Saturday, December 31, 2016

Happy New Year! Here is a Surprise Release for your Enjoyment! Cat's Night Out!

Catherine Moore, Cat to her friends, trained with her friend Agatha Blackmore to be the best FBI Agents to ever graduate from the Academy. When Agatha left for her Probi assignment Cat had one of her own. A serial killer stalked the South. Sometimes it takes a Monster to catch a Monster.

Read this and other Tales from the Federal Witch Universe today!

Tuesday, December 27, 2016

Personal Update. What I'm working on for the new year and beyond.

  Time for an Update of what I'm working on at the moment.

My part of the Etheric Academy book is done and has been passed to the Editors and Michael Anderle to finish. With luck it will be ready and published by the end of December. I have the third part of Grandmother Blackmore almost finished for this weeks short story. I intend to begin writing Book 3 of the Federal Witch Series  - Special Agent in Charge, this weekend. It should be done mid to late January as already predicted. After that is the second Etheric Academy book which should take less time now that a system has been set up. Writing is hard by itself without even including another author in the mix.

   There are more Agatha books on the horizon. I just ordered four more book covers from my artist extraordinaire Heather Senter. This will be a busy year for me with four series to work on. Expect lots and lots of new books to read.

On a personal front I'm in the middle of a move to Florida for a change. We are saying goodbye to Missouri for the foreseeable future. Tallahassee is our newest destination and we are starting our move this week. This whole time we have been either on the road or in my father's RV many people have asked about Merlin the Cat. He is fine and has adapted to RV life but will be very angry with us this weekend. We are moving to a new house so he gets the run of the place but adjusting is hard.

Monday, December 26, 2016

It's time for a Snippet from the Etheric Academy! Check out Number 04!

The Author's house was dark and the windows were still boarded up. Last time he gave me a gift. Would he do it again? I carefully climbed the steps and knocked on the door. Silence greeted me. I peered at the garage but it unlike last time was closed up and dark as well. As I stared at the house a light appeared in the window! Tossing a rock, I tried to gain the Author's attention but broke his window instead! The Author pulled up the window, but I noticed it got stuck…A couple of more shoves and I heard more glass tinkling and a pane fell out and shattered on the driveway. Oops? The Author stuck his head out of the window and found me soon enough, his eyes rolling in his head. “Seriously Scott?” He leaned out of the window and pointed to his right, “I mean, it isn’t like the fence isn’t that way?” He shut the window and I figured, why not? I made my way around the side of the house and went through the gate hoping the pixies would be nice.



Inside the auditorium, a man, a scientist one would guess based on his clothes, was speaking to two others. One was woman considerably shorter than he, the other a man in a suit. The scientist had one arm gesticulating widely, “… and I’m telling you it was a brilliant idea. We need this sort of thing for when we go through the gate into the next universe. Who knows what we will find there. And, it’s a one way trip! If we don’t educate the kids now using the resources we have available here in this system we will be harming them not helping them. Earth still has much we can teach them. But it must be us not those idiots back there. Especially not those guys at NASA.”

While he practically towered over her, the lady didn’t give up one inch in the discussion, “Marcus, NASA aside, do you really think that we should take time out of our busy schedules to teach? I have a ton of work to do. We have weapons to build and systems that don’t even exist yet we need to create. My area is way behind according to my schedule. All of this is going to screw up my system so much.” This time, it was the Primary of the Research and Development group waving her hands all about.

“Not just your system Jean. My boys are working full out on ship design and finishing this.” Jeo  waved his arm for emphasis, like a conductor for a band. “We have a ton of work to do and not much time.” He looked around in frustration, “Hell, I’m losing productivity just standing here.”

“Why don’t you folks just take a chill pill.” Everyone turned to see Captain Thomas standing at the edge of the stage. “What? You don’t think I’m hip to new phrases? Some of my new crew told me to say that.” He looked around the auditorium, “This Academy is a good thing.”

