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Normal? Maybe 50 cats ago #PietasFans #SciFi #MFRWhooks

Normal? Maybe 50 cats ago #PietasFans #SciFi #MFRWhooks

I had a thought about Luc and Pietas arguing over whether Pietas was normal.

Yeah, that's weird. I know.

Hey, I'm a writer, it's my job to be weird.

Enjoy.

50 Cats Ago

 

As a reminder, Pietas has a spirit-bond with a panther named Tiklaus.

Pietas: I think I'm pretty normal, all things considered.

Luc: All things? What are all things?

Pietas: You know. Things. I'm twelve thousand years old. I've done a lot of things.

Luc: None of them normal.

Pietas: That's a generalization. You can't say all the things I've--

Luc (interrupting): Fine. It's you who's not normal.

Pietas: Yes, I am. I'm normal.

Luc: You? Maybe fifty cats ago.

Pietas: I don't have fifty cats.

Luc: You've rescued that many.

Pietas: More than that. Far more than that.

(pause)

Pietas: Wait. Who wouldn't rescue cats? You even adopted a cat as a son.

Luc: Senthys is a Kin. A feline humanoid. And only half Kin. Not a cat.

Pietas: But you rescued him. You're a cat rescuer. Like I am. Hah!

(pause)

Luc: You're still not normal.

Check the links below to find more authors in this blog hop.

Pick up the first story in the Bringer of Chaos series, Lights Out, free by joining a reader group!
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Origin of Pietas

Origin of Pietas: Bringer of Chaos #SpaceOpera #SciFi

Forged in Fire

Forged in Fire: Bringer of Chaos #SpaceOpera #SciFi

Lights Out

Lights Out: Bringer of Chaos #SpaceOpera #SciFi


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Book Hooks is a weekly meme hosted by Marketing for Romance Writers as part of the MFRW Authors Blog. It's a chance each week for you the reader to discover current works in progress or previously published books by possibly new-to-you authors. Thank you for stopping by. Please say hello or leave a note in the comments.

Luc gets his first taste of fatherhood #Excerpt A Stolen Heart by Kayelle Allen #SciFi #MFRWhooks

Luc gets his first taste of fatherhood #Excerpt A Stolen Heart by Kayelle Allen #SciFi #MFRWhooks

Luc finds out what fatherhood is like first-hand.

Fatherhood - a lot of work

After rescuing a toddler, Luc must now oversee his care. He managed dinner with the help of his house-droids and the five young thieves who are part of his Thieves' Guild "family."

Luc has managed to give Senthys a bath. Next up, tucking the three-year-old into bed.

And this is where Luc gets his first taste of fatherhood.

With his hair flat against his head, Senthys resembled a wet cat and looked half his usual size. Shivering, the boy stood quietly while Luc dried him. Unlike Kin, the toddler had human feet without claws. After dressing him in a clean t-shirt and underpants, Luc wrapped Senthys in one of Nikko's old button-down sweaters as a robe and rolled up the sleeves. The garment swallowed the tousle-haired moppet.

Luc had hair like the boy's. A comb would never go through such tangles. "I don't want to pull your hair, so we'll leave it alone."

Senthys took Luc's face in his hands and looked into his eyes. "Thank you."

"Welcome. Let's get you into bed." When he re-entered the bedroom with the boy, Nikko was waiting.

"Hey, Luc. I got the bed ready for you, Senth." His Deshai pulled down the covers.

Senthys hopped in excitement. "A real bed!"

Nikko helped him climb onto it. "It's comfortable too."

"I get to sleep up here?"

"You sure do." Nikko fluffed the pillow. "I'll be right over there on the couch if you need me."

"Okay. Hug, Nikko?"

Nikko bent over and hugged him. After turning around, he mouthed, "So cute!"

"Hug?" Senthys held out his arms.

Luc gestured to himself.

"Uh huh." Senthys waited.

How was it Luc was back to feeling like he was the student trying to please the teacher? "All right." He bent closer.

The boy threw his arms around Luc and kissed him on the cheek. "Night night, Sen'dai."

Touching his cheek, Luc stepped back. He'd supervised bedtimes for his older Deshai. What did one do with a toddler?

The paper gift bag on the floor caught his attention, and he picked it up.

