Epsilon universe snippet – in the alley

                I felt the heat of the explosion almost before I heard it, saw the light of it.  I spun, swearing, not knowing what to think or where to run to until I saw the fire’s brightness not too far from me, down the street a little ways.

                I’d last seen Wil headed in that direction.

                “Wil!”

                Nothing–but if he’d been anywhere in the vicinity of that explosion, no doubt his ears were still ringing and ringing loud.  I gulped in a breath and ran in that direction, away from where I could see the lights of landers in the distance.

                When the Imperium had come to Caldin, they’d come in force, just like we feared they would.

                What the hell just happened there?  The Imperium wasn’t supposed to have made it this far into the city by now.  Nothing should have been exploding.

                Moving at a dead run, I almost tripped over him.  He choked back a moan as my foot banged into his in the darkness.  Backlit by the flames from across the street–the Alliance post was burning–I could see the blood on him.

                It was all over and it looked bad.

                “Wil!”

                “Get out of here,” he rasped.  “I’m fine, get out of here.”

                “Liar.”  I crashed to my knees, pulling his head and shoulders into my lap.  He hissed in pain, choking back a scream.

                “Ren–”

                “Shut up,” I snapped.  “What the hell did you do?”

                “My job.”  He squeezed his eyes shut, his breathing labored and shallow.  I swore heartily.

                I thumbed a mayday on my comm, knowing Luc wasn’t far.  He’d be here fast, I knew it.

                He’d better be.  We need him now.

                “Ren,” Wil breathed.  “Ren, please.”

                “No,” I said through gritted teeth.  “I am not leaving you, dammit.”  I caught a glimpse of Luc in the light of the burning building beyond the alleyway.  “Luc!  Luc, get over here, I need your help.”

                He pivoted and swore when he saw Wil, just like I had.  I couldn’t stop the tears anymore.

                “Please,” I begged in a voice that was barely more than a whisper.  “Please, help him.”

Snippet Sunday – Epsilon: Redeemer snippet

I’ll be trying something new around here and that’s something that we’re going to call “Snippet Sunday”–when I reveal a snippet of something I’m working on or have already released, depending on the mood.

For the inaugural Snippet Sunday, we’ll be paying a visit to the universe of Falling Stars and Epsilon: Broken Stars with this bit from the current draft of Epsilon: Redeemer.

Excerpt is after the break.

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‘Good, because I think I need it.’ – Excerpt from NaNoWriMo ’11, Epsilon: Redeemer

A little bit of a teaser from the rough draft of Epsilon: Redeemer, second book of the Epsilon series.  I’m writing the first draft of the book for NaNoWriMo 2011, and now I’ve got a bit that I’m okay with sharing.

            ‘Quintilian was captured by the Imperium.  He must have been, since we swept the area where he was and found signs of a fight, but no body.  Still trying to figure it out; word would be appreciated.’

I rubbed my temple.  It wasn’t good news.  Quintilian was another regional lead, two sectors over in the Borderworlds, but closer to the edge of Imperium territory than my area of influence.  He’d been a friend of Korea’s from school and one of my closest allies in the upper echelons of the Resistance, especially when it came to trying to find her.

I closed my eyes, leaning back.  I was with Renegade again, taking my turn on the watch.  I’d been switching off with Sam and Conrad, but Kallyn had come to take a watch or two, a signal to me that she was getting ready to get more deeply involved in Resistance affairs.

I wasn’t sure whether that’d be a good thing or a bad thing.

A groan from the bed dragged me out of the quagmire of reports.  Renegade had been drifting in and out of consciousness for the past few days, eyes dull with fever and barely responsive when we spoke to her.  It hadn’t surprised me.  I wasn’t quite sure what point the process had been interrupted at, but I knew that this was as close to normal as these things got.  Her system was in a state of shock.  Nothing was going to happen until that fever broke, and I knew it.

Part of me was silently thankful that Wil wasn’t around.  I’d been able to taste his worry when he’d first brought me in on this, and it was disconcerting to say the least.  Better he wasn’t here to keep right on worrying and distracting everyone around him.

The fever had finally broken the night before, but she hadn’t been awake since then.

Setting aside the palmtop where I’d been reading the reports, I leaned toward her, watching as Renegade lifted a hand to rub her eyes and groaned again, starting to roll and curl on her side.  She noticed me a few seconds later, blinking blearily.

“Where am I?” she murmured, voice hoarse and heavy with confusion.

