If you haven’t read the first novel in this spicy, adventurous, badass, sci-fi/fantasy novel–now is your chance! Make Me Exist is on sale for 0.99 until Saturday only!
“You need to get downstairs, Rogue,” Kassien’s words came out breathless. It wasn’t that many damn steps to get up here. “Now.” I sensed him skitter down the hall and he had to have flown down the steps with how fast he made it down.
I sighed deeply and ripped myself out of my mental hunt for Cyran. She didn’t want me to find her. She hated me because of him. I sat up and glanced around the room for the shirt I had crumpled up and thrown somewhere before falling asleep. It wasn’t in sight and I didn’t feel like rummaging under the bed or rifling through near empty drawers for one. I shrugged as I paced barefoot across the cool floors and unlocked my door, taking a deep breath before I unshielded myself from my small amount of privacy.
Just as I took the first step of the staircase toward the crowded living area, I heard her voice.
“Hurry.” It was Cyran. I couldn’t mistake her voice after ten years of not hearing it, I sure as fuck couldn’t mistake it now. She sounded worried. I flew down the stairs.
“Prin-” I couldn’t even finish saying her nickname as all the air rushed out of my lungs in a contorted wheeze. Just seeing her took my breath away. What the fuck. I growled viciously at the sight of her and a deadly black rage danced along the edges of my vision.
She was facing me but her violet eyes were focused over my shoulder, as though she couldn’t even see me. Her stomach had grown considerably, and her arms were crossed protectively in front of her as she nervously chewed on her lower lip. The entire left side of her face was swollen and dangerously bruised, her eye almost swollen shut. There was a grotesque slit along her lips that needed stitches. Or me. Both of her arms were mottled with angry purple bruises. Small circles that circled her formarms and elbows, fucking fingerprints.
“Hurry,” she said more urgently, still looking behind me. She needed me.
I swiftly took a few steps towards her, my hands instinctively reaching out to her and she…disappeared. What the fuck was going on? I spun in my confusion, attempting to seek her out. The room was full with all of the house occupants, over fourteen Jatorrian men and two Human women standing around with concerned faces as they watched the scene unfold.
She appeared again in the same spot. Her teeth dug so deeply into her lower lip blood seeped profusely out of the gash that marred her face.
“Cyran?” I held out my hands again and took a step in her direction, but she wasn’t looking at me.
“It’s good now.” I would recognize Dev’s anywhere and I glanced around the room hurriedly in search of him, but I couldn’t see him anywhere…or sense him. I couldn’t sense Cyran either.
“The authorities have been trying to block the broadcast,” a gruff tone startled me back into the real world, and I turned to Learco in my confusion. The stout, brawny Jatorrian was here, and real, and familiar energy I had been living with for weeks now.
“Broadcast?” My eyes flitted from him back to Cyran. She seemed like she was looking at me now, but the grim set of her face just made the darkness around me creep and swirl as though I were caught in one of my nightmares. It was a hologram. She wasn’t really here.
“She’s been trying for a few minutes now to get a live broadcast out,” Learco shoved his chin in the direction of Cyran’s image.
She was back to looking behind me, but one of her battered arms had unwound from her pregnant belly and she held her hand out as though expecting someone to grab it. Someone did grab it. A man I didn’t recognize came into the frame and stood beside Cyran.
His gaze was locked onto Cyran’s hand and his jaw clenched tightly. He looked familiar. He had deep black Jatorrian hair and was taller than Cyran, although most people were, maybe he was just under my height. His skin wasn’t as bronzed as a Jatorrian’s, and he wore loose fitted clothes that seemed to drape over him as though he were trying to hide in plain sight. His face was tilted slightly away from the device they were using to record themselves with, but the color of his eyes were wild and strikingly distinct. He had bright yellow irises. Inhuman and injatorrian. Significant and intently set on Cyran’s fingers that were interlocked with his.
“My family has been attacked,” Cyran stated clearly and rubbed at her stomach. She tipped her chin into the air as if in defiance, daring the fucking world to come at her. Her violet eyes blazed as she stopped gnawing on her lip to bare her teeth viciously. “I am Cyran, daughter of Kassra.” She seemed to puff up with her self recognition and her beaten body may have been defeated, but she was far from losing any fight she decided to face. My lip tipped up into a slight smirk for her, as she stood fuck knows where and spoke to anyone that would listen. Well fuck, she had my attention.
