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Book Excerpt ~ A Navigator’s Tale: The Arcane Map of West


Title: A Navigator’s Tale: The Arcane Map of West
Author: D. Martin
Genre: Science-Fiction

A dangerous man and an unbelievable offer—she should have run….

Starship navigator Hanna Baskira is entangled in a job contract with a hostile merchant-trader who doesn’t trust women pilot-navs. Captain West has hidden agendas. He’s also the commander of an elite military crew. They’re the intersystem government’s secret weapons—and the captain is the most dangerous weapon of all.

He plans on using Hanna in his espionage against an intersystem rebel network, but the captain has a thing about sharing plans…. And she has trust issues with the military.

If she wants to survive her new job, Hanna must trust the unpredictable captain of secrets and resist her attraction to him.

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Navigator's Tale eBook


His eyes narrowed, glinting ice-silver. In a mere instant, he became dangerous.
Before I could retreat, he ran a hand around the back of my neck. His strong fingers wove into my hair and held my head firmly cupped. My heartbeat spiked and a coil of heat unwound in my stomach as he leaned forward to darkly whisper into my ear. “Were you truly dancing for them, or for me, Hanna?”
I dared not move or speak.
“I wasn’t sure if I wanted to wring your pretty little neck for the uninhibited way you danced in front of those rebels, or if I wanted to cut them all down for gawking at you in your costume. And what possessed you to dance so blasted close to them? You were only a step away from where they sat. Anything could have happened before I reached you.”
I recalled the kiss upon my throat in the deep shadows of the garrison. Perhaps I wasn’t far wrong about the effects of my Irian Seduction Dance on Captain West, except he seemed to be experiencing animosity about it.
“I found and rescued you, Hanna,” he softly growled.
I shivered. Maybe it was best to stay silent and not remind him the attack from a probable Iria Coalition agent occurred because of my contact with him in Callisto City’s Io Spaceport.
“You are mine,” Captain West murmured in my ear. He pressed a possessive kiss on the top tip of it. His lips sent liquid fire through my body. But when he quite firmly bit the tip of my ear, I blinked and gasped with quiet shock. He kissed it once more before releasing his hold on the back of my head. He gently disentangled his fingers from my hair and moved away. He still looked like he wanted to kill something, though.
My body shivered. The air felt several degrees colder around me. In addition, I sensed a rising mantle of subtle power around him as my skin prickled in the wake of an electric wave of energy. Who is this man? What is he—truly? I knew virtually nothing about him, except that he was an Allied Fleet Special Forces commander.
I should have stayed silent. I couldn’t. I might be in awe of Captain West, but I’m not afraid of him…yet. “I didn’t choose this outfit—and guess who forced me to learn stupid Irian Seduction Dances?”
Captain West’s frost-silvered stare blazed at me before he abruptly swung away. He strode toward the stair-tube leading to the upper levels.
I fumed inwardly while gently nursing my nipped ear. A swift glance at my hand revealed a tiny ruby smear of blood. The wet gleam on my finger sent another dart of shocked outrage through me. This unpredictable man is unlike any I’d ever known. I glared at his straight back as he vanished up the stairs. I was not Captain West’s personal property. Just because he happened along at the right moment….
I snatched my jacket up from the deck. I do not belong to him.


Tell our readers about you –
Hello and thank you for hosting me on your site today. I’m glad you didn’t place a restriction on how many words to use describing myself, but I can probably describe myself in ten words or less with the help of a few labels: Bookworm. Music Lover. Science Geek. Nature Lover. Artist. Writer. That was easier than composing my Twitter profile.

What inspires you to get out of bed each day?
I’m goal-oriented. Each day brings a new goal and the chance to do something positive. Sometimes family, personal business, or a home project takes precedence. And sometimes it’s writing.

If you could hang out with one famous person for one day, who would it be and why?
I’ve never given this much thought, and this wouldn’t appeal to me. I would think any famous person I might want to hang out with might have more important matters to attend to than entertaining me all day.

What’s the story behind your latest book?
The idea was launched by hidden agendas that lurked within some of my jobs—the things that aren’t mentioned during the hiring or project transition process. The book idea was also sparked by frustrated reflections on what people will endure with their jobs, in order to make a living. I decided to have a little fun with the idea when I wondered what work stress in a futuristic world might be like for a single woman working in a non-traditional role. In Hanna’s case, as a ship navigator-pilot. And I complicated her life with a generous dose of galactic intrigue and a stubborn man.

