Monday, January 31, 2011

First Grave on the Right Debut

Book Launch and Giveaway!

Three weeks ago, I linked to an article on the TerribleMinds blog that listed several reasons Why Your Novel Won't Sell.  The article offered some great advice, but I had to laugh when I reached number six:

6. What Genre Is That, Again?

Ask yourself this: “Where will this go in the bookstore? In what section? On what shelf?” If that has no clear answer, then you’re throwing up a red flag. “It’s horror paranormal romance mystery, with sci-fi elements. Oh, and it also has recipes!” [Emphasis mine.]

In fact, "a horror paranormal romance mystery with sci-fi elements" (sorry, no recipes) is going to be the subject of this interview with an amazing debut author and her fabulous novel, FIRST GRAVE ON THE RIGHT!

Welcome to our Book Launch for this exciting new release! I recently queried fellow SFR Brigader and 2009 Golden Heart winner, Darynda Jones, to ask if she’d be interested in doing an interview to talk about her Paranormal Romance novel which will be released tomorrow, February 1st, from St. Martin's Press. She graciously agreed.

I was one of the very lucky winners of an advance readers edition from a Goodreads contest and found the novel a pure delight on so many levels. The many SFR references in the story tickled me no end, but then, as I approached the wrap in the story…*gasp* I had an epiphany!

“OMG, this book is a crossover Paranormal-SFR!”

And there's quite a story behind this story! The cover of FIRST GRAVE ON THE RIGHT is pictured on the February 2011 edition of RT Book Reviews, along with an article about Darynda. Her book also received a 4-1/2 star rating (the highest from RT Book Reviews). In fact, there’s been an incessant buzz about this novel for some time. But don’t just take my word for it. If you hop onto Darynda Jone’s web site, there are some respected names who’ve had great things to say about her work, including JR Ward and Jayne Ann Krentz.

So, many congrats on your debut and welcome, Darynda!

Thank you so much, Laurie! I’m so honored you invited me.

Q. You’ve had quite a journey as a writer. Can you tell us a little about the events in your career before and after your Golden Heart win?

Ah, the journey toward publication.

While I’d been conjuring tales since before I could actually write, I didn’t know 100% I wanted to be a writer until I was in middle school. But I was a horrid speller, I had the attention span of a gnat, and I was nowhere near smart enough to pull off a novel, much less (gasp) two!

For me, the Golden Heart final changed everything. Admittedly, I’d been entering the Golden Heart for several years, and while I received some pretty good scores (and some not-so-good ones), every year I really thought I had a chance to final. Until 2009. I signed up to enter First Grave on the Right for one reason, and one reason only. I wanted to force myself to finish it. Stunned does not begin to cover how I felt when I found out I’d finaled.

Sadly, the manuscript needed tons of work, so after the final, I polished it for about two months before querying. Within a week, I had eight offers of representation from some of the most amazing agents in the business.

I know that sounds wonderful, but it was actually one of the most stressful weeks of my life. After much research and soul searching, I accepted an offer of representation from Alexandra Machinist at the Linda Chester Literary Agency. I am beyond grateful for her. She is savvy, supportive and compassionate.

The GH win garnered a lot of interest, so Alexandra began shopping First Grave that August. About a week later, Jennifer Enderlin from St. Martin’s Press made an offer for a three-book deal. Yes, THE Jennifer Enderlin. We had a couple more offers over the next 24 hours and then right before Alexandra sent it to the floor for auction, Jennifer swept in with a pre-empt we simply couldn’t refuse.

Whew! And now my life is filled with deadlines, revisions, page proofs and interviews, LOL.

Q. Let me start with that burning question most readers and writers will probably want to know. What was the inspiration for FIRST GRAVE ON THE RIGHT? Where did the idea come from and how did it evolve?

As an aspiring writer trying to catch New York’s eye, I wanted something different, something that would grab an agent’s and editor’s attention.

Q. Your main character is Charley Davidson and she’s a private investigator who moonlights in a career that’s non-traditional for a female. OK, it’s probably non-traditional for males, too. In fact, you could say it’s non-traditional for humans in general. Can you tell us a little about that?

So probably my main inspiration to write a grim reaper was desperation. I just contemplated paranormal entities, what had been done and what hadn’t, and came up with the grim reaper. And what fun she has been! Quite frankly, I’m floored there’s not more of them out there. I mean, what is cooler than writing about death incarnate?

