Thursday, November 10, 2022

Visualizing Starheart


Yes, you're quite right. I seem to be addicted to Midjourney What I'm finding quite wonderful is being able to create images of people and scenes I've only seen in my head. Take the book STARHEART: I can SHOW you what I think Hudson and Jess look like - even a starheart.

Starhearts - uncut and cut

Starhearts are what the story is (sort of) all about. Here's a snippet where Admiral Hudson is considering the job he has been sent to do.

Hudson asked the IS to find the article about the sale of the starheart Gordon had mentioned. Yes, five million. A picture of the stone accompanied the article about the sale. From what he knew, this stone wasn't even a particularly good example, the fire blazing in the stone's red heart more like embers than flames. Yet he gazed at the holographic image, turning it from one side to another, for far too long. It was almost an effort to banish the thing from his desk.

Starhearts. As far as Hudson knew, no-one had found a deposit in any human systems. The Ptorix kept their sources to themselves but there weren't very many. He'd seen a picture of the one in the Khophir's crown, a jewel they called the dragon's eye. No Ptorix would give up a starheart lightly. They were worth more than enough without having to trade with humans. Even so, central intel recently mentioned reports of starhearts appearing in odd places.

I can even show you Admiral Hudson. Here he is in his dress whites.

 And then, of course, there's the lovely Jess. She's strong, competent and not above using her charms when it suits her interests. She attends a function where she encounters Admiral Hudson for the second time. The first time she was taken to his flagship for interrogation. This time, she's dressed to kill.

Here's the relevant scene.

Jess looked past the captain, over his shoulder. Hudson's head had come up at the mention of her name. She caught his gaze for a nanosecond and turned back to Sundra.

"We've not been introduced, no. Although I did have the… er… pleasure of visiting his ship earlier today."

Sundra smiled, white teeth against dark skin. "It wasn't personal, Captain. I'm sure you appreciate we have a job to do."

"Well, I do so hope you can lay your hands on these smugglers so we honest traders can carry on."

Hudson, murmuring 'excuse me', stepped past Captain Sundra, the group shuffling aside for him. He kept walking until he stood right in front of her. "Captain Sondijk. I'm delighted to see you again." Again that sweeping glance which encompassed all of her and left that lingering, sexy shimmer. "I had wanted a private word."

He took her arm and led her away toward the tall doors leading out onto the terrace.

Nordheim's two small moons glimmered against the dark sky to the East while to the West, the dense stars of the inner arm blazed. The air, redolent with the fragrance of night-flowering junisters, felt cool after the warmth of the crowd inside.

"What about?" she said.

He leant against the balustrade, silhouetted against the soft lighting of the garden below.

"I trust you were not too inconvenienced today?"

He had to be joking, didn't he? "Oh, the interrogation was what one might expect. But a strip-search? After being physically scanned? A little excessive, don't you think?"

His lips stretched in a brief smile. "Not conducted by my crew. I expect these things are a necessary part of the job of a planetary militia but I can't see much point in antagonizing people." He waved a hand. "I wouldn't like you to judge me on an unpleasant sideshow. I'd like to get to know you better. Much better."

And get her into his bed. He still looked at her with that all-consuming gaze. He had an aura, something about him that radiated authority. This may prove to be a dangerous game. But it might be fun.

Footsteps rang on the tiles.

"Admiral? Ah, there you are. Miss Marati and I would like a word."

Ottenshaw. She'd recognize his prissy accent anywhere. He sounded like he had pebbles in his mouth.

"It seems we've been found," Hudson said, soft voiced. "Will you have dinner with me? I'm told the Mountain View is one of the better restaurants in town. Just nod. I'll have my adjutant call you."

Jess nodded.

He pushed himself away from the stone wall.

"But you'd better call me yourself."

The tiny smile widening into a grin, he swept her up and led her back into the room.


But when Jess is in tough girl mode it's a whole nother story. Here she is at the controls of a ship.

Jess's co-pilot, Santh, plays an important role in the story too. Here he is

 I enjoyed writing the book. Maybe you'd enjoy reading it.

Freighter Captain Jess Sondijk thought she had her life under control until Confederacy Admiral Hudson stops her ship in search of contraband. Although he’s taken with the lovely Jess, Hudson’s after bigger fish than a small-time smuggler; somebody’s trading with the alien Ptorix – and offering them a large enough prize to induce them to part with their beloved starhearts, the jewels they call the windows of the soul.

Hudson’s questions open old wounds for Jess. She decides to investigate the circumstances of her husband’s not-so-accidental death. Soon her life’s headed into an increasingly dangerous spiral – for her, her friends, and her family.

Only Hudson can help. But in this deadly game of political intrigue, murder, and greed, one false step will cause inter-species war. Hudson is forced to make difficult choices – Jess, starhearts, war, and his commission.

This book contains mild sex scenes and strong language.

Buy the book at  Your choice of vendors

Or buy from Payhip and get 20% off with coupon code G4U677DOVK







  1. Those images are awesome! The Starhearts are amazing, and I love the character sketches. It must be so fun and inspiring to be able to take the visuals you have in your head and make at least a close translation into images that you can share. It's been a lot of fun seeing all your projects. I've definitely got to try MJ when things settle down here.

  2. It's a great tool, Laurie, As well as great fun.


Thank you for chiming in! We love to see your comments. (All comments are moderated so spam can be terminated!)