When 17-year-old pilot Khiry Okerson crashes on Eldora Prime, alarms still ring in her ears. She might have solved one problem, but she courts more danger than she realizes when she liberates some unexpected hostages on a foreign planet. Will the dragons she releases become her allies? It’s more likely they’ll join the inhabitants of this unforgiving world to hunt terraformers and the Instigator’s dwindling crew.
Khiry must find a way off this rock and into the United Society for Peace and Strength’s good graces. She’s got a capable marksman on her team in the handsome and renown Kor, but Khiry still wonders how her people can escape with a captain’s treason on her hands and a political leader’s sister in her care—care she can’t guarantee.
I think having a day job, doing too much cleaning, and marketing my books so much has turned me into a binge writer. I don’t get to sit down and write fiction everyday for a set number of hours. Now, I write and edit construction info everyday for TONS of hours because that’s what I do for my day job! But when it comes to sitting down and losing myself in one of the fantasy worlds I’ve created for the series I’m working on or for a short story or whatever, I have to force that time to happen.
That’s my binge writing.
I participate in contests like the International 3-Day Novel Contest and NaNoWriMo that encourage writing in binges. (I wrote Problems on Eldora Prime during the 3-Day Novel thing in 2009.)
It’s also a treat for me to set aside a day on the weekend to write for eight or nine hours non-stop. I like to set up my computer and bowl of M&Ms at some point mid-morning and type until deep into the night. I’ve had those writing binges where I type until the sun’s gone down and the glow of the computer screen blinds me. Then I can’t see the keyboard when my fingers slide to the side and I finally have to get up and light some candles…and then get back to typing some more.
Now don’t let that confuse you with my need for constant writing access! I’ve got notebooks littering my condo (in a clean sort of way) so I can jot down ideas when one strikes me. You never know when the muse is going to fling a story idea or plot twist in front of you and, pow, you’ve got to write it down or it’ll dissolve like a staked vampire on Buffy. Those moments of jotting down ideas are the total opposite of binge-writing, though. The binges are what get the novels completed!
“Some days, you just want the dragon to win.”
Fantasy enthusiasts will recognize Sandy Lender as the author of the breakout novel Choices Meant for Gods and a leader of workshops on world-building and characterization. Her four-year degree in English and seventeen-year career in magazine publishing augment her book publishing experience for a variety of presentations.
From author's website.
Many thanks to Sandy Lender for this great guest post and to Goddess Fish Promotions for organizing this tour! Click "Read More" below for an excerpt and book trailer from Problems on Eldora Prime!
“Your brother’s politics aren’t welcome here,” Jay sniped.
“And what’s it to you? Aren’t you an alien?” one of the transports asked.
Khiry frowned at the man who had spoken. “Here now. We’re getting off topic. Alien or not, Mozart saved your hide when we were avoiding the mountains out there.” Despite the pain still throbbing in the back of her head, Khiry nodded in Jay’s direction so the transport couldn’t mistake to whom she referred. “Now he’s part of the crew that’s going to save your hide again. Who’s to say these dragons aren’t also part of the crew that’ll save us from these beasts? The enemy of my enemy is my friend.”
Up to this point, Red had been uncharacteristically quiet. The idea of dragons on board the ship frightened her, of course, but seeing Khiry befriend one of them loosened her up a bit. She slowly approached the dragons’ cage out of curiosity while the debate carried on behind her. Gibson seemed to be the only one out of sorts over it. Even Electra, who had seen Jack die, sounded as if she could be persuaded to Khiry’s point of view. Interesting. Red wondered what about these creatures so appealed to Khiry that she’d fight to release them into their midst.
“Apart from Khiry’s use of Arabian proverbs, what do we have to convince us these dragons would help us?” Kor asked. “As far as they know, we caged them and brought them to some foreign planet. Now evil beasts that look something like us on this foreign planet are going to try to kill them.”
Jay looked to the transport nearest him. “I’m sorry. I don’t know what an Arabian proverb is.”
The female transport shrugged. It was obvious she felt uncomfortable now that she knew she sat next to an alien. “Something before my time on Earth.”
Red tried to tune out the conversation. She was too intrigued by the mythical creatures before her to let the crews’ words distract her. The large, reddish-black dragon currently stared at her. The other three uninjured dragons huddled around the wounded one. Like elephants, Red thought. It was well known that the elephants of Earth had worried over injured companions and fondled their dead, unwilling to leave fallen comrades. She wondered if that’s why they went extinct—elephants starving to death keeping watch over elephant graveyards. Not everything could be attributed to global warming and shifting climate zones. She also wondered if the wounded dragon was going to die. It seemed a shame to lose such a pretty creature. Just like it was a shame when the last elephant died on Earth.
As if it took great effort, the reddish-black dragon shifted its weight to move toward her. Obviously it was difficult to move in the cramped space with four dragons to maneuver around, but she made it over to the bars and stared out at Red as if expecting something to happen. Red stared back. If Khiry can pet a dragon, I should be able to as well, Red thought. She smiled up at the creature and reached, slowly, as Khiry had done, toward the bars. She let her hand carefully pass the bars, palm up, and stop a few centimeters from the dragon’s lovely reddish-black snout.
The dragon blinked her reddish-brown eyes. She seemed rather sad for a dragon about to make her first contact with a human. Her contact surprised everyone.