He pointed to the scientist, “None of you except Marcus are thinking of the big picture. We gave intelligence and mechanical tests to young people. Our young people. They are our future crew members, workers, and maybe leaders. We need them, and they need us to teach them what we know. Think of them as interns. Each selected department will get five new interns every six weeks. I will tell you now I can think of lots of scut work and some real projects that an extra five sets of hands would be really helpful. These young adults are the cream of the crop. Some of them might be able to help on levels that we can’t even imagine yet.”

The man paused a moment before adding, “Besides, this is what Bethany Anne wants. So grow a pair and straighten up.”

The arguing department heads frowned almost in unison and nodded their heads. He had a point. They all heard clapping and turned to look toward the back of the auditorium.

“Thank you, Captain. That was well done. Is everyone ready? The students will be here soon.” Diane and her sister walked down the aisle toward the stage.

“You ladies are as fetching as ever.” The Captain had a big smile on his face as he helped the two new school administrators up to the stage.

“Thank you,” Diane shook his hand and turned toward the others. “And again, thank you all for coming.”

The others greeted her with nods and other acknowledgments. Jean gave Dorene the evil eye but smiled at the same time.

She pointed to the doors in the back of the auditorium, “Thirty children will be arriving through those doors in a few minutes. Our goal here is train for the future or all the work we have done is worthless. Once we go through the gate, the kids become our resource pool. My sister and I understand that and so does the Queen. Arguments aside we need all of you to be on board with us too.” The two twins looked around the stage at the department heads. Several monitors showed the faces or offices of those that couldn’t be present physically. “Are you?”

There was a pause before a new voice entered the conversation.

“That is a question I would like the answer to as well.” Everyone on stage turned toward Bethany Anne’s voice.

The Queen strode onto the stage from the direction of the Admin offices. Her ever-present white German Shepherd, Ashur, and John Grimes, her bodyguard, followed in her wake. She was dressed as if she was either returning from, or going into an operation.  She had on black leather with pistols and two swords.

John Grimes looked in all directions without turning his head more than ten degrees. He knew everyone on stage but it didn’t hurt to be cautious.

He tried not to smile at the twin sisters because Jean wouldn’t like it. Inside he was laughing his ass off. It had been a few years but he had forgotten about the calendars the women had put together of him and the rest of the Queen’s Bitches.  All of the guys had joined in, to make the beefcake calendar.
He wondered where and how they found them. Bethany Anne had poked him in the arm and pointed when she first saw them, smirking.

Everyone on stage nodded and voiced agreement with the woman who started this grand adventure they were on. She was the reason for everything and they owed her the world.

“Good. We need this to work. Ladies?” Bethany Anne looked at the newest additions to her group.

Diane stepped stepped past her sister, who was trying pitifully to hide from both John and Jean, and answered Bethany Anne, “The children should be coming through the doors in just a moment. Max, the shuttle driver, just dropped them off.”

“This is it! The Etheric Academy. Be sure you gather up your belongings, my next stop is waste management and trust me you don’t want to go there looking for stuff.” Max was the tram driver. The internal trains were mostly automatic except when it came to those for the Academy. Both the Queen and the school administrators felt a human presence would be best.

Max peered at his monitors and read outs. “Hey, you in the back? Are you awake? This is your stop.” Pressing a few buttons the lights in the last car began to strobe and flash. Anyone still in there was awake now. He watched as a smallish young man stepped off the car shaking his head. “Kids.”

He double checked to make sure the cars were all clear and exited the cockpit himself. The tram would return to regular service unless needed for students. Here at the Academy, Max was the all around Mr-Fixit. His job was to keep the place running and do any heavy lifting the Administrators needed.

“WEEEET” Max pulled his fingers out of his mouth. Not many people remembered how to whistle like that anymore. The new students all stopped and turned to look at him, their eyes wide.

“Gather round,” he waited for the kids to get closer.  A couple stepped back.  Max pointed to the main doors, “Now those are the doors to your new life. If anyone wishes to return to your family, now is the time to speak up. There is no shame in wanting to wait.” None of the kids spoke but many looked around like prairie dogs searching for predators.

