Title: STARQUEST (Book 1 of the Destiny Trilogy)
Author: Hywela Lyn
Genre: Science Fiction Romance
When Jestine Darnell is rescued from her sabotaged starship by the crew of the Destiny her only objective is to complete her mission and keep her promise to save a world from slavery. Love is the last thing on her mind. However, she has not counted on losing her heart to Kerry Marchant, the ship’s second in command, who makes his distrust of her painfully obvious, despite the chemistry between them. The completion of her mission has consequences that neither of them could have foreseen.
Enter Dahll Tarron, who becomes involved in a long and dangerous quest to find the Destiny. Fates become intertwined, perils shared, culminating in the realization that sometimes love may be so close that there is a danger it will not be recognized until it is too late…
After their evening meal, most of the crew relaxed in their quarters or on the recreation deck, but Jess sat enthralled before the main observation panel, watching the rapidly unfolding vista of stars, like shimmering jewels in the black velvet backcloth that was deep space. There was something about the sheer immensity of the Universe that made her feel very insignificant and, at the same time, very tranquil. No matter how long she travelled in space, she never lost her sense of wonder at its beauty.
The ship cruised under the control of the main computer, and as so often seemed to happen, she found herself alone on the flight deck with Kerry. Was it coincidence, or was he keeping an eye on her? Why else would he be working while everyone else enjoyed their leisure time?
He sat nearby, at one of the consoles, checking the coordinates for the next jump through hyperspace. This would bring them to a previously unexplored sector of space, and the planet Dakkon. Without making it obvious she was looking at him, she watched as he ran his long, slim fingers over Metisa’s configuration panels. Although the computer received and relayed most of its information verbally, there were certain functions for which Common Universal had its limitations as a computer language.
Kerry’s hands fascinated her. She felt such hands should belong to an artist or a musician, not to this stern, logical man who seemed interested only in the ship and its computers. She turned her attention back to the observation panel and came to a decision. She’d waited long enough to find the right moment to tell Jon about Phidia, and to confess to taking the blaster. She’d tried to return it, but that had proven more difficult than stealing it in the first place. She wondered, not for the first time, if it was even fair to ask the Commander to help her. But time was running out. She sighed softly and decided she could leave it no longer.
Kerry turned and looked at her. “Something on scan that should not be there?” he asked, the brusque tone of his voice breaking into her musings
“No, it’s just...so beautiful out there—and so vast,” she replied. How could he fail to be moved by the stars she loved so much? “It makes me think of something my mother told me when I was a child back on Earth.”
He raised an eyebrow. “Oh?”
“You wouldn’t be interested. It’s just a story.” She rose from her seat.
“Well...” Noting the cold skepticism in his eyes, Jess wished fervently she had not mentioned it, but it was too late now. Reluctantly she seated herself again. “I used to spend hours watching the stars, dreaming of one day exploring them,” she told him softly. “My mother and I would often watch the night sky together. I loved to see falling stars, and she told me they were the souls of young girls who had died for love. For a long time I believed it.”
Kerry regarded her witheringly. “Presumably you do not need me to give you a lecture on meteors and astrophysics?”
“I did say I was just a child. I knew you’d think it ridiculous.” She tossed back her hair and looked at him steadily. “But even when I was old enough to know falling stars were merely specks of cosmic dust igniting in the Earth’s atmosphere, I still loved watching for them and imagining—”
She broke off with a slight shrug, and gestured toward the scanner. “I’m sure it sounds absurd to you, but I would never be afraid to die if I thought I might become part of all that, even if just for a moment.”
“Are you not a little old for such fanciful ideas?”
Jess ignored the scorn in his voice. “Perhaps, but I can’t help thinking how fragile life is. I’ve already cheated death once. My escape module wasn’t equipped with interstellar drive. I couldn’t have made it to another planetary system before the life support units gave out. If the Destiny hadn’t picked me up…”
She studied him pensively for a moment. He behaved like part of the ship itself...cold, calculating and unfeeling. Why had he suddenly decided to strike up a conversation with her? What thoughts were going through his head to make him stare at her so fixedly?
“Kerry, don’t you believe in anything?”
“Oh, yes,” he replied, giving her a very direct look. “Myself and this ship, and the technology that enabled us to design and build her.”
“And there’s no room in your life for the concept of the Universal Spirit...you think this whole universe was created by accident?”
“I know it goes against all the rulings of the Union, with their insistence on blind obedience to the ‘Universal Spirit,’ but I trust only in the things I know and can control. I do not waste my time on fantasy or myths.”
“It must be very gratifying to be so self-sufficient you need no one and nothing but yourself,” Jess said, without trying to suppress the note of scornful resignation in her voice.
“It avoids disappointment.”
She shook her head disparagingly and rose to leave the flight deck, taking one last look at the observation panel. To her consternation, Kerry caught hold of her by the shoulder and pushed her firmly back into her seat, standing over her with an attitude of grim resolve.
“Not so fast, you have some explaining to do."
Buy Links (including Goodreads and BookBub):
All three books will be on sale for 99 cents from Aug 20th-Sept 3rd
AMAZON U.K.: https://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/B001GS77RO
BARNES AND NOBLE: https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/starquest-hywela-lyn/1100069772
What makes your featured book a must-read?
This is the first book of the Destiny Trilogy but is a complete story in itself with a proper ending. It is not necessary to read the other two in the series but of course I would love it if you did – and you will meet some familiar characters as well as some new ones. If you enjoy ‘space opera’, series like Star Trek, and heroines who are feisty but sensitive, together with heroes who are strong and courageous, and stories with plenty of action, some mystery, and a tender romance, I think you will enjoy Starquest.
Enter to win a $39 Amazon (US) gift card:
Open Internationally. You must have a valid Amazon US or Canada account to win.
Runs August 24 – September 2, 2021.
Winner will be drawn on September 3, 2021.
Award-winning author, Hywela Lyn spent most of her life in Wales, whose beautiful landscapes and wealth of myths and legends inspired her to write, although she currently lives in a small village in England. She weaves romantic Fantasy and Science Fiction adventures set in the future, on distant, mysterious worlds, as well as fantasies set in her beloved Wales.
She writes stories about strong characters who have to overcome great odds to find deep and enduring love: Stories she hopes will truly take you out of this world and beyond.
All three award-winning books in the Destiny Trilogy can be read as 'stand-alone' novels and are available in eBook and audio format as well as paperback.
She loves horses, dogs and the outdoors – and reading a good book while eating chocolate!
You can write to her at Hywelalyn@hywelalyn.co.uk and she will always reply if you leave contact details. To know a reader enjoyed her books and was able to escape for a little while to her imaginary worlds makes her happier than words can express.
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