But I wanted my heroine to be more than just death incarnate. She had to be likable, for one thing.

I felt the PI gig was a natural progression from her childhood. She grew up helping her detective father and uncle solve crimes. Plus PIs are fun. You can get them into all kinds of trouble.

Q. Charley has a dysfunctional family, to say the least, and though most of her antics either made me LOL or gasp, there were some things about her life that touched me at a very deep emotional level and gave me new insights into who Charley was. Can you share your thoughts about that?

Charley is very well adjusted, but well adjusted doesn’t make for good fiction, so I needed her to be well adjusted despite the odds. With that in mind, I gave her an evil stepmother. I gave her an obstacle that she’s had to overcome her entire life. Add to that the fact that her father, whom she adores, does nothing to allay her stepmother’s indifference, and her sister seems to take the stepmother’s side, and you have a lonely upbringing. I believe that Charley’s sarcastic wit is a defense mechanism. It’s her way of dealing with her family.

Q. Okay, now, on to one of my favorite subjects, the hero…*fans self*…Reyes. Who or what inspired this (hot) tall, dark and (hot) semi-corporeal mystery that is so not your typical (hot) male MC. (Did I mention he’s hot?) Who is he, what is he, and just for the record, how do you pronounce his name?

LOL! While there are a couple of pronunciations for Reyes out there, here in NM we say RAY-us. And, yeah, he’s pretty hot, huh? If I had an inspiration for his physical attributes, I’d have to say he was based on actor Jason Behr. (Roswell, anyone?) Jason can be so dark and dangerous, and sexy doesn’t begin to describe that boy. And considering the fact that Reyes was literally forged in the fires of sin and is the son of…well…no spoilers. But, yeah, he’s pretty hot. :)

Q. This novel is set in one of my favorite places on Earth—Albuquerque, New Mexico. (Hmm, wonder why that is?) Aside from the obvious reasons, is there another reason you choose this particular city as your PR/SFR heroine’s hometown?

Okay, moment of truth. Yes, I chose Albuquerque because I lived there for seven years. I love it with a fiery passion. And it’s beautiful, eclectic and an absolute gold mine of culture. But there was one more, itty-bitty reason I chose that particular location. Many movies and television series are being filmed there now. I thought that might give me an edge if it were ever, you know, considered for film production. (Not sure I’m supposed to say this yet, but apparently my evil plan worked.)

Q. The cover of FIRST GRAVE ON THE RIGHT is so striking! Can you tell us a little about the making of the cover and/or the artist? Did you have input into the design? What were your first thoughts on seeing it? And you’ve just got to tell us more about those shoes! (Er…sandals.)

I had no input in the original design. It’s my understanding that the cover was the brainchild of my genius editor. Later, I did have some input in the color of the nail polish. LOL. But I have to say, when I saw that cover, I was shocked. I loved it so much. I knew it was different enough to garner interest and eye-catching enough to grab a passerby’s attention.

And those shoes! Yeah, they’re real. Tried to get a pair. Failed. They are uber-expensive and sold out everywhere. I still check ebay periodically.

Q. On to the SF elements. I’m guessing from the many references in the novel – not to mention you’re a member of the SFR Brigade -- that SF and SFR have had an influence in your life and work. Would you agree and if so, please tell us more? Any possible SFRs coming down the road? *sits on edge of seat*

The first manuscript I started in high school was a science fiction tale about a group of teens who bore a remarkable resemblance to the members of Van Halen and were trying to escape the tunnels of a huge government fallout facility decades after World War III had destroyed the surface of the earth. It was destined to be a classic.

I love SF and had the incredible honor of taking a class from Master Science Fiction writer and Hugo and Nebula award winner Jack Williamson before he passed away. He gave me so much encouragement and told me my character development alone would get me published some day.

Okay, back on Earth, I most definitely have several science fiction projects in the works. I love it so much and it has been probably the biggest influence on me aside from historical romance in general. So I draw from many places. I think that makes the best kinds of characters and stories.

Q. Now we need a little taste of your novel (with or without the hot sauce)! Can we see the blurb and excerpt from FIRST GRAVE ON THE RIGHT?

