I was delighted when Roar of Lions, the third instalment of The Darkening Stars, was accepted. To finally see it published after these long years of writing is a sheer delight and I thank Solstice Shadows for giving it a chance to see daylight.
The saga started with A Pride of Lions, something I’d played with on and off while writing short stories and features over the years. When I began my MA at Falmouth University in 2010 I needed a full-length project, so I pulled Pride from a long disused drawer, brushed away the cobwebs and rewrote it, finally passing my degree in 2012. A Pride of Lions was published by Solstice Shadows a year later. The second book in the series, The Cull of Lions, saw publication in 2014.
In Roar of Lions many questions are answered, why the war started and so forth. I hope my readers enjoy it and find satisfaction in the ending. For those of you who wonder if there will be another book (I’ve already been
asked numerous times) the answer is you never know. Selena may well wave a hello again in the not too distant future.
The ForeRunners have destroyed one of Capulet’s cities, and the joint Lenar-Human search teams are needed to root out the enemy. But when the empathic Lenars refuse to work without Selena Dillon and her team of commandos, they soon find themselves back on Capulet in an uneasy alliance with the planetary administration and in a race against time to stop the enemy from destroying other cities.
Throughout the galaxy billions are dying as the war spreads. Despite her fear that the alien Manta and their allies will turn against them, Selena needs to truly unite the Alliance of Worlds and find a way to destroy the ForeRunners before it’s too late.
Selena knows there’s no more running, and that sooner or later there will be a final reckoning between herself and the queen. But even if they survive that long she needs to discover who will stand with her, and who against her, in this final confrontation with the tyrannical monarch.
An image of her mother flashed into her mind, followed by her father and Bryn—the only man she’d
ever loved—all of them dead now. Selena shook her head to dispel the bitter memories and turned the shower back on again, to rinse herself. Once the water shut off, she tapped the blower. Hot air breathed over her from all sides, as she stretched and rubbed the remaining droplets from her body.
Pushing aside the shower curtain, Selena stood in front of the full-length mirror. Wiping at the steamed glass, she stared at herself. She’d lost weight again. Her body was well honed, yet her ribs showed and those once full breasts were now shrunken buns.
Picking up her garments, her nose twitched. Despite the retardants, they stank heavily of sweat and dirt. A flick of her hand sent the clothes flying across the room and into the wash bin. Striding back into her bedroom, Selena pulled fresh underwear and a uniform from a drawer and dressed rapidly, savouring the cool feeling of clean clothes. The mud and dust had fallen from the retardant material of her boots during the run back to their accommodations, yet she ran a clean cloth over them, quickly bringing them to an impressive gleam. Again, she looked at herself in the mirror. Smoothing the arms of the thin, black leather-like material of her uniform, she made a coffee from the dispenser and sat on a chair, looking out of the single window to the parade ground several floors below.
Memories of Bryn crept in; along with a vision of his grave on a faraway world. A loud knock on the door interrupted her thoughts. “What is it?”
“Commander Dillon, the Admiral wants to see you,” a rough voice said through the closed, wood-effect door.
Interest piqued, Selena stood, before placing her coffee next to the pot and taking a long deep breath,
before breathing out slowly. This had been a long time coming. “Tell him I’ll be right there.” She turned to check her outfit once more, in the body-length mirror painted onto the wall, and ran a finger through
her tightly cropped hair. Satisfied, she left the room, strode out of the building and across the square parade ground, which was still damp from the light shower of rain a short time ago. Before long she stood in front of Admiral Van Pluy’s office. Selena knocked, loudly.
“Come in.” The now white-haired, thickset admiral looked up, as she entered and stood at attention in front of him, eyes front. “Ah, Dillon, relax and sit down.” He looked across at her as she slid into one of the real wooden chairs in front of his desk. “I take it you’re all healed?”
“You can’t see the marks from the lashes, if that’s what you mean, Sir. The cosmetic surgeons did a good job, although I asked them to leave a scar or two – you know, as mementoes. Apologies for my intrusion. I understand you wanted to see me.”