Behind the Book: Unexpected Demon

I had a great time writing Unexpected Demon.
Pax was one of my favorite characters and I wanted him to find love unconventionally. Usually I love writing romances with a strong hero and a sweet heroine, but Pax was just too much personality for a sweet heroine.
Pax needed someone who could handle him. He needed a smart and sassy female that would get him to submit to her. But I didn’t want her to overpower him or emasculate him either.
He needed to show the readers his strength, his humor and his seriousness in battle. I also wanted him my readers to see that Pax had a soft side, but he didn’t apply it liberally.
I drew a fine line for myself.
I believe I achieved exactly what I envisioned for Pax. His romance is exciting and the power struggle is sexy, creative and fun.
The plot was just as fun to write too. The crew was given their first mission, and you get to see how they all work as team, and how the new characters found their way into the crew.
There is a little gore in the fighting scenes, but other than that, it’s mostly suspenseful. Hopefully, you enjoy reading it as much as I did writing it.

Behind the Story: The Federation

I have to be honest, I wish I coined a new name for my Federation. Galactic something.

But after publishing Unexpected Prize, I was married to the term. Therefore I couldn’t change it to something that rightfully represented what the Federation mission.

The Federation is such an iconic name that I probably turned away many readers who think my books is another spin of Star Trek. The Federation in Star Trek boldly goes to search out new life and new planets.

My Federation is more like good-meaning grandparents. They let the parents or “Planet Rulers” do their thing. But when the parents make poor choices such as mass genocide, they will step in and take out the unfit parents.

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They also are loving grandparents where they will show up if there is a planet-wide outbreak. This actually happens in Book 2 Unexpected Demon, and the grandparents ended up not having the capacity to help, but that’s prologue stuff.

Okay, enough metaphors here’s how the Federation started.

Humans started the Federation. Pretty obvious right? I mean, if you have any connection to the Navy you’d know about the high-end Admirals and the low-end Admirals. You’d know about the basic Navy terms such as Captain – who runs a ship, commander, medical doc, etc. You’d also know that officer rooms on a ship are called cabins and enlisted rooms (two people per room) are called berthing rooms.

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Since humans from earth love to colonize other people, they decided to do the same to the alien populations.

Interestingly, they were good at it. Must have been from all the practice. Offering aid and technology to those who needed it and setting up trade between the planets. A win, win for all those who love travel and money.

Everything was going fine. Money was being made. Alliances were cultivated. It was a thing of beauty until they landed on Kirca.

Humans were used to aliens looking different. Bolarks have scales. Allus’s have dark black eyes, no cornea – stuff like that. On Kirca, some aliens had horns, tails, red skin, and every single one of them were manipulative and unfriendly. The Human Federation wanted to get the savages under control, so they requested a diplomatic meeting to go over alliance negotiations. A Night Demon named Kan agreed to the meeting and had his diplomatic team greet the humans and bring them to a secured site.

All humans died shortly after the meeting began.

The Federation ship was seized, everyone was taken prisoner and were enslaved.

Word got back to Earth. The Human Federation deemed Kirca a planet of demons and began aggressively attacking under the guise of “rescuing their human survivors.”

The Human and Kirca war didn’t last long before the Yunkins stepped in to stop the human’s from nuking the entire planet. Because let’s be honest, humans would do that.

This was the first interactions humans had with Yunkins, and let’s just say they didn’t show their most ambassadorial side.

The humans had issues with the Yunkin honor code, seeing as they didn’t always want to be honorable. Humans are funny that way right? Regardless, the Yunkins quickly overtook the Federation by shutting down the Human Federation and rebranding the Yunkin’s based military fleet as the Federation.

The Yunkins pushed their culture-wide across several star systems. They made it as far as Cerebral before they had to rethink the expansion. Cerebrals weren’t like the normal aliens with basic physical abilities. Cerebrals were telepaths and telekinesis and of course, had no honors system, so the Yunkins had a hard time trusting the race as a whole.

Yunkins didn’t have the wherewithal to work cohesively, so they let them be. However, they also cut them off from entering the Yunkin controlled space.

Those races and star systems are known as the OutWorlds.

The Yunkins laid claim to the large section of space, but they had contention building from the other races, particularly the Kirca who didn’t understand why they were not allowed to be in the Federation.

Other races also noticed they didn’t hold any high ranks such as Captain or Admiral and they felt it was unfair as well.

These issues built until war broke out primarily between the Yunkin and Kirca. A hundred years later, the war was over but one race, the Cylee had become extinct because Cylee blood had special properties that if drank by a Kirca, the Kirca had increased physical capabilities as well as increased healing.

If Cylee blood was ingested by any other race, the person would develop severe hallucinations and had a 90% death rate.

As most wars go, it took time to move on, but when it did, the Federation became what you will read about today. Many races in all different ranges of rank, and some reservations against other races.

So there you are, that’s the Federation. From start until now, and as you can see, it’s built on the US Navy format with an upgrade from the Yunkins.

Behind the Character: Sands

Who is he?

No joke, this guy was an accident I wrote in Unexpected Prize. He appeared during the early drafts when the Rastos Captain was trying to sell “The Cerebral” to the Chancellor. I was in a jam trying to figure out how to smoothly introduce Sci – the Cerebral into the story.  It may be a good time to confess I didn’t outline very well for Unexpected Prize.

Sci was going to be my hero in the debut novel Unexpected Hostage. So I needed to make sure he was rememberable. Something that readers would think about after they finished reading. I needed to make them curious about a man that didn’t have one word of dialog. Not sure if I hit the mark on that, but it is, what it is.

During the first draft of Unexpected Prize, Sci was in a cage – awake and ended up using Cara to free himself. After re-reading that scene over and over…the plot holes were endless so I decided he needed to be unconscious. The new problem being, if he was so powerful…how would anyone or anything subdue him?

My next thought:  I’ll knock him out.

That “person who knocked him out” became Sands the cyborg with metal lines in his jaw and a black leather jacket.

Sands wasn’t supposed to be anybody. At least that was the plan back in 2017 when I was working on Unexpected Prize. He was supposed to be a name forgotten and die quietly within the night during the following book. Kind of like a “red shirt” character…

Once I began Unexpected Hostage he was no longer needed to keep Sci unconscious. That responsibility had transfered to Ansel the Numan. But Sands refused to fall into the background and be forgotten.

I kept writing him into scene and scene, the jerk would make some snarky remark to someone, show no loyalty, and yet have a great deal of information about everything. At one point he even exposed Sasha’s secrets half heartedly blackmailing her. Sands became the simmering chaos to bring the characters to life. Sands developed into a perfect static character that had a unique physical look, a

Sands became the simmering chaos to bring the characters to life. He developed into a perfect static character that had a unique physical look, a distance brooding personality and unexplored skills.

To sum it up, he became one of my favorite characters.

While working on the rough drafts and outlines of two other books in the series, I learned Sands backstory – specifically how he became a cyborg. I discovered who he was before the change and why he acts the way he does. Knowing what I know, I just want to wrap my arms around him and try to hug the flesh and metal to remind him that he never lost himself. He just lost his way.

Seriously, this male deserves a happily ever after.

And just in case you noticed…. I don’t know when it happened but, Sands lost his leather jacket at some point during the Donnie (the cannibal space scavenger) attack.