“What happened?” I muttered under my breath, taking stock and sweeping over Cyran’s purple and black stained body. I needed to be there. I squinted at her stomach, wishing I could bore through the thin t-shirt she wore and check if there was any bruising along the stretched skin. Was the baby okay?
“My family was attacked,” Cyran repeated and focused her gaze directly on me, the violets of her eyes bruised and pained. She was sad. Where the fuck was the older me? “Because of this,” she let go of her tight grip on her stomach and motioned over the baby nestled comfortably in her body. My teeth ground together at the thought of anyone laying their hands on her, on a pregnant fucking woman. “Because of this.” She raised her eyes and drew her fingers over her violet eyes. “And it’s not going to stop. They’re going to keep coming, and we are going to keep fighting.” She paused for a long second, not to steady herself, but to let the weight of her next words carry across galaxies. “They’re going to come for you.”
I could feel the nervous agitation as it rippled across the room I stood frozen in. Deep whispered grumbles as the Jatorrian men I had found refuge with murmured their opinions to each other.
“The Jatorrian’s who feel entitled to your wives, your daughters, your sisters,” she paused and her eyes widened, so concentrated on mine, as if she really could see me. “Your best friends.” I hopped from foot to foot, needing her to finish and tell me where she was. “They’ll hunt down any pure-blooded woman left in hiding. They’ll take any partial Jatorrian woman who feels safe. And when none of that works, when they realize their sciences aren’t producing children, they’ll start taking Human women.”
The wave of murmurs around the room grew sharper, words weaponized in defense of the few Human women who stayed with us. Where are you, Princess? My fingers fidgeted and I squeezed the pads of my fingertips together, needing to heal her. She couldn’t be at home, we didn’t have the technology to send a universal broadcast out. Who the fuck was that guy she was with?
I glared at his hand that tightly gripped hers. Where was Adriem? Why hadn’t he kept her safe? Adriem might be a devious asshole with plans to continue his ridiculous pure-blooded heritage, but he had one fucking job. Keep Cyran safe. The one thing he should be capable of. She was the one thing he proved he was willing to die for, even if his love was fake. My stomach knotted uncomfortably and I swallowed down a wave of nausea. Maybe he died in the fight. Whatever battle Cyran had just risen from, maybe my father didn’t make it out of the ashes. Even with as much as I hated him, the thought curled sickeningly inside me. “We are going to protect our family.” Cyran’s upper lip lifted in a snarl, and I was surprised she didn’t wince as the movement caused a fresh flow of blood from her lips. “We are going to protect our children, our sisters, and our partners.” A low growl vibrated up her throat. “And we challenge anyone who threatens our peace.” How the fuck somebody so tiny could appear so feirce, I would never know. But that was Cyran. She wasn’t scared of anything. “And we offer our protection and our unity to any family who wants to stand with us.” Oh fuck me, Princess.
I love reading. I love shows. I love movies. I love complex storylines that make you think. I love fresh and original ideas that hit you out of nowhere.
That being said, I’m sure a heck of a lot of my readers have noticed a similarity or two with a show or book in popular culture.
My writing, as most authors, is heavily influenced by storylines and ideas of other authors, producers, actors/actresses; yet with my own twist.
I whole heartedly wanted to create a female heroine who wasn’t the ditzy ‘save me’ woman we are so used to seeing. Hell, I love me a masculine man that barges in as the hero. As our characters said, everyone wants to be saved from something. I wanted to create the young adult novel feel with a new adult twist. I wanted the reality of life intermixed with the fantastical elements of science-fiction and fantasy.
I don’t want to point them all out here because there are MANY little easter eggs I’ve implanted into all of my novels that point towards where my inspiration has come from.
First and foremost we gave the queen of fantasy and romance a massive nod, Diana Gabaldon- if you’re an obsessive Outlander fan like myself, I’m sure you’ve noticed the easter eggs already. We do have Adriem and Cyran reading through an Outlander novel, briefly described near the end of book one when they are in bed. We have also named their son James, a nod to the novel that sparked their closeness and applause for DG.
The Handmaids Tale has given me MASSIVE inspiration, and although their are a few Easter eggs hidden throughout my three novels- the biggest one I utilized was Charlotte. Would love to hear if you’ve spotted any of the other HMT references I’ve hidden throughout.
I am a manga fan, through and through. Originally when the story was planned and drafted, the characters couldn’t fly- although it’s come in handy and has been so fun to write about. I have pulled a ton of inspiration, oddly enough, from Dragon Ball series–and other than their flying and energy swords, I really hope a DBZ fan out there has spotted some other things I’ve thrown in there!
