brought him to her bed to do so in a place where there were plenty of gifted replacements. That meant near the center of Authority space, and she avoided that hot bed of politics and intrigue as much as possible. No this man, she had planned to have only in her fantasies. This man would not be easily replaced no matter where they were. She seldom made such a juvenile mistake, so like something her elder brother would pull, and she was furious at herself for her few hours of weakness and what it would cost her. This man she would not even have considered if she not been cloistered with him over the deep space scanners trying to find a trace of SNT1 for long enough to be strung out and way too aware of his own rising hormones, working so closely with the boss. And it had been his skills that had actually pinpointed where SNT1 actually was and confirmed their speculations of its route in the first place.

 

 

She could not abide stupid men, and she refused to fuck them, so this man had signed his own fate by his brilliance, and she was even more aroused by the fact that he was just arrogant enough not to fear her. The one thing she did not want when she took someone to her bed was for them to fear her. That was the reason she didn’t relish taking indentureds. They lived in fear, and they all knew she held the key to their pain, their long anguished death, or even their release, all safely tucked away in a small black case and a micro syringe that she always kept on her person. But this one, Vidak, he had been good, really good, taking as much pleasure in his own pain as in inflicting pain upon her. Vaticana Jesu, she would have liked to keep him for later. Her weakness, her lack of control, had cost her far too much. With a grunt, she pulled away from the med-bot. “Leave it!” She said.

“There will be scarring on the lower hip and buttocks,” the bot warned. “And one rib is not completely healed. You will have to wrap it very tightly. I shall leave you bandages.”

“I can live with that,” she said. She deserved no better.

As quietly as it had come, the bot left, leaving a roll of bandaging on her dressing table. Once it was gone, she slid back into the wrecked bedding and over to the spot where Vidak had lain, still warm from the man’s body. She sighed deeply, breathing in the scent of blood and sex and the sweat of their fucking, of their shared rage. She lay on her back, her buttocks stinging excruciatingly as she slid down between the sheets, breath catching as she moved harsh hands over each bruise, each abrasion, each ache that still remained, especially between her thighs where he had battered her with such fury that she thought perhaps it was she who should die this time. He bloodied her as surely as if she had been a virgin, and that warmth still trickled down her thighs. That deep aching pain burned into pleasure so sharp that she saw the room through a sheen of tears. “You, I won’t forget soon, Vidak,” she gasped. Her heart rapped furiously against her injured ribs, her own scent rose to dominate the room with the crescendo of her need. Her own scent, her own blood, it would always and forever dominate the space, even in the pain she relished. As she shuddered against her fingers, and gave a cry of pain, she bit her lip and tasted that blood as she whispered. “Your skills I’ll enjoy awhile longer.”

She was drowsing in post-coital bliss, or as close to it as she ever came, when her PD pinged. She came back to herself cursing. She took two deeply painful breaths remembering that her ribs had not been properly treated. “What?”

“Jessup Fallon is out of sensory range, heading back toward Authority space,” her first lieutenant said.

“And SNT1?” She asked.

“No sign of any other ship.” There was no apology in his voice, no whining fear. He knew that she would hold him accountable only for his own actions and not a loss none of them could have foreseen.

“Lay in a course for Vodni Outpost then, and make sure I’m not disturbed.”

She broke off the link before Lieutenant Fizel could respond. Then she shoved back the sheets, now smelling of regret she did not need right at the moment. With an effort, she stood and limped toward the shower. The rib was going to be hard to disguise. At the bathroom door she stopped and spoke. “Camille, change the bed. Incinerate the sheets and the robe.” The indentured, who had been huddled unobtrusively in the corner, rose instantly and went to the task. Tenad smiled to herself. There were some tasks only a humanoid could properly manage, and Camille had clever hands. Inside the bathroom, she took two of the tablets that would ease the pain of her bodily functions enough for her to manage a piss without passing out and to keep infection at bay. She swallowed them without water. Then stepped into the shower and cranked the hot water. For a moment she leaned against the tiles feeling suddenly very cold. Then she scrubbed her aching body with a vigor that was anything but gentle. For a Fallon, gentle would never suffice.

