Can one woman evade an alien empire to save her son’s life?
Gilla and Elias have the perfect life—or as perfect as life can be for slaves living deep in the Esarelian Empire. Elias wants freedom for his precious wife and daughter, and the rest of their people, and he is willing to fight to get it. Pregnant with her second child, Gilla only wants a happy, healthy family who share a strong faith in the God of Old Earth and to get through her workload each day.
When the Esarelians decide to teach their rebellious slaves a lesson they will never forget, Gilla’s entire life is turned upside down. She must trust that God has a plan to protect her new-born son, and have the courage to follow it, choosing the strangest of allies in an effort to ensure his survival.
Courage is a science fiction reimagining of the Biblical story of Moses’s birth.
Can two people with opposing principles overcome their differences to be together?
Than has spent his life ostensibly having fun while secretly fighting for his people’s freedom. A member of the underground resistance, he is only ever serious around his comrades and his family. When an injury forces him to step down from active duty and his reluctant nurse sparks his interest, Than finds himself in uncharted territory. The fascinating woman will have nothing to do with him.
Menali’s past has taught her to keep her head down and trust that God has a reason for allowing the human race to suffer on U’du. When Than explodes into her life, he refuses to take no for an answer and challenges all of her preconceptions. He soon has her re-evaluating her priorities and wondering what life with someone like him would be like.
Lauren H Salisbury was an English teacher for sixteen years with an MA in Education. She is now a writer who dabbles with tutoring and lives with her husband and a room full of books in Yorkshire, England. She likes to spend winters abroad, following the sunshine and becoming the seasonal envy of her friends. When she’s not writing, she can be found spending time with family, reading, walking, crafting, or cooking. Courage is her debut novel.
As a part of Sci-Fi September, I invited a friend’s review of a favorite recent Sci-Fi read. First, I’ll introduce you to the reviewer.
Kimberly Kunker of Arador’s Rustic Shop (on Etsy)
Kimberly Kunker operates Arador’s Rustic Shop on Etsy, which sells Sci-Fi, Fantasy, and Renaissance Festival leather accessories, as well as leather journals and chain mail. She’s made belts, pouches and holsters for a number of Jedi, Sith, smuggler and Mandalorian cosplayers from around the country. As a novice cosplayer herself, she understands the desire to get a costume “just right” and the pride that comes from having handmade elements as part of a kit. Star Wars, Stargate, and Ender’s Game are among her favorite sci-fi series.
“Thrawn: Alliances” by Timothy Zahn
Back Cover Summary
“I have sensed a disturbance in the Force.” Ominous words under any circumstances, but all the more when uttered by Emperor Palpatine. On Batuu, at the edges of the Unknown Regions, a threat to the Empire is taking root its existence little more than a glimmer, its consequences as yet unknowable. But it is troubling enough to the Imperial leader to warrant investigation by his most powerful agents: ruthless enforcer Lord Darth Vader and brilliant strategist Grand Admiral Thrawn. Fierce rivals for the emperor’s favor, and outspoken adversaries on Imperial affairs, including the Death Star project, the formidable pair seem unlikely partners for such a crucial mission. But the Emperor knows it’s not the first time Vader and Thrawn have joined forces. And there’s more behind his royal command than either man suspects.
Genre: space opera
Rating: PG-13, for numerous fight scenes
First introduced to readers by author Timothy Zahn in 1991, Grand Admiral Thrawn is one of the few characters to make the transition from the Expanded Universe to Disney canon. Seeing Thrawn re-introduced in the animated Star Wars Rebels in July of 2016 was a dream come true for many fans. Zahn re-created his character for the new era. “Thrawn: Alliances” (July 2018) is the sequel to “Thrawn” (2017).
This book has two parallel story arcs; the first set with Anakin during the Clone Wars, the second with Vader during the Empire. In the Clone Wars arc General Anakin Skywalker went to Batuu to find Padme after she was found missing. While preparing to land, he was intercepted and delayed by an alien who wanted to learn about the Republic. He struggled to interact with this unknown species speaking in a trade language he barely understood. Padme was portrayed as competent and smart; she helped Anakin and Thrawn escape when they were captured. Anakin’s impatience was seen in his desire to rush in and blindly attack a Separatist outpost. If you’ve seen The Clone Wars animated series then you know Anakin: impulsive, quick on his feet, and always ready to use his lightsaber to do the talking. Zahn split the point of view between Anakin, Thrawn, and Padme, which helped portray each character’s mindset and how they viewed each other.
