Zara – episode 2

Another couple of chapters, and I did some polishing on the first two, so here they all are together.

I’ve never written romance before (‘We can tell’ the shouts come in from the back).

Have I made it too much of an adventure to start with? Is it too technical, or not technical enough? Is the tech stuff that’s there easy to follow? Am I drawing pictures in your head? Have I held off what’s happened on the planet too long? Am I being too coy about the role of Dancing Mistress? Are you in Zara’s head? In her corner?

I hope you enjoy….

Your comments welcome as always.


I have had to remove the episodes I posted here to fall into line with Amazon’s policies on Kindle Unlimited books.

The full novel is available on Amazon:




When I post stories on my blog, they will remain for at least a month after completion.


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About Mark Henwick

I was born in Africa and left out in the sun too often. An early interest in philosophy and psychology was adequately exorcised by tending bars. And while trying to enroll in a class to read Science Fiction full time, I ended up taking an engineering degree which splendidly qualified me to move into marketing. That in turn spawned a late onset career in creative writing. When not working, I get high by the slightly less conventional means of a small light aircraft. My first book, 'Sleight of Hand' is available on Amazon at

25 responses to “Zara – episode 2”

  1. azrm says :

    Oh, better and better… Love how the backstory is building!

  2. wiggiemomsi says :

    Gaaah! No, don’t stop here!

    Great story, and I’m really liking the fiesty heroine. Your impressive knowledge of space travel is … impressive!

    • Mark Henwick says :

      Ha! This is strictly weekends only so I have to stop somewhere, and I can only hope that it will always be where readers say ‘don’t stop here’.

      I’m glad I’m carrying you away in my spaceship. πŸ™‚

  3. Michael Orton says :

    I’m enjoying this and I hope you are too.

    A change of genre may be refreshing, but I’m glad you are keeping this to weekends as I want to read “Inside Straight” and you have a lot to write before that rolls off the virtual press.

  4. Mark Waddoups says :

    Hi Mark,
    I’m really enjoying this new story. I can hardly wait for the next installment!
    I did notice a couple of things. Toward the beginning, right after ‘Nothing!’ you’ve got ‘I’d not dared not speak’. I wouldn’t mention it, except that your stories are normally so wonderfully edited to remove anything which might trip the reader, unlike the bulk of e-books these days.
    Also, are you redefining a klick for the purposes of this story? You’ve got that two AUs equates roughly to 300 klicks, so I wondered if, for the purposes of brevity a klick in this universe is 1,000,000 kilometres?
    Other than that, I love it.
    I’m so pleased, too, that you’re running several threads of fantasy and a thread of sci-fi concurrently. I’ve read from other authors, that working on different projects keeps their ideas in each area fresh and maintains their enthusiasm for each set of characters, so I’m delighted to see you taking a similar tack. πŸ™‚

    • Mark Henwick says :

      Thanks Mark, you have it exactly right that projects which are well spaced out (sorry) help keep ideas fresh. I’ve just spent the morning burning through a problem chapter in Bian’s Tale.

      A klick is the standard kilometer, and I should probably use the word ‘kilometer’. It should read 300m klicks in the story. The writing comes hot off the press and onto the page, so my normal edit routine (a dozen passes by me, including reading aloud, and one by my editor) don’t get done on these serial installments.

      I’ll fix these bits. I’m glad you’re enjoying it!

  5. amper5andrew says :

    Are you being too coy about the dancing mistress?

    If you intended something unwholesome there then yes, I didn’t pick up on it ’til you asked the question. I enjoyed the chapters and didn’t think the technical stuff was overwhelmingβ€”I thought I was following it reasonably well.

  6. Jon.Gray says :

    Okay Mark, you have me hooked. I usually don’t read serials because I’m too impatient to wait for the next episode or I get them out of order. But like I said, I’m hooked.

    • Mark Henwick says :

      Thanks Jon.

      (Beta reading must be hell for you πŸ™‚ )

      • Jon.Gray says :

        Beta reading is yes and no. Yes, I wait anxiously for the next section, but, no, the sections are longer and I get to read all the versions. Plus, when I make a suggestion that is used I get a small sense of ownership and satisfaction. That makes it worth the wait. However, I’m 71 now…write faster. Please?

  7. Justin Savely says :

    Dancing Mistress? You mean assassin, or accountant for the Mafia?

  8. Jason says :

    Nice one, I like what you did with her name there at the end. Is this her old name or the new one? What does the captain know? Well played sir, well played.

  9. Philip Cresswell says :

    OK, I’m hooked! Prepared to pay actual money to find out what happens next…

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