"The house-droids sent up something for you." He sat on the edge of the bed. "Shall we see what it is?" Luc cracked open the top, peeked inside, and snapped it shut.

Senthys sat up and grabbed the blanket with both hands, looking like a cat spying a toy. "What's in there?"

"Maybe you should find out." Luc passed him the bag.

After opening it, Senthys peeked in and then squealed. "Pocket!" He pulled out the bear. "You fixed him!" He clasped the mended bear to his chest and rocked back and forth. "Thank you!" The boy clambered out from under the covers and threw his arms around Luc's neck.

"You're welcome." He hugged back.

"You have the best house-droids ever!" Senthys stood on the bed, holding the bear's arms and dancing around with him.

"Careful!" Luc guided him to a seated position. "I'll make sure to thank them for you."

"Look, Nikko!" Senthys held out Pocket. "They fixed my bear!"

"Cool!" After getting a closer look at the scraggly toy, Nikko's eyebrows shot up. "This is fixed?"

Luc nudged him. "Trust me."

"Wow."

Hugging Pocket, Senthys climbed under the covers. He nestled his head against the pillows. "Pocket is sleepy now."

Luc smoothed covers over him and on impulse, over the bear.

"Hey, Senth," Nikko asked, "should I leave the light on in the bathroom?"

"Are--" He swallowed. "Are you scareded of the dark?"

"I used to be. But what if Pocket needs the light on 'cause he's in a new house? What do you think?"

Senthys held out the bear at arm's length, looked him over, and then tucked him back under the covers. "He says you're right."

"Good deal."

"Nikko?" Senthys yawned. "Pocket says thank you."

The young Deshai grinned. "Glad to help him out."

"Me too," the boy murmured, eyes drifting shut.

Be sure to check out all the other authors in this blog hop by clicking the links below.

You'll find these characters mentioned in many books in my story universe.
Download a printable book list and check them off as you read.


JOIN US FOR BOOKHOOKS
Book Hooks is a weekly meme hosted by Marketing for Romance Writers as part of the MFRW Authors Blog. It's a chance each week for you the reader to discover current works in progress or previously published books by possibly new-to-you authors. Thank you for stopping by. Please say hello or leave a note in the comments.

This idBot program is invading everything #Excerpt from A Stolen Heart by Kayelle Allen #SciFi #MFRWhooks

This idBot program is invading everything #Excerpt from A Stolen Heart by Kayelle Allen #SciFi #MFRWhooks

Is it true that idBot sees everything?

idBot

In this scene, Luc is about to enter an elevator/lift in the Thieves' Guild. The elevator car moves up, down, and sideways to traverse the huge building. He's on his way to an important meeting.

idBot sees everything

After Luc left Tonio's office, he visited the Arcane Level library on the thirtieth floor, checking data to prepare for his meeting with Ms. Lexius. He headed for his office, but when the elevator opened, Grand Master Aerlray de Clare stood inside.

Focus, not dwell. Move forward.

Gathering his patience, Luc entered and pressed the button for his floor. "Aerlray."

"Luc Saint-Cyr." The man smiled like a predator. "The man I'm looking for."

"Oh?" Luc kept his back to the doors. "Why's that?"

"It's been brought to my attention idBot's poking its nose into our files."

"Is that so?" Floor numbers in idBot green scrolled around the top of the car as it moved downward. Ten floors to the first turn. "That phrase 'idBot sees everything' is literal."

"But it's scanning confidential data. Contracts. Personnel. Sealed adoptions."

And why was he trying to hide those? "IdBot needs to know what it's protecting."

"A lock on a door doesn't need to know what's behind the door."

"IdBot's more than a lock. It gathers intel about its surroundings. It's a living, breathing system that can actively protect its owner." He owed Shohn Lexius for that tidbit.

"I don't care about any of that." De Clare puffed himself up. "I want it to stop. Now. Pull idBot back from this invasive search, Saint-Cyr. It's setting a dangerous precedent. The Guild won't tolerate it."

He'd switched to using last names. Interesting.

Three floors.

"Aelray, if you think a threat will deter me, you don't know me."

"No threat." De Clare held up both hands. "But this idBot of yours is meddling where it doesn't belong."

"Oh?" The car slowed, shifted direction sideways. "What is there to hide?"