Of course there’s Twilight, I mean that’s an obvi. We were able to reinvent abilities and it was fun to make a play off vampires. I was never a fan of pale skin and beings that lived forever though. Make Me Exist presents a new breed of men to drool over. Well-defined muscles and tanned skin, yes please.
Those are the big ones, but there are lesser known novels and shows that I love to reference and find ways to slip in. Making the reader question whether they’ve caught on or not (you probably have! haha)
Anyway, happy reading!
The Last Jatorrian has been coming along nicely and I’m stoked to say we already have some shorter rough drafts going for book three to ‘The Lost in Time’ series ((Don’t worry, we’ll be back with Cyran soon!))
For right now I am a whirlwind of emotions and crazy thought processes as I complete TLJ, the story of Lyriem.
I’ve taken a huge leap and decided to tackle a wide range of issues in a different light than how people are used to hearing about them or reading about them.
With TLJ we have transferred out focus from Western China on Earth and we spend a heck of a lot of time in space, on various planets and dealing with a variety of new races/cultures. Because we are steered away from Earth’s cultural issues we are able to present new circumstances on how people are perceived.
In TLJ we spend most of our time in an LGBTQ culture, which is completely normalized in our storyline. We tackle sexuality issues as well as transgender mentality.
Racial prejudices are a heavy influence for some of our characters and it’s a new side to the Jatorrian culture that has been interesting to create and write about.
As always we have our strong female leads taking control of what they can and feminizing their own destinies.
We touch on drug abuse and addiction and the lifelong affects addiction can have on a person.
Like most of our Lost in Time novels, we want to open a dialogue on coping with rape and mentally healing from trauma in our own ways.
All in all, The Last Jatorrian as told by Ly & Kain is an extensive sub-novel that covers such an array of issues and emotions; I’m so exhausted by the end of each day.
I do want to put out there that this book won’t be for everyone, even the readers that could get through Make Me Exist and Second Star to the Right. There are triggers and topics that some people won’t agree with (although I write about them to try and normalize the situations or the way we talk about them)
May 31st publication day is coming almost too quickly for me! But I’m on top of it and will try to posts some teasers soon!
If you are interested in the sub-novel TLJ, the kindle is already available for pre-sale on amazon. If you can get past the triggers, I highly recommend it as a read to fully comprehend the Jatorrian culture-where I have been able to discuss in detail so many things we just don’t have time for in the series. Our Lilah is also in the spotlight, and if you don’t mind a spoiler, we’ll be seeing Kain of Earth in book three :p
The Last Jatorrian is currently available for pre-order on Amazon!
“I peered over my shoulder at Lilah as she walked down the palace halls, her back turned to me and the gold in her hair shimmered with the sunshine that poured in from the towering windows. She was as tall as me and although beaten, she walked with her bare shoulders pulled back. Lilah didn’t return my glance but I hoped she could feel me as I watched her walk away.
Just like I didn’t believe in worshipping genders and unobtainable futures, I didn’t find comfort in fairytales and mythologies. Lilah, Daughter of Jatorri, was a woman. Alone and just as trapped as all of us.” -Kain
For all of those that have finished Book Two in the Lost in Time series, Second Star to the Right-and wanted a glimpse into a whole other universe and timeline—‘The Last Jatorrian’ is in the works!
This will be a short novella, written from Lilah and a man, Kain’s, perspective. To make this extra exciting, I am going to drop the first chapter here for readers to get an awesome sneak peak!!!
Keep in mind while reading–this is a spin-off novel from the OG series. It does not have to be read with the Lost in Time series.
We are going to dive into what would have happend if Mayko hadn’t shown up at the end of ‘Second Star to the Right.’
I would absolutly LOVE to hear your thoughts my amazing readers! & can’t wait to get The Last Jatorrian published for everyone this Summer! ((Keep an eye out for June 2021!) As your reading, keep in mind this chapter hasn’t even been passed to my editor-sorry for any grammar mistakes!
The Last Jatorrian
I vacantly gazed at my reflection in the high mirror, a vanity that had been moved into the room solely for my comfort. Jatorrian’s didn’t take up space with mirrors. I had seen the men check their appearances on the holographic monitors that projected from their wrist communicators, and in my year of travel across space I had yet to see an actual mirror. The reflective glass stood at double my height, and I was fucking tall. It was framed with ornately carved soft silver metals that twisted and curled to resemble some kind of foliage.