 

 

Dragon Ascending Part 10: Brand New KDG Read

Happy Friday everyone!  Friday means it’s time for another episode of Dragon Ascending. Last week Fury decided to give the salvage ship with the crew who, had  brutalized our mystery woman a little journey they hadn’t anticipated. This week we discover that Fury and his crew are being stalked. I hope you’re enjoying Dragon Ascending, the sequel to Piloting Fury, as much as I’m enjoying sharing it with you. As always, I love it when you share my work with your reading friends, so feel free. In the meantime, enjoy!

If you missed the previous episode of Dragon Ascending follow the link for a catch-up. If you wish to start from the beginning, of Dragon Ascending. Follow the link.  

For those of you who would like to read the complete novel, Piloting Fury, book one of the Sentient Ships series, follow the link to the first instalment.

 

Dragon Ascending: Book 2 of the SNT Ships Series

On a desolate junkyard of a planetoid, scavenger Lenore Felik, disturbs something slumbering in a remote salvage dump and uncovers secrets of a tragic past and of the surprising role she must play in the terrifying present she now faces.

Robbed of her inheritance after her tyrannical father’s death, Tenad Fallon is out for revenge on her half-brothers, one who happens to be the sentient ship, Fury. Fury, with his human companions, Richard Manning and Diana McAllister, has his own agenda – finding the lost sentient ships and ending the scourge of indentured servitude in Authority space.

 

 

Dragon Ascending Part 10: Inheritance Issues

Tenad Fallon was tired of waiting. Oh she could be patient, as patient as she had to be, but under the circumstances, she found it unusually tedious, and it made her very cross that her fucking brother was apparently not as worthless as she assumed him to be, when he was motivated by the loss of a substantial inheritance. Still, she would have assumed by the time any of the inner circle of Fallon brats had managed to get their shit together enough to realize they would have to act like grown-ups, she would have been halfway back from the Outer Rim, happily ensconced in SNT1 Fury and flush with the entirety of the Fallon fortune Fury and her older fucking brother had stolen from her.

But her older fucking brother was not her problem at the moment. Underestimating Jessup, her younger brother was, and it would not happen again. She’d be damned if she’d lead him to Fury, even if the false direction would cost her the only lead she had. Her Jaegers had been following the scant leads concerning SNT1 for three weeks now, and her long range scanners had finally sighted what could have been no other ship but an SNT. Certainly no other ship could have led them on such a merry chase. She had forgotten how much fun it was to have a proper hunt with a worthy opponent. And then, fucking Jessup had joined the party, smart enough to let her do all the work, stupid enough to think she would let him get away with it. She would not see her father’s wealth squandered, and Jessup never could see the big picture. He was not a long-term thinker. Jessup was not a thinker at all as long as he could get the Mist. She would make sure he well and truly paid for what he had cost her once she had SNT1 under her control and had taken back all that it had stolen from her.

But Jessup would get off easy compared to the senior Fallon bastard. She still could not believe how badly they had all underestimated Gerando. He had always been a loose cannon, but for the most part, he was a cruel, sex addled drunk, sobering only long enough to beat someone or destroy an outpost in an angry rage, or fuck a whore or two and then beat them. Gerando Fallon was a disappointment to his father, and a laughing stock to the rest of the Fallon bastards, who figured if they just bided their time, their eldest brother would either get himself killed in some bar brawl or by his own father. She still didn’t have all the facts of what had happened to her father out at Plague 1, but she was sure SNT1 Fury could fill her in on the details once it belonged to her. It must surely be one helluva story. She would have never imagined Gerando would have the backbone not only to defy their father but also to betray him, take control of the Apocalypse, and hand over the entire Fallon fortune to a damned SNT ship, including the power to free all of Abriad Fallon’s indentureds. And now word had gone out all over Authority space and beyond that somehow the SNT virus, engineered to keep indentureds from being tempted to flee their masters, had mutated and was now highly contagious on Plague 1. No one had known for years what was actually happening on the first and oldest of the plague planets because no one went there anymore. It was assumed that everyone there was long dead, though no one cared one way or another.

