Free Ebooks by Randolph Lalonde

Free Ebooks by Randolph Lalonde
Free Ebooks by Randolph Lalonde

Friday, July 24, 2015

Where Can I Preorder Spinward Fringe Broadcast 9: Warpath? The Round Up


It took a couple weeks, but now most people can preorder Spinward Fringe Broadcast 9: Warpath from their favourite store. Not too many retailers offer indie writers / publishers the opportunity to let their readers preorder, and I'm grateful to the ones that do.

Preorders not only help you get the book in your shopping cart when it's convenient, so you have it the day it comes out guaranteed, but it also helps authors climb the best sellers list. The sales from preorders all count on that first release day.

To answer where you can preorder, I decided to get the links together right here. Thank you in advance for your support, I honestly wouldn't be able to keep writing full time without people who pay the price of admission and talk about my work.

The Apple iBookstore
https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/spinward-fringe-broadcast/id1018872158?mt=11

Barnes & Noble
http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/spinward-fringe-broadcast-9-randolph-lalonde/1122295696?ean=2940152026535

Amazon
http://www.amazon.com/Spinward-Fringe-Broadcast-9-Warpath-ebook/dp/B011H3RBTQ/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1437682223&sr=8-1&keywords=spinward+fringe+broadcast+9

Kobo Books
https://store.kobobooks.com/en-CA/ebook/spinward-fringe-broadcast-9-warpath



Spinward Fringe Origins is a novel that explores a futuristic universe at odds with itself through the perspective of...


Thursday, July 23, 2015

Spinward Fringe Broadcast 10 Release Date Announcement


The response to Spinward Fringe Broadcast 9: Warpath has been solid, with just over seven hundred preorders in the first ten days. That may not be New York Times Best Seller big, but it's a fantastic start by my standards.

Work on Broadcast 9: Warpath is almost complete, and there's great news - it's longer than expected by about ten percent or more. As I've said before, I've been enjoying the work on Broadcast 9 so much, that I don't want to stop writing. So I won't.

After Spinward Fringe Broadcast 9: Warpath is complete, I'll be taking a short break to finish work on another novel called Dark Arts, which has been a project I've touched on and off for several years, starting in 2009. It's time to finish that. Most of the work is already done.

After that, I'll be getting to work on finishing Spinward Fringe Broadcast 10, which will take us into the middle of a war. I deeply enjoy writing this series, and I have to write Broadcast 10 before turning towards the next Brightwill novel.

With the work I've already completed on Broadcast 10 in mind, and the plan already on the board, I'm comfortable announcing that the release date for Spinward Fringe Broadcast 10 will be December 14th, 2015. Yes, that's right, it's going to be late this year.

A preview chapter, or chapters for Broadcast 10 will appear in Broadcast 9: Warpath, so you'll have some idea what you'll be getting yourself into.

I'm eager to get the story that many of you have been waiting for, the war the Spinward Fringe series has been headed for, in front of you, and I'm excited that most of my year will be spent writing this series.

I'l be working on Brightwill II early in 2016, then I'll be back to work on another Spinward Fringe Novel, and possibly another Dark Arts novella after that. It looks like I've got my schedule all set until 2017, that is, if you're still reading.

Thank you for all your support so far, I hope to provide you with many hours of entertainment in the coming months, and the coming years.

RL


Spinward Fringe Origins is a novel that explores a futuristic universe at odds with itself through the perspective of...
Posted by The Spinward Fringe Series on Thursday, July 23, 2015



Sunday, July 19, 2015

Vote Brightwill for Best Fantasy 2014-2015

I hate asking for things, even though I do all the time, but time is running out for Brightwill to be voted the #1 Indie Fantasy Novel Worth Reading for 2014-2015. Up to 3 of your votes will count, and I need every one I can get, since other authors are pushing like crazy to get theirs to the top too!

If you haven't read, or even heard of Brightwill, it's that fantasy novel I wrote and released last summer, and it's free pretty much everywhere.

http://www.readfree.ly/vote-for-the-50-self-published-books-worth-reading-2015-fantasy/

RL

[Thank you for everyone who nominated Brigthtwill earlier this year. This has been a great return to fantasy for me!]

Spinward Fringe Broadcast 9: Warpath Chapter 6


It is with pride that I present the last chapter in the preview. I'm writing the last handful of chapters in the book now, and I have to say that it has come out better than I planned. I'm enjoying the characters, story and the setting more than ever.

I'm enjoying them so much so that I'm only taking a month off to complete another project, then I am returning to Spinward Fringe for Broadcast 10. After you finish reading Chapter 6 of Warpath here, keep checking the blog (or subscribe) for information on extra materials from Broadcast 9, podcasts and the next two projects. They'll be out sooner than you think.

Spinward Fringe Broadcast 9: Warpath is available for preorder now through the iBookstore, Amazon, and Barnes & Noble. Broadcast 9 will be released on September 7, 2015.

