#NewRelease – The Shadow Zone by Isabella Jordan #DarkFantasy @isyjordanauthor

The Shadow Zone (Duet) (The Shadow Zone 3)Earth 2069. War, disease, and global warming have caused a significant decline of the Human race. The Human world has become a Shadow Zone where people mysteriously disappear and infertility among those of age to have children has grown at an alarming rate.

The vampire race monitors the Human world, whose decline is forcing them to find other ways to obtain the blood they need. They also watch the werewolves who consider the vampires a threat.

Taking Julia (The Shadow Zone 1): The werewolves have sent Julia, a scout, out into the Shadow Zone in search of the key to immortality which both sides believe the humans have unearthed. No female has been able to challenge or seduce Rick in ages. Yet Julia is one luscious little werewolf who definitely makes him feel alive and more than anything, he wants to make her his. No matter how he does it…

Winning Madeline (The Shadow Zone 2): While tailing a Lycan soldier through the Shadow Zone, Maddox finds himself falling for the frail, beautiful prostitute his subject visits. Maddox can deal with cold-blooded killers and the deep and seedy underworld of the Shadow Zone. But he has no clue how to win Madeline’s heart.

 

Now Available at Changeling Press

 

SNEAK PEEK:

All rights reserved.
Copyright ©2020 Isabella Jordan
Excerpt from Taking Julia

“What do you want, deadhead?”

It was bad enough that Julia Lennox had been captured and almost killed on this miserable fucking mission. She was tired and her body ached with each step as she made her way through the ruins on foot. Running into a vampire now when she was just about to make it home had the potential to really piss her off.

And he wasn’t just any vampire. Oh, no. What fun would that be? It was the vampire known as Rick, rumored to be one of the oldest of his kind, who stood leaning against the ruined metal stalk that had once been a street light. Her pack’s leader had pointed him out to her once when they were on a stake out. The legends about him were enough to curl the fur on any werewolf. Julia had heard he’d been a Spanish soldier hundreds of years ago during the time of King Philip II. For such an old guy, she had to admit he was one of the most captivating creatures she’d ever seen.

Still, she’d have to be pretty fucking careful with this one. With the dying rays of the evening sun gleaming off the brown silk of his hair and reflecting in his sinfully dark eyes, it would be so easy to forget the danger he posed. His mouth was sexy beyond words, his skin preternaturally fair. His long, hard body was encased in black leather and the pose he struck gave him the appearance of someone relaxed and enjoying the sunset.

That he could tolerate any level of sunlight spoke volumes about how indestructible he really was.

Did he think to put her at ease with his body language? Just act casual? Right.

Fatigue dropped from her like a heavy coat. Her situation had gone from tired and grumpy to holy shit in about sixty seconds. Rick posed a greater threat than any she’d faced so far in her life and she knew it.

He stood watching her with an unnatural stillness, his stare unblinking and intense. Facing this particular vampire was like nothing Julia had ever experienced before. On one hand, she felt like a small animal immobilized by its fear of a terrifying predator. On the other hand, she stood staring at him like a drooling idiot, mesmerized by the sheer beauty of him.

Fear had its uses and Rick was definitely someone to be afraid of. For all she knew he could read her thoughts. Many of his kind could read minds.

Julia had to get a grip, control her thoughts and her feelings.

Folding her arms across her chest, she decided to go for bored and impatient instead of get me the hell out of here which was how she really felt.

“How are you tonight? Julia, isn’t it?” The way he said her name with his Spanish accent brushed her with unexpected warmth. The fact that he even knew her name took her off guard. From his point of view, she was pretty new to the game. She’d been a shadow chaser for three years now, but to someone like him that probably seemed like a matter of minutes.

“I’m trying to get home. Rick, isn’t it?”

Grinning at her, he nodded. Damn, he had a nice smile.

Perfect teeth. How did they keep their choppers in such good shape for thousands of years?

“Home from where?” Pulling away from what was left of the metal post, he gracefully moved over the jagged pieces of asphalt like he was weightless. He came to a stop in front of her, so tall she was forced to look up to meet his gaze. “What have you been up to, Julia?”

Arrogant asshole. Vampires were so self-important. Just because they were immortal they thought they knew more than anyone else. Well, living hundreds of years didn’t mean you knew fucking everything. They also thought they had license to get into everyone else’s business.

They were sorely mistaken if they thought they could push the werewolves, her kind, around. Very soon the vampires would find out they weren’t alone in their immortality and Julia couldn’t wait for that day. That dream was the reason she put her life on the line with each mission that sent her into the Shadow Zone where a mysterious group of humans had unearthed a dark pathway to unending life. The werewolves would obtain that secret one way or another. Then they’d be on even footing with the vampires and be able to truly defend themselves. It was only a matter of time.

“Don’t worry about what I’ve been up to,” she told him, trying to keep the tremor out of her voice. “Don’t you have bigger things to be concerned about? Like what you guys are going to do for blood when the humans are done destroying themselves?”

“I’m very interested in what you’ve been up to.” His fingers brushed her chin, but she yanked her head away from his touch. His gaze moved over her face.

What was up with this? Rick stood there gazing down at her like an attentive lover. Yet beneath that handsome façade, Julia could sense his determination. To do what, she had no idea. It couldn’t be good.

“You have too much free time on your hands, don’t you?” Julia marched around him, and he let her. She felt his gaze on her the entire time but she didn’t look back. Maybe he’d just let her go.

“Take it easy,” she threw back at him and kept on walking. Damn it all anyway that her motorcycle had been destroyed. If she hadn’t been on foot, maybe she wouldn’t have run into the bloodsucker in the first place.

“Julia.”

Shit. She should have known he wouldn’t make it easy for her.

She came to a startled stop when she spotted him now sitting on the twisted, blackened metal of what had once been a car several feet ahead of her. Only a damned vampire could vanish and materialize like that. His elbows rested on his knees and he sat there watching her with all the ease of someone innocently waiting on his girlfriend.

Yet there was nothing harmless about him. His underlying power was unmistakable.

Julia came from a strong bloodline among her kind and she was a well-trained killer. She wasn’t, however, stupid enough to think she could take this guy in hand-to-hand combat. Most vampires, yes. Not this one. Rick was too strong. If all the stories she’d heard about him were true, he could probably rip her to shreds with his mental powers and not even lay a hand on her.

If she was going to get out of this alive, she had to use her wits. “My business is not your business. I’m asking that you let me go about it.”

“Your business is my business. I know what you’re looking for out there.”

The direct approach. She liked that. Only she wasn’t naïve enough to play little vampire mind games. Try to keep your mind clear. Some of her kind were trained specifically to deal with vampires and could recognize their individual powers easily.

Her area of expertise, however, was humans. She knew only the basics with vampires.

