Zara – A Name Among The Stars – SciFi Adventure Romance – Episode 5

The roads have been damaged, so Zara sets out to walk to Stormhaven along the coast path and claim her job as Dancing Mistress. Easy…


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 books are available on Amazon at

23 responses to “Zara – A Name Among The Stars – SciFi Adventure Romance – Episode 5”

  1. bretthumphrey says :

    I am enjoying this story and cannot wait to see what happens. I look forward to each installment. Thank you for branching out into new genre. Brett

    Sent from my iPhone, please excuse any tyops


    • Mark Henwick says :

      Thanks Brett. The new genre and new discipline combined with a new story and having to come up with evil cliffhangers … it all makes this enormous fun to write.

  2. wiggiemomsi says :

    Oh my gosh, this story is exciting, and I can hardly wait for the next installment! But, what a cliffhanger ending … what happens next? may we have another chapter before next Friday? Huh, huh, huh, may we? (See, I even politely said “may we” instead of “can we”. That should be worth another chapter!)

    • Mark Henwick says :

      You may get your wish. I’m away next weekend, as in no internet access, so I’m looking to do my weekly tranches for Bian’s Tale and Zara a bit early. I’m a bit ahead on Zara and a bit behind on Bian, so we’ll see how it turns out!

  3. azrm says :

    Too frustrating to get this drip by drip…I may wait and buy it… You ARE going to publish this, aren’t you??

    • wiggiemomsi says :

      Azrm, I’m hoping we can also buy the story on Audible!

      • Mark Henwick says :

        So b****y expensive and frustrating. I don’t even want to *think* about it at the moment (Angel Stakes!).

        I may do a royalty deal with Julia or some other narrator who wants to take a punt.

    • Mark Henwick says :

      I am going to publish it, naturally! Making a big, woolly estimate on schedules, it looks like it’s going to have taken me 6 weeks from the start to get to the first major turning point (next episode), which is theoretically 1/4 of the way. So the torture will continue for approximately 18 weeks. Having said that, what I would like to do is get to the 3/4 point (12 more weeks) and then publish, so you have to buy the book to get Zara out of the hole I dig for her at that point. Mwah ha ha ha. (It’ll either be one dollar or three dollars, I haven’t decided, certainly not an expensive book)

      • Michael Orton says :

        On consideration, making us pay for the last quarter of the book is probably quite fair.

        You are a professional and you need to earn a living. But just what is the fair price?

        On Amazon USD1 seems to become GBP1 even though you would expect to get USD1.25 or better at the exchange for your GBP1.

        But is the difference really due to VAT? At what point in the process do the US customers get their sales tax added?

        Ah well, as addictions go this one is cheaper than caffeine.

        • Mark Henwick says :

          ‘Fair price’ is something of a misnomer. There is only what the market will pay, and that remains a function of strange magics like elasticity of demand, noise levels, eminent precedent and so on.

          Amazon implement that in their ‘exchange’ rates. $x.99 is an old sales strategy, and it works on this side of the pond as well, so £x.99 is the equivalent, despite official financial exchange rates. Very different for Yen and Rupee, but I’ve not spent much attention on what they do there.

          Ditto VAT and Sales Tax. I really should work it through.

          And yes, cheaper than caffeine! Last longer too.

  4. Shana Pare says :

    This is a seriously fun story you are spinning here, Mark. Poor Zara. It would be bad enough to have liniment spill itself all over you, but then to have a prospective employer get his first impression while you are snoring on a pile of hay is probably more than one should have to carry. I look forward to the next installment!

    • Mark Henwick says :

      Thanks Shana. As a writer, it is HUGE fun throwing things at Zara. Actually probably too much fun, but just about everything that has happened so far has a reason and a little arc of its own, right down to the bale-fruit brandy, and the mysterious statues that sing in the wind.

  5. Vroni says :

    Your Evilness,
    Thank you for this *tiny * snipet. Can you please publish the whole book tomorrow? It is hellish to be patient. I hope you will have a true writing flow this week.
    BR, Vroni

    • Mark Henwick says :

      Well, you get a bonus point for addressing me correctly. 🙂

      Writing this at weekends has helped with my weekday writing (Bian’s Tale 1 & Bite Back 6) so maybe there will be more than this next weekend.

      Next episode will be early, because I’m away at the weekend.

  6. Tara says :

    This is great! I’m really enjoying it and looking forward to seeing where you take it. Apparently I like everything you write!

    • Mark Henwick says :

      Thank you Tara. I hoped that SciFi Adventure/Romance wouldn’t be too great a step from Urban Fantasy, but it’s great to get that feedback from readers.

      I didn’t realize how frustrating people would find the weekly format, and the prospect of a novella in 4,000 word (approx) chunks. I’ll have to double my speed!

      • Michael Orton says :

        Increasing the speed of your output is good, provided it does not compromise the quality of your writing.

        I’m enjoying this, and I’m glad, even surprised, to learn that any impact on your main story world is actually beneficial.

        I might be a minority, but I am willing to wait until you are really happy with the text before you post it.

        • Mark Henwick says :

          I hope people will tell me if my quality drops here.

          I have a beta panel for Bian’s Tale 1 for similar purposes, who are due the next tranche any day now (but I’m away next weekend and that’s creating havoc with writing schedules).

  7. Richard says :

    I’m really excited to see were your going with this story. I can only imagine how much fun/difficult it is to switch back and forth from 3 different story lines with all the thread’s attached to each story.

    • Mark Henwick says :

      Switching between Bian and Amber is difficult – something about the semi-formality of the language in Bian’s Tale and Bian’s age/progression. Bian to Zara and back is easier, although the change of tense catches me out for a couple of paragraphs.
      Zara is easiest because there’s not so much world building and meta-arc I have to remember.

  8. Justin Savely says :

    Ohhh how are going to have her recover from this?

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