Okay, I admit it. I first saw Star Wars at a very impressionable stage of my life. I will also admit I saw it multiple times. I do not know exactly how many, other than into double digits. I never thought then about why. Perhaps the nascent storyteller gene was still too new to realize, but looking back it’s very clear. That film was a bonanza of brilliant storytelling—yes, more science fantasy than science fiction—and now I see I couldn’t help but be swept away.
Fast forward about fifteen years, to when I had my first ‘white heat’ writing experience. A book that came so fast and complete that I could barely keep up. It was published almost untouched, and so well received that I did a sequel. By contrast, that book was a hair-tearing, what-made-me-think-I-could-redeem-this-woman exercise in frustration, but to this day is one of the books I’m most proud of. But after LORD OF THE STORM and SKYPIRATE, I still wasn’t quite done with this world I’d created. Unfortunately, my publisher was done with futuristics—apparently I was a bit ahead of the curve—so I was left with a synopsis my editor loved but had to reject, and the sad feeling the third book would never be published. But I never forgot that untold story, and to my great gratification, neither did readers. Over all these years, nearly twenty now, they wrote, they asked, some even begged for that story. Rarely a week went by that someone didn’t contact me about it.
Now insert a wonderful, supportive small (well, they’re up to “mid-sized” now!) press, Bell Bridge Books, run by, of all things, a bunch of writers. Brilliant ones. The result is not only new, gorgeous versions of those original books, but at long last that third story. It came out nearly as long as SKYPIRATE, but I had so much fun writing it it hardly felt like work.
And so, REBEL PRINCE is officially released, and dedicated to the only possible choice: the readers who simply wouldn’t let it die.
For just a taste, here’s the short Prologue:
“I’M GOING AFTER her. I’ll take the next transport.” Dax Silverbrake was pacing the floor of the Triotian royal palace’s private quarters, covering the same twenty feet of floor time and again. Barely suppressed energy nearly crackled around him.
King Darian of Trios watched his best friend in obvious amusement. “Are you sure confrontation is wise just now?”
The pacing continued. “What I’m sure of is she has no business scarpering off like that. Off world, without even a word of explanation.”
Dax half expected a reminder he himself had done much, much worse. But Dare looked as if he were considering his next words so carefully that Dax knew what was coming, and hastened to forestall it.
“I know, this is my doing. Perhaps it wasn’t the best decision, but I only wished her safe, and free of pressure, for as long as possible.”
“Lying to your child is rarely the best decision,” Dare said.
“I didn’t lie,” Dax said. “I just . . . omitted something.”
“Spoken like the skypirate you once were.”
Dax winced. And there it was, he thought, stopping in his tracks.
Dare pressed the point. “You omitted something indeed. The biggest thing of her life. Her destiny. And she is, in fact, an adult now,” Dare added.
Dax spun around then, glaring at his oldest, closest friend. “You are not being any help, Dare.”
“I am a father too,” he said.
“But not of a daughter. They’re . . . different.”
“That I cannot argue with,” Dare agreed with a grin. “Women are thankfully different.”
“Califa’s too damned calm about it,” Dax muttered.
For the first time Shaylah, Dare’s mate, spoke. “That’s because she’s not worried about Shaina’s welfare.”
“How can she not be?” Dax spun around to look at the queen he so admired, the woman he loved like a sister as he loved Dare like a brother. She was smiling so serenely that Dax felt a spark of irritation.
“Because she knows Shaina is safe.”
Dax blinked. “What? How can she know that?”
“Shaina was upset, furious really, and feeling betrayed.”
Again Dax winced, but this time the feeling went clear to the bone. He was beginning to realize the scope of the mistake he’d made.
“Califa knows because she knows her daughter. She knows where she would go. Where she always goes when something goes wrong in her life. Which is why she will be safe.”
Dax frowned. “Are you saying . . . ?”
“Of course. She went to Lyon.”
If you’d like to know the full tale of how these epic stories came to be, check out Justine’s blog for the behind the scenes peek! Check out all three posts on this series.
REBEL PRINCE can be purchased in eBook or trade paperback format