Debbie: Morning!! Today we are up in New England talking with DL Jackson about her latest print book release, Rebels and Courtesans. (turns to LJ) HAH! You’re in my territory now. I just love the fall in New England. And yes, I know it’s not technically fall yet, but it is in my mind.
LJ: K. Good to know what’s in your mind. Sometimes it’s some scary stuff. But hey…Nice digs! I like that DL Jackson has a print book. Though I love ebooks, there’s just something about getting to hold a book in your hands and turn pages. You know?
LJ: Look, there’s D.L. now!
LJ: Hey, D.L. Ooo, iced coffee. Thank you, how thoughtful! J
DEBBIE: Iced Coffee, bleck, what is with you people and your coffee? Anyway, Welcome back, D.L.
DL: I’m a converted Yankee. Iced coffee is one of the basic food groups.
LJ: Yes it is!
DEBBIE: Ummm, nooooo! Caffeinated Cocoa is, duh!
LJ: Really…you need to try a café mocha. Nuthin’ better than chocolate coffee!
DEBBIE: I have and it’s awful!
LJ: Pft! So we have a print book here with TWO stories in it Awesome! Lets start with Rebel Souls. I just love when the girl falls for the wrong guy. So give us three words to describe Ava.
DL: Rebel. Lover. Friend.
DEBBIE: Oooo. Rebel? Sounds cool.
LJ: You’re a rebel? Tell me your best rebel story.
DEBBIE: Ask my mother, she’d tell you some stories. Well, what she knows of them anyway.
LJ: What a great idea. I’ll ask her when I meet her at RT next year! J
DEBBIE: Hmmmm. Maybe that’s not such a great idea. I don’t need you knowing my secrets.
LJ: Okay, so now I have to ask her! So, DL, Ava fights for what she believes in. She’s obviously a strong woman. Does she have any weaknesses?
DL: Yes. She loves a man who is on the opposite side of everything she stands for. All her life she’s craved a normal life, but her need to continue the fight, started before she was born, causes her to lose her chance at her dream. She is self-sacrificing to a fault.
DEBBIE: Hmmmm, that is a huge weakness. I’m interested to see how she over comes it.
LJ: Yeah. Wow! That would be tough if he is on the opposite side of everything she stands for. But then, tough obstacles make for awesome stories!
DEBBIE: And What about this Regulator? What can you tell us about him.
DL: Seth is a by-the-book lawman. He believes the rebels are terrorists, and that their opposition to the League needs to be squashed at all costs. Criminals should be prosecuted at all costs—regardless why they committed the crimes. When he meets Ava, he begins to question everything.
DEBBIE: Ahhhh, so things aren’t always black and white? Great lesson in my book.
LJ: I like that too. It’s always interesting when base beliefs are challenged! Goooood reading! J Who would play him in the movie?
DL: Hmm, maybe Tyler Hoechlin. He looks a lot like Seth. Or at least I’d imagine he looks a lot like my Regulator.
What? You aren’t going to ask about Brodie, the other love in Ava’s life?
LJ: Oh, crap. Who's Brodie? Please give us the low down.
DL: Brodie is the rebellion leader. He grew up with Ava and was to marry her someday. Ava assumed he was killed ten years before but comes back onto the scene at the same time she meets Seth, tugging her heart and loyalties in two directions.
LJ: Oh wow! Yeah, love the romantic complications!
DEBBIE: Awwww. Who does she chose?
LJ: Shh! No spoilers! Read the book! J
DEBBIE: Okay. On to Courtesan Boot Camp. Three words to describe Shay?
DL: Beautiful. Focused. Innocent.
DEBBIE: Sounds like me to a T!
LJ: HAHAHAHAHA That’s your best joke yet!!
DEBBIE: Hey, I wasn’t—
LJ: So, DL, tell us something about her that we wont find in the book.
DL: Shay is a rebel in her own right. As a child, she’d sneak away from her Custos to explore the world and ditch studies. She was bred to be a courtesan, her path chosen from birth, but Shay wants more than just a title and position between the sheets. She wants to be loved.
DEBBIE: Yes I’ll forgive the interruption, and hmmm, don’t we all.
LJ: And her Trainer? Three words to describe him.
