A New Stargazer Conservatory Novel: Bonds of Iron

On Saturdays, you can check out a snippet from my latest writing efforts.  All snippets are copyrighted.  These excerpts from my writing are first draft, unedited words, and may not appear in the final work.

This is the opening scene of the new Stargazer Conservatory novel I’m working on, “Bonds of Iron.” It continues in the same world as the Sea Deception series, and I’m not done with Kai and Maryn yet.


Parisa ran out of the surf as fast as her legs could manage the waves. She couldn’t believe she’d made it this far without being caught. As soon as her feet hit the sand, she sped up, disregarding all the curious looks and running past the line of restaurants to the sandy pavement where the parking lot began. Water dripped down her legs, making tiny rivulets along her skin as she looked around wildly.

The doors to a minivan stood open, the seats filled with a group of laughing boys and a girl. Their damp suits and tired, reddened faces indicated they were leaving, not arriving. She noticed all of this without slowing down.

Perfect, Parisa thought. She ran to them, reaching a hand to rest on the upholstered seat where a guy was dusting sand off a flipflop. “Please, can you help me? Just pretend I’m your girlfriend or something. I have to get out of here,” she gasped out.

The group in the van all looked at her like she was mad, which she supposed could only be expected. Here she stood, barefoot, clad only in a wet bathing suit, water still dripping from her hair. She had no bag, no towel, no money… What was she going to do if no one agreed to help her? She couldn’t go back there, not again. They would punish her worse than before for this most successful escape attempt.

Parisa turned her gaze to the nearest boy. “Please…I have to get away from them.”

“Get in,” he said, extending his hand to her. “Let’s go, dude. We can text Matt to catch up with us later.” He gently tugged her until she was perched on his lap, much like the other girl on the far seat. The long legs of the three teenage boys along the bench seat readjusted so she could fit in.

“You sure, man?” The driver still hesitated.

The boy holding her studied Parisa a moment longer. “Yeah, I’m sure. She needs our help.”

Parisa let out another breath, this time in relief. The stitch in her side, the cramp in her leg, and the fear of still being caught all combined to leave her dizzy. The boy’s steady hands on her waist and his warm skin under her legs inexplicably calmed her. As the vehicle lurched forward, his hands tightened, one arm slipping protectively around her waist. Almost as if he really were my boyfriend, Parisa thought.


I’m well into this new novel! “Bonds of Iron” is a small departure from my mermaid series, “Sea Deception,” but it continues the story. Have you read “Sea Dreams” yet?