“Caldin,” I told her.  I touched her shoulder as she started to sit up.  “Careful, you’ve been mostly horizontal for a couple weeks except to get some food into you.  Don’t sit up too fast.  I don’t want you keeling over on me.”

She laughed weakly and let me help her sit up.  She hunched over a little, staring at her hands, thin and pale against the gray coverlet.  The engagement ring Wil had left on her finger sparkled in the room’s dim light and her gaze fastened on it for a moment.  Her breath caught.

“I don’t know where that is,” she whispered.  “I don’t know who I am.  Who’re you?”

“Call me Luc,” I said.  “I’m a doctor, and a friend.  I’m here to help you.”

Her gaze slid sidelong to me, hazel eyes pinning me in place.  She had one of those stares, one that could paralyze a man with a glance, a certain sort of intensity that could instill comfort or unease at her leisure.  “Promise?”

“I promise.”

One of her hands closed around mine and squeezed with a strength that surprised me.  “Good,” she said in a ragged whisper.  “Because I think I need it.”

Copyright 2011, Erin M. Klitzke

Like what you see?  See what comes before in Epsilon: Broken Stars, available where ebooks are sold.


You can find Erin on GoodReads these days @ http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/5211226.Erin_Klitzke
And on Smashwords @ http://www.smashwords.com/profile/view/EMBKlitzke 

Fragments of background (Epsilon universe)

What follows here is spoiler-riffic, so if you’re not into that kind of thing, don’t read below the break.  I’m in the midst of working on Epsilon: Redeemer for NaNoWriMo, and in doing so have ended up looking back at some scenes I scribbled out a long time back, when I was tooling around with a project called Resistance, which was a story mostly about Korea Cooper and Lucas Ross.  I have a .doc file full of scenes that were a mix of background scenes and sequences that might end up in later works in the Epsilon universe.

More ramblings (and one of those scenes) below the break.

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New release ramblings

Good news!  What Angels Fear, a Lost Angel Chronicle, is now available on Smashwords, Amazon (UK, DE, FR), and Barnes and Noble.  It is the first installment of the Lost Angel Chronicles, a universe that includes my once-touted When All’s Said and Done.  I had anticipated releasing it after Epsilon: Broken Stars, but that’s tied up in editing this week (the people I tapped couldn’t look at it until this week).  The editing on What Angels Fear was faster–thanks again, Krinny!–and so I was able to start publication on Monday.

The end result was it being fully available on the three front-line venues as of this morning.  It will hopefully be distributed to Kobo Books, the iBookstore, Diesel, and other ebook retailers soon (through Smashwords wonderful Premium catalog, which Falling Stars is already available through).  It’s also already on GoodReads, where I appreciate reviews and shelf-adds.

So what does this mean?  Simply that I’ve gotten a third “world” of my writing established in digital ink.  Anyone who’s read back on this blog a little bit knows exactly how many things I’ve developed over the years and either abandoned or simply shelved for later.  There have been two women in my life (incredibly supportive best friend type women, one mostly during my teenage years and one during my adult life) who have urged me to go back to certain projects over the years, or not to completely abandon something, and occasionally told me to focus down on one thing, finish it, and only move on after that’s done.  As a general approach, that only occasionally works for me.

Of course, sometimes it does work.  This was one of those times.

I finished off What Angels Fear after I wiped out the final of Broken Stars.  I didn’t dare touch it while I was in the final push, largely because the scenes I was working on for Broken Stars were so difficult and because Julia Kinsey and Ridley Thys are very, very different characters from Aaron Taylor, Sam Cooper, Mac Desantis, and Lucas Ross.  Their worlds are also very different.  I’ll admit that at one point I’d considered making it all the same universe, but my conclusion was (and still is) that it just wouldn’t work, due to the number of supernatural elements extant in the Lost Angel universe, elements that don’t exist in the Epsilon universe (or any of my science fiction universes as of this writing).  Turning back to Julia and Ridley’s world, and by extension Ky Monroe, Matthew Thatcher, and Hadrian Bridger’s world, was a welcome shift.  Of course, it was helped by the sudden desire to write something with vampires that seized me.

No, What Angels Fear doesn’t involve vampires.  But they’re in the world, right along with secret agents and people fighting the good fight.  More of that will come up in When All’s Said and Done, which features Angel Kyle Anne Monroe as its narrator.  I anticipate turning to that project in the near future.