DL: Strong. Handsome. Skilled.
DEBBIE: Awesome qualities in a dude.
LJ: Absolutely! Does he have a deep dark secret?
DL: He’s left behind his world and life to protect a friend.
DEBBIE: Ooooo, love secrets.
LJ: I gather that. You’re always asking our guests what their dark secrets are.
DEBBIE: And they’ve yet to give me a straight answer. What about YOU, DL???? What’s your deep dark secret. Come on, out with it.
LJ: (rolls eyes) See? There you go again!
DL: Um, how deep? How dark? Do you have a need to know? I’m a woman of many secrets I can’t talk about.
DEBBIE: Why won’t anyone answer that question?
LJ: LOL Maybe they’re afraid of it showing up in a book?
DEBBIE: Would I do that?
LJ: (arches eyebrow) Wouldn’t you?
DEBBIE: Describe to us your bathroom. I have a huge bathroom.
LJ: (throws up hands) Good gosh! There you go again! First you requested a tour of Becca Dale’s house. Then her backyard. You’ve been in Taryn Kincaid’s kitchen. Now DL Jackson’s bathroom? Nosey much?
DEBBIE: I told you before, it’s a need to know. Inquiring minds and all that hooey.
DL: When we remodeled an old dancehall, I had one giant room to work with. My husband gave me a roll of masking tape and said, mark where you want our room, bathroom and closet. So I did. I have a whirlpool tub, tiled around, a large corner shower. Two sinks made from antique dressers that I cut a hole in the top and dropped a porcelain basin in, and a shelf that goes around my tub I have books I’m currently reading on. Three iron candlesticks on same ledge around tub and a huge oval Victorian mirror with a carved gilded frame. There is a bullet hole in the mirror, but I didn’t put it there. It’s why I bought it. My bathroom is my escape place, where I de-stress and my husband doesn’t dare venture inside when I shut the door.
LJ: BULLET HOLE?? Awesome! I so want to redo my bathroom. It would be awesome to have a mirror with a bullet hole in it. Just too cool! (turns to Deb) See? There’s a dark secret right there. How did the bullet hole get there? Now, she says she didn’t put it there, but she didn’t say she didn’t know who did.
DEBBIE: She said she bought it that way.
LJ: Ever heard of misinformation?
DEBBIE: You mean like that commercial where the girl believes everything she reads on the Internet???
LJ: Not exactly. But close enough….
DEBBIE: You mean like all these Bigfoot sightings, but they all got his hair color wrong? It’s like a rusty red, ya know. Not brown.
LJ: Uhhh…didn’t know that. I think you’ve been out in the woods too much lately.
DEBBIE: The woods are awesome. Yesterday we got to investigate bear poop. Need to now where he was going to eat, ya know? It was full of apples and acorns. By the way, it was HUGE!!
LJ: Uhhh…I don’t now how to respond to that.
DEBBIE: No response necessary. Just a cool bit of info I thought you’d enjoy. What about you, DL? Do you hunt?
DL: No, but my husband does. All the deer and turkeys come into the yard when he goes out. I take pictures, so I can show him when he comes back. I even saw a mountain lion across the street this spring. For some reason—my photos make him grouchy. *Shrugs.*
LJ: LOL Love it!
DEBBIE: I can understand where he’s coming from.
LJ: Yeah, you chased a turkey toward your DH, didn’t you? And he didn’t even give you half credit…..
DEBBIE: Yeah, he gave me credit for guiding him to it. But he also told me he thinks I’m bad luck since he only got two and one was when I wasn’t with him. Apparently he usually gets two in VT and two in NY. Whatever, so we have to buy turkey this winter.
Summer or Fall: Fall of course—I do live in New England. My husband used to get so mad at me when we first moved here. I’m originally from Nebraska and they don’t have a lot of trees, not like New England. Anyway, every fall I’d hang my head out the car window like a dog and stare at the leaves as we drove down the road, snapping pictures with my camera. “Get back in the car. You look like a leaf-peeper.” Meh, whatever.
Boxers or briefs (yes I ask this a lot- it’s a must know) Boxer-briefs, but only because you didn’t give me the option of neked.