Without any further delay, here is the last chapter in our preview and links leading back to chapters you may have missed.

If you want to read the earlier chapters first (which I absolutely hope you do!), here are the links:

Prologue: Freeground Alpha
Chapter 1Day One
Chapter 2: Patrol
Chapter 3: The Message
Chapter 4: Parallels
Chapter 5: The Codis System


Chapter 6
The Solar Forge’s Only Patient

Jake sat on a balancing seat that would sway left or right if he didn’t actively hold himself in place. Jake had almost mastered it, and could stay up straight without much concentration. His room was unrecognizable thanks to the holographic display that surrounded him. He was in a rest period, true, but that didn’t mean he had to rest his mind. He had been out of commission for weeks, and there was a lot to catch up on.
His recovery was going well, according to Alice and Oz, but it wasn’t fast enough for Jake. Even with a parade of visitors throughout the day, life-like simulated experiences, and an endless stream of reports, he still felt like he had been placed in a corner away from the rest of the universe. He appreciated the fact that the Warlord was on patrol, training the new crew under Stephanie, Frost, Agameg, Finn and Minh-Chu. They were doing what he’d wish they would while he was off his feet, nothing serious and nothing overly dangerous. He still felt like he should be with them, like he was missing too much.
The Triton hadn’t operated under his command for months, but he felt like there was too great a distance between it and him as well. Oz had that well in hand, Jake knew, but what he actually knew about the day to day operations of Triton Fleet could fit in a ten minute narrated report. An evolutionary kind of change was radiating from the Triton, and he felt like he was missing it. The captured Order of Eden Destroyer had become part of Triton Fleet after undergoing a refit inside the Solar Forge that lasted a little over two weeks. With the resdesign that Ayan’s new engineering team along with Agameg, Frost and Finn put together, it would have taken six months in a normal shipyard. The Solar Forge was a wonder, and while Jake was recovering it was attending to ships that came from across the sector to join Triton Fleet and Haven Shore Defence. Lorander was truly allowing Triton Fleet do whatever they liked with their gift, to Jake’s surprise. The Destroyer was even improved significantly during the refit. New exterior armour plates that could absorb incredible amounts of energy and emit nearly as much were added, along with advanced stealth systems. The lower cargo doors had been rebuilt so the main hold was a large hangar. The list went on with other minor improvements, some of which took two attempts to install properly, but one glaring oversight nagged at Jake: they hadn’t found a captain worthy of the destroyer yet.
He returned his attention to the work the Solar Forge was doing. It had taken the repair systems only a day and a half to repair all the damage aboard the Warlord, inside and out. The skitters aboard learned from the much smaller reacher droids that the station used to do fine internal repairs as well. Reports of the Warlord’s skitters efficiency rising were encouraging. The strides the Triton Fleet’s technology was making was more than impressive, it indicated to Jake that there was a will in Lorander Corporation to see them become a major force against the Order of Eden.
Even if they used it as a tool to track the number of ships Triton Fleet had, the benefits still far outweighed that kind of drawback. Oz even had his people checking every ship for control or tracking devices that may have been planted by the mobile shipyard, but they found absolutely nothing. Watching what was going through the ship refurbishing and building facility was one of the more interesting things Jake had to do, and even though he could rarely feel the vibrations or hear the sound of machinery that was right under his feet, he felt like he was close to one of the main devices for change in the Rega Gain system.
The quiet of his small medical ward was stifling at times, and when he discovered that there were over three hundred trainees aboard the Solar Forge, he was relieved. Two days passed and he only saw them when he was on his way to the training room he’d come to call the pillbox. They were in Triton Fleet uniforms, and were specifically being trained to service the busy ship building vessel by the vessel itself and a few Lorander guides. Jake was convinced that this was another way for the Lorander Corporation to observe members of Triton Fleet, but, again, what they were trading for the opportunity was worth it. To Jake’s surprise, all the issyrians who were once in the service of Clark Patterson were among the trainees. He had to wonder if Lorander foresaw that they would take an interest in the construction ship. It was a way for the group of issyrians to join Triton Fleet as non-combatants, a way around the agreement that won them safe Haven on Tamber.
The medical centre aboard was still empty, and it was where he spent much of his time. Even though he knew so much was going on aboard, he still felt separated from everything, a growing sensation that set Jacob Valent on edge.
It didn’t take long before he broke down and called a map of recent patrols outside the Rega Gain system. The circular paths of British Alliance and Triton Fleet patrols hung in the air above him, traced by lines coloured blue, yellow, green and red. The red line was always furthest out, that was his ship and Minh-Chu’s Samurai wing. Samurai Wing wasn’t out there with the Warlord more than a third of the time, the mission didn’t always require them.
