I've released into the fantasy genre a new novel called as you might have guessed, Victory's End: Book 1 of the Vast War. Below is the cover shot. A synopsis follows and a brief sample from the first chapter. Currently it is available on Smashwords here:
Hopefully it will be available on iBooks, Barnes and Noble, and Kobo soon. It costs 0.99 cents.
A little description
Victory’s End, Book 1 of the The Vast War by Leslie R. Lee takes place in an alternate universe that is familiar because of the truths of our lives and familiar because of truths of our stories. In this world at this time, sentient and fantastical creatures including Humans live together in something approaching harmony. The world is recovering from a terrible conflict known as The Vast War. The world still suffers from the effects despite the end decades before. Even with victory, the former allies, species of all kinds, view each other with suspicion and disdain. Still, the rebuilding must continue. The protagonist, Payn, is a constable in the city of Lost Angels. A mundane request for his services from one principality by another turns from simplicity into disaster in an instant. Events unravel the fabric of the world revealing a new and terrible threat to the different civilizations. The detective acquires uncommon allies in a race to discover who is behind this threat and what it means for all the cultures trying to live together. Our protagonists are not all heroes nor entirely heroic. They’re skills are not well suited to their task. And they are very few against this hidden evil. Slowly, the evil reveals itself in the dread seeping into the population. Fear squeezes the people all around them. Fear that is unnamed and undefined. Our heroes, reluctant though they may be, must find within themselves and in each other the strength to overcome their differences and prejudices to unite and find the answers needed to defeat the enemy.
Payn threw his head back and moaned. “But I don’t want to.”
His boss, Constable Superintendent Alyssa D’Mure scowled at him. “Do you have any slight of a notion about how irritating that racket is?”
“Would you prefer weeping, perhaps? Because that also seems entirely appropriate.”
He slumped down into his chair. It should have provided more comfort given its plushness. But it didn’t. The Constable Superintendent's office was spacious, had windows, was carpeted. Many awards and citations adorned the walls. A painting of the child regent, Victoria, hung behind her chair. The office was private and, compared to his puny desk, luxurious. He hated this chair and her office. Being in here meant only one thing: Trouble. Sometimes it was big trouble. Most times it was really big trouble. This time the trouble was just about as big as it could get.
“Right at this moment, Constable Payn, I would prefer to just shoot you.”
She looked serious. Her revolvers slept on her hips. Big and shiny Ton & Drew RestInPeace models. The RIPs hung right next to her very shiny and very important constable badge. Like him, she was in plain clothes. A long dark green skirt swept down to her ankles. A shiny black wide belt cinched her into a waspish figure. Her starched, white blouse buttoned all the way to her neck and sensible little tie did nothing to hide her sharpened bosom. A burnished and pointed boot poked out from beneath her skirt where a white petticoat hinted its laced presence. Oh, how she would dearly love to apply that boot to his backside. The moment he started that awful noise, she’d jumped up to stride around her big mahogany desk. Smacking him might be wrong or even illegal, but it was surely justified.
“Why me?” he whined. “Can you not send someone else?”
He made sure he was whining. Really whining. Maybe, if he was lucky, she actually would shoot him then he’d be out of his misery. This assignment sounded like work. Hard work. Work where he’d have to show some productivity. Tedious work. Irritating work. Work which involved danger. He didn’t mind danger. As long as it happened to someone else.
Her rouged lips pressed tightly together as her cappuccino colored complexion darkened further. The only other skin she showed were her hands which she balled into fists to press into her hips. A small wisp of black hair escaped the tight bun that was her hairstyle.
“Constable Payn!” she said through gritted teeth. “Do I have to repeat myself?”
He knew he had her. If they’d asked for him by name, then nothing could make the circumstances even approach being tolerable for his boss. She needed him. The worst part was that it didn’t give him any sense of power. It should have. He should be able to ask for a raise. Or a new desk. Or a new levilator so he could spin around the city instead of having to take the horse drawn carriages around the city of Lost Angels. Hovering around in a shiny new lev would be great fun. But what he sorely wanted to do above anything else he could imagine was to simply refuse this case. And that meant she had him. If he did not want it, he could resign. But if he’d been asked for by name then that was that. Do it or quit.
“This assignment possesses all the trappings of trouble, governor,” he said looking her in the eye.
She frowned. “It’s just a simple meet and greet. You’ll be home before nightfall. How much trouble could there be?”
The question and its unknown answer wormed their way back and forth between the two constables.
Finally, he stood. She was tall, much taller than him, and he found himself staring into her breasts. They pointed out like cones at him. If he grabbed them, would they feel like hard metal? Maybe she was wearing steel lingerie. If he concentrated, he could just make out the contours of her nipples. Maybe he could just touch them. Her fingernail made a distinct and ominous sound on the Ton & Drew RIP. One eyebrow was slightly raised. She’d love him to try. He considered it for a moment. Trying just might be worth the effort but certainly it would be the last thing he’d ever do. Maybe he should.
Instead, he threw his head back and moaned.
“Ohhhhhhh,” he bleated. “Where must I go?”
She handed him a card being careful not to touch him.
“You’re due at the border crossing in six hours. Don’t be late. You know how they love being kept waiting.”
He did. And love was accurate if she meant getting furious enough to behead someone. Then again, they were just as likely to behead someone even if they weren’t furious.