Trouble in Mind, Book Two in my Interstellar Rescue series, launches Tuesday, February 16, less than a month from now! It’s high time you learned more about the heroine, the hero and this story of an FBI agent and a galactic tracker who must join forces to find a little boy who is the key to an interstellar power play.
Let’s start with Gabriel Cruz, half human, half Thrane, all badass. Gabriel’s been called the best tracker in the galaxy. He uses his telepathic skills, a legacy of his Thrane father, honed at the elite Youth Academy for Psychic Training on Thrane, to find and extract people in trouble—for a price. He even does occasional work for the Interstellar Council for Abolition and Rescue, mostly at his friend Sam Murphy’s request.
When Sam asks him to help find a mother and her young son who have been kidnapped on Earth, Gabriel is reluctant. He hates working on Earth, where overfed dirtside cops only get in his way, and some agents of the government know too much. But Sam adds a piece of intel that tips the scales in his favor: a ship called the Bloodstalker is on its way to the Sol system, with the deadly Thrane hunters Kinnian and Trevyn Dar aboard. With that piece of news, Gabriel is in.
Saving this mother and her son from Earthers with a hard-on for UFOs would be all in a day’s work. Saving them from his alien brothers would be a matter of honor.
--Trouble in Mind
Gabriel has another surprise waiting on Earth in the form of his new partner, FBI Special Agent Lana Matheson. He’s used to circumventing or ignoring local authority, but Lana is smart, intuitive and open-minded. And that doesn’t take into account the way her wayward curls and grass-green eyes seem to captivate him. What he feels goes beyond attraction to something he can’t explain.
It wouldn’t matter, but he’s stuck with her until Sam can return to the Sol system from delivering a very important “package”—the man Gabriel extracted on the job he just finished. Without Sam and the ship, he’s dependent on Lana for intel about the case, just as she needs what he can learn with his psi talents. He’ll have to find a way to work with her and keep his secrets— his attraction to her, his connection to their rivals in the hunt, and, most of all, his own alien nature—to himself.
So, just what kind of man is Gabriel? Intense, driven to overcome his past, hiding much of that under a veneer of charm, ultimately passionate. A scene from his childhood gives you a hint of where he comes from:
What is your father’s name, boy? the teacher had asked him. Gabriel had been ten. He’d never met his father, but his mother had told him what to say. The training was necessary, and to get the training, his lineage as a Thrane had to be undisputed.
“Kylan Dar, Captain of the Bloodstalker, Psilord of Thrane.” He was small, but his voice did not waver.
There was a collective gasp among the others seated at the table before him, though the teacher betrayed no emotion. “That is not possible,” one man said. “Captain Dar’s mate is Thrane, not human. His sons are not yet of trainable age.”
Gabriel lifted his chin. “My mother said I should give you this.” He pulled a medical sampler from his pocket and stuck it in his thumb. It didn’t hurt, really. The device drew a droplet of his blood and held it in a sterile capsule for analysis. “She said you would have a reader available.”
The teacher’s eyes narrowed, but Gabriel thought he saw his lips curve upward as he reached down to take the sample. The man turned to give the sample to someone at the table, who placed it under a scanner for the computer to read. When the computer indicated the results, there was another murmur of reaction around the table.
A woman at the table looked to the others. “The law is clear. The boy is obviously Dar’s, half-human or not. Whether or not he claims him, we are obligated to train him.”
“A law foisted on us by the weaker minds in the galaxy.” An older man stared at Gabriel with distaste.
“A law nonetheless,” another said with a sigh. “What do you say, Rodyn?”
The teacher turned to him, a glint in his gray eyes. “I say we owe the galaxy a civilized Thrane to make up for the butcher that is his father. What is your name, boy?”
“Gabriel Cruz, sir. And I am human, not Thrane.”
--Trouble in Mind
Next week Lana gets her turn! And, don’t forget, you can pre-order your digital copy of Trouble in Mind now on Amazon.