The Adventures Of Sinbad Book 6
By Toni V. Sweeney~*~*~*~*~*~
Interview with Toni V. Sweeney
Crystal: Today I have the pleasure of hosting Toni V. Sweeney. Hi Toni! I'm so excited you could visit with us today. Would you share a little bit about yourself with us today?
Toni: I’m originally from Georgia but have lived over 37 years in Nebraska, as well as ten years in California. I like to joke I lived 30 years in the South, a score in the Midwest, a decade on the Pacific Coast and I’m now trying for my second 30 on the Great Plains. I now reside in Nebraska’s capitol, Lincoln. I’ve been a published writer since 1989, and have had approximately 72 novels published, including re-releases under my own name and my pseudonym, Icy Snow Blackstone. Currently, I’m also publicity manager for Class Act Books. I also review novels for the New York Journal of Books Online and the Paranormal Romance Guild and was recently named a Professional Reader by netgalley.com. (pauses for breath)
Crystal: What are you currently working on?
Toni: At present, I’m re-editing and lengthening the novels in my series The Arcanian Chronicles. This is a Sci-Fi family saga in two parts. Part 1 has seven novels and is kind of Game of Thrones-ish, though it was written and originally published years before George RR Martin’s epic. Part 2 contains 8 books and is set in the far future, a bit Star Wars-like.
Crystal: Where did you come up with the idea for either your current release or your current WIP?
Toni: I have the TV series Beauty and the Beast (the original series, not the recent one) to thank for giving me the germ of the idea. I was intrigued by Vincent’s leonid appearance. I decided to have my hero be a smuggler who comes from a feline species that hates Earth people. My heroine is from Earth, of course. He’s drawn to her…and from there I let the fur fly.
Crystal: Do you have a favorite snack you like to munch on while writing? If so would you mind sharing what it is with us?
Toni: I like finger-food snacks…Cheetos, M&Ms, Dry-roasted peanuts…but I have to ration them because they’re good-tasting but fattening. Like the commercial says: “Bet you can’t eat just one!”
Crystal: Do you have a favorite scene you would like to share with us?
Toni: I do…but I’ll wait to use it as my excerpt, if I may.
Crystal: When you are not busy writing wonderful stories to keep us lucky readers entertained, what do you like to do? Do you have a hobby?
Toni: Sometimes I think writing is my hobby! I like photography and I’m likely to whip out my phone and snap a pic if I see something that catches my eye. I also like to paint…pictures, not houses…and once actually had an art show. I have quite a few of my works framed in my apartment. Believe it or not, I like to read. I have 12 bookcases in my apartment, jammed with mysteries, SF, fantasies, and horror novels, not including my own.
Crystal: Do you have a favorite background noise you like to have going while you write (TV, Music, kids playing)?
Toni: Sometimes I listen to the local PBR station. When I was writing the Adventures of Sinbad series, I listened to Rimsky-Korsakov’s Scheherezade a great deal, especially the Tale of Sinbad the Sailor. That piece was inspirational because it set the mood for the story perfectly.
Crystal: Thanks for visiting. It has been a pleasure having you visit today. Can you think of anything else you would like to share with us today?
Toni: Only that I hope everyone enjoys the excerpt and will look up the rest of the novels in the series. Book 6 Sinbad’s War was released April 15 by Class Act Books.
More about Toni at:
Amazon Author’s Page: https://www.amazon.com/-/e/B002BLQBB8
Sinbad sh’en Singh, smuggler-turned-shipping magnate, has become quite the family man, knee-deep in offspring and complacent with his life...but Fate is about to interfere...
Terra is again at another war, attacked by the Severani, members of an aggressively militant planet daring to challenge the Federation.
That was the enemy's first mistake.
Bombardment of other Federation planets follow...then they invade Felida, and among the casualties are the people Sin holds most dear...
...and that is mistake Number Two.
The hostile Severani are about to discover there’s nothing quite so dangerous as a Felidan who’s lost his mate...especially if his name's Sinbad sh'en Singh.