Walk on the beach or hike in the woods? Army vet=lived in the woods for months on end with the bugs, the below zero temperatures and snow, eating cold MREs and lacking a toilet and shower. The beach. I choose the beach!The Army took the camping and hiking right out of me. Of course if there was a zombie apocalypse, I’m all for high-tailing it to the wilderness. But we aren’t talking about zombies. Are we? Cause if we are, that’s a whole different answer. Roof tops, high ground... Um, sorry. I get a little off topic sometimes.
Soup and a grilled cheese or Surf and turf? Surf and turf. Did I mention I’m a rancher’s daughter.
Strawberry or chocolate? Chocolate.
Jeep or vette? Beings I owned a Jeep in the Army, I choose Jeep. Are you offering to get me one? I like red...or black. Oh, I live the OD green colored ones too.
Five o’clock shadow or clean shaven? There’s just something about a man that’s a little scruffy. But on the same note, keep them whiskers off my sensitive girly bits if you are going for the rugged, bad boy look. Razor burn is not appreciated.
Pat Patriot or Steely McBeam? Please...you’re really asking me this? Patriots. Off with her head!
DEBBIE: LOL Just making sue your loyalties are straight. Misplaced Yankee and all.
DL: Just so you know, this is going to come back and bite you someday—just saying. Muwhahahahahah. Alright, bring it.
….You’re out in the middle of the bayou on your trusty airboat. You’re on a secret mission to retrieve the flash drive containing Top Secret information. Normally, you operate alone, but the dudes upstairs insisted you take a trainee this round. You glance at him. That’s a lot of blood, but he shouldn’t have teased that gator. I know a man-eater when I see one. When the alligator (which you’ve dubbed Killer Dude) attacked, he snapped off your newbie partner’s hand. Yes, the one holding the flash drive. Thinking quick, you slapped a specialized gel pack you got from the first aid kit onto the wound and the bleeding stopped. He’ll survive. But with all the agents and secret operations in play? The clock is ticking and lives are at stake. You stare at the newbie. Hmm…his name is Peter Captainbauer. Coincidence? Maybe I should call him Hook. Later. Right now I gotta get that flash drive.
….You zip through the bayou, searching for that wrist-snapper. You’d recognize the beast anywhere, what with his damaged eye and missing foreleg. He can’t have gone very far. As you circle around, you spot the telltale bumps on the water’s surface…eyes and snout, baby. And one eye bump is messed up. It’s gotta be him.
….The engine quits. Guess your trusty airboat isn’t so trusty after all. You check the fuel. Empty, of course. Can’t Hookboy do anything right? As you straighten, you frown. Peter Captainbaur is gone. All that remains is a single Italian alligator loafer. Wonder if the guy knew it would come to this when he slipped these fancy boy shoes on this morning. There’s some deep, twisted irony in here somewhere. You pull out your Smith & Wesson and scan the area.
….Killer Dude’s head pops above the surface just in front of the boat. You manage to get off two shots before the beast does a quick tail flip and rams the bow. Tumbling to the airboat’s floor, your hand slams against the edge of the boat and you lose your grip. Ker-plunk. Your S&W disappears below the murky swamp surface…right along with the first aid kit. Can this day get any worse?
….You quickly check the boat and your pockets, coming up with an antique broche you bought at a plantation sale, a book on how to renovate an old house, and three beef jerky sticks. If you leave, Killer Dude might disappear forever – though from that hungry look in his eye, he’s not planning on leaving without a snack for the road…or would that be slide? And you’re not planning on leaving without that flash drive. What do you do?
DL: Is that Troy from Swamp People over there? “Hey! There’s a tree-shaker over here.” I whistle and jump up and down. After I have their attention, I sit down and wait for my knights in shiny rubber boots to come on over and rescue me, while I eat my jerky and read my book. I’ve been meaning to brush up on my plumbing skills anyway.….Don’t look at me like that. You didn’t say there weren’t any natives in the swamps. What? I’m a girl. Sometimes batting your lashes gets you whatever you want.
….And did you have to sink my handgun? S&W aren’t cheap. And hey, the killer gator should be satisfied, having feasted on my stupid partner that jumped ship.
LJ: I’ll give you points for creativity!
DEBBIE: LMFAO! LJ has been foiled again!
