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Posted by on October 30th, 2014 in | 1 Comment

Mandrake Company series

cover for Mercenary Instinct

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Mercenary Instict

Skulking around in the ruins on a planet swarming with treasure hunters, slavers, and bounty hunters isn’t good for one’s health. But Ankari Markovich needs a few archaeological samples for her latest business venture, a venture that might prove lucrative enough to move her family off the impoverished planet where she grew up. Unfortunately, she has no sooner collected her samples than she’s captured by a band of brawny mercenaries. The captain might be handsome, but he’s intent on turning her over to some finance lord who has, for reasons unknown, put a bounty on her head, a ridiculously large one at that. If she can’t figure out a way to escape before she’s delivered to the lord’s home world, she could be forced into a life of indentured servitude—or worse.

Captain Viktor Mandrake doesn’t usually take on piddling bounty hunting gigs, but when his intelligence officer informs him of a criminal on a nearby planet, he decides it wouldn’t hurt to take a shuttle down to collect the woman. But Ankari Markovich is trouble from the start, nearly eluding his elite forces, then fighting and tricking his people left and right. He finds himself admiring her spirit, but according to her warrant, she’s a criminal. The safest thing is to keep her in the brig and ignore her until she can be handed off to the man who wants her.

But the situation grows more complicated when other bounty hunters show up, wanting to claim Ankari for themselves. Thanks to this woman, Viktor’s ship is in danger, his crew members are going missing, and he’s fighting enemies he never asked for in a jungle in the middle of a hurricane. He’s either going to strangle Ankari… or fall in love. Either scenario could get him killed.


Mercenary Instinct is a full-length, stand-alone novel of 90,000 words. It is part of the “Mandrake Company” series of science fiction romance stories and is recommended for readers who enjoy space-based adventure (such as Firefly) and steamy love stories (in the style of Linnea Sinclair).

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cover for Trial and Temptation

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Trial and Temptation

After ten years of flying freighter ships from planet to planet, Val Calendula never thought she would apply for a job as a combat pilot in a mercenary outfit. But her brother has gotten himself into financial trouble, and he’s heading to a mining prison if Val can’t pay off his debts. Mercenaries don’t always live long… but they make good money while they’re alive. A few combat bonuses, and Val could earn what she needs. The problem? She might have graduated from the military flight academy, but she hasn’t fought anything more dangerous than dust bunnies on the bridge lately. To make matters worse, the man in charge of hiring pilots was her instructor back at the academy. Commander Thatcher was almost as brilliant as he was arrogant and condescending, and he never seemed to think Val was smart enough to be there. She has no idea if she’ll be able to convince him otherwise now… or if she’ll be able to stand working with him.

When Gregor Thatcher left the military, he never expected to run into any of his former acquaintances, much less the one he admired and mooned over during his two years teaching at the academy. Back then, he never told Val Calendula he cared for her, partially because officers weren’t supposed to have relations with cadets, but mostly because he didn’t know how to speak of his feelings. He might not have any trouble grasping navigational mathematics and astrodynamics, but people are more problematic. Gregor is elated that Val has entered his life again, but he’s fairly certain she hates him. Worse, he’s responsible for deciding whether she’s qualified to be a combat pilot. How can he judge fairly when his tongue tangles and idiotic words come out of his mouth whenever she’s around?

When the captain sends Val and Gregor on a mission to pick up a military advisor and deliver him to a planet at war, Val hopes she’ll have an opportunity to prove herself capable of the piloting position. Gregor hopes he’ll have the opportunity to improve Val’s opinion of him. But when the military advisor goes missing, and they’re forced to divert to a dangerous moon base, the mission turns into a fight for survival. Val may learn too late that there’s more to Gregor than that aloof exterior… and that inside is a man she could love.

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cover for Assassin's Salvation

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The Assassin’s Salvation

When Jamie Flipkens signed on as a pilot and engineer for a small medical research company, she never expected to end up on a mercenary ship full of hulking soldiers who want to make her their latest conquest. The captain has been good to her—it doesn’t hurt that he’s her boss’s new beau—but she’s on the verge of quitting when a strange man shows up at her shuttle door.