From the publisher:

Charley Davidson is a part-time private investigator and full-time Grim Reaper. Meaning, she sees dead people. Really. And it's her job to convince them to "go into the light." But when these very dead people have died under less than ideal circumstances (like murder), sometimes they want Charley to bring the bad guys to justice. Complicating matters are the intensely hot dreams she's been having about an Entity who has been following her all her life...and it turns out he might not be dead after all. In fact, he might be something else entirely. But what does he want with Charley? And why can’t she seem to resist him? And what does she have to lose by giving in?

With scorching-hot tension and high-octane humor, FIRST GRAVE ON THE RIGHT is your signpost to paranormal suspense of the highest order.

Here’s a quick snippet that I think is fun:

In too much pain to stretch, I let a lengthy yawn overtake me instead, winced at the soreness shooting through my jaw, then looked back at Dead Guy. He was blurry. Not because he was dead, but because it was 4:34 a.m. And I'd recently had my ass kicked.

“Hi,” he said nervously. He had a wrinkled suit, round- rimmed glasses, and mussed hair that made him look part young-wizard-we- all- know-and-love and part mad scientist. He also had two bullet holes on the side of his head with blood streaking down his right temple and cheek. None of these details were a problem. The problem resided in the fact that he was in my bedroom. In the wee hours of dawn. Standing over me like a dead Peeping Tom.

I eyed him with my infamous death stare, second only to my infamous fluster stare, and got a response immediately.

“Sorry, sorry,” he said, stumbling over his words, “didn't mean to frighten you.”

Did I look frightened? Clearly my death stare needed work.

Ignoring him, I inched out of bed. I had on a Scorpions hockey jersey I'd snatched off a goalie and a pair of plaid boxers-same team, different position. Chihuahuas, tequila, and strip poker. A night that is forever etched at the top of my Things I'll Never Do Again list.

With teeth clenched in agony, I dragged all 470 throbbing pounds toward the kitchen and, more importantly, the coffeepot. Caffeine would chisel the pounds off, and I'd be back to my normal weight in no time.

Because my apartment was roughly the size of a Cheez-It, it didn't take me long to feel my way to the kitchen in the dark. Dead Guy followed me. They always follow me. I could only pray this one would keep his mouth shut long enough for the caffeine to kick in, but alas, no such luck.

I'd barely pressed the on button when he started in.

“Um, yeah,” he said from the doorway, “it's just that I was murdered yesterday, and I was told you were the one to see.”

Q. Love it! :) So what’s next? I understand there are two more novels coming in the series, SECOND GRAVE ON THE LEFT and THIRD GRAVE DEAD AHEAD. Will the SFR elements be more or less prominent in the sequels? Can you tell us a little about the story development? What new or unique elements do you think each book offers?

In the next two, the paranormal elements come out more, especially in book two. Book two takes a heavy dive into the realm of speculative fiction and book three gets a tad hotter while offering us a glimpse into what Charley is truly capable of. And Reyes. There’s lots and lots of Reyes. :)

Thank you so much for taking time out of a very busy schedule to share a few thoughts and insights about your work, Darynda.

I wish you every success for the stellar debut of FIRST GRAVE ON THE RIGHT and the successive Charley Davidson series of Paranormal Romance[/SFR!] novels.

Darynda’s web site
Facebook link
Links to reviews

And now for the giveaway part! Leave your comment below for a chance to win a signed hardcover edition of FIRST GRAVE ON THE RIGHT, courtesy of Darynda Jones!

Saturday, January 29, 2011

Sunday Six Sentences

Back again for another Sunday Six.  Be sure to check out all the links to excerpts posted by a variety of talented writers on the Six Sentence Sunday central hub, here

Today's excerpt from The Outer Planets puts quite a spin on Lissa's thoughts posted last week. 


Lissa broke eye contact and looked at the officer standing a stride off the captain’s left elbow. She expected Commander Kelso, the ship’s Executive Officer to be tailing the captain, or maybe the Chief of Boat—COB Browne, but…

Lissa’s heart stuttered and the breath lodged in her throat.

Oh my God.


Every muscle in her body tightened and her heart pounded. What in the hell was he doing here? Did he recognize her?

She averted her eyes to the captain, regrouping.

"May I introduce First Lieutenant Mitchell Coe," Daniel said, “My new aide de camp.”

