Why Does Mike Care? Mission to Mahjundar Weekend Writing Warriors

WeWriWa buttonA fun way to sample new books and find new writers! Here’s the link to the Weekend Writing Warriors central page, so you can visit all the participants sharing excerpts today…

Doing excerpts from Mission to Mahjundar, which has been Released and is now available…MissionToM2-FJM_High_Res_1800x2700Princess Shalira has maneuvered her father the emperor into insisting the hero, Major Mike Varone of the Sectors Special Forces, and his companion, must accompany her on a journey. Mike’s not exactly pleased. Continuing on from last week’s excerpt. (A little creative editing and a LOT of creative punctuation have occurred today.) There’s quite a bit of discussion in this scene about why the Princess wants him to join her caravan, and of the events surrounding her loss of sight. I’m skipping some. We’re in Mike’s POV and he’s just asked if the chieftain she’s to marry is aware she’s unable to see. (Saium is her one faithful guardsman, a longtime servant of her late mother’s):

Shalira seemed troubled, wrinkling her brow and lowering her sightless eyes as she started worrying the fringe on the closest pillow, but all she said was, “A large dowry has been paid – he’ll keep me safe, and I’ll be happy living freely in the open forests, away from this hot, hateful city.”

Mike pondered the ramifications of what she’d shared earlier, added to the quick overview Saium had given him in the hall, asking, “So you’ve never actually met this guy?”

Bristling as if she heard unwarranted criticism in his tone, she said, “No, why does it matter? Arranged marriages are the custom for the high-born on Mahjundar – it’s how things are done.” She tilted her head, sculpted eyebrows drawn together in a frown.

If it’s fine with her, it’s hardly my place to question the arrangement – why do I care, anyway? What is it with me and this woman? I just met her yesterday – she’s none of my concern.

The story:

An attempted assassination left Princess Shalira blind as a child and, now that she’s of marriageable age, her prospects are not good because of her disability. She’s resigned herself to an arranged marriage rather than face life under the thumb of her cold stepmother. But then she meets Mike Varone, a Sectors Special Forces officer sent to Mahjundar by the intergalactic government. After Mike saves Shalira from another assassination attempt, she arranges for him to escort her across the planet to her future husband. She’s already falling hard for the deadly offworlder and knows she should deny herself the temptation he represents, but taking Mike along to protect her is the only way she’ll live long enough to escape her ruthless stepmother.

Mike, for his part, resists his growing attraction to the princess; he has a mission on this planet and rescuing the vulnerable but brave princess isn’t it. No matter how much he wishes it could be.

But what should have been an easy trek through Mahjundar’s peaceful lands swiftly turns into an ambush with danger around every turn. Shalira’s marriage begins to seem less like an arranged union and more like yet another planned assassination. The more they work together to survive, the harder it becomes to stop themselves from falling in love. Caught in a race against time, can they escape the hostile forces hunting them and make it off the planet?

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As always, I love your comments and feedback. Even though this book is now published, the input helps for the future!


36 comments on “Why Does Mike Care? Mission to Mahjundar Weekend Writing Warriors

  1. Once again, you’ve drawn me in. A blind heroine and special ops guy…very interesting. I kind of hate that she’s so resigned to the whole arranged marriage thing, although, I’m pretty sure Mike’s going to change her mind

  2. She can say all she wants but all her frowning indicates she’s not really all that fine with the way things are and whether he wants to or not, he cares. Great snippet as always, Veronica!

  3. Why does he care? Well she’s a nice girl and it would be a shame if she was trapped in an unhappy marriage. –or, if he’s honest with himself, it’s because he’s already getting seriously interested in her 😉

    Lovely excerpt as always, Veronica!

  4. Oh, man, it’s a good thing he’s going with her, because stuff like that pisses off bridegrooms in the worst way. Especially those who “pay for” their brides with dowries. Great snippet, Veronica.

  5. Super tension here with both of them saying and thinking what they don’t really mean, and maybe not even aware of it! I have a feeling their denial doesn’t stand a chance. Another great eight.

  6. Keep telling yourself you don’t care, Mike. Maybe you can convince yourself (me thinks he’s got it bad for her.) 🙂

  7. Oh, Mike she is very much your concern. He wants to fight it, but there’s something that draws him to her, he just doesn’t know what yet. They will both have lots to time to discover it on their journey.

  8. ‘What is it with me and this woman? I just met her yesterday – she’s none of my concern.’ – Oh, but I think she is. Love the tension between these two. Can’t wait to see where you take things from here! 🙂

  9. Ooooh, this is a new story 😀 You always do such a great job with character dynamics. The sexual tension is palpable here XD He definitely sounds like he’s trying to convince himself that he doesn’t care. Is the reason he doesn’t want to fall in love with her due to the fact that she’s a princess and/or betrothed to another?

  10. Of course, there’s different kinds of arranged marriages–some of them, you get a very little say from a choice of candidates, others you at least get to meet the person once or twice.

    He doesn’t seem happy with the idea–I wonder how she really feels about it? Not that she has much choice if she wants to live…

  11. Cool snippet! I like that your character is saying one thing but thinking another. Sounds like future inner-conflict brewing 🙂

    Keep smiling,

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