LJ: Not me…the enemy has been foiled again. DL saved the free world! And speaking of which, thanks so much for coming by! You are welcome back anytime!!
DEBBIE: Oh, um, yeah. ( pats LJ on the shoulder) that’s what I meant, the enemy. Soooo, yes DL please join us again with your next release or anything else you would like to chat about.
LJ: What??? I am NOT the enemy! I am an artist, posing imaginative and compelling scenarios for fellow artists to creatively escape.
Debbie: No, you’re the evil interviewer trying to make the interviewee cry. Just call ya Barb.
LJ: Nooo…I’m the sweet one in this duo. The innocent, kind, coffee-lover one.
Debbie: (breaks out in a coughing fit, Hot Cocoa spewing out my nose.)
LJ: Cool! Didn’t know you were multi-talented! Were you in the circus or something, have your own act spewing things out your nose? Did you shoot peas at bells and play the Star Spangled Banner? I bet you were a hit! Why did you ever leave the circus?
Debbie: Funny girl you are. I’m gonna send you somewhere, and it wont be the circus.
Rebels and Courtesans
By D.L. Jackson
BLURB:It’s a big universe out there. Forget boundaries. In these two novellas born in the stars, challenges are faced and hearts captured.
Courtesan Boot CampShay has one chance to become what she’s been born and bred to be, a royal courtesan to a king and queen, but will falling in love with her trainer throw her off course, or finally put her on the path she was always meant to take?
Rebel SoulsAva has lived her entire life fighting for freedom against an oppressive government. When she falls for a man who stands on the opposite side of the line she’s drawn, all she’s worked for may vanish, including her future with a Regulator who she has no business loving.
Genre: Sci-fi romance, erotic romance, fantasy
Heat level: 4
Word count: 74k
BUY LINKS: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Decadent Publishing
New Xiera Port docks, ten years before….
"Come with me, Duchess."
Ava snapped awake and stared into the lapis depths of Brodie Mark’s eyes.
"We’ll make history today." He straddled her hips with his hands pressed into her bunk on each side of her head, leaning in with his lips inches from hers.
"I’m not dressed and if that was a pass, it was really bad." The New Xieran summer had been hotter than usual and the scorching afternoon baked the air in her cabin, forcing her to strip to the thin T-shirt and her skivvies. Sometime during her nap, the sheet had worked down to her knees, exposing the naked flesh of her thighs and her belly, where her shirt had bunched up.
"Not a pass." His smile started as a twitch in the corners of his mouth and quickly spread to his whole face. Jewels twinkled from around her hips and navel, reflecting in Brodie’s gaze. "And it’s more than obvious you’re not dressed, Duchess."
"Brodie," Ava gasped and grabbed the sheets. She yanked as hard as she could in an attempt to cover her body. Best friend or not, he didn’t need to see her nearly naked. "You’re not supposed to be here—when I’m alone." She shoved his shoulder, pushing him back. "Uncle Theo will kill you if he finds you in here."
Brodie shrugged, knowing there was little chance of that. Her uncle had left for a meeting and told Ava to stay put. She’d soon grown bored and dropped into sleep only to be woken by the twenty-year-old heartthrob.
"I’m serious. You shouldn’t be in here."
"I know," he said. "But you’re always safe with me. And when you’re not with me…." He pulled a medallion on a long chain from his pocket and dangled it before her. It spun around, glinting in the light pouring through her cabin’s portal window. "I have a surprise." He dropped it on her chest between her breasts and leaned back in, pressing closer, until Ava’s breath caught in her throat. "Today is special—monumental."
"It is, is it?"
His tangled hair hung in a mass of dreadlocks around his face and dirt smudged his left jaw. It didn’t temper his devastating looks. Many an innocent girl lost her virginity to Brodie at the crook of a finger, and Ava was determined not to be one of them.
She tugged her gaze from his and stared at the open door to her quarters, anything to get her mind off him. "You need to get out of here before my uncle comes back."
"I will if you come with me."
Ava turned back to him. "My uncle will kick my ass if I leave the ship."