Thursday, January 27, 2011

The Tomboys of Romance

Science Fiction Romance is a niche genre--a sub-subgenre--and a hybrid that combines the shiny aspects of technology found in Science Fiction with the emotional vulnerabilities of the human heart found in Romance. SFR often pits the attraction of the main characters against a universe of overwhelming odds, or an impossible dream of ever finding happiness.

In SFR, the heroine is seldom a delicate flower, she is more often the hero's match, maybe not in raw strength, but in saavy, smarts and surviving on her wits.

She can more often be found in a flight suit or leather jacket and deck boots than a dress.  Her natural habitat might be in the captain's seat, the engine room, or instigating a brawl in a seedy watering hole on Cirrus 6.

So why do we write this stuff?  And from where do these daring, resourceful heroines manifest?

Through the SFR Brigade--a collective voice of some 170 writers and authors of SFR--I've heard a lot of "How I Came to Write SFR" stories.  Most profiles have a definite pattern, and they usually start...

I read Science Fiction as a kid, romance as a teenager, and later longed for stories that blended both. But I couldn't find any.  So I started writing my own.


I fell in love with the Han and Leia love story in Star Wars.  The impact of their conflicted romance set in the adventurous realm of a war in space completely captured my imagination, but I couldn't find any books like that.  So I started writing my own.


I was a Trekkie from way back, but most Science Fiction I watched was missing something.  It lacked the full blown emotional development of the characters or that ellusive happily ever after.  (I may have even dabbled in romantic fan fiction starring Spock or Captain Kirk.)  But I couldn't find any published novels like that.  So I started writing my own.

I also noticed that SFR writers often tended to be the more adventurous females as children.  We were the tree-climbers, the sole girl on the soccer field at recess, the ones who experimented with motorcycles, fast horses, martial arts or surfing, while our peers were content to dabble in lipstick colors and new hairstyles. We were aspiring Amelia Earharts, Annie Oakleys and Sally Rides. 

We were seldom cheerleaders, more often found in the marching band or playing powderpuff football.  We thought exploring a forest or a museum was much more fun that hanging out at the mall.  We were curious and inquisitive--and sometimes daring--and we would often make our parents shake their heads in dismay.  How many times we heard: "That is not how a young lady acts!"

We usually preferred male company to female.  We were the girls-next-door, the sort the guys liked to hang out with, but not necessarily take out on Friday nights. (Until they got smart).  We were more often clad in jeans and sweatshirts than skirts and blouses. 

And we matured chasing our preferences for something exciting, non-traditional or beyond the norm.  We joined the military, law enforcement, became attorneys, pilots, scientists, engineers, and business owners, and continued to push the envelope on what a female should be, how she should behave, how much she could achieve...and what she should write.

And that's why we write Science Fiction Romance.  Because, just like the characters in our stories, we believe we can achieve anything we want, and overcome any obstacle, as long as we always dream big and never surrender.  Though we may have homes, careers, children and responsibilities now, our writing allows us to continue seeking the edge.

What do you think?  Do you consider yourself a Tomboy of Romance? Were/are you an adventuress? A risk taker?  Does my profile of a SFR writer fit you, or were your experiences far different?

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Six Sentence Sunday

Welcome! Glad you stopped by my Six Sentence Sunday snippet #3. Be sure to click the link to read excerpts from all the other talented writers. Whether they incite a tease, a sigh, or a gasp, the offerings are truly stellar.

More From The Outer Planets

Two weeks ago, you met the heroine, Lissa Bruce, and her first thoughts on seeing the ship that would be her home for the next several years.  "Hello, bitch."

Last week, you were introduced to the stern and domineering Captain Daniel Storing as Lissa took her first hesitant step onto the deck of the planetary research vessel, NSS Robert Bradley.


What has Lissa left behind?


And so very far away from Mitch.

She closed her eyes against the explosion of regret and longing his memory brought. Had she done the right thing by not contacting him, not dragging him into the maelstrom her life had become since Bobby’s death? Her misplaced loyalty had kept them apart before. Now it would be time itself that separated them--five long years--and distance--billions of miles.

I should have pinged him.

Thursday, January 20, 2011


As a science fiction fan and later as an SFR writer I’ve spent most of a long lifetime pondering the possibility of life on other planets. The idea that aliens using advanced technology would visit us here on Earth is hardly shocking or unbelievable. I find it credible enough to base a whole series of science fiction suspense novels on the premise.