“If you know what I’m doing, then we have nothing else to talk about, right?”

“We have much to talk about, Julia.” Rick laced the fingers of his hands before him. “I want to know if you’ve found what you’re looking for.”

“What’s it to you?”

“I just need to know. It’s very important to both of us, isn’t it?”

Well, yeah. The vampires had to know that a large number of humans had achieved immortality somehow. Weren’t they supposed to know everything? Yet in their superiority, they probably just figured out that her kind knew about the human discovery too. They had to realize that the next step for the werewolves was discovering how to achieve immortality themselves.

With the human population diminishing at an alarming rate, the vampires would have to feed on something to sustain their kind. Werewolf blood was living blood and apparently many vampires already considered them a viable substitute. Werewolf, the other red cell. Random murders among her kind increased every day. All of the victims were suspiciously drained of their blood. Just like predators in the wild, vampires preyed on the most vulnerable — the elderly, women. It had everyone in her pack on red alert. The only chance the werewolves had to survive now was to become immortal as the vampires were. Their current numbers were nowhere near what the human population had been twenty years ago. The vampires could deplete the werewolves in a single decade unless they took action and stopped them. Besides, the humans had discovered a better way to live forever than vampirism and the whole dead deal. A way that simply stopped one from getting ill or growing older. A living solution.

“What do you want?” Julia was blunt. “You want me for a snack? You want me to tell you what I know? Either way I’m fucked, huh?”

The amusement faded from his expression as he sat watching her. “You’re not fucked, Julia. You’d never believe me if I told you that I just wanted to help you, now would you?” “Fuck no.” Was he kidding? Help her to what? Find her jugular vein?

“I do want to help you.” He was so slick in keeping his voice low and calm. “All I’m asking you to do is tell me if you found what you were looking for.”

“And why would I do that?” He’d just have to kill her. She wouldn’t betray her mission by telling him anything. Crap, this could be bad.

“So I can help you.”

Oh, no. He couldn’t just toss that casual smile at her and expect her to bend to his will. No way. Amazing the effect that smile had on her though… “If you know my name, you know what I am.”

Rick nodded.

“And if you know what I am, you know there’s no way in hell I can tell you what I’m up to. So do what you’ve got to do.” She couldn’t stop him after all.

Like a vision from a nightmare, only the guy was hot, he rose from the car and approached slowly, determinedly. Yes, she could have run but she wouldn’t have escaped. Better to show a little courage and face her fate. Werewolves were made of tougher stuff than the vampires gave them credit for.

“I was afraid you wouldn’t cooperate.”

Sucking in her breath at the calm way he said that, Julia steeled herself for whatever was coming.

Rick waved his hand directly in front of her eyes once he reached her and Julia’s world went black.

 

About the Author:

Isabella Jordan is the alter ego of an otherwise stressed out web designer, programmer, and internet junkie. When she’s not trying to perfect her own personal caffeine IV drip, she enjoys spending time with her family, doing volunteer work, and writing. She loves creating new stories of all kinds and chatting with readers and friends.

Isabella would love to hear from her readers!

Stalk Isabella Online: Changeling Press | Website

 

Dangerous Obsession (Spaceport) by Marteeka Karland & Shelby Morgen #scifiromance @marteekakarland @shelbymorgen

Dangerous Obsession (Spaceport Multi-Author 30)

Cover Artist: Marteeka Karland

 

When famed negotiator Mikhail Dreslin and his crew head to ‘Port Adana for a little R & R, the last thing he expects is to have an exotic runaway drop into his arms.

Joiandra is neither as harmless nor as innocent as she appears, though she plays the role well. Who and what she is is a mystery Mikhail will have to solve if he wants to keep her, and the longer he holds her the less he wants to ever let her go, but who’s playing whom in this dangerous game?

 

Get it TODAY at Changeling Press

Use Discount Code TGIF02-28-2020 for 15% off your entire order!

 

EXCERPT

All rights reserved.
Copyright ©2020 Marteeka Karland & Shelby Morgen

Looking for the perfect vacation paradise?
Be sure to visit Xanadu,
Trilion’s premier Pleasure Dome,
Where your every fantasy comes true.
Xanadu.
Everything you’ve ever wanted… and more.

Beyond the sheltering glass of the Haze’s port windows, the nebula glowed with an eerie quality that made a frisson of fear flutter down Joiandra’s spine. There was something out there… something evil. The constant, quiet din of the everyday workings of the space station did nothing to soothe her frazzled nerves. She couldn’t shake the feeling that someone was hunting her.

Someone. Or something. In fact, she felt a bit like dinner. She should have expected this. No one left Xanadu. No one. Ever. At least, not if you were born into the life. Others would kill to get what she was running from.

Turning back to the bar, Joiandra ordered a Red Rooibos, an old Earth drink. Exotic, but non-alcoholic. She needed to keep her wits. She didn’t want to run. Not again. She’d built something here. Something that was her own. But run she would before she’d go back.

Most people who knew the place wouldn’t have described the Haze as safe, but tonight it was her best refuge. Plenty of witnesses about, in case this was more than just paranoia. Plenty of men. Big, strong men. One of them would surely be willing to defend a helpless woman.

She didn’t like the role, but it was one she knew how to play.

Waiting wasn’t one of her strong suits, but then again, neither was hunting. If push came to shove, she could defend herself, but she’d much rather ply her other trades than kill. The end result was much more pleasant. And profitable. Men with money would pay well for the company of a Trilion pleasure slave. Ironically, now that she’d run she was forced to resort to the very line of work she’d tried so hard to escape.

Joiandra really wanted to believe the small voice telling her to run was overreacting. She was used to men watching her, after all. But the feathers on the back of her neck stood up in a flutter like they’d been hit by a warning breeze.

She scanned the Haze anxiously, trying to be discreet, but needing to identify the source of the threat.

“Can I buy you a drink?” Something with a little more kick than that, his gruff, husky voice implied.

Joiandra turned and looked up — and up. She wasn’t exactly tiny, but this man towered over her. Tall, dark, and handsome was such a cliché. Except when it came bundled in black body armor, with a laser rifle and a belt full of shock grenades. What the fuck was he? Obviously military, but she didn’t see any insignia. Not AP Security, then. Merc, maybe? Everything about him screamed dangerous motherfucker. He could probably break her in half with his bare hands.

That really shouldn’t have turned her on. But at the moment, dangerous might be just what she needed. Because he wasn’t the warning bell she’d been receiving. Which really worried her. If there was something else out there more dangerous than this man, she really didn’t want to meet him. It. At least not tonight. Tonight, she wanted safe, and tall, dark, and dangerous might be exactly what she needed.

She started to ask his name, then thought better of it. She didn’t want to know. She wasn’t looking for commitments. Just a night she could call her own. “I hear the Haze offers real Jamaican Rum if you know who to ask.”