Sergei Zharkov claims to be an old friend of the captain’s. He neglects to mention that he’s also an assassin, a dangerous man who even the hardened mercenaries avoid. Jamie should avoid him, too, but she’s drawn to the charm that sometimes escapes from beneath his grim facade. She finds herself wanting to give him a reason to smile—and maybe a little more than that.

The problem? There’s a fresh bounty on the captain’s head, and it’s possible Sergei is there to collect it.

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The shuttlecraft was pink. Sergei Zharkov scratched his jaw as he crouched twenty feet atop stacked shipping crates, hugging the shadows, so the freighter crews wouldn’t notice him. It was a combat shuttle, the same model Captain Mandrake had owned the last time…
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cover for Ruins of Karzelek

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The Ruins of Karzelek

Kalish has been a successful treasure hunter for years, relying on only herself to deal with deadly predators, impenetrable jungles, and diabolical booby traps. But with her father kidnapped, and a notorious pirate demanding an ancient alien artifact that may or may not exist, Kalish needs help.

She hires a mercenary company because she needs their combat experience and their piloting skills—the intelligence officer with the background in translating alien hieroglyphics could come in useful too. Sedgwick Thomlin is charming and handsome, when he isn’t busy sneezing at something from his long list of allergies. But she’s not sure if she can trust him or the mercenaries, not when the most valuable and coveted relic in the galaxy might turn out to be real.


The Ruins of Karzelek is a 95,000-word novel of space-based adventure and romance that can be read as a stand-alone. It is also part of the Mandrake Company series and brings back characters from the other books, such as Val, Gregor, Tick, and Striker.

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Kalish Blackwell had never planned a heist before. As she studied the satellite images, Mercrusean tangleworms wriggled and writhed in her stomach, and she worried that she would throw up. Again. The ship’s compact floor-cleaning robot buzzed and whirled, dealing with the last mess.

“Some thief you are,” she muttered.
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cover for Mercenary Courage

Amazon

Mercenary Courage

After a grueling battle that cost him dearly, mercenary captain Viktor Mandrake wants nothing more than to get his ship repaired, let his men have leave, and spend time relaxing with Ankari. Entrepreneur, schemer, and leaser of his company’s one and only pink shuttlecraft, she has become the woman he loves and wants to keep at his side.

But as soon as Viktor sets foot on the space station Midway 5, it becomes clear that the Galactic Conglomeration Fleet wants him arrested for past grievances. As a mercenary, confronting the Fleet isn’t wise (it’s not wise for anyone else, either). Normally, Viktor would collect his people and depart, but a mysterious disease has resulted in a quarantine, leaving him stuck on the station with no access to his ship or his crew. Fortunately, he has Ankari with him, but unfortunately, Ankari’s family has been pointing out all of the reasons why she shouldn’t be flying around on a mercenary vessel. And he’s not certain they’re wrong.

If Viktor and Ankari can’t find a way off the station before the Fleet ships arrive, Viktor may never escape. Worse, no matter what happens, he risks losing Ankari forever.


Mercenary Courage is the fifth novel in the Mandrake Company science fiction romance series and is a sequel to Mercenary Instinct.

Snippet:

Ankari held up the long dagger, eyeing the gleaming steel and testing the heft of the hilt. It was made from antler, whether fake or real, she could not tell. Etchings of alien runes—or what passed for someone’s interpretation of them—ran along the blade.

Shaking her head, she placed the dagger back on the black velvet tray the sales robot in front of her held. “Too frivolous. Do you have anything that looks amazing but is still functional and practical?”

“I assure you, all of our blades are amazing, ma’am,” the robot said, its mechanical voice managing to sound impressively haughty. “I will bring you more to peruse.”

The robot rolled away, its metal body spattered with holo-stickers that promised great discounts and affordable elegance. One sticker, which advertised beer by the bucket and half-priced tokens, might have been slipped in on the sly, by a casino manager from the floor above.

A long-suffering sigh came from behind Ankari.

“Can’t you just pick one?”
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