Why I Wrote HOLIDAY FOR THE ALPHA With Excerpt

NOTE: This post contains a spoiler for HOLIDAY FOR THE ALPHA, about the nature of the holiday getaway.



I enjoy writing these Badari Warriors novellas because it allows me to go back and spend more time with a couple I’m really fond of, without having to advance the series arc (or not much) and to explore a little more who they are together. I had so much fun writing the story of Aydarr and Jill’s honeymoon that I decided to do the same for Daegan and Flo. (All the books are as standalone as I can make them.)

The challenge was to figure out what would cause the two of them to take time away from the valley and the war (Flo herself says she’s not a “hearts and flowers honeymoon type of gal”) and what activity they’d engage in, aside from some steamy private moments.

When I first created the idea of a ‘new’ pack (way back in KIERCE), unknown to the rest of the Badari Warriors, I liked the idea of placing it at a lab in the South Seas and making the circumstances different. So Daegan, having come to the north from the Southern hemisphere, is at home in the ocean and it was established in his book that he loves to surf.

When it’s revealed that his pack needs extreme challenges to balance their body chemistry, Flo embarks on a quest to find a suitable activity.

Authors love doing research so let me just say I did a ton of research for this book. I watched a lot of surfing videos, read first person accounts, studied surf board construction, etc. I delved into what undersea conditions create reliable monster waves. The largest waves on our planet which have been successfully surfed are 80-100’ high so I increased that for a Badari Warrior on an alien planet. I won’t tell you here how it all goes – Daegan has his challenges.

Someone asked me if I surf. Um, no. Actually the ocean scares me and I prefer lakes. Or pools. I’ll go out in a boat of course. But even while I’m afraid of the waves and the rip currents and the sharks myself when it comes to swimming, the ocean also presents a fascinating backdrop for telling stories.

Of course Flo and Daegan have to have a run in with some Khagrish along the way, right? And Flo has this cool new weapon to try out…

Real World Videos: There’s one sequence in the book which was heavily influenced by the way certain species like sea lions and dolphins on our world will ‘surf’ and play in the waves (probably not the 100’ waves but who knows?). Here’s link to a great video (wait 5 seconds and you  can skip the ad) which will remind you of the moment in HOLIDAY FOR THE ALPHA. I’d insert the actual video here but I don’t have the rights to use the song or the footage. If you want to see the kind of thing Daegan is doing (only his wave is 50′ higher), here’s a bare bones short video. Watch the camera pull back and the wave gets bigger and bigger…and bigger. Badari-worthy indeed.

The blurb:  Daegan, the Alpha of the South Seas pack, is under a lot of stress and a near disaster in the sanctuary valley pushes him to a breaking point. Flo, his ex-mercenary human mate, knows he needs rest and relaxation but what kind of a holiday can a Badari Warrior take? She thinks she’s found a solution extreme enough to satisfy even her intense mate if she can just get him to agree to step away from his duties for a few days. Will Daegan agree to the idea?

This is the sixteenth book in the Badari Warriors world and each novel or novella has a satisfying Happy for Now ending for the hero and heroine, not a cliffhanger. Genetically engineered soldiers of the far future, the Badari were created by alien enemies to fight humans. But then the scientists kidnapped an entire human colony from the Sectors to use as subjects in twisted experiments…the Badari and the humans made common cause, rebelled and escaped the labs. Now they live side by side in a sanctuary valley protected by a powerful Artificial Intelligence, and wage unceasing war on the aliens. Some overarching issues do remain unresolved in each book since this is an ongoing series but romance always wins the day in my novels!

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Excerpt:  Flo continued to keep a close eye on her navigation instruments. “Three, two, one and we’re here.”

He studied the vids. They were in the middle of the ocean, no landmark in sight anywhere.

“Oh,” she said artlessly, “Maybe I should descend a bit.” Flo took the flyer straight down, basically in hover mode.

Daegan’s jaw dropped open and he moved as close to the vid as he could get. “What in the seven hells is that? I have to see this with my own eyes. Can you open the rear portal a bit?”

“So you like my surprise?”

He glanced at her but his attention went right back to the vids.

“All right, come on, I’ve got the autopilot engaged.” She took his arm and led him through the cabin, to the small boarding area at the rear. “Hang on.” Flo hooked a safety line for herself and opened the hatch so they could stare at the ocean below.

Daegan watched in disbelief as a wave easily a hundred and fifty feet high suddenly created itself out of the open water, rushing forward toward the shore a hundred miles away, breaking beautifully as the weight of the water became too much for the height. Another equally colossal wave marched in right behind the first and he could see a third one forming not too far out.

“I asked MARL to identify possibilities for extreme sports,” Flo said as they stood and watched the endless series of gigantic waves forming, flowing and crashing below them. “I told him to try to find something involving the ocean up here in our hemisphere if possible and he located this. There’s a deep undersea canyon stretching for about three hundred miles on either side and then a sea mount comes within six feet of the surface right here, which apparently creates the perfect conditions for these major waves. I thought you could try surfing them.”

Daegan looked at the waves, then at her. “You must really love me, to be willing to let me risk life and limb on riding those.” He was itching to try it of course. There was nothing like this in the southern hemisphere although occasionally a storm would kick up swells of twenty or thirty feet. He’d ridden those and the experience was an adrenalin rush. This—this would be a mind blowing experience.

“I do,” she said. “You’re a Badari, if anyone can do this, you can. And if it works for you, then we can set up a system where the pack comes to surf on a rotation schedule.”

“How do you propose we go about this?” he asked, never taking his eyes off the water.

“Tomorrow we do nothing but observe,” she said. “You need to get an understanding of how the waves break and what their set pattern is. The next day we come out here and you surf. I’ll hover right above the water before the point where the waves rise and drop you off and then when each ride  is done, or if anything goes wrong, I’m like a surgeon with the tractor beam on this baby, plus I had MARL do an enhancement to the controls for delicate work like retrieving people. I’ll pluck you from the water with no problem. The water’s cold, you know but I figure you’re Badari.”

“Right, the temperature is irrelevant to me.” Happiness making him dizzy, he swept her into a hug. “This is amazing. I can’t believe you found this.”

“Technically MARL found it but you’re welcome. When, or if rather, we send the pack out here in shifts, we’ll have to take precautions for safety, have a healer, maybe two flyers observing, that kind of thing.” She swallowed hard although he was sure he wasn’t supposed to see her ‘tell’ of how worried she actually was. “I assume being the Alpha, you’d love doing this the hard core way, with no safety net.”

Only one concern on his mind, he pointed a taloned finger at her. “You are not doing this.”

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