“Great. This is your new beginning. Go through the doors and hang a left into the auditorium. We have a small presentation set up for you.” Smiling he stepped ahead of the kids and opened the door on the left.

All thirty kids tried to fit through the doors at the same time. There was very little pushing or shoving,  just everyone trying to squeeze in at once.

“Take your time. The school isn’t going anywhere!” Kids were the same everywhere Max thought to himself. He had been a building maintenance supervisor for some of the biggest colleges in the country before answering an email that appeared on his phone at home one night. That had been the best decision of his life.

Who wouldn’t want to work in space?

Monday, December 19, 2016

Time for a Snippet! Who's Ready? Here is Snippet #03 from The Etheric Academy

I approached the door with a bit of apprehension this time. Last time the author barely spoke. The house looked different. The windows were covered and a new "TS PAUL WE DON'T LIVE HERE" sign graced the front door. The Author wouldn't keep me out for long this way! I peaked under the garage door, it was open a tiny crack.

There sat the Author's fancy car. He went nowhere without it and rumor was that it whispered sweet nothings to him while he drove.  I didn't care anything about that I just needed a snippet. The hordes knew where I lived now and climbing over the fence was out of the question. I jumped up on the porch and rang the doorbell. No Courage, No Results!

I heard a buzz, like a small battery operated motor was running. I looked down and saw the mail slot open, and a snippet connected to a plastic robot hand come out. The two pincers opened, the snippet dropped onto my foot. Reaching down, I grabbed the snippet and was about to turn away when the mail slot opened.

Out came the little robot arm with a business card. It read, "Merry Christmas Scott!" and in tiny print, "P.S. - We Still Don't Live Here!"


Snippet #03 From The Etheric Academy Alpha Class Book 1

QBBS Merideth Reynolds, Academy Area

“Are you ready for this?”

Diane looked at her twin sister and smiled. “Why would I not be? It’s not like fighting off Forsaken in the wilds of Turkey. These are just children. Besides,” she looked around at the stone walls, running a hand across the smooth surface as they walked along.  “We helped build this place.”

Dorene agreed. “That’s true. I’m still getting used to having the energy to even think of tackling something like this.”

The hall the two ladies were walking through led from the administrative offices to the entrance of the school. The Meredith Reynolds was a huge asteroid that TQB had turned into a base, well a base station, actually.

When Bethany Anne had found the two sisters they were on the run from more than one Government. Many years ago they took a sponsored trip to Turkey.  They helped children enjoy a foreign country and saw the sights themselves and in return, they had be able to save a few dollars.

What actually happened, was they ended up trapped in a cave with a bunch of kids. Everyone hiding from ravenous Forsaken that were trying to kill them.

TQB intervened, led by the Queen herself. The two sister’s memories were altered so they would forget the entire incident. However, something unexpected happened and they both woke up one morning with the memories returned to them.

Dorene tried to discreetly find out more information about the event, not realizing who was involved at the time, or how badly information about them was wanted. Computer records were useless. They only glossed over the event calling it a meteor strike. Digging deeper into public records and contacting a few friends from her time in the service punched in names she remembered. Names like Ecatrina, Gabrielle, and Bethany Anne.

Her search touched off a twin hunt of sorts which led the two to needing to choose between joining TQB in space, or ending up lost down a hole with a government on Earth. ADAM found them before anyone and sent the Queens Marines to save them.

Anyone that had any sort of connection to Queen Bethany Anne and to TQB was wanted by many governments of the world for interrogation. Information of any kind was very valuable.  

Their information, since it was so far back, was unique.

“Why do you say that? Some of all this was your idea. Well yours and that cutie Marcus.” Diane was enjoying the revitalization that came with the job. The two elderly ladies no longer looked their age.

They, like many here on the station, had been put through a medical pod which modified their bodies with nanocytes, providing them not only a young-like appearance, but also enhanced energy.

