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Rogue Hunter: Inquest Spotlight by Kevis Hendrickson

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Book Info 

Author: Kevis Hendrickson

Book Title: Inquest

Series: Rogue Hunter

Series #: 1

Genre: Space Opera

Reading Age: General Adult

Synopsis/Book Description

LUST AND FURY COLLIDE IN A GALAXY ON THE VERGE OF WAR.

Fearing retribution from ruthless gangsters over an unsettled debt, intergalactic bounty hunter Zyra Zanr ventures to a distant world to collect the reward for Boris Skringler, a notorious terrorist, who has been sentenced to death by political rivals of the InterGalactic Alliance. When she fails to secure his release, she decides to break him out of prison. Zyra soon finds herself an unwilling participant in events that lead to a climactic showdown between the most powerful worlds in the galaxy.

Torn between her desperation to rid herself of the threats to her life and her guilt in agitating the conflict between two galactic superpowers, Zyra is horrified to learn that the lives of an entire world of people hinge on her ability to return Skringler to his captors. However, her distrust of Skringler gives way to lust, unraveling her plans. Will Zyra give into her passion and allow Skringler to go free? Or will she surrender him to her enemies to stop an impending war? The fate of billions depends on whether she chooses life for a killer or the death of her lover.

Excerpt

Zyra pushed through the gloom and ambled over to the familiar iron bars that checked her advance into Skringler’s cell. If he knew she was standing only a few feet away from him, he gave no sign. He simply lay back on his cot, as if without a care in the world, hands folded behind his head. The air was musty and harder to breathe than she remembered it. It tickled her throat and parched her mouth.

She raised a hand to slide her fingers along one of the bars and felt the rough bumps on its cool surface, realizing how indifferent they were to whomever they held prisoner. The bars were as impervious to suffering as the damp walls of the cell. She fixed her eyes back on Skringler and opened her mouth, preparing to make some cold greeting. The words were still half-formed on her lips when she realized they weren’t necessary.

“You again, eh?” Skringler said. “Can’t stay away from me, can you?

Normally, Zyra would have made some quip to keep Skringler on edge. She was too exhausted to bother.

“I thought you should know. The queen denied my request. I won’t be taking you back home.”

She thought Skringler would have tossed a clever insult her way just to stoke the blistering coals in her heart. But he, too, seemed not in the mood for any horseplay.

“Queen says I have to die, huh?”

“I’ve tried everything. But she won’t give in.

Skringler’s mouth curled. Zyra couldn’t tell if he was upset or amused by her report.

“Queen’s a sore loser, y’ know. Just can’t stand the fact I was hidin’ right under her nose. Shoulda bought myself a Halotech. Those Treeban changeling suits are no good.”

Skringler was surprisingly calm for a man who had in essence been given a second death sentence. Pulling the rug from under him this way should have had him up in arms. Needless to say, it wasn’t the reaction she had expected.

“I’ll be leaving New Venus tomorrow. So, I guess this is it.”

Skringler’s eyes popped open. He twisted his head to give Zyra his most pitiful look. Her long eyelashes brushed her cheeks as she lowered her stare from him.

“You’re not really gonna leave me here, are you?”

“I don’t have a choice.”

“How can you walk away like this? Leave me to die?”

“I told you, there’s nothing I can do.”

“Hell there ain’t.”

Zyra didn’t like feeling helpless. But Skringler’s demanding tone only increased her frustration.

“What more do you want from me?”

Skringler rolled off the cot and sprang to his feet in one motion. Zyra tensed and resisted the urge to back away from the bars. Skringler stood a full head over her and peered into her face.

“Maybe I want you.”

“I’m not on the menu.”

“You should be.”

Heat radiated from Skringler’s gaze, almost burning her vision. She blinked, knowing her defenses were weakening, and examined his ruggedly handsome looks. The mop of dark hair spilling from his head accented his equally dark eyes. Zyra ran her eyes along the narrow bridge of Skringler’s nose all the way down to his perfectly shaped mouth. She used to swoon at the mere sight of him. Now she couldn’t give words to what she felt in his presence.

“I know we don’t see eye-to-eye, but you can’t act like leavin’ me here to die’s not gonna bother you.”

“Don’t try to make me feel guilty. I’m not the one who broke the law.”

“Don’t tell me you agree with these Fluffies. Thought you had a sense of fair play.”

“I did what I could for you. You’ll just have to face whatever comes your way.”

A moment’s silence crept between them as Skringler clutched the cell bars with his broad fingers.

“You are ice.”

“What?”

“You never used to be this cold. What the hell happened to you?”

“What do you care?”

The edge in Zyra’s voice was so sharp that it nearly cut the air. She was growing weary of Skringler’s attempts to bring up the past.

“Do you hate me that much?”

Zyra dipped her head forward, unable to quell the unrest she felt.

“I don’t hate you. I just—”

“Say it.”

“I just wish things were different.”

“For you or me?”

Zyra didn’t reply. She had said enough already.

“You don’t have to answer. I can see it in your face.” The rigid lines in Skringler’s face eased as his voice lost its leathery tone and became almost musical. “Wasn’t so long ago. I used to mean something to you.”

Zyra detected more than disappointment in his voice. There was also regret.

“Not anymore.”

“So you say. But I see it in your eyes, that little spark. It’s faded some. But it’s got life yet.”