Publisher’s website |Amazon | Smashwords
Excerpt from Sinbad’s War:
The young man jumped to his feet, staring at the tall figure who stopped, looking down at him.
Nils Van Lewen considered himself tall, but the man coming through the door was a giant. He was also the first Felidan Nils had ever seen. The captain of the transport ship bringing him to Felida was Arcanian and the man meeting the shuttle had been Terran, introducing himself as Alda March, sh’en Singh Shipping’s Operations Chief. He knew the owner of the shipping line was half-Terran and expected someone looking like himself, but nothing had prepared him for this…
The creature said, “I’m Sinbad sh’en Singh. You wanted to see me?”
Nils stared up at him, noting the black leather trousers, boots, and vest, and the blazing white shirt. He remembered how March was dressed in soft Felidan robes.
Before he realized it, he stuttered, like a fool, “G-God, you’re tall!”
More than once he’d used his own height to intimidate someone and now he knew how that felt.
“We all are.”
A slight smile touched the giant’s mouth, revealing another shock.
He leaned against the desk, arms crossed over his chest. “What do you want…” Green eyes flicked to the insignia on his right shoulder. “…captain?”
Good God, they looked like a cat’s. The young man’s thoughts were a jumble.
“Van Lewen…Nils Van Lewen, Captain, Federation Armed Services.”
Thank God, he sounds like a Terran, speaks Inglaterre well, too. No accent at all.
“I don’t want to seem rude, but I’ve a business to run. I’d appreciate it if you’d state your purpose in being here so I can get back to it.” Sin stared at Nils expectantly.
Nils stared back.
“Well?” There was a hint of impatience in the deep voice.
“I’m sorry, but I was told you were paraplegic,” the young officer began, then shook his head as he realized the statement came out sounding like an accusation.
His assignment seemed so easy. Go to Felida, talk to the invalid owner of sh’en Singh Shipping, an old man partially paralyzed, dazzle him with Federation authority. Already nothing was going as it should.
“You are Andrew Malcom McAllister? Sinbad sh’en Singh?”
“I am,” Sin answered, a little brusquely. “And all that moving around you’ve witnessed is merely the work of a very finely-programmed micro-computer implant.”
For another minute Nils continued staring before bursting into explanation. “I’m going to get right to the point, Mr. McAllis…uh…sh’en Singh…sir.”
“I’m waiting.” Sin didn’t hide his sarcasm.
“Terra’s at war.”
“Am I supposed to be surprised? What else is new?” Sin shrugged. “Who’s the unlucky aggressor this time?”
“A planet called Severan.” Nils ignored his sarcasm.
“Never heard of it.”
“Not many people have. It’s a small world in the Drexus Cluster. A petty bunch of blackbirders barely surviving in the slave trade until about fifty years ago, when a dissident faction overthrew the emperor and set about establishing a military-controlled planet.”
“And they’ve been stupid enough to attack Terra? I doubt Earth attacked them.” Sin went on, before Nils could answer. “Tell me, has there ever been a conflict in which Earth was the aggressor? Still, fifty years isn’t long enough to get the military power to attack a planet that size.”
“That’s what the Federation thought when it was told a fleet of Severani warships were headed toward Terra, but they were wrong.” Nils shook his head. He got to his feet again. “The Severanis have devoted themselves entirely to building up their armed forces, sacrificing public welfare and natural resources to achieve their goal…and they succeeded. The attack on Earth was not only successful, but there was a sixty-five percent destruction rate in the areas hit and a severe loss of life. They fire-strafed both coasts. If the Federation hadn’t had that brief warning of the attack, the war might’ve been lost and won right then.” He shuddered.
“Damn.” Sin breathed the word. “I never thought I’d hear anyone say that. But they retaliated?”
“Of course, what else could they do?”
“Of course.” Once more that ironic tone.
“Nevertheless, this fight’s going to be a bad one. The Severanis are well-trained, dedicated, and fanatical in sacrificing for the Mother Planet.”