And yet I found myself at a loss for words when I met someone recently who claimed to have direct experience of alien visitation. She’s seen the ships, she’s spoken with the aliens, she’s gone with them to visit other “dimensions”. She’s had more than one of these experiences since her childhood and she describes them as “overwhelmingly positive”.

This person, a friend of a friend, speaks of her special knowledge in a completely calm and rational tone. She can provide details. No matter how crazy the subject matter, she doesn’t appear to be crazy. And as I listen to her I feel like I’m a character in my own novel. The Mulder in me wants to believe, but my skeptical Scully stands with her arms folded waiting for something she can actually see with her own eyes.

Of course, my friend is not the only one who has had direct contact with these visitors from, um, elsewhere. (It’s not entirely clear to me whether they’re from other planets, alternate universes, other dimensions, the future, or, well, you see the problem.) There are many others who have had similar experiences. I was referred to the very busy website of the Paradigm Research Group (, an organization “dedicated to ending the government imposed truth embargo regarding an extraterrestrial presence engaging the human race.” PRG Executive Director Steve Bassett leads an active lobbying effort using the Freedom of Information Act and other means to uncover what the government knows of alien activity on Earth. PRG calls their advocacy work “exopolitics.”

One of many interesting video clips on the site is the “Featured Case: Rendlsham Forest Incident”. In December, 1980, United States Air Force personnel at RAF Bentwaters air base in Suffolk, England encountered what appeared to be a craft of unknown origin in the woods just outside the base. They got close enough to touch it and make crude drawings of it, describing it as approximately triangular in shape, three meters on a side, dark metallic, pulsing with red and blue light. After a few minutes it shot straight into the air and disappeared. The same night, strange lights were seen in formation in the skies near the base, performing maneuvers that would have been impossible for conventional aircraft. The men in the search team on the ground saw these lights, as did others on the base. Personnel manning the air towers also report seeing something on radar earlier in the evening, before the sighting in the forest.

The Bentwaters incident might have been forgotten had it not been for the bureaucratic diligence of one Colonel Charles Halt, USAF, who was given the unenviable task of making sense of what went on that night. He’d been dragged out of a Christmas party into the woods to track the “thing”, no doubt to put a stop to the rumors that had been circulating around the base all week of “funny lights” and “little green men”. But he saw what he saw and he had to make a report. He sent it up the line to his superior officer.

The brass conferred and decided since the bugger had landed off base property that it was the Brits’ problem. They told Halt to write a memo and send it to the British Liaison. He did what he was told. Could he help it that the liaison was on vacation when the memo hit his desk? The memo went nowhere and the matter was buried for years until a FOIA request demanded information. Halt had kept an old onionskin of the original memo in his desk (the only remaining copy). He handed it over, along with his drawings of the craft.

Halt and all of the men who were with him that night in Rendlsham Forest are retired now and speaking freely of the incident. It makes for fascinating, if curious, watching. (Personally, I have to wonder what my fighter pilot brother knows about the incident. He was stationed at Bentwaters at the time, but he ain’t talking. Not surprising. The Shrader men make Robert DeNiro look like Chatty Cathy.)

The men in these videos were speaking publicly in September before the National Press Club in Washington. And yet I don’t remember seeing them on the nightly news or in the newspaper. It’s my friend’s contention that the powers that be control any news about alien visitation. “They” don’t want us to know. But conspiracy theories of that magnitude don’t hold much water in this day and age. “The press” is no longer the monolith it once was; secrets can’t be kept in the age of the blogosphere, though finding the truth is virtually impossible. Too much light is just as blinding as too little.

I think if the aliens want to make themselves known they’d better just land on the White House lawn in front of everybody. That would be a little hard to hide. But then, I also think we should be careful what we wish for. There’s no guarantee that advanced technology will mean evolved ethics, after all. If the human race is any model, we could be in big trouble.


Saturday, January 15, 2011

Six Sentence Sunday

Another week has gone by and it's time again for Six Sentence Sunday.

This week I'm posting a second excerpt from Chapter 1 of my Science Fiction Romance WIP, The Outer Planets.  (Just to clarify, this is not the hero that the heroine meets, but he is a major player in the story.)  I even managed to find a pic that somewhat goes with the blurb.  Not what I was picturing, but I couldn't seem to find what I was looking for on the internet.

Don't miss all the great Six Sentence posts from participating authors by clicking the link above.