His handsome face split into a slow grin, and her pussy clenched a little. The man really was handsome. If you overlooked all that deadly weaponry.

“I think I can manage that.” He nodded at the bartender, who set down the glass he was polishing and went beneath the bar for her request.

“Just leave the bottle.”

Small talk wasn’t necessary. Not when rum was involved. Her merc seemed to convey everything he wanted with the smoldering look in his eyes. Sex. And plenty of it.

“Make it to go,” she told the bartender, her gaze never leaving Mr. Dangerous. “Do you have a room?”

 

About Marteeka Karland

Erotic romance author by night, emergency room tech/clerk by day, Marteeka Karland works really hard to drive everyone in her life completely and totally nuts. She has been creating stories from her warped imagination since she was in the third grade. Her love of writing blossomed throughout her teenage years until it developed into the totally unorthodox and irreverent style her English teachers tried so hard to rid her of.

Website | Marteeka at Changeling Press | Facebook

 

About Shelby Morgen

Shelby Morgen loves writing offbeat tales that defy as many rules as possible.

She likes chocolate with her peanut butter, suspense with her romance, and kink with her sex, and she’s always had a hard time keeping science fiction, fantasy and paranormal from mixing with her kink.

Shelby shares her belief in electronic publishing with her longtime friend and partner, Bill, her husband of nearly four decades.

Shelby at Changeling Press |Twitter

 

 

 

Backup Plan (Spaceport) by Shelby Morgen #scifiromance

Backup Plan (Spaceport Multi-Author 32)

Cover Art by Renee George

 

When Dr. Ruth Balise ran out of funding for her research, she had no idea the twisted path her work would take. Her psychiatric profile adjustment was supposed to be more humane — a way to render violent sociopaths and the criminally insane harmless to themselves and others.

But in a black-market society where medical miracles are for sale to the highest bidder, a death sentence is far too wasteful. Why settle for just one replacement body part, when you can own the whole thing? Prisoners are maintained in semi-stasis, their memories wiped, the cost of their physical care sponsored by aging aristocrats, hosts for future replacement organs.

After all, they’re just bodies — empty shells. Pod fuck-bunnies, their monitors call them, living in an endless loop of sex, drugged with their own endorphins into a constant state of euphoria, their bodies maintained in prime health. They’re not supposed to wake up — ever — and they’re certainly not supposed to escape.

Now Ruth is one of them, and only Panama Red, the space pirate turned bodyguard who’s out to rescue Ruth, can save her. But will he still be willing to trust her with his heart, once he knows she engineered this hell?

 

Get it TODAY at Changeling Press

or pre-order for February 28th at retailers

   

 

EXCERPT

All rights reserved.
Copyright ©2020 Shelby Morgen

I’m coming! I wanted to scream. Those were the right words, that much I was sure of, but I knew better. No one screamed here. I held it all inside. Even as the orgasm ripped through me I wondered — somewhat cynically, I’ll admit — was it possible to get bored with sex?

I’d never had thoughts like these. Not until… hell, I realized I’d had no concept of time. That is, I did now, but before…

Something was happening to me. Something was changing.

No, not something. Me. I was changing. My mind was… waking up. The faceless body before me writhed, screaming soundlessly, and the final release tore through me, bathing me in the flood of pleasure that had always before brought these churning thoughts to a tumultuous end.

Release. Blissful sleep. The fulfillment of a promise…

Ha. Make that hard work. Hot, sweaty sex. A partner well pleasured. Then sleep. Then on to the next rotation.

The harder, heavier body of the other… whatever it was… groaned, wrapping itself around me, almost smothering with its weight and heat. I’d never minded before. That was the reward for a job well done. Release. Euphoria. Malaised contentment.

So why was I awake? Why was I fighting the urge to push the other off me?

I opened my… my eyes, yes. I opened my eyes and fought to focus, rapidly learning how to adjust for the closeness of the body before me. Saw the mouth. The mouth I had kissed. The lips I had bitten, now bruised and swollen from our passion. The contented smile. The…

Blankness.

Revulsion swept through me, stronger than any orgasm. The thing might as well have been an inflatable doll. No sign of intelligence. No sign of anything at all. It was — he was — just a mouth. And a cock.

Or maybe I’d had it right the first time. It.

And what made me any different? Other than my lack of a cock? Until two rotations ago, I’d been little more. A mouth and a cunt.

Cunt. Somehow I knew the word was coarse, crude. Beneath me. And I liked the sound of it. Forbidden fruit. I smiled, placed my hands on the cock’s shoulders, and pushed. Hard.

Arms tightened around me, clamping down like steel bands. “You’re awake!”

“Let go of me.”

“Keep your voice down. Don’t move. Shut your eyes. And smile!”

All right. He. A lunatic, but gods, he had gorgeous eyes. The color of precious minerals, deep cobalt, flecked with gold. Still. “Get the blyat off me.”

“Hush! You just had the best sex of your life. Smile!”

“Arrogant prick!”

“Do you want to get us killed? We’re not supposed to be awake, damn it.” He smothered my reply with his mouth, giving my rapidly emerging vocabulary time to catch up.

Killed. Past tense of kill.

Death.

Dead.

I understood the concept well enough to quit fighting. I tore his words apart like my guide to the mystery they were. We’re not supposed… Soooo. Wherever we were, whoever we were — both concepts seemed new, yet familiar — there were rules. We’d — I’d — been asleep, at least on some level. Now I was awake.

Awake was bad.

 

More from Shelby Morgen at Changeling Press …

Shelby Morgen loves writing offbeat tales that defy as many rules as possible.

She likes chocolate with her peanut butter, suspense with her romance, and kink with her sex, and she’s always had a hard time keeping science fiction, fantasy and paranormal from mixing with her kink.

Shelby shares her belief in electronic publishing with her longtime friend and partner, Bill, her husband of nearly four decades.

 

Bite (Spaceport) by Marteeka Karland #scifiromance #futuristic @marteekakarland

Bite (Spaceport Multi-Author 4)

Cover Artist: Renee George

The last thing Dryson expects when he takes his latest shipment of smuggled goods to Spaceport Adana is to end up with a Rajian sex slave, Sasha. Sure, he planned a little R & R, but the impulsive buy is proving to be more than he bargained for. Sasha is a force to be reckoned with, and her bite is definitely worse than her bark.

Something else Dryson doesn’t expect is to find himself face to face with an assassin sent to kill him. Belin, the large and very experienced killer, has other plans. Instead of killing Dryson, Belin wants to recruit him to smuggle much-needed goods to his home planet. Unfortunately, the Interplanetary Alliance Council has strong objections to letting Dryson live.