Still something had interested her father enough that he took the Apocalypse out to that nasty place, and then, whatever it was, enticed him to blow himself out his own airlock, crazed with the mutated virus. Or so the story went. She couldn’t seriously believe Gerando was bright enough to plan and carry out such a complex plot, nor did she think he had the balls to actually kill the old man, though in all honesty, every Fallon brat old enough to have contact with their old man would sing Gerando’s praises for that blessing, even as they all had wet dreams of slitting his throats. Or worse.

She supposed anything could happen, but the story as it was didn’t ring true. And that Gerando could have handed all of the family inheritance over to an SNT just sounded bogus. He was just as much a greedy little shit as the rest of them were. Well, obviously he hadn’t handed over quite all of the fortune. She was not stupid enough to depend entirely on the old man’s unpredictable largesse. She had a fortune in her own right, the beginnings of an empire of her own. She’d had a head for business, no chemical addictions – that was saying something among the younger Fallons — and she didn’t trust any of them. But if she wanted to build her own empire as she envisioned it on those long nights when she could not sleep for the planning of it, then she would need her father’s fortune too. And she would have it.

 

 

Apparently the old fucker’s will was legit, at least that’s what the lawyers told her. It would seem that SNT1 Fury truly was Abriad Fallon’s eldest child. Fury had achieved full consciousness long before it had left space doc, and it had been instrumental in the design and creation of all of the fifteen ships that came after and were launched before SNT1 was actually fully operational. Oh it didn’t surprise her that her father’s sperm had been used in the fertilization of the egg that would grow into SNT1, calling itself Fury now. Her loving father had been a fucking panspermia in his own right. His one and only hobby seemed to be making bastards, setting them against each other and watching while they squabbled. It was a spectator sport for him. She’d heard the man had even taken bets on which one would come out on top. She didn’t doubt it for a minute. The smart women he’d knocked up got as far from the Fallon snake pit as they could and kept the parentage of their bastards secret. All of the Fallon bastards had reason to hate him, probably no one more than Gerando, but dear old dad had made sure to spread that warm Fallon family feeling all around. The last time she had seen him he’d told her she was the one most like him. Vaticana Jesu, she hoped that wasn’t true. That she was not a nice person she knew only too well. It was knowledge she could live with. She had cultivated what she considered her stronger qualities, the ones that would assure her place at the top of the bastard heap when the squabbling ended. But she had not tried to emulate Abriad Fallon. His only redeeming quality was that he was dead. It was just like him to leave all of their inheritance to a goddamned SNT ship just because his spunk was a contributing factor.

“Well, SNT1 Fury,” she said out loud, “if the old man wanted to leave his shit to the most impressive of his bastards, you’re definitely that. The question is do you have the balls to hold onto it. If the SNTs had not been weak to begin with, they would be ruling the galaxy now.”

She had not left her chambers since they’d led her brother on a merry chase and then pulled in nice and quiet-like into the nebular dust beyond Vodni Outpost, if one could even call the place an outpost. There, they waited with an necessary visit to the damned outpost to look forward to once they came out of hiding. The dump was barely big enough to be a station, it had somehow managed to survive halfway between Authority Space and the Outer Rim. No doubt the place’s connections had connections amid the smugglers on both sides. Surely that would be essential to survive out here in the fucking beyond.