“Engagement history for the period since Stephanie Vega has been Acting Captian,” he told the computer. To his surprise there were five encounters. The first two occurred while Warlord was on high speed patrol, moving so fast that, when they returned to orbit around Tamber, an extra half hour had passed there. What amazed Jake was that one of the encounters were engaged and concluded at that speed.
The Warlord detected a weak signal that didn’t match anything on the British Alliance’s frontier. Within seconds the Warlord determined exactly where it came from, matched the shape of the ship with a Regent Galactic scout ship, and then the Warlord fired her main rail guns, destroying the scout ship completely. The whole engagement took less than two minutes to resolve.
During the second engagement the Warlord had time to slow down and follow the scout ship they found, and offered surrender terms. The ship self destructed, but transmitted an encrypted stream of data first. “Okay, there’s something there,” Jake said to himself. The data still hadn’t been decrypted, but Triton Fleet was still working on it. He suspected they’d find sensor data from the scout ship along with a short log form whoever was aboard. What Jake found interesting was that it transmitted anything at all. That meant there was something else within range to receive the data. There was something launching these scouts, and it was within a light year of the Rega Gain system.
From then on at least part of the Samurai Squadron was present on the Warlord. Jake didn’t have to check Stephanie’s log to figure out why. She had come to the same conclusion he did.
“The next thing they came up on was three days later, the first Regent Galactic Cruiser we’ve seen,” Minh-Chu said from the door. “You and Ayan review way too much of your data in hologram,” he said. “Almost every time I visit she’s looking at something in mid-air.”
“Something like?” Jake asked.
“Reports, or she’s building a database, or something for the skitters to put together,” Minh-Chu replied, sitting on Jake’s bed.
“What happened here?” Jake said, pointing at the third engagement on the map. A rogue planetary body had drifted past the Rega Gain system, and a tiny graphic of an explosion marked it as a combat encounter.
“Like I said, the Warlord was swinging by that rogue planet, and we found a Regent Galactic Cruiser hiding there. Me and two members of the Samurai squadron were already out of the hangar, following behind the Warlord to get our scans of the planet finished faster, and the cruiser came at us firing. To us, it came out of nowhere, but Stephanie’s report includes a scan that broke through the cruiser’s cloaking systems, and it bolted the moment it realized it was detected. We didn’t even know they were using cloaking until then.”
“What happened next?”
“I hid behind the Warlord,” Minh-Chu said with a shrug. “I’m not proud to admit it, but I ordered my squadron to scatter, the cruiser threw everything at the fighters, I guess they thought they could get past the Warlord, but the fighters could be a problem.”
“With the way your wing has been loading your ships, I don’t blame them. You’ve managed to turn Uriels into full on gunships.”
“Yeah, that’s a necessary evil,” Minh-Chu said. “With our patrols spread out so thin, even with a hundred eighty British Alliance ships out there at all times, we’ve got to fill the high risk spots, so we take half of what’s on the deck before we go. That’s what happens when a big government like the British Alliance plans on putting a grand frontier defence up and they fail right out of the gate.”
Jake activated the recording of what happened to the cruiser in the last moments of the engagement. “I’m guessing the cruiser’s decision to ignore the Warlord was a mistake.”
“Oh yeah,” Minh-Chu said. “Just play that section there.” He gestured towards the graphic of the Warlord and the cruiser frozen in space. The Regent Galactic Cruiser was trying to leave the planet’s orbit, its engines and beam weapons firing brightly. The ship was only two hundred eighty metres long, compared to ta full sized destroyer, that was small. It was still larger than the Warlord in the space it took up, but it was half the Warlord’s mass. “What did they do here?” Jake asked, pointing to the underbelly of the ship.
“They managed to fit turrets firing high speed rounds into your mine launching positions. They can be removed so you can launch mines too, but Captain Vega has been sticking with her configuration since the Warlord was fixed by the Solar Forge.”
“Is it working?” Jake asked.
“For what we’re doing out there? Absolutely. Watch, she ordered armour piercing screwhead rounds this time.” Minh-Chu twitched his finger to the right and the playback began.
The Warlord fired her main weapons – the large railguns at the front of the ship and her new pulse cannons mounted acrosst he top. The railguns fired once, partially bursting through the enemy ship’s shields and showering the bridge with white-hot shrapnel. The pulse guns overloaded the enemies’ shields, raking white beams of pure energy across their invisible barriers. By the time the cruiser was along side the Warlord, the bottom half of Jake’s ship was turned towards it, and those new turrets rained hard rounds down on the enemy ship’s hull, breaking thrusters and compartments open.
“Surrender or die,” Jake’s voice said as the guns stopped, the power levels of the enemy ship dropped, and the Warlord took a position right above the cruiser, making it obvious that they were getting ready to make the kill.
“Yup, everything that comes out of that ship while it’s in patrol sounds like you,” Minh-Chu said. “Captain Vega’s orders. They even have a stand-in who is your height and build wearing armour that looks exactly the same. He boards and debarks from the ship whenever it’s with the fleet.”
