a photo of meIf you’ve found your way here, then we have something in common: we both love science fiction and fantasy and romance. If you can never get enough of the stuff, then we really have something in common.

For several decades, I taught writing and public speaking at the University of California, Berkeley, where I received a doctorate in rhetoric with an emphasis in folklore. As much as I enjoy teaching, I enjoy writing even more. I wrote my first science fiction novel in 1986 (an oddly heartfelt story about alien rats), and I’ve been writing ever since.

Now that you’re here, won’t you lean back, put up your feet, and stay awhile? The chairs are comfy, and the shelves are full.  And if you’ve the inclination, you can read the first two chapters of Beneath the Skin for free.

Beneath the Skin

cover of Beneath the Skin showing a woman standing in a gray metal corridor
The ten great families of the “solaratti” hold such influence that even the galactic government hesitates to act openly against them, a power that has gained them unimaginable riches and allowed them to shape the fate of worlds.

Aleta Graham is a healer and empath, abilities that make her a useful pawn for the ruthless Dagarro family, who have addicted her to the drug known as Sand in order to keep her submissive. But Aleta is determined to overcome the influence of the drug, and make a desperate bid for freedom — even knowing that the penalty for disloyalty to the family is death.

Riven is a shapechanger, a computer genius, a spy sent by the government to destroy the power of the Dagarro.  His ability to take on multiple identities allows him to infiltrate to the heart of their stronghold. But his rapidly growing feelings for Aleta, and hers for him, become a threat to his mission and put them both into deadly danger.

Special for fans!   (Spoiler alert!)  Click here to read deleted scenes that show how Riven infiltrates the Scargorman secret facility near the end of Beneath the Skin!