“Some of it was my idea. The Queen had her say as well. Especially when it came to that.” She pointed upwards to the wall. In large, foot high letters was a quote from the Queen herself. Bethany Anne hadn’t remember saying it but it was verified by TOM, the Kurtherian alien.

“As long as a student pushes themselves, I’ll turn over the heavens to help them. - Bethany Anne”

“I like that one to most.” The two women agreed. There were others scattered around the school.

Diane looked over to Dorene, “Did the dorms get set up OK?”

She answered, “They did. The engineering crew said the rooms are all the width of two cargo containers. I have the sexes divided for now. Later we can discuss mixing them if there aren’t any issues. Most of the Russian kids at least are used to doubling up. Personal modesty sort of goes out the window when dealing with Wechselbalg. If the kids can handle it, we may let the groups team up that way.”

“How many girls did we get?”

“Not as many as we hoped for. Too much coddling is what I think. The Queen and Gabrielle make excellent role models but  the hard sciences weren’t stressed in school for these kids. Tina was the exception to the rule.  There are a few others as well.”

Diane glared at her sister, “So, again, how many are girls?”

Dorene smiled, “Oops, sorry. We have ten girls and twenty boys. Twelve are Wechselbalg of various ages and pack status. About half come to us as refugees from Romonavka along with ten Russian human children. The rest are from the Colorado base. It’s too bad we didn’t remember meeting the Queen and her troops until recently. The base there sounds like it’s pretty cool.”

Diane shook her head, “Let’s worry about the school first, you can chase pod pilots later.” Dorene had a big smile on her face. Another good thing about having the years wiped from your body was the ability to chase sexy men.

Sexy men that were pilots.

Dorene looked around, “Right. So the dorms are set and have been furnished. Technical Engineering supplied tablets for all the students along with locater beacons. At the moment they will wear them. Once they finish school they will be able to have them implanted like many of the regular crew.”

“Good. That sounds good. Bethany Anne wants you to take care of student welfare.” Diane held up her hands in a stopping motion. “Before you start, this comes from the Queen herself. I have to take student administration. Maybe we can switch later. Many of these kids have never been away from home for extended periods. We need to be there for them to lean on.”

“If I have to. You know their parents are only a couple of miles away on the other side of the asteroid.” Dorene pointed upward.

Diane shrugged, “I know that and you know that but most of them don’t know it or if they do, they don’t know it emotionally yet. Besides, we are supposed to teach them to be independent. No running home to mom. If that happens we need to track it carefully. They might not be up to task for the crew we want anyway. Try to get them to listen to you. These kids are the future of the realm.”

Diane smiled at her sister. “Come on they should be arriving soon. Have any of the trainers arrived in the great hall?”

“I have no idea. I can check though.” Dorene looked up and called out to the E.I. (Entity Intelligence) for the Meredith Reynolds herself. “Meredith? Have the instructors arrived for introductions and sorting?”

The E.I.’s voice resonated around them, coming out from discreet speakers, “Hello, Dorene. The representatives from most of the departments are waiting for you and your sister in the main hall. The Queen along with her bodyguard will arrive in your office moments before commencement. Please be sure the room is empty.”

“It is. I activated the special lock and everything.” Dorene said, then paled for a moment.

Diane looked concerned as she noticed her sister's face, “DJ are you alright?”

Dorene looked around, a little frantic, “I just remembered that I left out a few items on the desk.” She turned to her sister, “Maybe the Queen's guards won’t notice?”

“What did you leave out?” Diane relaxed, she had an idea where this was heading.

“Remember those calendars we found on the Internet?” Dorene blushed.

Diane just shook her head. “Only you. Maybe they won’t notice. But, leave John alone. Remember what happened last time? We need both you and Jean. She almost ejected you out of that port last time you got frisky.”

“That woman scares the crap out of me! It was just a little pinch. Who knew she was tapped into the security system?”                                                  

“If anyone could be, it would be her. No touchy touchy the big guard man this time, OK?” Dorene nodded her head in agreement. Jean had her pressed up against the waste ejection port last time with her hand on the release button.