When Dryson is taken hostage, Belin and Sasha must keep their cool and use all their cunning if they’re going to rescue him. Keeping a level head is not something a Rajian is capable of when her mate is in danger.

Either of them.

 

Get it TODAY at Changeling Press
Use Discount Code TGIF02-14-2020 for 15% off your entire order!

Pre-order for February 21st at online retailers

  

 

 

WHAT ARE REVIEWERS SAYING?

Spaceport: Bite was a deliciously wicked tale… Great characters, action packed sequences and hot romances made the story a very quick read. I love Ms. Karland and cannot wait for her next creation.”

4 1/2 Stars!– Suni Farrar, JERR

Spaceport: Bite is a wonderful story. The characters are realistic, the sex is phenomenal and the action is riveting. The humor shared amongst the three lovers made me laugh out loud a time or two.”

5 Nymphs! — Scandalous Minx, Literary Nymphs

 

 

More from Marteeka Karland at Changeling Press …

Erotic romance author by night, emergency room tech/clerk by day, Marteeka Karland works really hard to drive everyone in her life completely and totally nuts. She has been creating stories from her warped imagination since she was in the third grade. Her love of writing blossomed throughout her teenage years until it developed into the totally unorthodox and irreverent style her English teachers tried so hard to rid her of.

 

 

 

 

Forget Me Not by Mikala Ash #BDSM #futuristic #MultiplePartners

Forget Me Not (Spaceport Multi-Author 10)

Published by Changeling Press
Cover Artist: Renee George

 

…Dread raked its way through her chest…
“The wreckage was fused solid. There was no hope.”
“Felis, what are you saying?”
“He’s dead, Holly. Maxim’s gone!”

Maxim Dollavera dead?

Spaceport Adana goes into mourning for their fallen hero, but Holly Barberossa refuses to believe he’s gone. She wears a Forget-Me-Not pheromone pendant to constantly remind her of the love of her life. She keeps herself busy by reporting on the stalled trial of the traitor, Riz Gitto, who she and Maxim had been instrumental in bringing to justice.

The judge, Kasamee Kee, enlists Silas Archimedes, a private eye, to protect Holly without her knowledge while she uses her as bait to flush out the conspirators, chief among them the glamorous socialite and suspected pirate Mischa and her new slave, the very sexy Murukan.

Can Holly solve the mystery of Maxim’s disappearance? Despite her undying love for Maxim, will Holly succumb to the charms of Silas or the mysterious Murukan, who strangely reminds her of her lost lover?

 

Get it TODAY at Changeling Press

or Pre-Order for January 10th at Retailers

   

 

EXCERPT

All rights reserved.
Copyright ©2008, 2020 Mikala Ash

Holly swept into the office and threw herself into the visitor’s chair. “Hey there, boss!”

Vinnie gazed morosely at her from beneath hooded brows. “Any word from Maxim?”

She sighed forlornly. “Not for a few days.” Maxim’s sudden silence bothered her. A dim disquiet had been growing in her gut when last night’s call didn’t eventuate. She’d sent her own sub-space dispatch but there had as yet been no reply. She didn’t like it. Maxim was a consummate pilot but still she worried about him. The black, the spacer term for the deep dark between the stars, held many dangers that have no respect for human skill or ingenuity.

“When is he due back?” Vinnie asked, drawing her out of her thoughts.

“Not for another month,” Holly said and sighed again. She noticed she had been doing that a lot lately, sighing loud enough for others to hear. She’d never been so lonely before in her life and the feeling was quite disturbing. “He said in his last transmission that he and Felis had found an asteroid with a duridium deposit, whatever that is.”

“Money,” Vinnie said gruffly, but seemed to relax at the news. “He may be longer if that’s the case. Duridium is in demand all across the galaxy. It’s likely you’ll both be very rich, Holly.”

“Don’t worry, boss. I won’t leave you even if I am dripping in gemstones.”

He grunted and she guessed what he thought of the probability of that happening, though Holly suspected there had been something else on his mind. He seemed more preoccupied than usual.

She didn’t like the sound of this duridium stuff. If Maxim and Felis had made a big find they might be away longer than they had planned. She didn’t know how she’d survive.

“I’m glad he’s safe,” Vinnie continued. “I’ve just heard there was a passenger ship disaster just outside the Carnassian Void.”

Holly felt that buzz of excitement whenever there was the merest scent of a story but before she could process that bit of information there came a commotion from outside the office door. Roberta cried out and then the door was flung open. Holly stood up and gazed at the intruder. It was, unaccountably, Felis, who should be out there, beyond Adana’s walls, in the black with Maxim. She automatically glanced over his shoulder expecting to see her love, but Felis was alone.

There was something very wrong with his appearance. The usually immaculate leonine was disheveled and grimy. His golden fur had not been cleaned for days and the fur around his big eyes was matted as if… as if…

Roberta tried to embrace him but the big leonine didn’t seem to see her. His big oval eyes, glistening in the harsh light of the overheads, were fixed solely on Holly. He grabbed hold of her, drawing her into his broad chest. Holly couldn’t breathe he squeezed her so tight. After a moment she pushed him away. “You big cat,” she chided. “What’s the matter? You look terrible.”

She gazed into his agonized expression. She’d been right. He had been crying. The fur beneath his eyes was wet. “Sit down,” she said and guided him to a chair. He took a deep shuddering breath and fell into it as if the strings holding up his powerful body had been cut and he was now exposed as a mere puppet.

“I’m so sorry,” he sobbed.

“Don’t be silly. Spit it out!”

“We were staking out our asteroid, putting down beacons, when we heard a distress call.” He took another sobbing breath. “It was a passenger liner, the Euripides. They were being attacked by pirates.”

“And?” she prompted, kneeling in front of him.

Euripides was holed and disabled,” he cried. “The passengers and crew taken. The captain got off a sub-space SOS before the bridge was blown apart. By the time we got there, the pirates were mopping up, stealing cargo and luggage.”

An empty void was forming in the pit of her stomach. “Go on.”

“We popped out of sub-space in the middle of their fleet. There were six of them.” Felis’s voice broke again. “There was nothing we could do. They opened up on us with quantum torpedoes as soon as we entered normal space. We had no chance.”

That black pit inside her chest coalesced into an iceberg. “Felis,” she said, her voice edged with fear. “Where’s Maxim? Still chasing them, I bet.”

His downcast eyes told her otherwise. “I was clobbered the instant I hit normal space. I peeled away and chased the one that shot at me into sub-space. He was too fast, a fighter, he just winked out. When I got back to the Euripides there was nothing I could do.”

Dread raked its way through Holly’s chest. Blood pounded in her ears so loudly she barely heard his words.

“The wreckage was fused solid. There was no hope.”

“Felis, what are you saying?”

“He’s dead, Holly. Maxim’s gone!”