"What is it the Terrans say? Damned if you do—damned if you don’t?" He cocked his head and gave her a wicked grin. The muscles in her thighs clenched and her heart began to race. Two years older, Brodie had been the leader of a pack of feral children. Now a man, he’d joined the resistance and had quickly
climbed the ranks. Taller by a foot and twice as strong, he could easily force Ava to come along, but instead, he asked with excitement beaming from his eyes. "You know you want to."
Ava snorted and fought the smile that tugged at the corners of her mouth. "Brodie Mark, you’re likely to get me into trouble."
He sat back on his heels and laughed. "I am trouble." Brodie was as tough as a seasoned soldier and twice as lethal. He’d been forced to fend for himself and had killed to survive since the age of five. Brodie had very few things he valued, and those few things governed his honor code. That code meant he’d never harm a Rebel, or those that served the cause. Most of all he’d never harm her. Going with him should be safe.
She’d first met him on the street as he’d followed a target when he was twelve. She’d tagged along, wanting to get a closer look at his blaster rifle. Brodie told her to go away, but Ava had been persistent, dogging his heels until he’d spun around and knocked her flat. "Not this time. It’s too dangerous for little girls. Someday when you’re older."
"I’m not a little girl. I’m ten."
His gaze swept over her as he stared down. "You look like a baby."
"I’m a Frost, not a baby."
Brodie’s eyes had popped wide. He gave her a curt nod. "Be safe, Duchess. Go home. You can come another time. I promise, I’ll come and get you when you’re ready."
It had been the first time he’d called her that, his pet name.
It had taken her years to realize it wasn’t a nickname, but a title, one she’d hold if her mother hadn’t murdered her husband and run off with her father.
"Well, are you coming?" Ava pulled out of her memories and stared Brodie in the eyes. She bit her lip, debating whether it would be worth the trouble she’d get into. Seeming to sense her indecision, he gave her his best pouty face. Ava’s heart skipped, and she fought the giggle. Puppy dog eyes looked ridiculous on the dangerous Rebel. She should tell him.
"Well, Duchess?" Charm, charisma, and heat rolled off him.
He knew she couldn’t say no.
Brodie pulled Ava down the street. He held her hand, his fingers laced into hers. Energy zinged from the point of contact, making her stomach flip. "You didn’t think I forgot your birthday, did you?"
"It’s my birthday?" Ava stumbled and came to a stop. She’d not celebrated the silly Terran tradition since she was six, and only because her father had insisted. With her father and mother gone, the day seemed to become a normal day, twenty-six of the same hours she lived every year.
Brodie turned around and stepped in front of her. He took her other hand and walked backward, pulling her along. "It is." He smiled. "I didn’t forget." Mischief sparkled in his eyes, and Ava’s heart skipped.
"It’s not important." Ava rolled her eyes. "You shouldn’t bother."
"Your uncle told me your father was Terran, that you celebrated your birthday every year when he was alive."
She shrugged. "But I’m only half Terran. To the Nexians, it’s insignificant, a waste of time. Our births, our sex—everything about us is engineered from the embryo. Why celebrate the day you became a slave to a government?"
"But you weren’t engineered."
"Many Nexians are. My mother…it’s not important." She sighed. Maybe it was. She missed sitting with her family, opening gifts to celebrate holidays from another world. A child of two worlds, Ava never lacked for heritage, and her family had ensured she knew where she came from and who she was. Even so, they never tried to make her into somebody she wasn’t. Strange, Brodie would want to renew the traditions that died with her family.
"I’m Nexian, and I celebrate my beginning, even though I don’t know the exact date." He let go of one hand and turned, tugging her along. "Almost there."
She reflected on the direction they’d traveled, through back alleys, down the infamous Slaughter Ave., and deeper into the Blue District, heading for the hovering docks of the darker sector of the city.
D. L. Jackson is an award-winning author of urban fantasy, science fiction, military romance and erotic romance. She loves to incorporate crazy plot twists, comedy and the unexpected into her worlds. As a U.S. Army veteran, she naturally adores men in uniform and feels the world could always use more. She does her part by incorporating as many sexy soldiers in her novels as she can. When she isn't writing or running the roads, you can often find her online chatting with her peers and readers. Grab a cup of iced coffee, pull up your virtual chair and say hi. She loves emails and blog visits from her readers. www.authordljackson.com