Kresho Ivanovic ran the station with an iron fist, or so she had been told. She would find out soon enough how much iron was in that fist, since his station would have the privilege of resupplying the Virago. God, she hated to resupply at insignificant outposts. They were boring for one thing. There was little entertainment for her people, and what supplies were available were often substandard and inadequate to her needs. While she didn’t mind if she ate space rations for months on end, and she didn’t drink, so the bars didn’t interest her, experience had taught her that keeping her crew satisfied meant they would not question, nor falter, when her orders were less than copasetic. Whenever she could use the carrot rather than the stick, the Virago ran more smoothly. Not that she wasn’t very, very good at using the stick, and she supposed that probably aided in the fact that her bespoke Jaeger ran like a well oiled machine. What she found inadequate was the supply of ammo and weapons. And the supply of triax was most often completely inadequate. She would have to see what she could wring out of Ivanovic, and even then she would be forced to resupply again sooner than she really wanted to.

There was a soft ping at her door and it slid open without her consent. It was only her personal med-bot. It needed no consent to enter. It was programmed to her vital signs. Its only task was to monitor her wellbeing and safeguard her health. The bot stopped as the door slid silently shut behind it and paused, confused for a moment. And then Tenad remembered the man in her bed. He had not moved for nearly an hour now. But as she discarded the bloodied white robe and stepped out of it, turning her lacerated back and buttocks to the bot, it moved into action. She would not allow herself the comfort of lying down, not when her injuries had been consensual, in fact commanded. “No pain killers,” she said quietly, though the bot was already programmed to that fact. This night, she wanted to feel every bit of the pain. She leaned forward and rested raised arms against the wall, feeling fresh blood trickle down her lats.

 

 

Dragon Ascending Part 9: Brand New KDG Read

Happy Friday everyone!  Friday means it’s time for another episode of Dragon Ascending. Last week Mac, Manning and Fury interrogated the crew of the rescued ship concerning the fate of the mysterious woman. This week, as the crew reveals the facts about our missing woman, Fury decides to give the ship and crew a little journey they hadn’t anticipated. I hope you’re enjoying Dragon Ascending, the sequel to Piloting Fury, as much as I’m enjoying sharing it with you. As always, I love it when you share my work with your reading friends, so feel free. In the meantime, enjoy!

If you missed the previous episode of Dragon Ascending, follow the link for a catch-up. If you wish to start from the beginning, of Dragon Ascending. Follow the link.  

For those of you who would like to read the complete novel, Piloting Fury, book one of the Sentient Ships series, follow the link to the first instalment.

 

Dragon Ascending

On a desolate junkyard of a planetoid, scavenger Lenore Felik, disturbs something slumbering in a remote salvage dump and uncovers secrets of a tragic past and of the surprising role she must play in the terrifying present she now faces.

Robbed of her inheritance after her tyrannical father’s death, Tenad Fallon is out for revenge on her half-brothers, one who happens to be the sentient ship, Fury. Fury, with his human companions, Richard Manning and Diana McAllister, has his own agenda – finding the lost sentient ships and ending the scourge of indentured servitude in Authority space.

 

 

Dragon Ascending Part 9: An Extended Journey

“Did you kill her?” Manning asked.

“No! No, we didn’t, we wouldn’t,” he whined. “We put her down exactly where she asked us to. She was roughed up a bit, but,” he tried to chuckle, “some women like it rough.”

“Lie to me, and I will absolutely see that you get the shackle,” Mac growled. “There was way too much blood for her to have only been a little bit roughed up.”

“We left her by the big salvage yard in the Sea of Death, just like she asked, and she walked away under her own power. I swear it. Give me truth drug, hell give us all truth drug, just please don’t shackle us.”

“What did she want there?” Fury asked, and all three men looked around again to see who spoke.

“We don’t know,” the engineer said. “All we know is that she was systematically searching the salvage yards on this rock. She said something about archeology or anthropology, something like that, but she didn’t look much like any science type I ever saw. Scrawny thing. Dirty. But then hell everyone is out here where water’s worth more than Triax.”

“She never told us much about whatever it was she was studying,” the captain spoke again, holding his broken nose as it bled into his hand. “She paid us in trade when she hitched the ride. She got her hand on some pretty good shit from scavenging through the salvage yards. Gave us a lot better deal than any of the traders would have.” The med-bot came back in to treat his nose, and he gave a sharp curse as it was set.