It had taken some serious fast talking to get Dorene out of that one. Gabrielle had asked the sisters if they needed to join a twelve-step program for women who pinched men’s butts?

Thursday, December 15, 2016

Time for a Snippet! Here is Snippet number 02 from the Etheric Academy!


The Etheric Academy Alpha Class  Snippet 02

Checking the list carefully Tina placed each item in the bag.
She really didn’t need to check. When her mom told her about her acceptance into the Etheric Academy she studied the information completely. The Etheric Academy was the brainchild of Queen Bethany Anne, Marcus, and two sisters that were rescued by the Guard several years ago.
Her mom had introduced her to them at one of the regular dinners those inside the inner circle had occasionally. They had worked to overcome Michael’s mental suggestions to forget the battle they had been a part of, which was pretty miraculous for regular non-upgraded humans.
“Tina I don’t want you to go,” her brother admitted, playing with a pencil she had on a her desk.
“You’ll get an invite too, Todd. We took the same tests together.” Tina’s brother was only now starting to come around to the fact that this was it.
Their future was in space.
He looked up to her, “I’ll miss you.”
Smiling at her brother, Tina gave him a gentle shove. “I’m just going to the other side of the Meredith Reynolds you know. It’s not like I’m going back to Earth or something!”
“I know that! It’s just…” He sat on her bed and hung his head.
Tina gave her brother another shove. “Cheer up, you get the whole room to yourself now.” The two of them shared a small room about half the size of a shipping container. Cheryl Lynn actually got one of the first apartments on the Meredith Reynolds to be built. She helped set the standard size limits.
Todd looked around the small room seeing the possibilities. He might be able to fit one of the new pod simulators in here. He would have to ask mom first though.
He spoke as his mind saw possibilities in the new space, “Be careful over there. Some of those Russian kids are big.”
She shook her head, “I’ll be fine. They are trying really hard to fit in. You just have to give them a chance. I know you like Yurgi. I’ve seen you two discussing aircraft profiles and flight navigation mathematics.”
Todd turned his focus back to Tina, “That is different. Yurgi is just a little guy. He’s not like some of those really big guys!”
Tina shook her head at her brother. She wondered if his attitude might be what was holding him back. “Those big guys are Wechselbalg kids so they are supposed to be a bit bigger. You need to figure out what you really want Todd. Do you want to work for a living or lead? When you figure it out, that will be when the Academy admits you. Wait and see.”
She put the last item in the carryall bag and slung it over her shoulder. “Come on. Mom said something about a special dinner.”
The two siblings opened the connecting hatch door and resealed it behind them. The asteroid base was fairly secure but safety procedures needed to be learned. Better to learn them now, rather than when lives were on the line.
Sniffing the air Tina smiled. “Pizza!”
Coming into the kitchen area, Cheryl Lynn smiled at her two teenage children, “There you two are! Tina I have your favorite for you.” Two steaming pizza’s sat in the center of the small table in the dining area.
Cheese pizza done right was an exquisite experience. It was the purest form of pizza or at least that is what Tina believed. The two pizza’s had a familiar odor and she looked at her mom in shock then back to the Giuseppe’s that had come from … too many miles away to figure out, now. “How?”
Cheryl Lynn smiled. “Earth isn’t all that far away you know. I got a Giuseppe’s special just for you.”
Practically diving into the pizza the kids each grabbed one of the massive slices.
Giuseppe’s was a family favorite back in Dallas before their father left them. They could never afford to go there after that. This made the day all that much more special. Tina got up and walked over to her mother, enveloping her in her a tiny tear just at the edge of her eye.
In another part of the huge station several other students were getting ready. Maxim and Nestor were cousins. They had been a part of the evacuation of the the town of Romonavka. They were Wechselbalg as were most of their immediate family. Nestor’s father Leonid was training to become a Guardian.
He wanted more for both his son and nephew.
Leonid was pointing to both boys, his Russian accent full of pride, “You need to go to the school. We swore to follow the Queen in all things. You both took the tests and passed them. Maxin, your father would want this for you. You know it. He wanted a better life for you. It’s why he stayed to fight.”
The big man looked at his own son. “You too Nestor. We talked of this. Your wolf is not the strongest, yet. These people can teach you things and let you do things that will make you the best of us. Trust them. Now go pack the both of you.” He pointed at the door to their room.
The two started towards the room.
“He has a point Nestor.” Maxim was older and wiser. Or at least he thought so.
“Did I ask you for your opinion?” The smaller Wechselbalg growled at his cousin.
“Fine, whatever. We need to pack.” Maxim pulled out a couple of small bags and began throwing clothes into them.
Nestor stared at his cousin and sighed. “Give me one of those.” He grabbed a bag and began to pack.
Today was the first day of rest of his life.
The young woman stood there, her hand on her cocked hip, “Papa I don’t wish to go to this Academy. I should stay here and help you.”
Her father looked down at his head strong daughter, “We have discussed this Yana. We are no longer in the Motherland and our family may never return. I know we raised to be proud of your heritage by telling you stories of a time lost in the past. It is my fault. The Konstantinovich family will no longer hide in the shadows dreaming empire dreams. We lost our chance at the throne of Russia during the revolution.” Nicholas waved his arms around him. “Our future and that of our family lies out there. To get there you need to do this.”
“But papa…” she started again.
His eyes flashed just a little more firmly, “Nyet! No. It is done. The servants of Queen Bethany Anne have told us you passed the test with one of the highest percentile scores. You will go and you will learn what you have to know. Forge your own path, daughter.”  He smiled and walked towards the kitchen. Yana stood staring at her father, ground her teeth together then walked to the front door, trying to slam it on her way out of the house.
House! The apartment wasn’t what she wished in her life. She had dreamed of palaces her entire life as her family shuttled her around to hide her from first Soviet and then Russian assassins and Cheka.
Her family was everything to her. She walked the hallways of the Meredith Reynolds and stared out some of the armored windows at the emptiness of space. It wasn’t fair sometimes. She could remember her father coming and telling her that he had sworn to another.