 

More from Mikala Ash at Changeling Press …

Aussie Mikala Ash lives a hectic double life, mild-mannered training & development consultant by day… wild sci-fi and paranormal adventure writer by night. “For me, burning the candle at both ends is not such a terrible problem; I’m having too much fun!”

 

 

Kidnapping the Cyborg by Anne Kane #scifi #cyborgs #cyberpunk #futuristic @AnneKane

Kidnapping the Cyborg (Terras Five 6)

Published by Changeling Press
Cover Artist: Bryan Keller

 

Plan: Seduce the Cyborg, kidnap him and force him to help her escape. What could possibly go wrong?

Life in the breeders enclave on Terras Five was comfortable. Safe. Boring! Abigail wanted more. She wanted to explore the galaxy, have a career, enjoy all the freedoms that a human female took for granted. In order to do that she needed to get off-planet, and in order to accomplish that, she needed help. Male help.

She had a plan.

Jackson was flattered that the young female chose him to sire her offspring, and he was more than willing to play his part and make sure she enjoyed the experience as much as he did. What he wasn’t prepared for was being kidnapped at weapons point and forced to help the young breeder escape. Of course, he could have disarmed her and foiled her plan, but where’s the fun in that?

 

Get it TODAY at Changeling Press

or Pre-Order for Januar 10th at Retailers

   

 

EXCERPT

All rights reserved.
Copyright ©2020 Anne Kane

Abigail stretched languidly on the circular sleeping platform, making sure the male Cyborg got a generous eyeful of her luscious curves. She hadn’t counted on this, counted on it being him, the incredibly sexy male she’d met so long ago. Then again this wasn’t really a bad thing. The attraction she felt for him would make it easier to go through with her plan.

His name was Jackson. Jackson Firestorm. She’d almost snorted her drink out through her nose when she read that on the choices sheet. In a way, the absurdity of his family name was the reason she’d chosen him from the six breeding options presented for her approval.

Of course, she hadn’t realized she’d already met Jackson Firestorm. Or that she’d had a crush on him since she’d been a child. She only knew him as the Cyborg who’d appeared out of nowhere to save her and her friends.

Would he remember the wide-eyed girl child he’d plucked from the wreckage of the crashed spaceship? To him, she would have been just one more orphan who needed help, but to her he’d been a hero, larger than life. He’d saved her life and that of her crèche mates. She’d developed an immediate crush. As a youngling, she’d spent many hours daydreaming about the deliciously sexy Cyborg.

Jackson slid the entrance to the cubicle closed with a soft click, his eyes darkening as they swept over her lounging figure.

She curved her lips up in a smile, trying to look more confident than she felt. She’d never done this before, never joined with a male. Until this very moment, she hadn’t considered what effect that would have on her plan.

Last moon cycle, she’d hacked into the breeder database and altered her records to show that she’d already had several lovers. If the powers that be had known this was her first coupling, they would have insisted on sending her an older male, one with enough experience to ease her into the breeder lifestyle, make it a glowing experience.

That didn’t fit her needs at all. She needed a male she could dupe into lowering his guard. A younger male, one who would let lust overrule his Cyborg training and naturally cautious nature. At least, that was the plan.

 

More from Anne Kane at Changeling Press …

Anne Kane lives in the beautiful Okanagan Valley with a bouncy little rescue dog whose breed defies description, a cantankerous Himalayan cat, and too many fish to count. She spent many years trying to fit in and act normal, but finally gave up the effort. She started writing romance in 2008, and her fate was sealed when she won a publishing contract with Red Sage Publishing and just a month later Changeling Press accepted her first submission. Since then she has published more than thirty stories in a variety of sub-genres, all with a happily ever after.

She has two handsome sons and six adorable grandchildren and enjoys spending time with them whenever she can. Her hobbies, when she’s not playing with the characters in her head, include kayaking, hiking, swimming, playing guitar, singing and of course, reading.

 

Terran Seduction by Echo Ishii #interracial #futuristic #alienencounters

Terran Seduction (Terran 2)

Published by Changeling Press

Diana Aventina is a ranking senator serving the Terran Republic. Her lineage is one of power and influence. She’s courted by powerful men for a bloodline match, but hasn’t found anyone suitable. Power means sacrificing everything for a higher cause, even love.

Brennus is a legendary commander picked to lead all the armed forces. On the mysterious wintry world of Sobek he’s discovered a weapon that may change the future of the Terran Republic. His star is on the rise, and he wants a powerful woman like Diana by his side.

But the weapon might not be all it seems. And a new line of Terran soldiers threaten the stability of the Republic. Brennus and Diana can’t fight their desire for each other, but they may lose the Republic in the process.

 

Get it TODAY at Changeling Press

or pre-order for December 27th at retailers

 

SNEAK PEEK

All rights reserved.
Copyright ©2019 Echo Ishii

“How long has it been?” Diana Aventina looked up from her desk toward a young Terran legion soldier. He was a tall, strong young man with a crew cut and two short horns, like all Terran-bred soldiers. A star shaped cybernetic implant was buried deep in his neck.

“Forty minutes, Senator,” the soldier answered.

“We’ll keep waiting,” Diana replied, turning her attentions back to her work. She wasn’t going to show her annoyance. Not yet.

She was here with Governor Kent and his handpicked Red Star fighting unit on the icy cold world of Sobek. The command center was barely more than a converted supply depot. The heating system was rudimentary. Too hot in the living quarters; too cold everywhere else.

The howling winds beat against the outside doors. Her seat was furthest from the door, but still the cold crept in somehow. She shifted in her seat and clasped her hands to warm them. Even with gloves, her fingers still felt the cold.

In front of her, Governor Kent paced back and forth, hands behind his back, his nose reddened by the cold. He sniffled. He stomped his feet as if to get circulation going. Kent mumbled something Diana couldn’t hear, but she had a fair idea that it wasn’t complimentary.

“Commander Brennus better have an excuse for being late,” Governor Kent said.

“Praetor Ambiorix Brennus,” Diana reminded him. “Soon to be Terran Republic Legate.”

Kent lowered his voice. “If he takes the job.”

“He’ll be the official leader of the entire Terran Republic military. I suggest you get on his good side.”

No one expected Sobek to have long-term value. The first mission here a decade ago had ended in disaster. The native Efret wavered between indifference to outsiders to bursts of open hostility. Sobek wasn’t a top priority for anyone at Terran Republic Headquarters. But Ambiorix Brennus was a legend. He had an outstanding war record. He had exclusive access to alien weaponry. Senator Diana Aventina wanted to see him for herself.

Kent stopped his pacing. He leaned down toward her so close she could smell his cologne. She gave Kent a once over. He came from a strong bloodline. He had blue eyes, blonde hair, and good bone structure. The same floor-model attractiveness shared by thousands of others who had the breeding and connections for top quality bodywork. Nothing special really.