“We planned to follow her and see what it was she was looking for this time around, but then the yard in the Sea of Death has a de-mole shield. Why the hell would there be a de-mole shield around a damn salvage yard in the middle of the Sea of Death, I can’t imagine. Whatever’s in there must be worth a fortune.”

Fury and his crew knew exactly why there might be a de-mole shield around the perimeter. Mac returned her attention to what the man was saying.

 

 

“We didn’t fancy going up against it,” said the engineer.” Ain’t nothing worth risking demolecularization over. And we reckoned she’d just sit around on her ass and wait for us to come back.”

“But you thought she’d be just fine waiting it out for three days in a dangerous place like that,” Manning said.

“Well she managed last time she was there, so there must have been a cave or something.” He shrugged, “Or she lied about being there before. Maybe the de-mole perimeter wasn’t there then, hell I don’t know. Alls I know is that she said pick her up in three days.”

“And would you?” Mac shoved into the man’s personal space almost nose to nose, the smell nearly making her eyes water. “Would you have come back for her after what you did to her?”

“Of course we would,” the captain said as the med-bot backed off finished with its work. The man did his best to looked shocked at her insinuations, but Mac didn’t need Fury to tell her that their plan was iffy at best. “Ain’t no one could survive that deep in the Taklaman to walk to the nearest outpost. We had the coordinates. Check our computer. The flight was already programmed in. Then we figured, if she did find a way in, we’d get her to share that information with us.” A blush rose to his cheeks and then the color vanished as he realized what he had just said. Then he shrugged. “Not like she had a choice but to come back with us.”

“Look lady,” the engineer huffed out a frustrated breath, “I mean agent, we got a little drunk, that’s all. And we got rowdier than we intended with her. We never meant to hurt her.”

“‘Tran them aboard their ship and get them out of my sight,” Mac said. “I don’t care where the fuck you send them, just make it a long way from me.” She barely heard the eruption of their protests before they vanished back onto their own ship and it vanished nearly as fast, with a little help from Fury. She made it into the elevator and then she collapsed onto the floor, dropping her head between her knees shaking like she would fall apart. Manning settled next to her on the floor, not touching her at first, knowing that she felt like she might puke her guts. Saying what she’d said had cost her, had brought back memories of being shackled. She knew it had for him as well, and that he was more than likely as nauseated as she was. She felt Fury’s concerned support on the other side. She was not an indentured anymore, and neither was Manning. They were family, Fury’s family, and she knew they had work, important work to do. She took a deep breath and blinked back tears, then soaked in the comfort and empathy of her two men until the shakes and the nausea eased.

Then, with their help, she gained her feet and they got off on the flight deck where they settled her in her chair just as the screen revealed the last view of the vanishing ship from long-range scanners. It was only then that she was calm enough to ask what no one had said, recalling vividly Griffin, in his infancy, ‘tranning Abriad Fallon into space for all that he had done to his son, to her, to so many people. “Fury, what did you do to them?” She finally asked.

“They are back on their ship, just as you requested. I have reprogrammed its computer with new coordinates for their very long journey. They will find themselves going much faster than they’d planned. Oh they shall not starve. I have seen to their basic needs but only just barely.”

“Beyond the Rift,” Manning said with a little shiver.

They both got the sense that Fury was nodding. “As for their desire to abuse those weaker than they are, well, I have given them my own version of the shackle in their rations. They will not have much interest in sex and certainly not such abuse for a very long time, not unless they take a great deal of pleasure in violent vomiting fits.”

This time they both shivered, and Fury simply said. “Now we must see if we may locate this woman. I have taken the liberty of ‘tranning her pack onboard, but there is little in it that if of assistance, I am afraid. Nevertheless, I fear our woman’s situation must surely be urgent. Then perhaps once we have seen to her immediate needs we shall discover what is so important about the Sea of Death.”

They both knew exactly what Fury believed was so important down there. And if one of his missing siblings was in hiding way out here, then whichever one it was, they had most definitely lost their way.