“This is all very interesting, Captain Van Lewen.” Sin went around the desk, dropping into the chair behind it. He frowned at the look of wonder still lingering in the young man’s eyes. “But what exactly does it have to do with me and mine?”
“The Fed’s sending officers like myself to members of the Federation, setting up enlistment stations.”
“I see.” Those two words weren’t encouraging.
“We’re going to need all the man-power we can get for this one. If we don’t get volunteers, we’ll have to start inductions, and they don’t want to do that. We haven’t had a true draft in three hundred years.” He carefully omitted mentioning the conscription in effect during the Terro-Felidan War. “Quite frankly, with so many worlds involved, I doubt it could be effectively enforced.”
“You want to set up this enlistment station in Khurda?” Sin struggled to glean information from what Van Lewen wasn’t saying.
The young man nodded.
“Why come to me?” Sin spread his hands. “I’m merely a humble merchant. You should be talking to the emperor.”
“I have, sir, or at least his representative. Before I landed. His Excellency gave his permission, but told me since Khurda, as the largest pride on Felida, was chosen as the site, I had to get the Pride Chief’s permission also. You’re anything but a humble merchant, sir.”
And you damn well know it, Nils thought.
Sinbad’s slight smile said so.
“So, here I am,” Nils finished.
“I’ve very little love for the Federation, Captain Van Lewen, and consider myself having no loyalty to it, either.” His answer was short and sharp. “This business now called sh’en Singh Shipping was originally a smuggling operation illegally supplying goods while we thumbed our noses at the Fed as we did it.”
“I’m aware of that, sir.”
Damn, the kid’s so polite, I want to deck him. How can I continue being rude to someone sounding so respectful?
“We…” Van Lewen’s expression changed to one of absolute terror. He swallowed convulsively and cleared his throat. “We were hoping you’d volunteer your ships, sir.” It came out in a near-whisper.
“My ships?” Sin’s exclamation exploded into the air.
Nils jumped, knowing his reaction wasn’t very officer-like. “Y-yes sir. You see, your darters are nothing more than modified Federation Thunderbolts, and your pilots are already combat-trained and if we had them…”
Sin glared at him.
“…we wouldn’t have to waste time training a Felidan Defense Force…to…” His voice trailed away.
“A Felidan Defense Force.” Sin laughed. “Isn’t that contradictory? According to the Peace Proclamation between Terra and Felida, we aren’t allowed to have a defense force. I suppose technically, my having these darters to protect my cargo ships is also in violation of the Treaty.”
“That part of the Proclamation’s been amended, sir,” Nils answered.
Sin frowned. “And…?”
Nils shook his head as if he didn’t understand.
“…do I need to remind you Felida isn’t a member of the United Terran Federation?” Sin’s voice went bitter. “No animals are allowed.”
“A special act of the PanGalactic Congress was passed before I left Terra. It also revoked the Federation Edict declaring Felidans non-humans, giving them First Class citizenship and bringing Felida into membership.”
“That generous move wouldn’t be just to get my ships, would it? Well, you can’t have them.”
Realizing he was wringing his fingers in a completely unofficer-like manner, Nils looked down at them and forced their nervous movement to cease.
The Felidan stood up, towering over him again. His ears seemed to flatten slightly, eyes narrowing.
Nils wanted to cower against the wall, but managed to stand still. His reactions had probably already disgraced the Federation and the uniform he wore. He hoped he wasn’t about to void his bladder, too. He definitely felt weak in the belly-region. Trying to do so without being obvious, he pressed his thighs together, grateful his tunic-tail covered that area of his body.
“I’m overjoyed I’m now a true citizen of the Federation.” Sin’s reply was deep and sarcastic. “I’m certain my wife’ll be greatly relieved to know she’d no longer sleeping with an animal, but you aren’t getting my ships, Captain Van Lewen. You’re here on sufferance, so be thankful you’re being allowed to stay at all.”