He glanced at the young soldier next to them. “This is the future. Hedron. One of my best Red Star soldiers.”

Hedron replied with a blank stare.

“We’ll see about that,” Diana said. She wasn’t as impressed with these Red Stars as Kent was. They just needed to do their jobs.

A loud thudding noise startled everyone into attention. The doors began to creak open, tiny icicles dropping to the floor. The Red Star soldiers assumed formation, sensing the approach of danger.

Two of the soldiers, muscular young males, approached and pulled the doors open. They stood aside and waited.

Nothing.

“What’s going on?” Kent asked, vocalizing what they all thought.

“Quiet,” said Hedron. “Can you hear it?”

Diana listened. There was faint sound of footsteps. She glanced around. She saw something. A sliver. Like one of the silverfish images your eyes make when you grow tired. She blinked. “There’s someone here,” Diana said.

“Impossible,” Kent replied.

As if on cue, a male soldier stepped forward and pulled out his fighting lance. A ghostly image flickered into view. It wrestled away the lance, and threw the young soldier across the room in seconds.

“Full alert,” Kent shouted, backing away. The other soldiers stepped forward with techno lances at the energy. The whir of energy pulsing through the weapons echoed in the room.

Then, she felt it. Body heat. Next to her. The sound of breathing. She felt a firm hand was on her back. She smiled. It was true. They had discovered invisibility cloaks.

The invisible warrior materialized in an instant. First a shimmer, then the fullness of a thick cloak came into view and dropped to the ground. Ambiorix Brennus.

There was a moment of stillness in the room as if the others didn’t know how to speak. As if they were all unable to take him in. He was a legend, even among Legion Commanders.

Brennus was almost seven feet tall with wide shoulders and a powerful stance. His traditional legion armor was enhanced with thick fur pelts. He carried his fighting lance in his right hand and wore his Terran Republic shield bracelet on his left. His hair was long, a rusty red brown with a thick, full beard. It wasn’t standard military cut, but then Sobek was a wintry world. And Ambiorix Brennus set his own standards.

Diana was transfixed by his horns. Strong, thick bull horns, shined to a polish, decorated with carved runes. Whether or not anyone would call Brennus handsome was a matter of taste, but there was no doubt he was magnificent.

“I apologize for my delay,” Brennus said in a deep, rich voice.

 

MORE FROM ECHO AT CHANGELING PRESS …

Echo Ishii loves to write stories of the fantastic — from high fantasy to high tech and everything in between. She is a long time science fiction fan, as well as a fan of all things fantasy and paranormal — classic sci fi movies, shows, and even radio dramas.

Echo on Twitter: @mrsbookmark.
Echo’s Website: https://www.echoishii.com
Echo’s Blog: https://echoishiizone.wordpress.com

 

 

Liam’s Encounter by Elle Jackson #futuristic #scifi #alienencounters #aliens

Liam's Encounter (Kilfane Incursion 1)

Publisher: Changeling Press
Cover Artist: Angela Knight

Special Agent Liam Allen cherishes the peace on his farm between assignments hunting aliens for the military. But when a terrible storm brings destruction, Liam finds the most beautiful woman he’s ever seen at the end of the rainbow.

Eshe speaks a language he’s never heard and hates wearing clothes. Their passion burns hot, but she’s an explorer from another world, and he’s supposed to kill her.

 Will she kill him first, or will fated love save them both?

 

Get it at Changeling Press

EXCERPT

All rights reserved.
Copyright ©2019 Elle Jackson

Liam’s peace used to live at the bottom of a vodka bottle. Now, he found that calm during the long days tending his farm. True, he started work before dawn and ended after sunset, but he loved the quiet and working for himself. His hands got dirty and his clothes were always drenched in sweat, but everything he did was something he wanted to do. His drunken stepfather wasn’t around to beat him into anything anymore.

Before his enlistment, he’d wanted nothing to do with the farm, but his experiences in the Army had changed all that. Liam would never be able to un-see the horrific things he’d witnessed when his squad had stumbled upon the unimaginable.

They were no longer fighting other countries. Other humans.

Now tending his farm had become an escape from the relentless stress and danger of his job. If it weren’t for the horrific flashbacks of his baby sister and his mother burning to death in the fire, his existence here would be perfect.

Sighing deeply, Liam walked out on to his porch. The mysterious storm had hit with no warning at all. He’d barely had time to secure his dog, Domino, before all hell broke loose.

The tornado had lasted seconds, but it had left chaos in its wake that had taken hours to clean up. His barn had suffered the brunt of the destruction, but at least the horses, cattle, and pigs were safe. Now the storm had passed.

With a tired sigh, Liam dropped onto the farmhouse porch swing, cold beer in hand, and looked around with a certain weary satisfaction. He’d rebuilt the two-story farmhouse following the tragic fire that had killed his mother and sister. He’d tried to recreate the charm of the family’s old home: white siding, navy blue shutters, the large wraparound porch with a wooden swing to the left of the front door. He’d added floor-to-ceiling windows that gave the home the open feel he craved.

Liam took three large gulps of his beer and tossed the bottle in the trash, and then got another out of his cooler on the side of the swing. He loved the crisp evening air.
A startling flash of light made him look up just as a rainbow shimmered into being against the black backdrop of the sky.

Weird. Since when did rainbows appear at night?

The colors came in softly at first, pale pink, blue, lavender. Then, as if hit by lightning, the rainbow exploded.

Excruciating pain stabbed through Liam’s body as the multicolored light blinded him. He toppled off the swing, hitting the porch floor hard. After several long agonizing moments, the crippling pain subsided. He took a few deep breaths and lifted his spinning head.

What he saw wasn’t possible. It was… something from a fairytale.

The rainbow now lay over the ground in a path stretching from Liam’s front steps to the woods that bordered his property. He’d never seen anything like it. The colors shone vividly against the dark landscape.

Something tugged at him, drawing him away into the dark.

He staggered to his feet and took a hesitant step off his porch toward the luminescent path. The smell of damp dirt hung in the air along with rain-soaked livestock, but there was another scent, one that was not familiar. It reminded Liam of copper or metal, with a hint of fresh laundry.

Something about it made his instincts howl. That wasn’t a feeling Liam could ignore. Training had sharpened his senses to a hyper-alert edge, a vigilance that had saved his squad many times over.

So he allowed the delicate odor to lead him down the glowing path.

The rainbow hovered just above the ground like a luminescent mist that swirled around his feet with every step. He looked back to see the colors disappearing behind him, even as they stretched out ahead.

What the hell?

Once under the cover of the trees, the light from the path allowed Liam to see. The shadows that lurked just off the trail moved and distorted into the shapes of animals or humans. Everything about this felt ominous.