Friday, December 9, 2016

Ghosts of Noodlemass Past Is now Available! Get it for .99 cents. Availible in Kindle Unlimited too!
Get it Today for .99 Cents!

The War with Earth looms over everything. It is overshadowing even Noodlemass, the Holiday Celebration of Athena Lee's planet. Refugees have no where to go and children are trapped out in the cold without shelter. The best solution is to use local Hotels to put them up for the winter. One problem with that. The owner won't sell or even lease.

What will Wilson and his gang of cybernetic heroes do to help?

 Wilson provides his unusual spin on a Christmas Classic!

Wednesday, December 7, 2016

How about a Snippet? Here is one from Ghosts of Noodlemass Past

“Bob I thought I told you to take care of this?” Old man Dickens waved his tablet at his lawyer.

“I shut down any effort that Colonel Lee had and the Governor’s office sent her a cease and desist notice. What is it now?”

“I don’t know, you deal with it.” The elderly man threw the tablet at the younger man.

The flying tablet just missed his head. If Bob didn’t know better he would think he was aiming at him. “This is a request from the Martian Government to lease the property.”

“They do? How much are they offering?”

“According to this, nothing. They are calling on you as an Alliance citizen to assist the war effort. They have promised to not damage the property and make good use of it.”

“Free? Why by all the Gods would I do something crazy like that? How does that even help me pay for the fraking thing? Stupid politicians. They just want more money as all. I’m going home.” Charles grabbed his hat and coat.

“Sir, about the rest of the day. Would it be possible for me to leave too? I need to get the kids ready for church and the annual Noodlemass feast starts before I would normally leave.”

