posted on February 6, 2015 by Justine Davis

REBEL PRINCE: the series finale that almost wasn’t

REBEL PRINCEOkay, 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.

SKYPIRATENow 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:

LORD OF THE STORM“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

Justine Davis

Justine Davis

Author biographies are supposed to give you all those statistics, books written, awards won, etc. and I will, I promise...but first let me tell you about this ornery little tomboy (back then, the boys had all the fun...) who was always the one to make up the stories the neighborhood kids would "play". For those who came of age in the computer game era, this is something that was done usually in the backyard, by any number of summer-bored children, with props where appropriate. (Did you know a 55 gallon drum tied to a picnic bench makes a very cool horse?) It wasn't until much later that this tomboy realized two things: A) not everyone made up stories in their heads all the time, and B) in real life, the boys that had already had all the fun now seemed to always be winning.

But I digress. I was born on a farm down in Iowa....well, not quite, but close; Boone, Iowa is in the middle of farm country, but I arrived at a hospital. In a snow storm. Make that a blizzard. My sister tells me she knew my destiny when I was very young, because when I first saw the Disney classic Old Yeller, I was apparently so upset that I promptly went home and rewrote the story. In my version, the dog lived, of course. Should have been a clue.

Possibly in response to that blizzard I was born in, I've been a West Coaster since before I was a year old, and intend to stay that way. I have a history of staying. I started my first full time job right out of school (well, there was a very brief sojourn at a place where they made, among other things, burial vaults, but I prefer not to recall that one...) and stayed for twenty-one years. I've been married to the same wonderful guy for going on two decades now. We lived in our last house for seventeen years. (I won't even mention how many dumpsters we filled moving after that long....)

Readers seem as fascinated by my first career as they are with my writing. My time in law enforcement was many things, exciting, nerve wracking, and irritating, but most importantly never, ever boring. It was fascinating enough that I didn't think about writing seriously for several years. I kept a journal, and wrote long letters, collected quotes, mentally rewrote movies, and still made up those stories in my head, but never dreamed of actually writing for publication. I was having too much fun helping to catch bad guys, and being continually amazed at the situations people get themselves into. And eventually I walked away with a wealth of background and story ideas, and knowing some truly great people who work very hard to keep all of us safe. I'm proud to have been one of them, and I'm very aware that I have had the great good fortune of having had two jobs in my life that I love. Many people don't get even one.

But now that I'm in the delicious position of being able to make a living telling those stories in my head, I promise my readers two things: A) I'm staying—I'll keep writing as long as you keep reading, and B) in my stories, the girl—tomboy or not—always wins!

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

And now, the official stats:

Justine Dare Davis sold her first book in 1989, and followed that up with the sale of nineteen novels in less than two years. Her first four books were published in 1991, and she saw all reach the finals for either the Romantic Times Reviewer's Choice Award or the Romance Writers of America prestigious RITA Award. She has since won the RITA award four times, along with several Reviewer's Choice awards and three Career Achievement awards from Romantic Times. At the 1998 national conference, Justine was inducted into the RWA Hall of Fame, making her one of a very select group of just eight writers. She also had four titles on the Romantic Times "Top 200 of All Time" list. Her sales now total more than 45, and her books have appeared regularly on best seller lists, including the USA Today list. She has been featured in several local newspapers and nationwide by Associated Press, has appeared on CNN, and on two episodes of a cable television series on romance. She has given workshops for many chapters of RWA, has spoken at several regional and international conferences and has taught at the UCLA Writer's Program. She is also featured in North American Romance Writers, an academic reference on the romance genre.

Her limited free time is spent on reading, music, photography, watching the eagles near her home, and driving her restored 1967 Corvette Roadster—top down, of course.

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