Unfortunately, Nanowrimo is looming, and while When All’s Said and Done was my inaugural Nanowrimo project back in 2004 (coincidentally, also my first win), I can’t exactly turn around and redraft it for my project this year.  Instead, I’ll be working on the second book of the Epsilon series, Epsilon: Redeemer.

My retail job looks like it might keep me from traveling this November, so I might just have a shot at getting something done.

Wish me luck.


You can find Erin on GoodReads these days @ http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/5211226.Erin_Klitzke
And on Smashwords @ 
http://www.smashwords.com/profile/view/EMBKlitzke 

Broken Stars is now complete, heading into final reads and revisions.

[progpress title=”Epsilon: Broken Stars” goal=”70000″ current=”79949″ label=”words”]

A novel roughly thirteen years in the making is finally complete and should hopefully be released by the end of the month.  I’ve shot it off to a few test readers for their commentary (one of whom I’m certain is a bit annoyed with me thanks to the wall of text spam he was getting all day yesterday).  I’ll be doing edits and tweaks based on their readings/proofs.

Epsilon: Broken Stars came in at a higher word count than I anticipated, and will shrink/grow with the forthcoming edits.  I finished writing at around 2am last night, emailed it off, then crashed for five and a half hours (up by 8–yup, there’s something wrong with me).  I need to let it set for a few days before I go back to start any edits of my own I might decide to do, but as of this writing, it’s complete but for proofreading and minor edits.

That is to say I don’t think I’m going to be adding any more chapters, fight scenes, or any other such thing.  I might do some Epilogue tweaking, but that’s for another day, after I let it sit and rest.

Of course, I still need to write the dedication and the acknowledgements, as well as format copies for several different e-publication venues.  That’s a task for another day.

Between yesterday and early this morning, I wrote more than 7000 words.  That was a huge day for me (I also managed to somehow buy tickets to the Red Wings game in there, go figure).

Writing yesterday was mostly action sequences, which I have a great deal of difficulty writing.  Erik says it’s because I’ve never actually been in a fight before, and he’s probably right about that.

Here’s a sample of what I came up with, though, for two action-packed chapters.

            Desantis only hesitated a second before he triggered the detonator.  A series of quiet pops echoed off the buildings, followed by the larger, explosive roars of the charges going up in a secondary blast and taking the back end of the lander with it.  The craft’s pilot was knocked sprawling into the light of one of the streetlamps.

He scrambled to his feet a few stunned seconds later, yelling.  I grasped Sam with one hand and Desantis with the other.

“Time to go,” I hissed, then ducked down the alleyway, trusting them to follow.

Sam looked positively gleeful by the time we got back to the car.

“We did it!  We actually did it.”

“Celebrate later,” I said, giving her a stern look as I jerked the passenger side door open.  “It’s not over yet.”

She sobered as she caught sight of my expression and went quiet, nodding.  She ducked into the car without another word.

Desantis looked at me across the roof and I just shook my head.  He shrugged and got in, and I joined them a second later.

“Biesterfield and Twelfth,” he said as Sam got the vehicle moving.

She nodded.  “Thanks.”

We wended our way up a few side streets before we turned onto one of the north-south streets a couple over from Biesterfield and headed north toward city center.  I was doing math on the way and realized something.

“Mac, how many did you say were landing here?”

He blinked at me.  “Six, Cap.”

“And five on the other continent.”  Maybe I heard him wrong.  Maybe he said six and I misheard him.

“Right.”

Damn.  “Compliment on a cruiser like the Tallahassee is twelve.”  So where’s that last lander?

The car swerved a little as Sam caught up to my line of thinking.  “Five and six is eleven.  Where’s the last lander?”

“That’s what I want to know,” I said grimly as Desantis scrambled for his palmtop.  Three klicks out from the Scarlet meant there was significant lag between sensors and the palmtop, and Desantis cursed his way through trying to figure out where that last lander was coming down.

Sam whipped the car around a corner, headed toward Biesterfield on one of the east-west streets, then whipped around another corner onto our target street.

She plowed right into a roadblock and a subsequent hail of weaponsfire.

 

Epsilon: Broken Stars by Erin M. Klitzke

Turned out pretty decent, I’d say.  That’s actually toward the beginning of the action, believe it or not!

Only time and readers, however, will tell me exactly how well I’ve done.  We shall see!

Look for Epsilon: Broken Stars in your favorite ebook store coming soon.