“I’m alive and well everywhere except for in this room,” Jake said.
“That’s a dark way to look at it,” Minh-Chu muttered.
The playback continued with the cruiser signalling its surrender. The report summary said that the Warlord latched onto it with the maxjack and hauled it all the way back home, to Tamber orbit. Teams from the Triton stripped it after the crew were placed in British Alliance custody, and the hull was processed for raw materials by the Solar Forge.
“That was the last cruiser that surrendered. The Warlord was forced to destroy the other two. There wasn’t much to bring back.”
“They fought to the last man,” Jake said.
“That’s exactly how Frost put it,” Minh-Chu said, bringing the lights up to daylight level in the room.
“So the Warlord is doing fine without me,” Jake said.
“I wouldn’t put it that way,” Minh-Chu said. “You are like the main gravitational force in the middle of that ship. When you’re gone, things start floating away. Alice left for the Rangers, Agameg and Finn have been taking time to help with other parts of Triton Fleet, and other officers from your bridge are sharing what they’ve learned from close encounters with the Order and Regent Galactic. It’s not the same ship, Jake. Sure, Steph is doing an incredible job. She tells people she learned from the best instead of taking credit for thinking past your style, but she can’t keep the crew together like you can. She wants to see what you do with your ship next, not take your place.”
“Maybe it’s time for her to get her own command,” Jake said. “There’s this destroyer we have, Warlord still has the claim, technically.”
“She won’t take it unless you order her to,” Minh-Chu said. “Her and Frost are your people, they don’t want to leave your ship. Now, if you took command of the Barricade, they’d follow you in a second.”
“I didn’t even think about that,” Jake said.
“Oz sure has,” Minh-Chu said. “Just don’t tell him I told you.”
Jake was overwhelmed by a sinking feeling when he thought about the bridge of that ship. “No,” he said.
“You like the agility of the Warlord, I get it,” Minh-Chu said. “You should still think about it though.”
Jake thought about commanding the ship and was filled with dread. “Chinese whispers,” he muttered, not knowing where the words came from.
“Bad memories from that bridge,” Minh-Chu said, nodding. “I think Oz will understand.”
“What do you mean?” Jake asked. “I don’t remember getting to the bridge, I’ve thought about it, trying to get there, but I just remember the hallway in the middle of the ship.”
The colour drained from Minh-Chu’s face, he looked as though he was seeing a foe he could not defeat or escape.
“What happened there? Did I die there for a while or-“
“You murdered someone there, Jake,” Minh-Chu said quietly. “You menaced a junior member of the bridge staff in front of his mates when you couldn’t find the captain and killed him to make a point.”
Jake immediately gestured for the light in the room to be reduced and tried to call up the records of combat aboard the Barricade’s bridge, but discovered her was locked out of that file. “What? I don’t have access?” Jake exclaimed. “Bring it up, Minh, I need to see what happened.”
Minh-Chu wordlessly accessed the file. “I’m coming to terms with this, Jake. Recruitment is down across the Order of Eden, especially on this side of the Iron Head Nebula. You did this to show that you’ll give no quarter to your enemy, to scare people off.”
“Play it,” Jake said, “I need to know why I feel like the bridge of that ship is the worst place I’ve ever been, and that I’ve done something I’ll regret for the rest of my life.”
Minh-Chu stared at him a moment, then nodded. The playback began. Jake had a young officer in hand, and burned him with the heated end of his Violator Handgun as a form of torture, to get his attention. “We’re going to play a game – it’s called Chinese Whispers, only it’ll be a short one.” His recorded self said to his young captive. The boy was terrified, shaking, crying. The devil was at his back and there was no promise of mercy.
Jake could feel his heart racing, he didn’t remember any of what he was seeing, but somehow knew it was true. “Don’t do it,” he whispered to recorded image of himself. The recorded Jake threatened his captives, told them what would happen if the Captain or the codes for the ship wasn’t revealed to him, then ordered the young officer to begin counting.
A tear rolled down Jake’s cheek as the countdown continued, and he flinched so hard when the gun went off that he almost fell out of his seat. “No!” Jake shouted, “that not me!”
He fell from his seat, trying to remember that moment and failing in the midst of a remorseful panic. “I can’t remember, that can’t be me!” he cried. Minh-Chu was on the floor with him, picking him up in his arms. Over his should Jake caught a glimpse of his recorded self taking a young woman up by her pony tail and said; “stop playback.” The computer froze the image there.
“You killed the one, the others survived and are in custody,” Minh-Chu said.
“How did I do that?” Jake said, letting Minh-Chu hold him. “Why did I do that? I don’t remember anything before that that could-“ his meeting with an agent of the British Alliance returned to him. He was ordered to use fear, intimidation, but he was not ordered to murder. That was the way of the barbarian, the quick route that led your enemies to a feeling of being justified in standing against you. That could not have been his way, but he knew that it was for a while.
“That’s not me,” Jake said. “You’ve got to know that’s not me now.”
“I know, old friend,” Minh-Chu said. “I’m glad to have you back, you don’t know how much.”