The Imperial arc pairs the Emperor’s enforcer, Vader, with his greatest military strategist, Thrawn. Both have secrets which they try but fail to keep from the other. The parallel arcs were masterfully interwoven and they showed how Thrawn and Anakin went from complete strangers to respected but tentative allies. In the Imperial arc, Thrawn thought Vader was a stranger he had to build trust with, not knowing that they had worked together during the Clone Wars. Vader thought Thrawn’s loyalty was split between the Empire and his native Chiss Ascendancy, and Thrawn knew there was something about Vader he could not figure out. Thrawn wanted to keep his native planet and his people a secret, but he was still loyal to the Empire. Vader would have rather been sent to any other part of the galaxy than to a place where he had memories of Padme.
Competition is crucial to the Imperial hierarchy; Thrawn worked his way through the ranks, but Vader is outside the standard chain-of-command. As such, the men under their commands are unsure of how to handle themselves when aboard Thrawn’s Star Destroyer. Vader had to act as if he did not know anything about Thrawn or the planet they were on, but Anakin’s memories kept surfacing and getting in the way. Zahn’s decision to have Vader refer to Anakin as “the Jedi” showed his conflicted nature and his attempts to suppress his former life.
Thrawn’s strategic thinking helped temper Anakin and later Vader’s reckless and impulsive nature. Thrawn is the Sherlock Holmes of the Star Wars universe; he makes deductions based on visual, verbal, and artistic cues. One reason Vader is such an enigma to him is because he can’t get a good visual read on him. Thrawn always has a long game in mind and has contingency plans in place. For the mission on Batuu to succeed, Vader needed to trust Thrawn’s intel and learn how to navigate through uncharted hyperspace lanes using a Chiss Force technique which Thrawn could only describe second-hand since he was not Force-sensitive. Only their combined abilities allowed them to succeed and find the underlying cause of the Force disturbance. At the end of the book—when Vader flew one of Thrawn’s new TIE Defenders—his piloting skills and command style allowed Thrawn to correctly deduce that he was once Anakin Skywalker. Thrawn had revealed some of his species secrets by telling Vader they had Force-sensitive children, and Vader revealed his former identity by relaxing his guard when he returned to a starfighter cockpit.
About Arador’s Rustic Shop & Owner, Kimberly
Kimberly, an avid fan of J. R. R. Tolkien, has been hooked on fantasy ever since she first read “The Hobbit” in third grade. She became interested in making chainmaille in high school and learned to visualize medieval weapons and armour from “The Lord of the Rings” movies.
The name of her shop comes from Tolkien’s Elvish, meaning “Lord of the Land/Royal Lord.” Arador was the 14th Chieftan of the Dunedain, an ancestor of Aragorn.
Her products are solid, functional, and affordable, turning natural rustic materials into the same simple and timeless designs as the Elves and Rohirrim wore.
>>> GIVEAWAY Instructions <<<
Click the Facebook permalink below and follow the instructions in the post:
Visit the Sci-Fi September Facebook Event page and/or the Pinterest page below for links to the science fiction novels to be featured daily throughout September. Please note, a novel’s inclusion in the list isn’t necessarily a personal endorsement as I haven’t had a chance to read them all. Nevertheless, I hope this little promo helps you find your next favorite read!
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And now, take a moment, to share the title and author of one of your favorite science fiction reads in the comments below. Or, if you’re an author, feel free to share a brief description of one of your sci-fi novels. As for me, D.G. Lamb’s “Driven to the Hilt” series is one of my recent favorite sci-fi reads: (Check out the slideshow here.)
Already a social outcast because of his father’s alleged betrayal, young Joshua finds himself trapped outside the mining colony on the planet of Cypress Grove. He faces a murky rainforest infested with a creature so deadly, it has kept all humans confined inside their only settlement for decades. If he can manage to escape these alien wilds, he must then brave the even darker dangers of the colony’s underworld.
It is a tale of survival, a premature coming of age in an environment demanding resiliency, inventiveness, and self-reliance. But when teetering on the sharp edge of stark choices, decisions of life or death, can Joshua afford to consider questions of right and wrong, or does expediency rule the day?
Debut author D G Lamb, a clinical neuropsychologist, uses his understanding of posttraumatic stress symptoms to inject psychological authenticity and complexity into Joshua’s personality, creating a wounded, but endearing central character.
What fans are saying…
“…a debut novel that brilliantly introduces a series with huge promise of entertainment.” – R Oserio (Readers Favorite)
“…one of the most original and well-told stories I’ve ever read.” – S Cahan
“Author D.G. Lamb navigates Joshua’s trauma with a sense of surrealism that’s both poignant and true to life.” – CL Farley (Readers Favorite)
“It is emotionally intense and it is hard not to feel for the protagonist …watching him grow through the challenges is delightful.” – R Oserio
“Lamb does an outstanding job of displaying Joshua’s evolving worldliness while still maintaining a childlike sense of innocence about the character.” – CL Farley
“First-time author D.G. Lamb has established himself as a new talent in young adult novels with this first effort…” – S Cahan