Ok, last excerpt from ESCAPE FROM ZULAIRE, must switch to Ancient Egypt next week, as the new book will be out. This is further along in the ZULAIRE narrative, after the group has scavenged some things they need from a burned out village and, hours of marching later, set up camp on a plateau overlooking a lake. Nightmares of the events earlier in the journey keep Andi from sleeping so she’s gone to sit with Captain Deverane, who’s got the guard duty. Creative punctuation and a tiny bit of editing have occurred to meet the eight sentence rule.
Andi rewrapped her shawl more tightly as she said, “You’re surprised I’m having bad dreams after everything we saw today? What time is it?”
Reaching over, he tucked the fabric more securely around her shoulder as he said, “Still middle of the night, I’m afraid – a long time to go until sunrise chases away the nightmares.”
“That’s what I was afraid of. I’m drowsy but scared to risk closing my eyes for more than a second. These kinds of things don’t affect soldiers, I suppose.” Leaning back, she tilted her head to look at him.
Deverane continued to gaze across the rippling water and said nothing for a long minute. When he did speak, his voice was low and measured. “I went into the military because the abuse and slaughter of innocent civilians does bother me – at least in the service, I can do something to prevent atrocities.”
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And the story blurb:
Andi Markriss hasn’t exactly enjoyed being the houseguest of the planetary high-lord, but her company sent her to represent them at a political wedding. When hotshot Sectors Special Forces Captain Tom Deverane barges in on the night of the biggest social event of the summer, Andi isn’t about to offend her high-ranking host on Deverane’s say-so—no matter how sexy he is, or how much he believes they need to leave now.
Deverane was thinking about how to spend his retirement bonus when HQ assigned him one last mission: rescue a civilian woman stranded on a planet on the verge of civil war. Someone has pulled some serious strings to get her plucked out of the hot zone. Deverane’s never met anyone so hard-headed—or so appealing. Suddenly his mission to protect this one woman has become more than just mere orders.
That mission proves more dangerous than he expected when rebel fighters attack the village and raze it to the ground. Deverane escapes with Andi, and on their hazardous journey through the wilderness, Andi finds herself fighting her uncomfortable attraction to the gallant and courageous captain. But Deverane’s not the type to settle down, and running for one’s life doesn’t leave much time to explore a romance.
Then Andi is captured by the rebel fighters, but Deverane has discovered that Zulaire’s so-called civil war is part of a terrifying alien race’s attempt to subjugate the entire Sector. If he pushes on to the capitol Andi will die. Deverane must decide whether to save the woman he loves, or sacrifice her to save Zulaire.