Copyright 2015 Randolph Lalonde
Spinward Fringe is a Registered Trademark of Randolph Lalonde


Tuesday, July 14, 2015

Preorders Available In the iBookstore for Spinward Fringe Broadcast 9: Warpath


Just a quick post to let everyone who frequents Apple's iBookstore know that they can now preorder Spinward Fringe Broadcast 9: Warpath there! I can't wait for this book to come out on September 7, I believe it is one of the best in the series, if not the best example of what a Spinward Fringe story can be.

I'm happy to invite you to this universe again, and I'd like to thank you for your support.

Here's the link for the iBookstore preorder:

https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/spinward-fringe-broadcast/id1018872158?mt=11

Sunday, July 12, 2015

Spinward Fringe Broadcast 9: Warpath Now Available For Pre-Order On Amazon


A day at least a dozen people have been looking forward to has come. Spinward Fringe Broadcast 9: Warpath is available for Pre-Order at Amazon.

It will be available for Pre-Order from other retailers sometime this week.

I'm eager to share this with my dozen or so readers, since I've enjoyed writing it so much, but I'll have to wait until September 7, especially since all the work isn't finished on this novel.

Until then, you can make sure this arrives on your Kindle on the release day.

Here are the links:

Amazon US
Amazon UK
Amazon CA
Amazon AU
Amazon.BR
Amazon.FR
Amazon.DE
Amazon.IN
Amazon.IT
Amazon.com.MX
Amazon.NL
Amazon.ES

Thank you so much for your support, I can't wait until this book is in your hands!

RL


Spinward Fringe Broadcast 9: Warpath Chapter 5



So far the book is well over half finished, and the writing continues at a good pace. The pace is so good, in fact, that I announced the release date of this book last week. The EBook will be available on September 7, 2015, and I can't wait for your to read it. I'm so eager to get it in front of you, that I'm putting this and one more sample chapter up. Please feel free to discuss what you've read so far in the comments section, I love seeing that kind of discussion.


If you want to read the earlier chapters first (which I absolutely hope you do!), here are the links:

Prologue: Freeground Alpha
Chapter 1Day One
Chapter 2: Patrol
Chapter 3: The Message
Chapter 4: Parallels

Just in case you haven't read any Spinward Fringe at all, you can download the first book, Spinward Fringe Origins, for free wherever quality Ebooks are available. Here's a link to a copy on Smashwords or Amazon.

Now, with no further delay, here's Chapter 5 of Spinward Fringe Broadcast 9: Warpath!

