Today we’ve got a double release in the Shattered Empire series to announce, because both the long awaited novella Debts to Pay as well as a new Shattered Empire short story named Seedlings have just come out.
Seedlings is another story focussing on Holly di Marco and Ethan Lord Summerton, whom we first met in Mercy Mission and History Lesson. It was originally intended as the opening scene of an upcoming novella, but somehow it didn’t really fit in with the rest of the novella. However, the characterisation and worldbuilding would have been a pity to lose, so I finally decided to turn it into a standalone short story.
Debts to Pay, which features Holly’s friend and fellow mercenary Carlotta Valdez on a solo mission, had an even more complicated history, because it is an extensive rewrite of a short story called “The Nighthuntress” that I wrote more then twenty years ago during my second semester of university. When I looked through my inventory of finished stories, I also came upon “The Nighthuntress”. The writing needed a lot of work and besides the story tied in to the now defunct Femla universe, a space opera universe I developed in my teens and that’s basically unusable now, though parts of it survive in the Shattered Empire series.
As I read “The Nighthuntress” again for the first time in twenty years, I thought, “Some of this is actually quite good.” I also realised that it would work quite well as a solo mission for Carlotta Valdez. So I rewrote the entire story from scratch and also added in some elements, e.g. the Smoofs don’t exist in the original story at all.
I’m quite happy with the result, plus we learn a lot more about Carlotta, including the identity of her mystery lover who is mentioned in History Lesson. And can I just say how happy I am about the cover art, especially since it’s so difficult finding SF stock art featuring women who don’t look like strippers or sex workers as well as any kind of stock art featuring people of colour at all.
Once Ethan Summerton was the heir to a lordship, and a whole planet besides. But all that was taken from him, when his father decided to side with the Galactic Rebellion against the Fifth Human Empire and was murdered for his troubles along with the entire Summerton family, leaving Ethan the only survivor.
Now, cooped up with more than two thousand other Rebels in the eternal night of the planet Pyrs, Ethan Summerton is reduced to tending the rebel base’s greenhouse. Not that he minds – Ethan has never been a snob and besides, he’s always liked gardening. Besides, it gives him the chance to impress his new best friend Holly with the crops he’s growing.
A hardened mercenary, Holly di Marco doesn’t have much use for gardens and greenhouses and strange leafy things. But they matter to Ethan and since Holly is supposed to take care of him, she tries to feign interest as well.
But then one day, an incident involving a lost little girl, chickens and batavia lettuce shows her what Ethan Summerton is truly made of.
For more information, visit the Seedlings page.
Buy it for the low price of 0.99 USD, EUR or GBP at Amazon US, Amazon UK, Amazon Germany, Amazon France, Amazon Spain, Amazon Italy, Amazon Canada, Amazon Australia, Amazon Brazil, Amazon Japan, Amazon India, Amazon Mexico, Kobo, Barnes & Noble, Apple iTunes, Casa del Libro, Scribd, Inktera, txtr, Thalia, Weltbild, Hugendubel, Der Club, Libiro, Nook UK, DriveThruFiction, OmniLit/AllRomance e-books, Flipkart, e-Sentral, You Heart Books and XinXii.
But then Carlotta had a change of heart. She joined the Rebellion against the Galactic Empire and met rebel leader Arthur Madden, perhaps the only man in the universe she genuinely admires.
However, the past has a nasty habit of catching up with you when you least expect it. And so, while on a mission for the Rebellion, Carlotta runs into Darius Gilroy, crime lord, all around scumball and her former boss. Gilroy had a job for Carlotta and he won’t take no for an answer. And to emphasise his point, he threatens to hand her over to the Empire, if she doesn’t accept.
So Carlotta finds herself en route to the rimworld of Rothea III to take out a drug lord who has been encroaching on Gilroy’s territory. The drug lord certainly won’t be missed, but how can Carlotta reconcile an assassination job with her newfound rebel convictions? And how can she get Gilroy off her back, lest he threaten her and her comrades again?
For more information, visit the Debts to Pay page.
Buy it for the low price of 3.99 USD, EUR or GBP at Amazon US, Amazon UK, Amazon Germany, Amazon France, Amazon Spain, Amazon Italy, Amazon Canada, Amazon Australia, Amazon Brazil, Amazon Japan, Amazon India, Amazon Mexico, Kobo, Barnes & Noble, Apple iTunes, Casa del Libro, Scribd, Inktera, txtr, Thalia, Weltbild, Hugendubel, Der Club, Libiro, Nook UK, DriveThruFiction, OmniLit/AllRomance e-books, Flipkart, e-Sentral, You Heart Books and XinXii.
Finally, I also want to mention that you can buy a bundle of all Shattered Empire stories at DriveThruFiction for only 5.99 USD.