I could almost hear my mother’s voice as I stared at my reflection. She wouldn’t have commented on my beauty, or how much I had grown, not here. She would have said something like, ‘smile only to show your teeth,’ or ‘let them see how dangerous you are.’ Tears welled in the corners of my eyes as I thought through the plethora of words my mother would have for me in this particular situation. But my mother wasn’t here to offer words of encouragement. My mother was dead, she couldn’t save me from this.
I vigorously blinked back my tears, the sadness only dulled the intense green of my eyes, and I wanted them to see my bitterness. They would make me smile. For the camera’s, for the crowds, and for the Jatorrian royalty I would be presented to later in the day. I curled my lips upwards into a smile, and I put something behind it as my teeth shone white and dangerous against my copper skin. I smirked as I bared my teeth and as my features hardened I could see my father.
My father, Adriem, wasn’t alive either. He had been killed in the chaotic battle that had fallen on our household when my brother had betrayed us. Even after my year of captured transit from Earth to Jatorri, I still couldn’t comprehend how Rogue had led them to us. Rogue had fucking brought those men to our house. My own brother had fought with them and against us. He had watched as my sister, Charlotte’s, arms were bound behind her back. As my pregnant mother had screamed and writhed on the ground while my father, his father, lay lifeless across the field. He had let them roughly shackle my wrists as I thrashed wildly.
My twin brother, James, was my most vivid memory from that morning though. My smirking reflection turned into an outright snarl as I let memory flicker across my thoughts. He had fought so fucking hard. We both had. With blazing swords drawn we somehow had strangled our fear into submission and he had ruthlessly fought at my side, although my life was never truly in danger. No women were to be killed that morning, my mother, sisters, and I were too valuable.
I had felt it the moment James took his last breath. That weird thing they say about twins, had never been truer then in that instant. I wasn’t looking in his direction when our attacker’s sword had cut clean into his chest, but I could feel it. I felt the deep ache of his life leaving, forever without the one person who understood me the most. How had we come into this life together, and not left it the same way? I had turned to him and hesitated, allowing for my capture as I agonizingly screamed. I had screamed and cried, I had kicked and yelled. James lay on his side, his black hair a disarray that shielded his wide open lifeless eyes.
Rogue and a dozen Jatorrian men had loaded their shackled prisoners onto a nave, a small spaceship. I had been gagged. I remember my mother being carried by Rogue, she was unconscious and my fucking double-crossing brother hadn’t taken his eyes off her visibly pregnant stomach. My forty-year-old sister, Charlotte, had whipped her body dramatically as she was carried by two men, and that was the last time I would see her. Charlotte’s younger self, the six-year old Charlotte, which is a story to be told later, followed willingly behind Rogue. I remember six-year-old Charlotte as she shook in her fear, eyes bleary from crying and wide with her worry for our mother.
That day had been eleven months ago. I had been imprisoned on that spaceship and left mostly alone. Rogue never came to see me. I could sense out the energy’s on the spaceship, a Jatorrian skill that came in handy at times, but not these past few months. I would have preferred the hope of thinking my mother and sisters were still with me.
Seven months into our voyage we had landed somewhere, not our home planet of Jatorri, but some other planet. Nobody bothered to tell me, even with all the pleading I had done with the men who had brought me my meals. I had sensed my older sister Charlotte’s energy on that planet, slowly fading until I could no longer sense her as we lifted back into space.
A single month later, I had sensed my brother Rogue’s energy dissolve into nothingness. Minutes after I sensed his light disappear, my mothers red energy had died alongside him. I don’t know what had happened on that nave, in the middle of space, just three rooms down from where I had sat and cried for their lives. I just knew they were gone.
The planet of Jatorri was our final destination, I knew that even with the tight-lipped crew that refused to speak with me. The Jatorrian race was the mother species of the Humans on planet Earth. Humans had been created tens of thousands of years ago by Jatorrians, modeled off our genetics, in hopes of saving the Jatorrian dying race. Jatorrian fertility had been on the decline for thousands of years, and Jatorri scientists had altered our DNA and planted a new race on earth. Humans, although visibly and physically compatible with Jatorrians, were ultimately…not Jatorrian.
I had been taken as a prisoner to the planet of Jatorri, our home planet, although I had never actually been there. My mother and father had secreted us away in the western Chinese hillsides of Earth for the entirety of my life. In all of my eighteen years, no one in our family spoke of how valuable I was. My mother and father had never voiced aloud that we were in hiding, that we were in danger.