Chapter 5
The Codis System

The deep pore cleaning was always refreshing. A pretty, ultra slender attendant bot in a short red and green kimono handed Governor Tate a large towel as he exited the treatment booth.
“There is nothing like steam and a nano scrub to make you feel fresh and new,” he said to her.
“Yes Sir, will there be anything else, Sir?” she asked.
“No, you just get in there and work your magic. The jets have to be cleaned as often as possible.”
“Yes Sir, thank you sir,” the bot replied. He would be almost convinced that she was human, except for her perfect obedience, that was something he’d had some difficulty inspiring with human servants in the past.
He towelled off as he walked into his living room, not thinking for a moment that he was being watched.
“Now that’s something I’ll never un-see,” said a voice from the large recliner in the main area of his large, lavishly furnished home above the clouds. “You should look into the new fitness meds, I hear they have versions that won’t trigger an allergic reaction or extreme flatulence for cases like yours, where you’re a little over the ten percent body fat margin.”
“Who let you in here?” Governor Tate asked, embarrassed, outraged and alarmed. He ran for the door of his study, where a rack of rare weapons awaited, only to have it close swiftly before he could grab one.
“I’m in your computer system, Governor,” the stranger said. “No running, no hiding, and no sicking your poor, mistreated attendant bot on me. I’m amazed that you’ve had her for four months and still haven’t named her. I think I’ll call her Nancy, she looks a bit like a Nancy to me.”
Governor Tate wrapped the towel around his waist, leaving his round belly hanging over. “I don’t know who you are, but you’re in more trouble than you could ever imagine. I’m the master of eleven inhabited worlds, and a fleet like you-“
“Nancy!” the stranger cried, snapping his fingers. “Get the Governor here something to wear, his uniform should do.” He leaned forward and regarded Governor Tate with an impish grin. “You know who I am, just give your grey matter a minute to work through all those faces in all those reports. I’m somewhere near the top of the pile, I guarantee it.”
The man’s manner was infuriating. He was completely dismissive of the Governor’s position and somehow in control of everything around him, so it seemed. There had to be a crack in the man’s armour, or a piece of information that could help Tate out of his predicament, then this unwelcome guest would pay for his insolence. “I don’t recall seeing you anywhere,” he told the stranger. The man had hair down to his shoulders, a square visage, and eerily penetrating blue eyes. Details of his face shifted under the skin, then the lips expanded at the corners, and the nose flattened, shortened and Governor Tate recognized his visitor. “You are wanted for questioning in multiple sectors,” he said, calming down. It was Wheeler, a man with a fleeting relationship to the Order of Eden at best. “Not to mention, you’re still technically the property of Regent Galactic.”
“So, your war torn toy is here,” he replied, sitting back in the chair as he watched the helper bot deliver a dark green uniform to the Governor. “You Regent Galactic people get a real twist in your knickers when your technology grows a mind of its own. You know how to make us look good though, I’ll admit.”
“I’ll never trust this one again,” the Governor said as he pulled his trousers on. “It took five months for the fabrication centre to get her just right, but now that you’ve been in her head….”
“Then I’ll take her. I’m sure you can have something else made,” Wheeler replied. “Maybe something with a more human shape. The ultra slim models never really look human, do they?”
“What makes you think you’ll walk out of here with anything? Even your freedom is a long shot at this point. I don’t care that you’re a murderer, or that you may have had something to do with the leadership changes at the top.” Governor Tate told him. He only needed to know who his visitor was so he could read the situation and find his footing. Wheeler was a destructive force, even when he failed in his mission there was some kind of wreckage left in his wake. Even still, the only reason why Wheeler would beg an audience with the highest power in the Codis solar System was because he wanted something, and there were a number of things Tate could think of that Wheeler could deliver.
“I’m going to make you the leader of the Order of Eden,” Wheeler said. “You’re one of the only Governors who have passed on the framework program, and have been smart enough to stay away from the current leadership.”
“Powerful people who get too close to Eve or that Beast tend to end up in their place with no hope of advancement or dead, with very little in their epitaph,” Governor Tate said. His bot brought him a mug of nutmeg cocoa as he sat down in a firm armchair across from Wheeler. The drink was an all natural treat, the ingredients cost thousands of credits when they were available.
“Very good, Nancy, now could you record everything that is said here?” Wheeler asked. “I really do plan on taking you with me, and we’ll make more than point zero zero seven percent use of that wonderful brain of yours.”
A sip of his drink revealed a perfect texture, flavour and temperature, something he’d been trying to have his bot, Nancy, to master since she’d entered his home. “I don’t know if I want control of the Order. They’ve fallen in line behind Eve, and the military feeds on the image of the Beast. They’re zealots, near crazed.”
“Then the Regent Galactic Forces, corporate control,” Wheeler said, “That’s even easier. You’re right, the Order is so crazed now, it’s like a bag of flaming cats. That is, except for the segments of the Order you already control. I hear recruitment is down thirty five percent thanks to Valent’s game of Chinese Whispers.”
“It’ll come back up. People want the community and opportunity Order membership brings, and if I can do that without demanding the fervour that Eve does, then they’ll see the rational choice.”
“That’s not going to be possible. Eve is coming here,” Wheeler replied. “Just something I heard on the Order of Eden Command Network. She’s going to gather your Order members into the fold.”
“What? She travels with so large a group, getting her onto this side of the Ironhead Nebula would be a massive undertaking, I would have heard something,” Governor Tate said.
“No, not if she had a double spreading her message elsewhere. She wants to surprise this sector, appear as though by some miracle,” Wheeler said. “It’ll work for some, and the rest of the Order followers here will see that, by taking her lead they can elevate themselves faster than they could if they just stayed here, fighting in your ranks. You’re about to have a workforce shortfall on three of your planets, probably four. All the biggest ones, really.”
“And you’re going to tell me that you have the solution, that you can put me in a higher position than the Mother of the Order?”
“No, I’m going to put you up as her equal. I’ve seen across this digital landscape, the plains that remember our footsteps like they are pressed into stone. The Beast hates the zealotry and sacrifice that Eve demands as much or more than you do. He could use an ally in Regent Galactic too, especially on this side of the Iron Head Nebula, where the majority of their resources and fabrication assets are. If you drop all your suppositions about him, and forget his public persona, which is a farce, if you ask me, you’ll find that he’ll become an easy ally. I can get you in front of him through his own secure network, and I know you’ll be able to take it from there if you respect him.”
“That’s all, just respect him,” Governor Tate said, deeply interested. The Beast commanded forty two battle groups at last count, half a billion souls engaged in military service, and his forces grew every time they conquered a new outpost or world. Even his manufacturing capabilities were growing, especially over the previous two months. “There has to be more to it.”
“There is, I knew the man, even before he changed. I’ll walk you through it step by step, I’ll even vouch for you. Once upon a time I had a hand in getting him into his position. But first, you need to agree to give me a carrier group. I’ll fight your war my way, and I’ll bloody all the enemies you have on this side of the Nebula. You think this is power? This solar system? It’s a great money generator, and, yes, you could build something impressive here, but you haven’t seen real power until the local systems start paying you to tribute, until an entire sector feels they need to consult with your people before they do so much as take a deep breath. If you want to be remembered, to have the kind of power that generates a legend that can out last Earthen Pharaohs, then let me help you, and give me what I need to draw blood from your enemies.”
“A carrier group, that’s-“
“A pittance,” Wheeler said as he accepted an amber drink from Nancy. “Regent Galactic is waiting for a great leader, and you could be it. You just need the right backing.”
“The Beast.”
“Exactly,” Wheeler replied. “And I need a carrier group. I need one of those carrier groups you have in orbit to get a few things done. All I want is Tamber, in the Rega Gain System. The rest is yours, along with the credit.”
“One moon you intend to capture yourself?”
“Yes, get the carrier group ready this week, and I’ll get you on the fast track to becoming the greatest leader this galaxy has ever seen. You have the mind for it, you have the fortitude, and now you’ll have an in-road thanks to me.”
“They’ll need two weeks to prepare, in the meantime I expect to see significant process, I need to see this is working before you go on some warpath.”
“Fair enough.”
“Now, how do we get started?” Governor Tate asked, truly excited for the first time in years.

