Soldier’s Duty Cover

Soldiers Duty medium

It was high time that I did something about redesigning the cover now that Soldier’s Duty is going very well. I’m still aiming for October as official release date, but I may or may not start distributing copies earlier.

I liked the bronze colour, but the figure was very static, so I’ve spent a bit more time on it and re-done it. I’ve re-drawn the hair and added highlights. I might need to do a bit more fiddling, but I’m pretty happy with this.

Incidentally, I’ve had some really good ideas for book 4. It will be called Heir’s Revenge, and the main character is Vayra, whom we have seen briefly in Trader’s Honour. Admittedly, he was only a toddler then, but now he’s all grown up and he carries the expectations of his family and the freedom of his father’s nation on his shoulders. To him, it’s not a light load. Everyone expect wonders from him, and everyone in every place that matters is watching him.

So he decides to renovate a house. You remember what happened to the Andrahar house at the end of Trader’s Honour? Well, it’s lain like that, uninhabited, ever since. Various people have tried to dis-own the family, or buy the property, but the family has refused.

Vayra quietly moves into the ruins. Of course the house is in enemy territory, and in order to rebuild it, he must not only defy his family’s strongest enemies, but must win support from those who can help him. The house is the symbol of the glorious history that was but is no longer, the marriage that could have been, but did not happen, and the family that is a big influence in a city that is not the one where they should have lived. He uses the rebuilding of the house to reconstruct the past as it should have happened.


Soldier’s Duty snippet and miscellaneous news

Soldiers Duty lowBecause I can! A random snippet from Chapter 3 of Soldier’s Duty. Expected date of release: October 2013. Don’t miss it. Sign up for my new release newsletter.

As soon as her shift finished and the relief from the Yellow shift arrived, Izramith sprinted to the change room where she left her anonymous guard personality behind and became Izramith again.

On the civilian side of the cubicles, a group of women sat talking on the benches in the change room. They fell quiet when Izramith came out of the cubicle and crossed the floor to hang up her uniform.

The women were all from the Blue shift and a mix of old and new faces. One of them whispered in another’s ear and that woman glanced sideways at Izramith.

“Really? How many did it say again? More than a hundred?” She stopped at Izramith’s glare and averted her eyes.
She must be a recruit joined at the most recent intake, because Izramith didn’t know her. The other, older, woman of course was Nayani, who never had anything nice to say about anyone.

The women remained quiet while Izramith put her heavy guns in her locker, shut the door with a clang and walked to the entry.

“The rumours are wrong, by the way,” she said standing at the door into the security lock. “There were a thousand.”

She opened the security lock’s door, stepped in and closed the door again.

Leaning against the side wall, she closed her eyes while the scanner traced her body. Instead of a single beam of light crawling over her skin, she saw a flaming aircraft plummeting from the sky. She heard soldiers screaming. Once again, she was overcome by horror when she realised that the craft would crash in the rebel camp. And she could do nothing to stop it. It fell and fell. A giant chunk broke off. Voices around her cheered. Someone clapped her on the shoulder, but she stared at the unfolding horror, wanting to stop the fall, wanting to move away all those people who had done nothing except to be born to the wrong parents–

The light came on in the security dock. Izramith wiped sweat from her face. She must try harder to keep these awful memories away. Indrahui was in the past, gone, finished. She would never go back there.

shiftingrealitythumb Also, if you’re in Australia or New Zealand: get Shifting Reality on Kobo for 30% off this weekend. Click here. Use code 30WINTER13

Soldier’s Duty snippet: because I can

Soldiers Duty lowI’m working on book 3 in the Return of the Aghyrians series, Soldier’s Duty, like the proverbial bat out of hell. This is the concept cover image, still very rough.

I’m hoping to be able to finish the book by the end of October. Keeping fingers crossed!

Meanwhile, if you like to be notified when the book is done and up on all sites for purchase, please add your name to my mailing list. I swear I only use this for new releases, not to generate any spam.

Unedited snippet hot off the press, from somewhere towards the end of the book. I literally wrote this five minutes ago:

Izramith didn’t care what he thought of her or about his status. She no longer cared what the guards at home thought, or whether there was still a job for her at Hedron at the end of this contract. Fuck Hedron. She was going to sell herself as mercenary to Indrahui or something. And fight and shoot people for the rest of her life. She didn’t even care if she lived or died.

Daya let another long silence lapse. Then he said, “We’ve probably grown too quickly. Taken on too many projects. All the work we’ve done in this town has concentrated on construction, on meeting gamra requirements, on expanding our reach, being inclusive, righting the wrongs of the past.”

“So, you’ve fucked up in the security department?”

“Essentially, yes.”

“And in two days, we have a huge public event that is a major security risk and any work I’ve done so far has not only uncovered far more trouble than my contract stipulated, but has increased that risk.”

“It seems so.”

About my fiction: meet Izramith Ezmi from Soldier’s Duty


Last night, I did a very quick character concept and render for Izramith Ezmi, the main character of Soldier’s Duty. She is, of course, the soldier, one of the fearful veiled guards at Hedron (about which I wrote a little while back). I’m thinking that before this character is cover-worthy, she’ll need a fearsome bloodied knife held towards the reader and some spooky lights. The background is probably going to be orange. Yes, there is a lot of urban-style fighting in the story.

A very rough “what is it about”:

In Barresh, they still haven’t dealt with a number of disagreements with neighbouring behemoth nation of Miran that’s sliding further into dictatorship. The Chief Councillor of Barresh, Daya, (who is also from Hedron originally) has hired her to oversee security at a high-profile wedding (read Trader’s Honour to find out who’s getting married), but prior to the festivities, a security patrol stumbles on evidence of a spying ring. The plot involves disgruntled locals, who used to earn handsome kickbacks under Mirani occupation, as well as any number of the many itinerant building workers in the city. Postponing the festivities would mean embarrassment. It is time to bring in the big guns, meaning: Izramith of the Hedron guards.

But she brings problems with her to a world that already has enough problems of its own. In a couple of loosely-related worlds, people have gone missing off the streets for years. Her uncle and newborn nephew are two of those people, and they are the reason why she agreed to leave her home in the first place. Because they are rumoured to be in Barresh.

Of course, the disappearances are related to the spying, which goes back to something that’s been mentioned passingly since Watcher’s Web, something that leads Izramith and a few die-hard suicide-wishers and frenemies deep into Miran for a mission whose hare-brained-ness will astound everyone.

So. Fighting. Hiding in disgusting places. Infighting (remember that association instinct in The Shattered World Within? Yeah, that). Sex. That, too. And a couple of “that wasn’t quite what I was expecting” moments.