Jatorrian fertility had been decimated in the past century, with only a handful of Jatorrian’s being born on Earth or on Jatorri, and even fewer fertile females available as the years passed. To my knowledge, I was the last full-blooded female Jatorrian left in existence.
That’s how I had ended up in the lavish villa outside of a palace on a planet trillians of miles away from Earth. Jatorrian men had come in to dress me, to braid my hair in intricate weaves, and paint decorative designs on my bare chest. Designs brushed in reds and blues, crisp and fluid lines that accentuated the roundness of my breasts and circled my nipples.
I hadn’t fought them. It wasn’t time to put up a fight, but there would be a time for fighting. Their time would come, and I promised myself that. I promised silently to everyone I had lost against betrayal and heartbreak, secrets and death, that there would be a time to fight.
I pulled my shoulders back as I glared myself down in the mirror. I raised my lip into a violent snarl, attempting to pass it off as the smile the crowds of men outside so desperately wanted. My copper skin glowed in the candescent light of the room, and the painted lines across my chest were docile and beautiful. My black hair shimmered against the gold strands that grew alongside the midnight, and my animosity skyrocketed as I sought my fathers resemblance in me.
I was so young and so scared. I was defeated and dangerous. I had lost a life that I had taken for granted in my happiness. There was so much fight left in me though.
“They won’t get away with this,” I spoke loudly to my reflection.
I could see them all there. My fathers commanding authority enveloped my features, the untarnished gold strands of my hair just as bright as his had been. My mothers small features and wide eyes looked back at me, her full lips balanced threateningly on my face. My brother James’s determination and silent stealth crept into every fiber of my being. I would always see them right there. They would always and forever remind me to keep fighting.
I was Lilah, daughter of Cyran and Adriem. The last pure-blood female Jatorrian.
“Get up lazy ass,” my brother, Atom, yanked on my ankle, attempting to drag me out from under the blankets. I had sensed him creeping down the hall though and had gotten a firm enough grasp on my mattress to hold myself in place. I grunted when Atom jerked on my leg again and began grabbing at my blankets.
“No,” I grumbled and solidly tucked the blankets around my face. My birthday celebrations had started a day early, and the hangover that pounded across my skull desperately wanted to stay away from the searing morning light. How the hell Atom wasn’t sobbing and hugging a toilet I would never know.
“Seriously, get the fuck up, Kain,” I heard the annoyance in Atom’s tone. Which meant they had a birthday present that couldn’t wait or he was just being a dick. I couldn’t have slept more than a couple of hours, and the way the blackness swirled behind my closed eyes, I assumed I was still semi-drunk. “Dad received a broadcast this morning, he’s waiting for us all to get downstairs.” Fuck the broadcast.
“Why the hell would I care what happens on Jatorri?” I mumbled into my pillow, pressing my face into the soft cotton hoping the fabric would swallow me back into sleep.
“I would assume the mess of a guy still laying in bed who wouldn’t shut the hell up about the guard all night,” Atom headed towards the door. If Dad was waiting to watch the broadcast, my brother knew I would crawl painfully out of bed to join them. “Your worse then the Americans who turn eighteen and buy up a lifetime’s supply of porn and cigarillo’s.”
Atom was able to bypass the translator we were implanted with that mentally translated any language we spoke into Jatorrian when we were around each other by pronouncing the l’s in cigarillo; creating our very own skewed Jatorrian and spanish slang. If we were out in public the translator would discern the language being spoken and take over our cerebral vortex and implant the correct wording subconsciously before we even spoke them. It was a challenge to override such a sophisticated piece of equipment.
“I was serious about that, you know,” I tried to steady my alcohol thick voice as I pulled the blankets down so I could look at Atom. Fuck him. There wasn’t even a trace of our night on him as he stood in the doorway of my bedroom, fresh and bright eyed as he grinned over to me. He was eight years older than me, and he did have a bit more experience when it came to alcohol intoxication and staying up until the crack of dawn.
Atom was the oldest of my three brothers, and looked the most Jatorrian out of the lot of us. That wasn’t saying much, my father wasn’t even half-Jatorrian and we were lucky that all of us even had abilities. Atom was the oldest and most Jatorrian appearance wise, but he was the shortest with his most prized trait being his intense Jatorrian green eyes that I found myself envying.