“You’re seeing things,” Zyra said, struggling to keep from lowering her eyes again. It was getting harder to look at Skringler. His gaze stripped away her hardness and left behind gnawing doubt.

“Am I?”

“We can’t relive the past. We’re different people now.”

“No, I’m the same man I always was. You, on the other hand—”

The shifting tone in Skringler’s voice caused Zyra’s breath to hitch. She was tempted to look at him, but feared she would lose herself to the accusation in his eyes. She shuddered, knowing her armor was shedding like the dead skin of a serpent, exposing more of herself to him. She exhaled rather than spoke her next words.

“What about me?”

“You grew a conscience.”

Zyra’s lips trembled as words caught in her throat. She raised her hands drone-like, unaware of her movements, and squeezed the bars that kept Skringler away from her. A small section of rusty bars separated their fingers, but the heat from his hands reached her. She inhaled deeply then pushed the air through her lips, finally giving voice to her thoughts.

“I had to go my own way. I couldn’t become what you wanted me to be.”

“All I wanted was for you to stay.”

Zyra’s gaze drifted upwards to meet Skringler’s dusky eyes. They had grown darker since she had first entered the cell.

“At what cost? Look at what’s happened to you since I left. I never wanted that for myself.”

“You could’ve fooled me.”

A frown tugged at her mouth. Nameless faces, long dead, but unforgotten, pushed their way into her mind. Together, she and Skringler had blazed a trail of death throughout the galaxy, behaving like reckless teenagers hell-bent on turning the universe on its head and making a parody of death itself.

“I’m not proud of the things I did with you. But I came to my senses. Leaving you was the right thing to do.”

“Well, things turned out just fine for you, didn’t they?

Zyra winced, sensing anger in Skringler’s husky voice as one of the lights in the ceiling flickered out. She was barely able to make out the circles of his eyes in the intensified darkness.

“You think I don’t know why you’re here? Before I was nabbed, I heard some heavy hitters back on our side of space had it out for you. Said you owed them money and didn’t pay up.”

“I don’t know what you’re talking about.”

“Oh, you know, all right.”

“I came for you because you’re worth a lot of money.”

“No, you came because there’s a price on your head and if you don’t pay back the money you owe, they’re gonna cut you up into little pieces and feed you to gutterfish.”

Skringler’s words sucked the air from Zyra’s lungs. Until now, she hadn’t thought anyone was aware of her involvement with the mob.

“Maybe there is a price on my head. Why do you care?”

“I care because paying off your debt gets me out of here. Face it. Your luck’s run out and you need me.”

Zyra didn’t speak until she let out the breath she was holding.

“I told you Queen Karah won’t let you go.”

“So?”

“So what?”

“I know you, Zanr. You’re not gonna let somethin’ like a few bars of iron stop you from collectin’ that reward for me. Anyway, you owe me.”

Zyra saw the intent behind his eyes and shuddered.

“Do you know what you’re asking me to do?”

“Yeah. Save the life of the man you used to love.”

Purchase Links

Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/dp/B009ZWLMNS

Amazon UK: http://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B009ZWLMNS

Nook: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/rogue-hunter-kevis-hendrickson/1113726714?ean=2940015900774

Apple ITunes: https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/rogue-hunter-inquest/id576482840

Kobo: http://store.kobobooks.com/en-US/ebook/rogue-hunter-inquest

Smashwords: http://www.smashwords.com/books/view/250581

Did you know?
This novel is accompanied by an original soundtrack produced by the author? You can listen to the entire soundtrack at Soundcloud:

https://soundcloud.com/newvenusenterprises/sets/rogue-hunter/

CD and MP3 versions of the self-titled soundtrack are available for purchase. http://kevishendrickson.weebly.com/inquest-where-to-buy-soundtrack.html

Here’s the ‘Main Theme’ from the Soundtrack:

(Embed code: <iframe width=”420″ height=”315″ src=”//www.youtube.com/embed/GbXSAzhHSco” frameborder=”0″ allowfullscreen></iframe>)

Kevis-300x95

Author Bio

A self-acclaimed disciple of George Lucas, Alfred Hitchcock, J. Michael Straczynski, Stan Lee, J.R.R. Tolkien, Shakespeare, and Homer, Kevis Hendrickson considers himself the mad scientist of the literary world. His writing, while borrowing from the tried and true, is avant-garde. He is an aspiring filmmaker, musician, songwriter, novelist, poet, and illustrator.

Hendrickson has penned six Science Fiction and Fantasy novels, including The Legend of Witch Bane and the Rogue Hunter series. His second novel Rogue Hunter: Quest of the Hunter won the Red Adept Annual Indie Award (2010) for ‘Top Science Fiction’. His most recent novel is Rogue Hunter: Life Force. The fourth book in the series, Rogue Hunter: Longshot, is scheduled for release in Summer 2014.

His first novel The Legend of Witch Bane won much praise from readers and popular review sites, but work stalled on its sequel. After a long hiatus from working on his beloved Middle-Grade Fantasy Series entitled the Witch Bane Saga, Hendrickson plans to resume work on the series in the upcoming months.

He has also published one novella, one epic poem, one non-fiction book, and eight short stories. Hendrickson lives in sunny Miami, Florida U.S.A. where he spends his days dreaming of new worlds and epic adventures.

Author Contact Information

Website: http://kevishendrickson.weebly.com/

Twitter: @phantasmagoria1

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Rogue-Hunter/103175236424686

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