 

Dragon Ascending Part 8: Brand New KDG Read

Happy Friday everyone!  I hope that as you head into the long weekend, you have a good read picked out and a sunny spot to read it in. If it rains, then a nice dry place to enjoy a cuppa and a good read while you watch it rain.  Friday means it’s time for another episode of Dragon Ascending. Last week Fury and his crew come to the rescue of a ship only to discover that its crew had been up to something sinister. This week Mac, Manning and Fury interrogate the crew of the rescued ship concerning the fate of the mysterious woman. I hope you’re enjoying Dragon Ascending, the sequel to Piloting Fury, as much as I’m enjoying sharing it with you. As always, I love it when you share my work with your reading friends, so feel free. In the meantime, enjoy!

If you missed the previous episode of Dragon Ascending, follow the link for a catch-up. If you wish to start from the beginning, of Dragon Ascending. Follow the link.  

Dragon Ascending

On a desolate junkyard of a planetoid, scavenger Lenore Felik, disturbs something slumbering in a remote salvage dump and uncovers secrets of a tragic past and of the surprising role she must play in the terrifying present she now faces.

Robbed of her inheritance after her tyrannical father’s death, Tenad Fallon is out for revenge on her half-brothers, one who happens to be the sentient ship, Fury. Fury, with his human companions, Richard Manning and Diana McAllister, has his own agenda – finding the lost sentient ships and ending the scourge of indentured servitude in Authority space.

 

 

 

Dragon Ascending Part 8: They Reek of Fear and Violence

“They reek of fear and violence,” Fury commented, as Mac and Manning approached the holding cell. They were monitoring their guest’s abusive demands to be released. Their behavior was not that of the innocent. “I have fixed their ship,” Fury added. “Perhaps I will program it to take them on a one way tour of the system’s sun. A warm vacation might be just what they need to relieve the stress under which they’re about find themselves.”

The injections to combat radiation poisoning had been administered by a med-bot, and the three men had been decontaminated before Fury would permit Mac and Manning to enter the cell. “According to the med-bot’s data stream, there were other injuries,” Fury informed them as the lift descended. “The data stream confirms that all three have recently had sex and it was not masturbatory.” Mac shivered and knot tightened in her stomach. Fury was sometimes the king of TMI. He continued with his assessment “One has a broken nose, recently and badly set. The ship’s med-bot is not functioning. One has bites to his tongue and on both lips some self-inflicted, some not, and there are scratches and bite marks on his face, which were of course, not self inflicted. There are also contusions and cuts on the captain’s knuckles conducive to hitting someone, and he has a cracked rib. The woman fought back. However, I cannot say whether she survived for she was not onboard.”

“Fuck,” Manning said. “Whatever happened it wasn’t a friendly party. If she’s dead,” he added.

“Then so are they.” Fury finished for him. Mac didn’t argue. The lift opened, and they stood in front of the pressure door that separated the main cargo hold from what was now being used as the brig. Mac stopped and took a deep breath.

“You sure you want to do this?” Manning placed a reassuring hand on her shoulder. “You know you don’t have to.” She gave a single nod and just her willing it to do so opened the door.

The men had been sitting on the floor against the wall. They were given no comfort. They all sprang to the feet, and the captain took an aggressive step forward. “Who the hell are you? You have no right to hold us prisoner, bitch.”

“The bitch is the one who saved your worthless carcasses, and she just happens to be an Authority agent, asshole,” Manning said stepping in by her side and shoving the man back with a flat palm hard enough to expel the oxygen from his lungs, “and she doesn’t take kindly to abuse.” That shut them all up, and Mac too for a moment.

“Just go with it,” Fury said inside her head. “Richard Manning can be quite the actor when he chooses, and we both know you can con anyone.”