All pure-blooded Jatorrian’s shared the same general markers, something in this day and age to be proud of with how quickly the race was dying out. Glowing and ethereal green eyes, onyx black hair, dark and clean copper skin, and some amazing ability that was usually inherited paternally. Our father, Tarek, was particularly proud of his oldest son, who carried our physical lineage with those emerald eyes and had inherited my fathers ability to mentally influence decisions.
My mother had been a Human surrogate from Brasilia and I had inherited just about every single one of her damn traits. I had an angular face, with a sharp jaw and long nose that lengthened every feature. My eyes were narrowed and my brothers tended to fuck with me by mocking my brooding stare. They were not Jatorrian green, but the same rich browns that lined the beaches outside our home in Rio de Janeiro. Muddled seeming with dirt and light sand, I hated it; my eyes, not Rio. My hair wasn’t even close to the midnight black Jatorrian’s were supposed to sport, and I had contemplated dying it over the past couple of years to try and appease my father. My hair matched my eyes, darkened and rich muddy brown, just how the beaches looked scuffed and worn after a festival night.
I did have an ability though, thank whatever Gods or Jatorrian sciences we were supposed to believe in. Nothing incredibly special, not like Atom’s influencing control or my other brother Abyl’s ability to teleport around wherever he wanted to be. I was stuck with the skill to stop motion in a living being, and wasn’t very good at it. If I practiced enough I could freeze one of my brothers for a few seconds at a time, and I practiced often on the local macaco’s. Cementing those little bastards in place as they tried to scamper off with my morning breakfast or whatever I had on that was loose and shiny. Fucking monkeys.
“You sounded pretty serious about it last night,” Atom dropped his voice to a more serious tone. “Just wait it out another year, you’re only seventeen. The guard and space travel sounds great and all, Kain. But you won’t get the same privileges as the Jatorrian’s who join, the real Jatorrians.” I knew Atom wasn’t trying to be a dick with his statement, I knew the racism and prejudice that Humans who joined the Jatorrian guard were subjected to. “Wait until your eighteen and fly off to America to buy up a store’s worth of magazines and smoke your fucking lungs out. Having a sore cock sounds more fun than being stuffed into a spaceship with a bunch of men.” Atom shrugged and continued out of my bedroom.
I could sense my father and the rest of my brothers waiting in the main room for me as Atom headed in that direction. Whatever the Jatorrian broadcast was about, that just happened to be delivered on my damn birthday, was important enough for the entire house to need to watch it together. It was going to be a birth. It had to be a birth, that’s the only thing I could think of that would be aired across the galaxy. A pure-blood Jatorrian hadn’t been born in almost thirty years, and I knew how desperately the men in our race clung to the hope that one of the decrepit and old Jatorrian females would magically save our race.
I sighed heavily, which quickly turned into a moan as I literally rolled out of my bed. I was able to use the energy in the room to soften my fall before I hit the wood bare floors, but the small thump sent my pounding headache into overdrive. At least I would share my birthday with someone important. My father would be proud of that, he would write something intolerable to the Jatorrian palace about me and my shared birthright with a new pure-blood.
“Feliz aniversario!” My brother, Ceph, yelled loudly into my face as I turned the hallway into the main room. He bypassed the translator by pronouncing the phrase all wrong and my father growled something under his breath to voice his displeasure. My skull fucking shattered. Into a thousand pieces.
“Ceph,” I moaned and shut my eyes to the light that shone through the narrow window above the table my father sat at. The space of the small apartment was cramped with all of us jammed into a single room, but the animation and closeness made the space seem almost too large.
“Happy birthday, Kain,” my father slightly smiled, his Jatorrian green eyes never left the holographic screen that displayed over the family table. I could see directly through the screen, but the writing that scrolled by appeared backwards from my point of view. The images that flashed in the air were jumbled and focused mostly on neat crowds of men that stood in a large square surrounded by enormously tall trees.
“What’s the news?” I asked, shoving Ceph on the shoulder as I pushed past him to get to the sink. I needed water, more than I’d ever needed it in my life. Every ounce of liquid in my body had been consumed by the alcohol that coursed through my veins and I felt like a piece of shriveled dehydrated meat. Why was I the only one visibly suffering from alcohol poisoning? I knew my brothers had drank just as much, if not more than I had. I openly glared at each one of them as I leaned into the sink and drank from the tap, taking long gulps while I waited for whatever news had arrived from Jatorri.