All Liam could hear was the cracking of vegetation under his feet. It worried him. Animals only grew this quiet when a predator was near.

The path finally ended just ahead, revealing something dark lying in the leaves. There really is something at the end of the rainbow, he thought. With my luck, it’ll have fangs and claws.

Edging forward, he heard a moan. It sounded… human. Like a woman. Forgetting caution, he began to run.

The woman lay where the rainbow ended — a slender, beautiful figure sprawled on the ground. She had dark, flawless skin the color of mahogany, long midnight black hair, feathery lashes that fringed her closed eyelids, and full, tempting lips. She was also naked save for the tiny gold jewelry affixed to the area just below both eyes. He’d never seen piercings so small.

When Liam turned the woman over to check her pulse, he saw more jewels affixed to her sternum between her breasts.

Liam shrugged off his own shirt and covered her, draping it over her petite frame. He put two fingers to her throat to find her pulse strong, steady.

He pulled out his cell phone, only to realize he had no bars. Then again, even if he could call an ambulance, the closest hospital was fifty miles away. He’d do better to assess her himself and determine if she could be moved. His military training had included first aid treatment of the most common combat injuries. That made him her best hope.

Liam gently used his fingertips to probe her neck, sides, and head for injuries. Nothing seemed broken, but he wouldn’t know for sure until she could talk to him. She could have been drugged. “Miss, can you hear me?” He wanted to at least give the police a name when he could finally call 911. “Miss, are you all right?”

No answer.

Deciding it was safe to move her, Liam picked her up in his arms, then headed back to the farm. On the way, he tried talking to her.

With her eyes closed, she said something in a language Liam didn’t recognize…

 

 

SPOTLIGHT: Trash & Treasure by Mikala Ash #futuristic #scifi #LGBTQ #multiplepartners #RomanceBooks @changelingpress

Spotlight: Trash & Treasure (Spaceport Multi-Author 3)

Publisher: Changeling Press
Cover Artist: Bryan Keller

 

Award-winning reporter for the Adana Observer Holly Barberossa finds herself once again in her natural environment: hot water.

Antagonizing the Dollavera “brothers,” a family of clones who run the Amalgamated Spaceport Guild of Scavengers, with a series of damaging exposés was bound to drop her into a cauldron of trouble but when a dismembered body, an abused robot and a scared alien entity are thrown into the mix then Holly is really in the soup.

Then there’s Maxim Dollavera who, she hopes, is not like his “brothers.” A man with his smoldering good looks just can’t be a bad guy, can he? Trying for a surprise interview Holly walks in on him and his male lover, Felis Panthera, a randy Leonine with equally attractive attributes. Forget the story, she hopes there’s room for one more in Maxim’s erotic world.

But she can’t forget a story, that’s her problem, and her greatest strength. Will Maxim’s brothers allow Holly to walk all over them in the media without retribution? Will Maxim welcome her into his world when she is trying to destroy his brothers? And just who are the bad guys, really?

These and other questions boil over in Spaceport: Trash & Treasure, a Holly Barberossa erotic adventure.

 

99 cents TODAY at Changeling Press

 

Praise for Trash & Treasure

“I loved the futuristic and paranormal backdrop to this tale, which added to the fascination of the plot. I look forward to reading the other stories from a variety of different authors of the Spaceport series.”

4 Stars! — Tallyn Porter, JERR

“The addition of a good mystery and intrigue to the plot make Spaceport: Trash & Treasure a fine addition to the Spaceport series.”

4 Angels! — Hayley, Fallen Angels Reviews

 

EXCERPT

All rights reserved.
Copyright ©2008, 2019 Mikala Ash

I need a beer.

With an emphatic click, Holly Barberossa snapped off her smartcam while K. Dollavera was still flapping his jaws, the bombastic Guild executive ever eager to have the last word. Asshole!

It had been a helluva day. She’d lost her cool and she knew it. Vinnie would gripe about it in the morning, give her the old lecture about getting more with sugar than… hell, she couldn’t remember how that homily ended even though she’d heard it a thousand times.

I need a beer.

The Haze was only ten minutes away. She could almost taste the amber fluid, not to mention the plate of ribs she’d have to go along with it. The image of her favorite meal, dripping with that mouth watering Altaran sauce the cook at the Haze used, filled her mind and worked its magic on her salivary glands. Her empty stomach gave a sustained and hopeful cheer.

She hadn’t stopped for lunch, running from one end of Adana to the other; interviewing idiots and assholes, fending off the groping hands of hopeful pedestrians trying to cop a feel, being kidnapped and fucking led around blindfolded by amateurs on the run (as if they really thought I couldn’t figure out where they took me, geeze! ), gassed by a flatulent Fedoran, given the cold shoulder by the fucking head of ‘Port Security (I’ll put her on a fucking spit and roast her slow), and to top it off that fucking asshole Dollavera trying to wheedle out of not spilling the beans about the gang war brewing right under his and his goddamn brothers’ fucking noses (brothers, there’s a misnomer for you, fucking brothers my ass, fucking clones).

Clones. She took a deep and sustained breath. Good looking clones, sexy clones who boiled her juices every time she was within ten meters of their athletic bulk. Bastards.

She ordered her thoughts and skipped through the interview with Riz Gitto, the retired head of ‘Port Security and CEO of Adana’s newest private security firm. She could tell he wanted her badly, his pale gray eyes undressing her six times during the five minutes she talked to him. He wasn’t bad looking for an old guy and would be a useful contact, so she’d fluttered her dark lashes back at him and deflected his request for a date with the usual stop kidding around, I’m working line and jumped into the interview with that asshole K. Dollavera. At least Riz hadn’t made a grab for her tits.

Exactly why she let Dollavera get under her skin she couldn’t fathom. It wasn’t just that he was a slimy asshole. No doubt it had something to do with the fact that she’d dated (a couple of times) his “brother” Zweep, the Sentient Resources Controller of the family monopoly, the Amalgamated Spaceport Guild of Scavengers. She’d dumped Zweep at the first inkling of his suspicious business dealings. No way could she compromise her journalistic standards by seeing the man at the center of what could be the biggest scandal in Adana history. The fact that she let him go not ten minutes after she met their “brother” Maxim might, she conceded, have had something more to do with it other than being a breathtaking coincidence.

Maxim, the New Year’s Eve hero who had risked his life to save others from a terrible disaster, was something special. There was a guy who knew how to boil the juices, and what made him yummier was that he didn’t even know he did it.

The thought of Maxim being caught up in a shady family business was giving her sleepless nights. He’d been away, supposedly scavenging, for the last month, more likely avoiding the hundreds of fans attracted to his celebrity, so she hadn’t been able to talk to him about it. Not that they were on speaking terms yet; he probably didn’t know she even existed.