“Well, for a start, you’ll never call the leader of the Order Military the Beast again. Call him General Clark Patterson. He was human once, and he had a good soul.”

Wednesday, July 8, 2015

Spinward Fringe Broadcast 9: Warpath Release Date


The release date for the next Spinward Fringe Novel - Broadcast 9: Warpath, is September 7, 2015. Preorders are available now through smashwords here: https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/558258

I'm having so much fun writing this book that I'll probably have mixed feelings when it's finished. That's just more motivation for me to work on Broadcast 10 though, so it works in your favour all around.

I hope you've been enjoying the preview, you can look forward to the next chapter this Sunday. Until then, I'll announced when different retailers make preorders available.

Thank you so much for your support!

RL

[If you haven't read any of this series, you can get the first novel, Spinward Fringe Origins, free anywhere quality Ebooks are sold for free.]

Monday, July 6, 2015

Brightwill Made The 50 Indie Books Worth Reading Short List, Thanks To You!


Thanks to everyone who voted for Brightwill during the nomination round. It has made the short list for top Indie Fantasy Novel on Read Freely (Readfree.ly), one of the leading websites featuring free and inexpensive indie fiction. I enjoyed writing this book as much as any Spinward Fringe book, and have high hopes that more people will read it now that it's free everywhere. A sequel is expected early next year.

Now, I'd like to ask you for a little more support if you enjoyed Brightwill (or enjoy it after downloading it for free from Amazon, the iBookstore, Barnes & Noble, for Kobo, Smashwords, or many other sites where it's been made available). If you want to see this book rise to number one, you only need to vote by clicking this link and filling out the short three question form where you vote for the book, enter your nickname, and your email address.

I thank you for your support thus far, I sometimes forget that I'm not the only one who enjoys my writing, and thank you for any support you offer in the future. This is a very exciting time for an author who has never won anything with his work.

Voting Link: http://www.readfree.ly/vote-for-the-50-self-published-books-worth-reading-2015-fantasy/

Don't forget to check out the other categories for books you may have enjoyed this year.

RL

Sunday, July 5, 2015

Spinward Fringe Broadcast 9: Warpath Chapter 4


After waiting for years, I can finally use this image or a cover. I think it suits this novel, but I'll leave the final verdict to you.

We continue with the preview of Broadcast 9: Warpath with chapter four. After this there will only be two more chapters on the blog, and you'll have to wait a little while for the book to come out. Check back for a release date soon.