“I think it would be a good time to look into joining the guard, Kain,” my father grinned at the holograms that danced over the table, and he reached a hand out towards the images. The projection showed crowds of men subtly cheering, lifting their hands towards the palace, their black hair a swirling mass with all attention focused ahead of them. “Now that we have something to protect,” my fathers tone was drenched in adoration and he left his fingers hovering in the air, in the same direction the Jatorrian men cheered in. I rolled my eyes at his exposed emotion as he admiringly gawked at the hologram.
“Why would Kain need to join the guard?” Abyl asked quietly, attempting to be considerate of my hangover, but I could hear the worry in his voice. “Jatorrians haven’t gone to war in thousands of years. Is it a call to arms?”
I wasn’t sure if my father had even heard Abyl as he continued to gaze at the screen, tears creasing the corners of his eyes. What the hell would get him so emotional? I knew he was a little eccentric when it came to some cultural things, but I had never seen my father overflowing with passion over a fucking hologram. I trudged across the room and peered over my fathers shoulder.
The hologram stood as tall as a small television, the figures and images that moved across it were crystal clear and absurdly lifelike compared to the Human’s televisions. There were three separate scenes being depicted in different sizes, although they were all in the same location. The corner screen was a mass of neatly aligned men, thousands of Jatorrian men, cheering with the same ardor my father radiated. All of the men were perfectly dressed, tight fitted black clothing and capes swayed with their movements as they smiled and raised hands towards the palace.
The smallest screen was an aerial view, most likely to display the absolute size of the crowd that had gathered outside the palace. A mass of men swayed as the scene was viewed from above, and it would be hard to guess it was a population on a rapid and deadly decline. The men were on a small island, covered in lush vegetation and a dozen or so gaudy metal bridges that twined on the outskirts. In the center of the island, where all the raptured attention was held, was the palace. A tall and spiraling building that was built to resemble the trees that forested the islands, even the metal of the building glowed green.
She was on the largest screen. With flashing captions that read, ‘savior,’ and ‘salvation.’ A slew of words that sounded much too Humanly religious for my tastes. She was smiling, or at first glance it looked like a smile. There was something else there, something…dangerous. Her upcurled lips were as threatening as the religious sentiments that blasted across the hologram. Her green eyes blazed as she narrowed her gaze at the cheering men, as though she were looking to each and every one of them. Her skin was beautifully Jatorrian copper, and she fucking glowed with the pure blood that ran through her veins. She was wearing almost no clothes, her breasts painted in tribal designs that swirled and flowed to showcase her youth and femininity. Her hair was fascinating, onyx black with gorgeous strands of seemingly pure gold that acted as a celestial halo in their neat braids.
“A woman?” Atom asked from behind me, but his interest wasn’t as captured as fathers and he paced away to rummage through the cupboards for breakfast. “Isn’t the gold in the hair from a more noble line? The Kesamesune lineage, right? Or Nyota? How’d they hide something so valuable away for so long? They know how upset everyone was getting.” I knew, just like the rest of us, Atom didn’t really care about the woman being flaunted in front of the crowds of men trillions of miles away from where we sat in our kitchen; but he would never miss an opportunity to impress father.
“They’re saying she’s from the Nyota lineage,” my father responded excitedly, but his attention never left the tall Jatorrian women who continued to smile at the crowds of cheering men. She was really fucking young, maybe my age, but even I questioned how they had hidden her away for so long…and why. “And the Kassra lineage,” my father said in nauseating awe. “She’s of breedable age, and so young. How amazing! To be the woman to save our entire race!” Father looked up to us in his elation, and I cast him a weak smile in reassurance.
I glanced over all the scrolling words along the holographic screen, brimming with information of her lineage and heroism for stepping forward to claim her right as mother to Jatorrians. All of the references of her simply said ‘woman,’ or ‘she,’ not a single banner scrolled by with any personal information on her. She had a name.
“Good for her,” I mumbled and tore myself away from the holograms and hopeful crowds.
So what? She would surrogate a few celebrated children from Jatorrian royalty, live in a fancy palace, be waited on hand and foot, and never have a worry in the world. All because she was a fucking woman. She wouldn’t even have to raise the damn kids.
“It’s good for all of us,” father narrowed his eyes at me. “Because of her our legacy will continue, our race will live on. She’s so young, think of all the children she’ll have for us.” I hated how he spoke of Jatorrians as if it was some big cult we were all a part of, a religion of inherited blood that we all had to bow to. We looked exactly like humans. We lived on Earth. We worked our asses off to afford the two small apartments we rented in Rio. “It really is a good time to join the guard, Kain. It’s a sign that she has come forward the same day you are of age to apply.” A sign. I grimaced.