I’ll have to change that little detail.

If nothing else, her publicly nailing his two brothers would bring her into his orbit soon enough. What worried her was that Maxim seemed smarter than his “brothers,” and even in the brief moments she saw them interact, they seemed to defer to him. Her worst fear was that he was actually in charge of the operation while posing as a loner, supposedly scavenging the asteroid belt for junk. It would be the perfect cover, playing the dirt smeared grunt collecting trash while secretly pulling the strings behind the ‘Port Authority.

There was a tug at her trouser leg. A grubby face with enormous eyes and a mess of yellow hair looked up and gave her a gap toothed smile.

“Hello, sweetie,” Holly said. “Got something for me?”

The little angel, one of Adana’s many corridor kids, nodded and cupped a tiny hand near her mouth. Holly knelt down beside her and turned her head, brushing aside her raven hair so the little girl could whisper in her ear.

Holly’s heart jumped at the message. “Thank you, sweetie,” she said. “How much?”

The girl put up three fingers, indicating there were two others involved in the chain of observers that had brought her this longed-for news. Holly dropped four credits into her small palm and was rewarded with openmouthed astonishment. She always paid more than the going rate. It guaranteed preferment in the Adana rumor mill.

So, Maxim Dollavera had returned. He was in customs at this very moment and if she hurried she’d catch him.

And then what? She bit her bottom lip and snapped shut her oversized equipment bag. I have no idea, but I’ll think of something. I always do.

 

More from Mikala at Changeling Press …

Aussie Mikala Ash lives a hectic double life, mild-mannered training & development consultant by day… wild sci-fi and paranormal adventure writer by night. “For me, burning the candle at both ends is not such a terrible problem; I’m having too much fun!”

Catch up with Mikala on Facebook: www.facebook.com/mikala.ash#!/mikala.ash.9.

 

 

 

SPOTLIGHT: Security (Spaceport series) by Shelby Morgen #99cents #futuristic #PNR #shapeshifters

Spotlight: Security (Spaceport Multi-Author 1)

Publisher: Changeling Press
Cover Artist: Bryan Keller

 

A dark corner of a seedy bar on the edge of nowhere. A woman who’s seen too much. A man who moves through the shadows with the grace of a cat.

She’s on his tail, and he’s determined to find out why. Once he might have been flattered to have her checking out his ass. Now he knows women are dangerous. And far, far too expensive.

But Commander Kala Decoltéir always gets her man, and she wants the space pirate they call Dancer — no matter who — or what — he is. This time, Dancer has no escape.

Publisher’s Note: Spaceport is a multi-author shared universe that does not need to be read in order.

Get it TODAY for $0.99 at Changeling Press!

 

EXCERPT

All rights reserved.
Copyright ©2017 Shelby Morgen

“You look like something a drunken Kitali yarfed up.”

Desk Sergeant December Ramie held out a cup of coffee, which, from both color and experience, Kala knew would be exactly the way she liked it. “Thank you for that observation, Sergeant.” The coffee just might allow her to live through the coming interrogation.

“After an all night karaoke spree in Haze.”

Posol na khui.”

“Boss, how long have we worked together?”

“Five years, fourteen days, twelve minutes.”

December shook her head. “Gotta love that computer enhanced memory of yours. Five years, Commander. And in that time, how many days have you taken off?”

“Off?”

“R and R. Shore leave. Vacation. Personal and family leave. Anything.”

“I don’t have a family. Bio-genetically engineered soldier, remember?”

“You may be genetically enhanced, but you’re still Human.”

“I’m a cyborg. I require minimal maintenance from bio-engineering. I never miss my scheduled maintenance.”

“Scheduled maintenance. What are you, a freighter? You may be cybernetically enhanced, but you are not an android. You’re a woman. You’re so busy trying to keep this place from falling apart, you’re killing yourself. Look at you. You’re not sleeping, you’re living on caffeine and junk food, and you look like hell. You need some down time, Commander.”

Kala’s ocular implant went fuzzy, and she thumped the side of her head. “This place is falling apart. Been down to the Pits lately? Try a walk-about on Level 26. Make sure you go heavily armed. The best I can do is to try to keep the galactic refuse from overflowing into the public areas. Between Holly Barbaric stirring up trouble wherever she goes and the Dollavera brothers finding ways to exploit every disaster to their financial benefit, I’m expecting a riot any day now. I don’t have time for R and R, Sergeant. I’m trying to keep our little world from ending.”

“Thompson’s perfectly capable of covering for you for a few days, Commander.” Ramie held out a personal vid panel opened to a full color brochure. “You can afford one day off duty for a trip to a day spa. It won’t even take a day. One shift, even.”

Kala barely glanced at the brochure. “Thompson’s a good man, but he’s Human. There’s a reason the Adana Council recruited me for this office. Allied Planet Security is making it hard for honest businessmen to trade within AP space, let alone the not-so-honest ones. All the fringe planets and ports are getting inundated with displaced riff-raff. We’re getting hit harder than most, because we’re the closest port of call to the major trade routes with Old Earth. Things are going to get far, far worse around here before they get any better. If they ever get any better.”

“So you’re just going to push yourself till you fall apart? What will that accomplish?”

Well, it’ll get me out of here, Kala thought, but she didn’t say so out loud. She cataloged Ramie’s list of complaints, looking for an acceptable solution. “What about sex?”

Ramie nearly choked on her coffee. “What about sex?”

“If I promise to get myself laid, will that get you off my back?”

Ramie grinned, cat-like triumph stealing over her face. “I’m not sure sex qualifies as R and R, but it’s a compromise I can live with.”

Belatedly, Kala realized she’d been played. She sighed. She had four times normal Human strength, could calculate any math problem at the speed of a Human computer, and her bio-tech system implant allowed her body to repair itself from otherwise deadly wounds in battle, and yet she’d just been outmaneuvered by a single Human female. Again. “Fine. I’ll set about capturing a suitable male.”

She had the satisfaction of seeing Ramie’s eyes open wide in alarm. “Capturing? Commander, maybe we need to talk about Human mating rituals…”

It was Kala’s turn to grin. “Trust me. I know all I need to know about mating rituals. It’s been a while, but my memory’s good.” She downed her coffee and headed out for rounds, wondering how long it would take Ramie to figure out she’d been kidding.

Mostly…

 

Find more from Shelby at Changeling Press …

Shelby Morgen loves writing offbeat tales that defy as many rules as possible.

She likes chocolate with her peanut butter, suspense with her romance, and kink with her sex, and she’s always had a hard time keeping science fiction, fantasy and paranormal from mixing with her kink.

Shelby shares her belief in electronic publishing with her longtime friend and partner, Bill, her husband of nearly four decades.