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Breakeven (Verdant String)

by Michelle Diener on 2018-10-08

Dee had been fighting one war, only to find herself caught up in another . . .

When circumstances leave Dee stranded on the Breakaway planet of Lassa, she has to choose--take the easy way out, or stand and fight an enemy much like the one she left behind on her home world of Garmen.

For Sebastian, leading the Lassian resistance has come at a heavy price. Forced to gamble the last of his resources on a risky ploy to get some leverage over the Core Companies that run Lassa, he stares defeat in the face when it fails. There's no backup plan left. Nothing more to work with. And all around him, people are starving, and it looks as if the Cores have entered a deal with a hostile alien force, to enrich themselves even more.

But Dee inspires him. Even though it's his fault she's on Lassa to begin with, her courage and steady calm are the assets he needs, and unbeknownst to both of them, she has with her the key to bringing the Cores to their knees.

Now they just have to turn the lock in time.

Breakaway (Verdant String Book 1)

by Michelle Diener on 2018-06-11

Sofie lives in the shadow of Felicitos--the tethered way station built to funnel Garmen's mineral wealth to the top of the atmosphere, where it's loaded onto space ships. Because Garmen is a breakaway planet, not part of the Verdant String Coalition, the companies that control it are free to run things as they see fit, and Sofie is part of the resistance that wants to end their rule.

Her main goal, though, is to get away from Garmen altogether, and leave the drudgery and violence behind her. That goal is complicated by her involvement with Leo Gaudier, a shadowy crime lord whose ability to cheat the companies that own Garmen is something she admires. And when she stumbles on a terrible new direction the companies are taking, a secret alliance that will endanger everyone she cares about, she sees her chances of escape slipping away.

Leo is all too aware he doesn't know enough about Sofie, something his own security detail is not slow to point out, but he can't keep away. When Sofie reveals her links to the resistance, and shows him those in control of Garmen have begun swimming in dangerous waters, he realizes his plan to overthrown them in a careful operation of a thousand cuts is no longer workable.

The time has come for a single, lethal strike--and that will not be without consequences . . .

Shadow Warrior (Sky Raiders Book 3)

by Michelle Diener on 2018-01-21

Taya and Garek have survived the worst of what the sky raiders and their own fellow Illians have thrown at them. But now, they’ll have to deal with both their enemies working together.

As three of the Illian states close in on what they see as the weakness of West Lathor, Garek and Taya have to shore up their defences, call in favors, and forge friendships with whoever they can to protect their friends and family. When the signs that there is an alliance between an Illian liege and the sky raiders becomes harder to ignore, they have to face the fact that they may be defeated.

The arrival of a new group of sky raiders, looking for information and help, opens up a new possibility. Garek sees no choice but to make a deal with the devil, but the gamble is, will the enemy of their enemy help them, or betray them?


Interference & Insurgency (Verdant String)

by Michelle Diener on 2018-01-14

The Verdant String Series

The seven planets of the Verdant String, the green, fecund sources of life spanning five solar systems, comprise the Verdant String Coalition. This is the setting for a new science fiction romance series from award-winning science fiction romance novelist Michelle Diener. While the people of the Verdant String know they have a common ancestor, a group of explorers who colonised the planets at the same time a thousand or more years ago, the mysteries of who they were, and where they came from, persist.

Interference (A 25,000 word novella introducing the world of the Verdant String)

Interference can go either way . . .

The tiny moon of Cepi is on a countdown to destruction, and while Nyha Bartali has been persuaded to take her four wards for a final look at the archaeological wonder, now she's eager to leave. The only problem is, someone has other plans--plans to exploit Nyha and her girls' status as the betrayed orphans of the Verdant String in order to give them time to steal Cepi's secrets.

Nyha and her wards' value as survivors of the destruction of Halatia means it would be political suicide for any leader of the Verdant String to endanger them again--something the hostage-takers know very well. What the hostage-takers don't know is that Nyha and her girls have more help than they realize.

Mak Carep knows his team's presence on Cepi is the last flex of Arkhor's muscle before the moon is blown to bits. Arkhor has interfered on Cepi since it discovered the ruins four hundred years ago, but sometimes, interference can have unexpected consequences. When Nyha and her girls are taken hostage, Mak and the rest of his special forces team are the only ones who have any hope of rescuing them, and they're ready and willing to do what Arkhor does best . . . Interfere.

Interference was first published in the Orphans in the Black Anthology in July 2017.

Insurgency (Insurgency is a 45,000 word short novel set in the Verdant String series)

The Parnian city of Var is under siege. Buildings are being targeted by insurgents whose only aim seems to be destruction. Nick Bartega is part of the Protection Unit team investigating the explosions, but with no discernible pattern, and no one taking responsibility, he and his colleagues have hit a blank wall.

That is until his neighbor, Tila, is caught up in the first real mistake the insurgents have made. Cornered, forced to take Tila's whole office hostage, the insurgents are surrounded and out of options, until they use Tila as their shield.

Tila sees herself as Parnian first, Halatian second, but her dark blue hair, and the strong emotions her very existence provokes in others means the insurgents see her as the perfect hostage. No one on Par wants to give the order that might catch her in the crossfire. They'd rather let the insurgents get away.

But Nick, and his commander, Drake, see the first glimpse of a pattern in the insurgents behavior. Not that long ago, Halatians were used as hostages in another incident on the tiny moon of Cepi, and the parallels are hard to ignore. So is this attack on Var an isolated incident, or is there a bigger conspiracy at play?

Whatever the truth, Nick isn't prepared to leave Tila in the insurgents hands. And he's prepared to break any rule, and disregard any order to do it.

Calling the Change (Sky Raiders Book 2)

by Michelle Diener on 2017-07-18

He rescued her despite impossible odds—Garek has rescued Taya and the rest of his village from the sky raiders, but their return home doesn't bring easier times. The sky raiders aren't simply going to go away—they still need the shadow ore they came for, and they want the ships Garek stole from them back. But they aren't the only threat . . .

First she was in danger from the aliens who abducted her, now she's in danger from her own people—Taya's been rescued, but she isn't home a week before she's taken again, this time by men who walked the walls with Garek. They've taken her as a consolation prize of sorts, having failed to get hold of Garek himself. They think Taya's value to the people they're working for is her relationship to Garek, but they are wrong . . .

Garek and Taya never gave up on each other before, even when the distance between them was impossibly far, and they aren't giving up on each other now. As Garek searches for her, and Taya engineers her escape, they discover the motivations behind the new attacks on them are darker than the endless reaches of space they've just escaped from.

Dark Horse (Class 5 Series Book 1)

by Michelle Diener on

Some secrets carry the weight of the world. Rose McKenzie may be far from Earth with no way back, but she's made a powerful ally--a fellow prisoner with whom she's formed a strong bond. Sazo's an artificial intelligence. He's saved her from captivity and torture, but he's also put her in the middle of a conflict, leaving Rose with her loyalties divided. Captain Dav Jallan doesn't know why he and his crew have stumbled across an almost legendary Class 5 battleship, but he's not going to complain. The only problem is, all its crew are dead, all except for one strange, new alien being. She calls herself Rose. She seems small and harmless, but less and less about her story is adding up, and Dav has a bad feeling his crew, and maybe even the four planets, are in jeopardy. The Class 5's owners, the Tecran, look set to start a war to get it back and Dav suspects Rose isn't the only alien being who survived what happened on the Class 5. And whatever else is out there is playing its own games. In this race for the truth, he's going to have to go against his leaders and trust the dark horse.

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