De Clare pointed at him. "I'm not the only councilmember who dislikes these invasive searches. This could have serious consequences if it came to a vote."

Good. Let it. "Why are you telling me this?"

"Because you own idBot."

"Let's say a tech company hires one of our people. Signs a contract for corporate espionage, but it's bungled. Things go badly. What's the procedure for a complaint?"

De Clare stepped back. "Why are you asking me? You know the procedure."

"That's right. I do." The car slowed, headed down again. "Procedure doesn't say 'go to the Grand Master and whine."

"What's your point?"

"When the Guild installed idBot, it came with a book of procedures in case anything went wrong. I didn't write the book, but I can guarantee you that nowhere in it does it suggest hassling members of the board or the owner."

The man stiffened, mouth set in a straight line. His usual cocky self had deteriorated into a petulant boy. "Are you going to stand there and tell me this isn't your doing?"

"What isn't my doing?"

The elevator made the last turn to the side, bypassing the Heart of the Guild. Not unlike de Clare, who could not seem to grasp the heart of the organization.

"Look, Saint-Cyr." De Clare arranged his robes of office. "This idBot of yours is poking through employee files, intake records, and financial statements. It's rifling through everything."

Excellent. More proof. Luc bared his teeth in a pseudo-smile. "You mean it's searching databases in order to back them up and provide security for every aspect of the facility?" The car slowed. "What the system was purchased to do?"

"That's exactly what I mean!" Spittle showed at the corners of de Clare's mouth.

"Why is that a problem?" The doors opened and Luc took one step outside. He wedged a foot to block the elevator from closing. "Got something to hide?"

De Clare took a full step back, shoulders against the wall. "I want it to stop." He jabbed a finger toward Luc. "Now!"

Luc released the doors. "Then call the Help Desk."

Be sure to check out the other authors in this hop at the bottom of the page.

idBot logo by Jamin Allen

You'll find these characters mentioned in many books in my story universe.
Download a printable book list and check them off as you read.


JOIN US FOR BOOKHOOKS
Book Hooks is a weekly meme hosted by Marketing for Romance Writers as part of the MFRW Authors Blog. It's a chance each week for you the reader to discover current works in progress or previously published books by possibly new-to-you authors. Thank you for stopping by. Please say hello or leave a note in the comments.

#SciFi novel A Stolen Heart gets a review or two #BookReview #MFRWorg #MFRWhooks

How nice after the months of writing to have a good review.
#SciFi novel A Stolen Heart gets a review or two #BookReview #MFRWorg #MFRWhooks

Reviews for A Stolen Heart

A former space pirate who’s gone straight rescues a vulnerable child adept at breaking into things. By protecting the boy, Luc unlocks secrets that threaten to topple the powerful king Luc once loved. For the child's safety, Luc must send the boy away, far from danger. Nowhere near him. Even if this little one has already stolen his heart...

Review snippets

Here's a short snippet from a review or two of A Stolen Heart.

"There’s more than one stolen heart in this remarkable book! ... I loved every bit of this story! Highly recommended." -- author Dee S Knight

"The core conflict in this book is the disconnect between who Luc is and the feelings he has for Senthys. Ms. Allen does a wonderful job depicting the child's remarkable abilities and winning ways, and exposing Luc's softer side as he falls in love with the boy." -- author Lisabet Sarai

"...the youth and playfulness of an immortal King contrasts against the experience and maturity of an age worn subject... The strength of characterization and plot thickens as the story brews... This galactic mystery is sure to hold true on the what the title claims; the readers are sure to end up with 'A Stolen Heart'!" -- FD (blog review)


A Stolen Heart, along with the entire Antonello Brothers series, is $ .99 through the summer.

Check out the special June 10, 2020 on Bargain Booksy#SciFi novel A Stolen Heart gets a review or two #BookReview #MFRWorg #MFRWhooks

A favorite review...

This review is biased as all get out, but it's one of my favorites! This is what my editor, Barb Caffrey had to say about the book after she tore it apart and then handed it back to me. She is gentle when she tells you to fix something, but you aren't getting by with anything, believe me. Here's what she had to say.