The three men stood before her, pale and smelling of nerves and guilt. She and Manning both had enhance senses thanks to their bonding with Fury, and at the moment, in the tight quarters, that was not a nice thing. She paced in front of the three letting the depth of the shit they were in sink in a little bit, then she spoke. “Before you bother denying anything, remember, we have ways to get the answers we want, ways none of you is strong enough to withstand.” Vaticana Jesu, she would have rolled her eyes at that corny remark, and Manning would have laughed his ass off, but there was nothing humorous about the situation. And the three men didn’t seem to find it humorous in the least. “You’re ship’s registered in the New Kingston sector. What business do you have in the Taklamakan?”

“Salvage. Why the fuck else would anyone be out here in this shit hole?” The captain replied. He didn’t like being questioned by a woman.

“Delivering or buying?”

 

“Brought in a load of spent solar cells. We had some bad luck on the way so we set down for repairs.”

“From the looks of it you need a few more repairs,” she observed. “What happened?”

“Apparently we missed a small rupture in the fuel tank,” the man said, then he added with an ingratiating smile. “It’s an old ship.”

“He’s lying,” came Fury’s voice inside her head. “There was no rupture. The ship was targeted from the planetoid. Though he doesn’t know that. It all happened too fast. There is no such capability in the whole system.”

Except for an SNT in hiding, Mac thought. To the captain, she said, “sounds like you should fire your engineer.”

The man growled something under his breath about uppity cunts, then shut up right fast when Manning growled back and cracked his knuckles.

“No offence, but you’re a long way from Authority space out here,” the captain said. “And I’m not so dumb that I don’t know what an Authority Jaeger looks like, and this ain’t it.”

“I’d say you’re pretty dumb, not knowing when to keep your mouth shut,” she said. “You had a passenger. What happened to her?”

The three men went silent. There was a lot of subtle eye-sliding between them. Nothing Fury or any of his crew would miss. “We dropped her off at a big salvage Dump out in the Sea of Death, just like she asked.”

“Hitching a ride, was she?” Mac asked. “I hear the Sea of Death isn’t exactly a vacation paradise. What? You were just planning to leave her there?”

There was some more half whispered curses, and the captain said. “We were in high orbit, lady. She paid us to pick her up again in three galactic days. I don’t know why the fuck she went there.”

“But you weren’t planning to come back for her, were you?” All three men went pale.

“Course we were. We told her all bets were off though if we got in trouble, like with our ship or anything. We told her – ”

“Did she pay you to beat her and violate her as well? Did she pay you to kick her out in the Sea of Death without her pack?” To Mac’s surprise it was Fury who spoke. The tightening in Manning’s shoulders told her he was surprised too, but Mac was sure if Fury hadn’t said something, Manning might have bashed in the man’s face for him.

“Hold on now,” the man raised both hand and backed away, “the bitch was willing enough to party, she was asking for it. Me and the boys, we – ”

Mac cut him off with a backhand that knocked him off his feet, cursing as he went down. He raised his hand to another broken nose to add to the list of crew injuries and a grunted nasal comment about a ball-busting bitch.

“The ball busting bitch has the authority to shackle your sorry ass and send you back to the nearest Triax mine.” The words were out of her mouth before Mac could be appalled, and she felt the shock run through the rest of her crew, but neither Fury nor Manning said anything. Suddenly the room was deathly silent. Feeling slightly queasy even at the thought of shackling anyone, she took a deep breath, forced a lazy smile and said. “They’re always looking for more help in the Triax mines. If we turn the three of you over, well, there’d be a nice bonus for me and my crew.”

“Please, lady,” the engineer spoke up, glancing nervously at his captain on the floor. “We haven’t done anything deserving the shackle. We’ll tell you anything you want to know. Anything.”

“Did you kill her?” Manning asked.

“No! No, we didn’t, we wouldn’t,” he whined. “We put her down exactly where she asked us to. She was roughed up a bit, but,” he tried to chuckle, “some women like it rough.”

“Lie to me, and I will absolutely see that you get the shackle,” Mac growled. “There was way too much blood for her to have only been a little bit roughed up.”

“We left her by the big salvage yard in the Sea of Death, just like she asked, and she walked away under her own power. I swear it. Give me truth drug, hell give us all truth drug, just please don’t shackle us.”

 

 
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