The old man scowled over the collar of his coat. “Leave? If you leave early I will dock your pay. Which would you prefer less credits or less time. Finish your work it will build your future. In my day work was more important than frivolous things like dinners and church things.” He put his had on his head and hobbled out the door still grumbling.

“Cranky old man.” Bob sat weighing the issue. He desperately needed the credits to help support the family, but he wanted to go to mass and see his kids performance in the church feast ritual. Screw it he thought to himself. Putting everything away he locked the doors and went home.

Silently the office robot janitor came to life in the storage bay and entered the offices. The console computers flickered to life as programs were accessed and files copied. The companies firewalls didn’t stand a chance against the AI onslaught.

Are you Ready of the Tide? Get yours today!
Sometimes regret can burn brighter than the stars…

After watching as her world crumbled beneath her, Kearyn could only guess at what might come next. And she’s not alone. With an undetectable virus, one that spread across the planet’s surface, now making its way aboard the spacecraft meant to carry her into the unknown depths of space, Kearyn finds that the key to the knowledge of her uncertain future lies in the hands of an old acquaintance.

Join the fun as twenty-one Sci-fi authors take on the Chapter Relay Challenge. With each author contributing a single chapter, they take the dare to work together to create an intriguing, full-fledged novel with masterful precision.

Monday, December 5, 2016

As Promised! Here is the first Snippet for the Etheric Academy! Fresh from the Kutherian Master himself. Michael Anderle!

Alpha Class – Etheric Academy 01 – Snippet 01 of …

QBBS Merideth Reynolds
academy6-2Bethany Anne was eating in the common Cafeteria.  Her area was a little offset from most, allowing a few feet of extra space for her guards to react. Marcus, however,  wasn’t frisked before he approached her table, “My Queen,” she glared at him, “I mean Bethany Anne, may I have a moment?” Marcus Cambridge was a bit frantic, which got her attention right away.

She raised an eyebrow and set her tablet aside, “Marcus, what’s wrong?” She tried to avoid reading the minds of her oldest friends.

“What is this memo I just received about teaching a class?” He was holding out his tablet, shaking it, “I asked Bobcat but he was laughing too hard to tell me. Since it came from your office I came to you first.”

Smiling, she decided to break it to him ever so gently. “That is a reminder about the Etheric Academy. You are slated to be one of the primary instructors.”

Marcus stood up straighter. “Academy? As in students? When did I sign up for that?” He looked back at the document, his eyes searching the words again for another clue.

Bethany Anne put her elbow on the table and laid her chin in her cupped hand, “If you remember, it was actually your idea to begin with. We were laying out the basic outline for the Meredith Reynolds and you said it would be great if we had some sort of science academy to train up our people. I took your basic idea and implemented it.”  She opened her arms wide, a smile gracing her face with a gleam in her eye, “Surprise!”

Marcus’s face was all scrunched up. “I don’t remember saying any of that.”  He stood there a moment, “Damn that Bobcat and his drinking parties!” He turned to her, a look of resignation on his face, “So I have to lecture or something?”

Bethany Anne couldn’t hold it her humor in any longer. She shook her head and laughed just a little. “Not quite. Adam pull up the Academy layout for Marcus, please.”
The wall behind Bethany Anne lit up with a full color graphic design layout of the Academy built inside the Asteroid base Meredith Reynolds. She pointed to some numbers, “We tested all of the children; both Wechselbalg and human alike. The tests were hard since TOM and ADAM came up with some of the questions. Only the best of the best were good enough for this first trial. They needed to already be excelling in regular school and have a desire to advance themselves for the greater good.”

She turned around and reached for her fork, “We had thirty students pass the first time.”
Marcus’s eyes opened wide, “Thirty? I have to teach thirty?” Marcus was starting to panic.
She put up a hand, “We have broken them up into groups of five students. We mixed personalities and skills to make each group a possible working team. Using a block schedule, they will each spend six weeks on a topic or skill. What you will teach them is ultimately up to you. You will get them all eventually. But only five at any one time.”