Thanks for visiting!  :)

Lissa willed her legs forward, stepping onto the deck of Captain Daniel Storing’s ship. Behind her the hatch to the docking bay closed with a clack, followed by a low rumble as the air lock depressurized.

Escape route sealed. Point of no return.

She looked into the commanding blue eyes of the man before her. The eyes of Zeus, an awe-stricken friend had once described them. He studied her, neither relief nor anger evident in his gaze, his face molded into its usual professional scowl.

Photo courtesy

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Recreational Spacecraft

Inspiration for writers comes in many forms.  This video of a new recreational water craft--the Sea Breacher--sent by my sister (with the subtitle "I WANT ONE!") got me thinking in a whole new direction for my next WIP. 

Recreational space craft.

People design "fun craft" for land, water and why not space?  In fact, aren't the plans for the first vessels to carry paying passengers into the exosphere really just a form of recreational spacecraft?  Their primary purpose is to allow passengers to experience--very briefly--the thrill of space flight.  Encountering space not for research, explorations, discovery or science, but just for the sheer thrill of the voyage.

What sort of recreational space craft might we develop in the future?  Sight seeing vessels?  Undoubtably.  Most of our astronauts have spent every free moment staring out the ports at the incredible beauty that is our Earth.  To read their words and envision the experience of seeing our home from space is a captivating idea. And what could be more amazing than veiwing the Martian canals from orbit?  Or in the more distant future, getting up close and  personal to an astronomical event?  How about orbiting resorts over Saturn's rings?  Moon skimmers that glide by the geysers on Enceladus or the volcanoes of Io?  How about comet chasers?  Asteroid hoppers?  Maybe someday we'll go on a quest to witness an asteroid impact on a distant planet much like we set sail in search of Humpback whales on the ocean.

Not every ship in the universe of our imaginations is required to be a military vessel, pirate and/or smuggler ship, a transport or a research vessel.  Maybe like the 'shark ship' above, some may be invented just to make us go "aaah!"

When it comes to recreation in the final frontier, to use one of my favorite tag lines, the sky is not the limit.  :)

Monday, January 10, 2011

Monday Morning Musing

It's Monday.  Blah!  Bah!  Humbug! Right? But Monday came with a little bright sparkle of snarky sublimeness this week.

Sometimes I ask myself why (WhyWhyWhy?) do I spend time on Twitter?  And then, in a puff of magic smoke--oh wait! I write SFR: make that an unscheduled arrival in my transporter room--something really, really amazing pops up.

Such was the this article Why Your Novel Won't Sell via the TerribleMinds blog, via Deborah Nemeth's (of Carina Press) retweet of Chuck Wendig's tweet.  (Gotta love Twitter.) It's a straight-to-the-heart, tell-it-like-it-is summary of ten reasons why you're novel won't sell.  Oh, and it's also a chucklefest delight, whether you have to laugh at yourself or gaffaw at personal observances, it's fun and oh so frank advice.

But, that said, we know there are exceptions to every rule.  Reason #6 made me laugh out loud because I know of one huge exception.  To quote the article: 

6. What Genre Is That, Again?
Ask yourself this: “Where will this go in the bookstore? In what section? On what shelf?” If that has no clear answer, then you’re throwing up a red flag. “It’s horror paranormal romance mystery, with sci-fi elements. Oh, and it also has recipes!”  [Emphasis mine.]

In fact, "a horror paranormal romance mystery with sci-fi elements" (sorry, no recipes) is going to be the subject of an upcoming interview with an amazing debut author that you won't want to miss. 

So check out the TerribleMinds article and stay tuned. 

More soon.  (Promise!)

Saturday, January 8, 2011

Six Sentence Sunday Excerpt

Welcome!  I heard about the Six Sentence Sunday writing exercise--brainchild of Sara Brookes--via an article posted by Jessica Subject on the SFR Brigade. It sounds like such a fun and positive experience!

After scanning my work for a first excerpt to post, I decided to start at the beginning (harsh language and all) of my current WIP, The Outer Planets. Thanks for stopping by. :)

“Hello, bitch,” Lissa Bruce whispered.

Outside the portal, a leviathan floated in all her gloating glory. Running lights on full, insignias glowing, silver carbon skin stretched tight over her multi-deck carcass. Damned ship had been nothing but heartache. The research vessel too tough to die.