Here’s a Free Excerpt from Minder Rising
In anticipation of the upcoming new release of The Central Galactic Concordance Collection, Books 1-3, I’m posting a series of excerpts from each of the books in the collection.
UPDATE: The Central Galactic Concordance Collection, Books 1-3, is out — buy it here:
Today’s excerpt is from Minder Rising (Central Galactic Concordance, Book 2), early in the book. Blurb: Lièrén Sòng, an injured covert agent on the galactic capital planet, must evade killers and make an impossible choice—save his own skin, or save Imara Sesay, an innocent woman, and her prodigy son. Can he discover who is subverting the mission of the Citizen Protection Service, before they fulfill their dark plans?
It had been disheartening to realize that with the death of his partner, his only friends now were Rayle and Imara. They’d shown more concern and care than people he’d known for years. Only his supervisor had sent a generic “get well soon” ping. To the overworked medical and therapy personnel, he was a CPS auth code and a barely remembered name. To everyone else, he was just another tourist on the metro.
And now, it looked like the capstone to this particularly lousy day was the bald man at the bar who’d been heavy-handedly hitting on Imara and getting nowhere. He was probably drawn by her pretty face and wide smile that invited laughter, and her crazy, coiled hair that always looked like it was on the verge of breaking free from its restraint. To Lièrén’s chagrin, he’d only noticed the situation because young Derrit had seen the trouble and was watching them like a hawk. Lièrén had a sinking feeling it would be more trouble than Derrit could handle.
Rule number one in covert field units like his was not to draw attention to himself or the unit, and rule number two was to follow rule number one. Lièrén had led anyone who asked to believe that his title of “field agent” was CPS-speak for “office twonk,” and that his unit’s mission had to do with trade support. Procedure said he should leave now, or conveniently fall asleep and see nothing, but the bald man’s haze of violent discord was slicing through Lièrén’s talent like a fistful of forceblades.
Derrit abruptly stood and began sidling toward the bar, focusing on his mother with the intensity of a laser beam. Lièrén’s headache flared, and second later, the bald man grabbed Imara’s hand. Lièrén sat, frozen in indecision.
In the blink of an eye, the bald man muttered something in what sounded like German, then stood and tried to drag Imara from behind the bar.
“Leave her alone!” shouted Derrit, closing in fast and latching onto the man’s arm.
The bald man snarled and backhanded the boy, sending him flying a meter or more into some chairs.
The Central Galactic Concordance Collection, Books 1-3, goes on sale 11 April 2017 at your favorite ebook retailer.