"Folks, I'm glad to talk about my friend and fellow author Kayelle Allen. I've edited at least six of her books (maybe more; I've lost count), and I'm always happy to work on them because they're well-detailed, well-organized, and a lot of fun. But A Stolen Heart, which is all of the above, is even more than that. It's about optimism, in the face of great loss. It's about the blessings of family, even when you don't think you deserve it. It's about personal growth, and self-sacrifice, and finding your own way in the world…most of all, it's about figuring out how to love yourself, warts and all, even when you've done something so horrible you have nightmares about it many years after the fact." -- editor Barb Caffrey

A review can empower

Yes, even when someone points out something they thought needed improvement, that's a good thing. One reviewer thought I shouldn't have mentioned two characters from a previous series. I can understand the reasoning, especially if a reader doesn't know them. I brought them into the book because these characters crossover into the series in later books, and because they are the single most powerful influences on these characters. Without them, there would be no story now.

The challenge is to consider how to use reviews to create a better story next time. In a review of a different book, one reviewer said the story lacked enough science fiction elements. Since about 70% of the story took place on an alien world where they had nothing to survive with but rudimentary gear in a backpack, there wasn't much sci-fi to include. But in future books, I recalled the advice and made sure I had plenty of that element.

Good and bad reviews are part of writing. Learning to grow a thick skin and be a professional is what separates the wannabe writers from the serious ones. If you've read this story and haven't yet left a review, I'd love it if you would. You can share it on Goodreads, Amazon, or your own social media. I'd love to hear what you think, good or bad. Send me a link!

Be sure to check out the other authors below in this blog hop.

You'll find these characters mentioned in many books in my story universe.
Download a printable book list and check them off as you read.


JOIN US FOR BOOKHOOKS
Book Hooks is a weekly meme hosted by Marketing for Romance Writers as part of the MFRW Authors Blog. It's a chance each week for you the reader to discover current works in progress or previously published books by possibly new-to-you authors. Thank you for stopping by. Please say hello or leave a note in the comments.

The truth about Kaydn devastates Luc #Excerpt A Stolen Heart #SciFi #MFRWhooks

How can Luc make this right for Kaydn #Excerpt A Stolen Heart #SciFi #MFRWhooks

Kaydn shares an emotionally shattering secret.

Luc learns the truth about Kaydn

In this scene, Luc has gone three days without sleep already, and it's late at night, but he'd promised to talk with his Deshai (apprentice), Kaydn. After an apology for mouthing off at Luc, Kaydn tells him why he'd been so angry at finding out Luc had fostered a young child.

"All right, Kaydn. What is it you think I should know about the Guild?"

"No way to sugarcoat this. The Guild targets gifted children, kidnaps them, and master thieves pay to adopt them as Deshai."

Luc considered how well he knew Kaydn. Impulsive? His image should be in the dictionary next to the word, but he did not dwell in a fantasy world. "You think our Guild does this."

"I know they do. They steal toddlers from their families, tell them their parents are dead, and then they change the kid's last name, bring them in and palm them off as orphans. Master thieves pay to take them on as Deshai. The Guild pockets the money. And then because they're Guild-trained, they keep a portion of their income and on top of that, make them pay dues."

This dovetailed right into what Luc had uncovered about the girl he'd traced for Pietas. "Such an accusation runs counter to everything the Guild stands for. We've protected homeless children for generations. Given them homes and taught them careers."

"I didn't want buy it either, until I saw it myself."

"Prove it, Kaydn." What had Luc told the Grand Master that morning? "You can't accuse the Guild of such a heinous crime without proof."

"I know." Kaydn scrubbed both hands over his face. "I can."

"How?"

"I told you. I saw it myself."

"Where?"

"Orella--" Kaydn's voice broke, and he paused. "Orella Vettov is my sister. She found me a month ago. My parents died, never knowing what happened to me."

Luc drew back. "What are you saying?"

"I'm saying--" His voice wavered. "My real last name is Vettov. I'm one of the kids the Guild kidnapped."

(continued next week...)

 

Be sure to check out the other authors in this blog hop below.

You'll find these characters mentioned in many books in my story universe.
Download a printable book list and check them off as you read.


JOIN US FOR BOOKHOOKS
Book Hooks is a weekly meme hosted by Marketing for Romance Writers as part of the MFRW Authors Blog. It's a chance each week for you the reader to discover current works in progress or previously published books by possibly new-to-you authors. Thank you for stopping by. Please say hello or leave a note in the comments.

 
 
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