Chapter 4
Parallels

Jacob Valent could not walk. No thing in his memory was more frustrating, more difficult to cope with than that simple fact. For two days his daughter helped him in the morning for two hours, trying to get his feet, as useful as clubs, to support him while they dangled from inept ankles with little improvement.
He was thinking about his frustration and the sweat that he’d put into so little improvement when his hand slipped from one of the parallel bars and he fell to the mat like a marionette with its strings cut. It was the fifth time.
He kept his grumbling to himself, but could feel his face flushing red with frustration. Alice was patient and cool as she helped him back up. He didn’t fight her at all, those bars seemed so far away from the padded deck, nearly impossible to reach from where he landed.
With her help he got them under his shoulders and pushed up. Another thing he didn’t understand was why everything but walking seemed to come naturally. His hand-eye coordination was returning, he could sit up without assistance and his balance seemed a little unsteady, but improved. As soon as he tried to walk, his legs seemed to forget what they were supposed to be doing and go on strike.
Alice took a step back when he nodded, indicating that he felt steady again, even though he was only holding himself up on the parallel bars using his arms, there was no weight on his legs. The recovery room aboard the Solar Forge was rectangular, two stories tall, and all the surfaces were a plasticized off white colour. He had mats in one corner, a few balls of various sizes ranging from small for throwing to large for sitting and balancing. Then there were those damned parallel bars. “All right Jake, this is easy,” Doctor Messana said from the other end of what he’d started calling ‘the pill box.’ “I programmed the muscle memory in your legs, so they should already know what a walking motion is, you only have to relax and urge yourself to do it, like you’ve done thousands of times before.”
Jake tried, but the response he got from his leg was a haphazard flop forward. He stared at the awkwardly placed foot. “Are you sure you gave me the right legs? There isn’t someone else with mine having the same problem?”
Doctor Messana shook her head, her lips pursed. “You’re still trying to learn to walk when there’s no need to. It’s easier than that. Your muscles know what to do, you just have to relax and let them do it. You were standing on your own for a few seconds a couple nights ago, remember how easy that was?”
Jake nodded and exhaled. Listening to the Doctor was becoming more frustrating by the minute. He looked at Alice, who had a neutral expression. Jake took a step, or at least that’s what he commanded his left leg to do. He got more awkward lifting and flopping instead.
“Okay, wait,” Doctor Messana said, shaking her head again.
Alice looked almost as irritated as Jake felt, only she had her back to the Doctor.
“You’re concentrating on the small motions required to take one step. Walking is a reflex combining balance and about two hundred muscles working together, you can’t control every single one consciously. What I’d like you to do is forget about one step, and just try to walk to the other end of the bars. Just take a deep breath, relax and as soon as you finish exhaling, let go of the bars and walk to the other end. Alice, give him extra room.”
Jake nodded to Alice, signalling that it was all right, and she took several steps back as he inhaled. He made several unwelcome realizations while he slowly exhaled: his hands were sweaty, his heart was pounding fast, and that the other end of the parallel bars seemed very far away.
He finished exhaling and let go of the bars, refusing to look down at his legs. The realization that he was standing, feeling steadier than he’d felt since waking up gave him a surge of confidence. He started to take his first step, then the whole training room went sideways, he smashed his ribs on the right parallel bar, the padding didn’t seem to spare him any harm, then he finished falling between them, his impact on the mats knocking the wind out of him.
“This is easier than you’re making it, Jake.”
“Stop telling me how fucking easy this is!” Jake roared as soon as he caught a breath. “Does this look easy to you?”
“Fine! Do it the long way, learn to walk all over again!” Doctor Messana said before storming out of the room.
Alice was at his side, helping him back up. He was about to ask for a break, but glanced the other end of the parallel bars, less than three metres away. Even if he had to drag his feet, he’d make it. “I went too far,” Jake muttered.
“She had it coming,” Alice replied. “She couldn’t have expected all that programming to work perfectly. I get my control freakiness from you, so I know what this is. You can’t just trust a brand new pair of legs, and back, and bum to work together to keep you upright unless you’ve had something to do with it.”
Jake smiled at her and nodded. “Yeah, I know. I just wish I was better at picking my battles. These bars are kicking my ass.”
“We’ll take it slower,” Alice said. “One step at a time, first we just get those feet under you properly, then you move them forward without putting much weight on while you keep upright on the bars with your arms. Baby steps though.”
Jake carefully concentrated on moving his thigh so his foot landed on the mat just in front of him, then put a little weight on it. The weight felt good, his leg was strong enough, but his footing was shaky. He shuffled forward a little with his right hand on the bars. “Where’d you learn about teaching someone to walk?” he asked as he started working on the other leg.
“Ayan, Oz, Minh-Chu and I all took a physical training course. Doctor Messana wasn’t thrilled, but we did it anyway, it was Commander Anderson’s idea. He said he went through the course before Ayan was reborn. He had to be prepared if all those memories he recreated in her head wouldn’t attach to her physical body properly.”
“Thank you,” Jake said.
They didn’t speak as Jake ponderously took baby steps all the way to the other end of the parallel bars. He was almost completely dependant on the bars, keeping most of his weight off his feet, but his legs were doing some of the motions, if clumsily, and it felt like progress.
“Now, we turn around,” Alice said, moving to the opening in the bars behind him.
Jake decided to try the Doctor’s advice one last time. He closed his eyes and simply desired to turn around one hundred and eighty degrees, willing his legs to do the work. He got one foot into position, and fell to the mats between the bars so suddenly that Alice couldn’t catch him. The mats saved him from numerous bruises. He looked up from the floor at his daughter, who stared at him in utter shock. “time for a break?” she squeaked.
He couldn’t help but laugh. “I guess we do this the hard way,” he said as she sat down beside him.