“Oh. I guess there was a memo or something that I missed?” Marcus blushed a little bit.

“There was. Do I need to assign assistants down in the lab for you? Do not use the kids for that. I want them to learn stuff, not play fetch the left handed wrench because it’s funny.”

He nodded his head, his eyes getting his now infamous thinking look. “I think we can come up with some things to do.” He returned his focus to Bethany Anne, “What else are they learning?”

Bethany Anne shrugged and started counting on a hand, “Orbital mechanics, Navigation, Engineering, Weapons and tactics, Flight controls,” she closed the hand and started counting off once more. “Logistics, Space walking, computers and programming to begin with. We plan to add a few other skill sets as we go including Genetics, negotiation, and survival.” She looked at him, “These children are our future. Remember, eventually we are leaving Earth behind. They need to learn these skills.”

He put up a hand, “Oh, I agree!” He looked to be concentrating on something. “This was really my idea?”

“It was. You wanted Tina to have a place to learn that didn’t involve Earth and NASA.”
Marcus started backing up, “Good. I think. OK, then. Thank you my Queen I can make this work.” He turned around and bumped into a chair, never seeming to notice.

Bethany Anne waited until the scientist was out the door before breaking out in laughter. She turned to her guard, “Did he really not know?”

John Grimes had a look of disbelief on his face. “I think Bobcat may have neglected to tell him due to some sort of bet.”

Bethany Anne cocked her head to one side. “Yes, that is what ADAM says as well.”

“That I can see.” He turned around to stare at the Academy layout still on the wall. “Is everything ready to go down there for this?”

“They keep saying it is. Your niece was accepted you know.” She stabbed at some green beans, “I have an obligation to make sure she gets whatever she needs to succeed.”

The large man nodded his head. “I remember. Too bad Todd didn’t qualify. He hasn’t completely come around to our way of thinking yet.”

“He’ll get there. Tweedle Dee and Tweedle Dum tell me he is obsessed with aircraft and spaceships right now. Maybe you can give him a nudge in the right direction.”  She put a forkful of food in her mouth as ADAM and TOM bitched in her mind about her using Tabitha’s nicknames for Hirotoshi and Ryu.

“Maybe I can.” The big man stared off into space for a moment.

Way back (some of you might remember?) between books 7 and 8, we had a Frank Kurns story about Cheryl Lynn, Tina and Todd.  Then, Cheryl Lynn ends up becoming part of Bethany Anne’s team and Tina and Todd show up in the mercenary / terrorist event w/ Boris in It’s Hell to Choose.
I had readers ask me ‘what ever happened to the kids’ after that.  Which was really, really cool to hear.
And really frightening.
Why?  Because I don’t think I can WRITE Young Adult.  The desire to write to an adult level is too ingrained.  I have always spoken to my own kids this way as well.  Even when they were young (ok, not the cussing part, but the treating them like them were older).
So, this concept of branching off into the massive amount of different areas readers (not all readers, just a good portion) cared to explore was born (plus egging from other associates in the 20BooksTo50k group, or my editors, beta readers, Amazon Forum Friends and Facebook followers…Basically my Peeps!
(Oh! Remind me to tell you why Son #3 got embarrassed some time when we meet up.  Catch phrase “Street Cred.”)
So, TS (Scott) Paul graciously agreed to take on writing the core part of the book and allowing me to come along and help.  Like all books, the author and I speak about it, but with Paul there isn’t so much I have to explain.
Because he was a reader from LOOOONNGG ago.  Check out the credits in Book #6 and you will see his name.  The whole concept of a Nazi Base in Antarctica?  Yeah, that was born out of a talk with him.
Now, we have a series during the 3 years between books 13 and 14 (My Ride is a Bitch and Don’t Cross This Line).  We are answering the question(s), “What happened to the kids?”
Both Scott and myself hope you enjoy the ride… Because, what could POSSIBLY go wrong with a bunch of smart, rambunctious young adults with Bethany Anne and her team as role models?
Absolutely nothing…