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About the Book

A Hero for the Empire

Series: The Dragon’s Bidding
By: Christina Westcott

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Commander Kimber FitzWarren is running on borrowed time. The cybernetic augmentations that give her superhuman strength and speed have also shortened her life. The success of her next mission is imperative, not only to save her Empire, but because this operation could be her last. She and a cabal of idealistic officers are plotting to topple the corrupt Imperial government. The key to placing missing military legend Arianne Ransahov on the throne lies with the one man who can find her, mercenary Wolf Youngblood.

Having just survived an Imperial assassination attempt, Wolf is understandably on edge when Fitz shows up in his bedroom at 0-dark-30. Except she isn’t there to kill him, but to plead for his help. Help he’s reluctant to give—until another assassin pushes the issue. Pursued by Imperial forces, left with no one to depend on but each other, a passion grows between them that even their secrets can’t destroy.

But before they can explore what’s left of their future, they have to survive the mission.

A Hero for the Empire is available at

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The freighter abruptly rolled to the right. Red lights rippled across the control panel. Alarms wailed. With a thruster out, the Loki series glided like a block of plexisteel dropped in a bathtub. Their angle of descent steepened precipitously. Wolf managed to bring the ship out of the roll and feathered the throttle on the remaining engine to keep them level.

When her hearing returned, Fitz could hardly understand him through the ringing in her ears. “Ship, give me a revised course to the bloody landing site. Can we make it there?”

Lizzy’s answer was obvious as the plot recalibrated on the tactical display. Their new course passed directly over the city toward the mountains. It ended abruptly about half way up one of the peaks.

“I’m afraid not, Colonel.”

“Find me a pass or valley or something to fly this piece of shit through. Otherwise, we’re going to have to put down on this side of that range. The only place that looks good to me right now is the ocean, and I’m not keen on going swimming today.”

“There.” Fitz pointed out a break in the line of peaks just before Lizzy put the new course up on the display. “Can we make it through there?”

“Perhaps,” the ship answered. “If we can maintain this altitude. Colonel, change your heading to three-five-zero.”

As Wolf eased the nose around to the new heading, Fitz eyeballed the slender defile ahead of them. This far out, it looked impossibly narrow with a tangle of trees crowding the gap between two vertical rock faces. Half way through, the passage doglegged to the right. She wouldn’t want to fly through that in a perfectly good shuttle, let alone a crippled freighter.

“Jumper. Box,” Wolf snapped. For once, the cat didn’t argue. His claws scrabbled on the deck plates, and the door to his carrier slammed.

“Fitz, activate your crash web.” He fought with the controls, not waiting to see if she obeyed him.

Cocooned inside the restraints she would be unable to do more than watch. “Not yet. You’re going to need my help with the ship.”

“I don’t need your help. I need you safe. Activate the web.”

At her touch on the button, the restraints boiled out of the edges of her seat, enveloping her and contracting. She felt trapped in a vat of thick cold pudding. A clear shield covered her face, sparing her a sense of suffocation and allowing her to communicate.

“What about you?”

He shook his head. “Someone has to fly this shit box.”

As much as she’d rather see him safely ensconced in the crash web’s embrace, she knew only he could take the ship through that defile. A coldly logical computer, Lizzy would never have considered such an unlikely course. It took a slightly mad and very ballsy human pilot to pull this off.

About the Author

For as long as I can remember, I’ve had imaginary people living in my head. Odd people, some would say, weird people. Wizards, cyborgs, mercenaries and cats…lots of cats—shape shifting cats, talking cats and telepathic cats. After continual nagging from this bazaar cast of characters inside me, I decided to unleash them on the world in my science fiction and fantasy stories. I’m an inveterate collector of not only books and cats, but also of experiences. I rode in rodeos, drove racecars and flew airplanes. All good experience for being a writer.

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