“Isn’t it rude to look at a Jatorrian woman like that?” Abyl asked slowly, quietly as he sympathetically glanced at me. Abyl was only a hair taller than my brother, robust and he embodied the dark looks of a Brazilian. He wasn’t generally so quiet and I silently thanked him for taking my deadly hangover into consideration. Abyl was a year older then myself, and my closest friend; and apparently, the only fucking person in the house who actually cared about me this morning. “Everyone’s staring at her and screaming at her. Don’t you think that scares her? She’s probably used to being cooped up in that palace.” Abyl put a hand on fathers shoulder as he peered into the hologram, the faint light reflected and brightened the muddy browns of his eyes.
My eyes flickered back over to the screen. The exuberant noises were muted on our end and just came across as hushed waves of sound. The woman didn’t look frightened as she stood tall with her shoulders pulled back and the same warning smile creased her face. No, she knew what she was getting. Everything. She would have everything, because she had been born different from the rest of us.
Hardly any pure blood Jatorrian women had been born in the past century and the handful that had survived had been sterile. The last fertile woman, Kassra, was far past being able to bear children. The last completely pure Jatorrian child had been born on Jatorri, a son of Kassra, almost thirty years ago. That was supposed to be the end of it. We could breed with Humans and Panderians, our race would continue. But there she was. The savior of an entire race, or so the broadcast claimed.
She hadn’t come forward to save us. She had been brought forth to perpetuate the sickening hysteria. The racial divides and prejudices that bubbled between an untarnished race and those muddied with other species. She would bear a handful of Jatorrian children, not for the survival of a race, but draw out the discrimination that had been universal for thousands of years.
“Maybe it is a good time to join the guard,” I said clearly, my own words cut into my skull with the loudness. After a nap. Or after I slept the alcohol poisoning off and splitting headache.
The Jatorrian royal guard would be accepting an excess of applicants with the arrival of their new woman. I would have a better chance of being chosen if I applied during all of this frenzied excitement, even with my tarnished Human genetics.
If I was accepted I could leave Earth. I would be trained on our ancient home planet of Jatorri. I would spend my life exploring different galaxies and experiencing adventures the Human’s of Earth didn’t even know existed. And there would be a chance I would see her. Technically the purpose of the royal guard was to protect the future of our race, and she was the future of all Jatorrians. I narrowed my eyes at the hologram, her bared teeth curled into a perfect smile. It was rude to stare at a Jatorrian woman. I glared at her image. One day I would see her in person and my eyes wouldn’t fall to the floor beside her in respect. She was not my religion.
I had decided that after ‘Second Star to the Right’ was published I would take solid step back-for at least a month-before continuing on with this series.
There is currently a spin-off novel in the works, that will be released before book three! Book Three (title still not decided!) will be released in late fall of 2021 (this year guys! It’s coming!), BUT! We all need a good side story set in space, with fresh perspective, and a bit more depth on the Jatorrian culture.
‘The Last Jatorrian’ will be a short novel that doesn’t have to be read with the Lost in Time series, and is set to be released this summer.
We will follow Lilah, Adriem & Cyran’s daughter, into a future our characters won’t get to see.
What would have happened if Mayko hadn’t shown up? If Cyran and Adriem had never made it to Neverland?
Well, a whole load of crap. & an insanely badass Lilah gets to show her true colors—
So excited to be delving further into her character, and expand our universe a bit further!
Thank you SO MUCH! for all of the support, love, comments, reviews, criticism, and I am absolutely honored that you have chosen to read something that I took the time to write! I could never express to my readers how much that truly means to me!
As most of you don’t know, yet-
Second Star to the Right has a few chapters from Adriem’s perspective! Which I am really excited about!
With less than two days until SSTTR is officially published, I am thrilled to drop the first couple of pages here on our blog, in Audiobook form!
Which gives me the opportunity to introduce the voice of our Adriem for the Audiobook! Todd Creel will be voicing Adriem’s chapters in book two, and he has been doing an absolutely wonderful job.
Claire Glover, our original voice actress, will be voicing a majority of SSTTR, but there are a few full chapters where we just needed to hear it straight from Adriem’s mouth-so here you have it!
The first couple of pages of Second Star to the Right, just before the sequel is released!