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cropped-shakazhan-front-a-copy.jpgWith all the pre-holiday hustle and bustle, The Maker got somewhat lost. It’s Here! After months of editing and tearing my hear out, my book is born and I’m delighted. Thank you Second Wind Publishing, especially Mike and Stacy, for making it happen!

The Lone Wolf series is especially near to my heart because the core three characters of Wil, Matilda and Marc are based (loosely) on three characters friends and I played in an old role playing game, Traveler. It’s sort of like Dungeons and Dragons, only in outer space. The character of Wil wasn’t initially part of the scenario, that was Matilda (also known as Romance) and Marc. Wil came in later and stirred things up.

cropped-lone-wolf-cover-scanned-500-x-7501.jpgOriginally, I had intended to chronical our actual game adventures but early on, things took a turn. Instead, Wil swept in, spirited Matilda away and Marc trailed after to cover their backs. I honestly had no intention of them rushing off to save the galaxy, but that’s what happened.

Am I unhappy about that? No, I’m delighted. I feel as if I have done my job as an author correctly if my characters take over and run rampant with my story. I’m not sure who spun things out of control first, but I’m sure it was probably Wil. Okay, I’m sure it was Wil’s fault. He’s a very strong character and decidedly had a mind of his own.

Wil’s motivation was simple: the bad guy needs to be stopped because he made me look bad. Followed by: the bad guy needs to be stopped because he’s extremely dangerous and has the potential for causing a lot of trouble. Somewhat hedonistic and narcissistic by nature—did I say somewhat? I should have said completely. Completely hedonistic and extremely narcissistic, Wil couldn’t let the villain make him look bad. He as a reputation as a legendary badass to maintain. Though there is an element of altruism there, buried deeply under his ego, he probably wouldn’t have cared as much if his reputation wasn’t at stake.

Matilda, on the other hand, sees the big picture. If the bad guy is Pageflex Persona [document: PRS0000035_00022]allowed to continue, everyone is in jeopardy. She cares about Wil’s reputation, but only minimally. Her concern is more what can happen to everyone else if they are unsuccessful.

Marc is there, initially, to protect Matilda and cover Wil’s back. He, like Matilda, is motivated by the greater good. He couldn’t care less about Wil’s reputation, but he counts on the other man’s skills to help save the day. Don’t think that Marc is any kind of a wimp. In his own way, he is as formidable as Wil. His mental games of What If often prove effective in finding a solution.

I had intended to make Lone Wolf a stand alone novel. However, I got to a point where I realized that I had so much story to tell, I needed to split it in two, or I’d have a book about 1,000 pages long. I ended Lone Wolf rather abruptly and picked up the action for Shakazhan immediately after the first one ended.

cropped-lone-wolf-cover.jpgThe Maker picks up after several months have passed. The small fighting force is settling in, doing their best to train themselves into some sort of army. Unfortunately, it becomes readily apparent that there are too few of them to hold out against a concerted attack.

Wil and the others decide that they must contact the people back home and request reinforcements. They also must attempt to make alliances with some of the planets’ residents. This quest is much harder than it first appears, because many of the natives don’t want to be friends.

The Maker is a pivotal book where I introduce several new characters who take key roles later in the series. One, in particular, takes off and becomes a major player in book 4, The Kahlea. I have to admit, that she is a particular favorite of mine who gave me lots to explore.

I hope you enjoy The Maker, as well as the other books in the Lone Wolf series: Lone Wolf and Shakazhan.

© 2015 Dellani Oakes

THE BEGINNINGPageflex Persona [document: PRS0000035_00020]

A fading sun glimmered listlessly in the cloudless sky, growing dimmer each cycle. Shakazhan, the near dead planet below limped around the dying star, knowing no change of seasons. Dreary, gray-brown, scrubby foliage hung on by sheer tenacity, born of long habit. So these two had coexisted for millennia, neither giving in to entropy. At least they had until a year ago when once again, human feet touched the parched, desolate landscape.

Lost in the mists of myth and legend, no one had disturbed the planet’s slumber until Wil VanLipsig and his wife, Matilda Dulac, arrived. They came in pursuit of Wil’s son, John Riley, who sought to free the evil Kahlea Master. John Riley was dead, killed by his father. The Kahlea perished too, but not until after he had called to his brothers, begging for revenge. The Kahlea, their great minds as twisted as their grotesque bodies, once laid waste to Shakazhan. Their power seemed limitless, until the arrival of the Timokuan. These fierce warriors faced the Kahlea, driving them back to the deepest pits of space which spawned them.

Shakazhan barely survived, its stars destroyed, its sun drained of energy. And so it sat for millennia, waiting until such time as humanity returned, ready to rebuild it to its former glory. Now, no longer silent, Shakazhan is the center of great activity. Wil and Matilda prepare their small, but courageous force, to combat the encroaching Kahlea and their minions. Paths are worn in the stunted brown vegetation, leading from the teleport pads to the entrance of the planet’s only existing structure, The Halls of the Hallowed Dead. The once dazzling golden arched entrance, flanked by elegant statues of warriors, glitters dully in the waning sun. It is all that attests to the glory that was Shakazhan.

Voices carry on the still air, echoing from the exposed rock face nearby. Laughter joins speech, creating a cacophony of sound far different from the clash and thunder of Kahlea war machines of the past. People live in domed buildings, in the shelter of these massive cliffs, finding solace in their presence.

Two great sentient, living ships circle the planet in stately, geosynchronous orbit, they provide shelter for those who have traveled so far from home. An elongated teardrop, each is the size of a large asteroid. A mated pair, Hammer and Anvil, house humans and the Kindred—an alien race who have sworn to fight the Kahlea. Highly advanced, the Kindred crew the ships, work as planet-side technicians and augment the human forces. Their telepathic powers make them a formidable ally.

The sun sinks below the horizon. Activity slows, as the humans take off from work early. It is a day of celebration, a time of peace. By the reckoning of the human’s calendar, it’s Christmas Eve.

© 2014 Dellani Oakes

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