I’ve always had a fascination with the stars. As a child, I’d lie out on the lawn with my cousin at my grandparents’ ranch and stare up at the heavens, hoping to catch a glimpse of a UFO. Two hours from the nearest city, the ranch didn’t have any artificial light to obstruct the view and what we saw was nothing short of breathtaking. From that sky, unbelievable stories were born.
We’d talk about what people from other worlds might be like. Would they be green, pink—or multicolored like a rainbow? (That was my cousin Dee.) At the age of five years, our imaginations had no bounds, spawning stories of princesses on distant planets, star-fighters and brave warriors. And though we thought it was nice they might be able to rescue us, we usually ended up bailing them out. (What can I say, we were five—and girls. But really, nothing has changed.)
Well, as I’ve gotten older, my obsession with the stars hasn’t gone away. If anything, it’s grown. And I hope when you pick up one of my tales from the heavens, it will take you back to your childhood, when anything was possible. Maybe you’ll recall a time when aliens raced ships across the skies, battling the forces of evil, wherever they’d try to hide. And maybe, just maybe, you had a rainbow alien living in your imagination, too. Whatever it was that caused you to look up is still there, waiting for you. I promise. All you have to do is pick up a book and turn the page. May your trip back into the stars be as fun for you as it was for me to pen.
D L Jackson
Find DL Jackson's books at Decadent Publishing.
Enjoy an excerpt from DL Jackson's Elatia story, Courtesan Bootcamp.
“Wakey, wakey, princess.” Someone slapped her cheek.
Shay knocked the hand away. “I’m not a princess.”
“We’ll you’re not an ornament for my transpod either. Get off. You’re drooling on my deck.”
Shay’s eyes snapped open and she found herself face to face with the mud slug again. “Courtesans don’t drool.”
“You aren’t a courtesan yet, cupcake, and what do you call that puddle on the deck?”
She turned and her eyes widened. No, no, no. She’d committed the unforgivable. Her hand shot up to cover her mouth and chin, hopefully blocking the view of any spittle left on her face.
“Yup, Dayne’s going to have fun with you. What street corner are they finding you girls on these days?”
“They didn’t find me. They bred me for…why am I explaining this to you?” She kept her hand over her mouth, waiting for him to look away so she could take care of business.
He shrugged, dropped her bag beside the transpod, and headed for the front entrance to a large minnica spire.
She used her palm to wipe her chin and watched him go. “Hey, do I go in there?”
If he heard her, he didn’t indicate that he had. He entered, leaving her to her own vices. Okay, she wasn’t some helpless flower. She could make the introduction herself and didn’t need Mr. Personality’s help.
Shay reached into her bag, retrieved a mirror, and checked her face and hair. All evidence of the mishap had been wiped away, and without smearing her makeup. At least something had gone well. Once satisfied, she climbed to her feet with as much grace as she could muster, smoothed the fabric down on her overdress, and grabbed her bag.
Sometime during the trip to her new home, her right ass cheek had gone to sleep. Combined with the missing heel, she hobbled like a crone. Not the most elegant example she wanted to put forward, but also not her fault. Too bad about the boots. The heels were hand-carved crystal, irreplaceable, and her favorite pair.
She stopped in front of the tall door and stared at it for several seconds before she found her courage. Shay cleared her throat. “Open,” she spoke in her most commanding tone. Stepping forward on instinct, she smacked face first into the hard surface, which had failed to vaporize as expected.
Shay reached up and rubbed the tip of her nose. What kind of freaking planet is this?
She poked it and cleared her throat. “Open.” The door didn’t move. Shay glanced around for a button, or something, anything to activate the mechanism that opened it. Lever? Fuck. Nothing but a round thingy. She bit her lip again. Certainly nothing as primitive as….
“You have to turn the round thingy, honey.” This time Milos’s voice came through by brainwave, telepathy, or whatever he was using to annoy the shit out of her.
“Stay out of my head.”
“Turn the knob. Open the door. It’s not rocket science.”
“I know rocket science. I don’t need your instructions.”
“Of course you don’t.”
“You’re an asshole!”
“Nice language.” Shay lifted her chin to look in the face of…dear gods. Dark hair, green eyes, strong jaw and chin. The man standing in the doorway had looks that would melt a woman where she stood. And she’d just called him an asshole, or he thought she did. Her mouth dropped open.