Tell us your writing process
First I need an intriguing story idea to sneak up on me. It has to be a story line that I’ve never read before and have been waiting for someone else to write, but they haven’t. I’m a pantser initially while I’m blocking in the story’s beginning. Then I become a plotter after story logistics intrude and demand that I pay attention.

The story must continue to enthrall me each time I return to it for another crack at discovering my main characters’ big secrets, and wondering what strange avenues the plot will lead me down. Most importantly, the story must make me feel the character’s emotions. Then of course, revisions, edits, doubts, and distracted self-muttering are ongoing throughout the writing process.

Do you have any advice on what promotion has worked for you that you can share with other authors?
I’m still new at this authorship business. I’ve launched three books into the world so far—two of them were major works that were released in the past two months with concentrated promotional efforts. With such a short timeline, it’s not easy to determine my promotion venues’ effectiveness yet. I’ve had two different promo approaches for two books from two different publishers, but using social media was important in both cases. However, it’s a bit daunting to read the blogs circulating online about social media’s ineffectiveness for book promotion and also forecasts about the tiny percentage of actual book readers in existence.

It’s equally dismal reading about the low probabilities forecasted for reaching potential readers through traditional and internet promotions. Not to mention the reality of competition between authors for readers. I can, however, caution aspiring authors that serious promotion is time-consuming. It takes planning and more effort than writing a book—but that’s my personal viewpoint.

When did you realize you wanted to be a writer?
In my early teen years. I started writing when my drawings and paintings could no longer describe the stories I wanted tell. I continued painting however, and found my art frequently influenced my writing. In high school, I had a pen pal, who wrote horror/fantasy and I wrote scifi/fantasy. We read and reviewed each other’s work. Another ignition spark to my writing came in the books I was consuming in all genres, but especially fantasy, romance, and science fiction.

Tell us about your main character:
Hanna is my main character. The story was from her perspective. I had fun exploring her quirky characteristics, resilience, and her peculiar alter-sensory abilities. I loved her strange blend of pragmatic optimism, vulnerability, and courage, despite experiencing personal tragedy in her teen years. It was fun pitting her against Captain West and his brusque nature.

What are you working on next?
More science fiction! One is a story that won’t leave me alone.

Do you have any special/extraordinary talents?
You have a wonderful talent! Let’s see, as for me… I don’t think of my talents as extraordinary either—but I used to create paintings portraying scifi/fantasy story themes in oil/acrylics on canvas—until I ran out of walls to hang them on. That’s when I started writing. I still paint on occasions. I’ve played a few musical instruments. The most notable achievement was landing a coveted spot in my high school’s select concert band with the flute section—the same year we won first place in a big, finicky, all-city competition for the first time in the school’s history!

I love modern dance and have choreographed and performed. Family and friends tell me I have a knack for reinventing food recipes in unusual, tasty ways… I hope they aren’t just being nice. Plants tend to thrive for me… And I think my other special talent is figuring out how things work—which really came in handy with my science career.

Who are your favorite authors?
There are so many! I read almost anything I can get my hands on. Some favorite authors are, Toni Morrison, C.J. Cherryh, Wen Spencer, Alice Walker, Octavia Butler, Patricia Briggs, Mary Stewart, Victoria Holt, Patricia McKillip, Anne McCaffrey, Andre Norton, Ray Bradbury, Isaac Asimov, Melissa Marr, Karen Marie Moning, Marie Snyder, Connie Willis, Georgette Heyer, Mercedes Lackey, Madeleine L’Engle, Lincoln Preston & Douglas Child… Of course, the list keeps growing.

What do you like to do with your free time?
Read and catch up on other hobbies. Catching up on sleep is always nice, too.

Tell us about your plans for upcoming books.
I would like to complete the Star Navigator Series. But this will likely depend on readers’ response.

Where can people find you on the web?
Twitter: @DorisDmartin

Any final thoughts?
All done! Thank you for the in-depth questions. They allowed me to share a bit more about myself, my writing process, and my book, A Navigator’s Tale: The Arcane Map of West.

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