Zara – A Name Among The Stars – SciFi Adv/Rom – Episode 11

3k words in this episode + lots of feels.

47k words in total so far.

I’m having a sketch made of Zara, which I hope to post next week, but in terms of progress, I am singularly failing to get ahead of the story, despite planning to be ready to publish when I reach the 3/4 point.

On minor notes, I’ve seen that having ‘standardized’ on metric measurements, I’ve broken the rule and used imperial for the height of people. I could argue it either way I guess. Zara is 172cm, but I’m old-fashioned enough to feel much more comfortable saying five-eight. I also have used Welarvor and Welarvon as the name of the coast.

Where did we leave it last time? Zara feeling neither ‘on’ the team, not exactly dismissed from it. What will she do? What will the conspirators on Newyan do? Is Esterhauze too good to be true? Did the Duchess really commit suicide? What will Rhoswyn think about having Dancing Mistresses around for the summer? Can the young lady be ‘civilized’ in time for the Summer Ball? And what will Zara wear?

Feedback welcome. The beginning of summer has seen a dip in vistors to the blog site, but there are loads of readers who haven’t said anything yet…


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

15 responses to “Zara – A Name Among The Stars – SciFi Adv/Rom – Episode 11”

  1. azrm says :

    Ahhh, the plot thickens…

  2. Justin Savely says :

    Hobo Hanna is it now? Someone know a secret

  3. Michael Orton says :

    Did the duchess commit suicide? If so, and I think not, then she was manipulated into doing so, so in my book that counts as murder anyway.

    I’m voting for a relatively simple but very professional hit myself. The motive being that she was clever enough to spot the attack we already know is on the way and competent enough to do something about it.

  4. Lee says :

    Enjoyable as always. And although you’re the master of the cliff-hanger, not having a cliff-hanger some of the time is enjoyable too 😉

    • Mark Henwick says :


      I worry about episode endings in the format we have here.

      The story isn’t as complex as Bite Back, but it has enough parts that I need to spend some time with Zara reflecting on what’s going on, otherwise you’d lose the threads. I also need time to set up future events, so they can happen at the point without lots of explanation. However, such preparatory work & reflection takes up a significant part of any one episode and doesn’t move the story forward at that point. It wouldn’t be so noticeable in a book where you can turn the page or look back to refresh your memory, and it wouldn’t matter in a shorter novella, but it *feels* like a weakness here.

      • Gail Henwick says :

        Personally I like a bit of background. And some of your background which didn’t make the final cut in the Bite back series were really great. Make sure you get some of them back in!

  5. azrm says :

    I was surprised to find several grammatical errors. You are usually very good at NOT doing that. Spent a few days last week re-reading the whole Bite Back series, in order of course, plus the added novellas. I found I liked them even better than the first time. Or maybe not…I liked them pretty well the first time. I found I understood everything better by having already read them. It was great!!

    • Mark Henwick says :


      Ah, time pressures! Most times you see my work, I’ve read it through after plot / description/ dialogue changes; a final pass looking for just grammar and spelling. The last couple of episodes have been so hot off the press that didn’t happen. The novel will go through the usual process before publication, including a pass by my editor, Lauren. I just have to find the time somewhere.

      I’m delighted at the number of people who re-read, and also the number who enjoy the series more the second time. I do leave ‘cookies’ in the text, which are really only visible at the second or subsequent read.

    • Mark Henwick says :

      I also notice I’m writing ‘Duke’ again, where it should be ‘duke’ unless Duke Tremayne is actually being talked to or talked about using his full title. Sigh. Will correct all these in due course. Similarly, Dancing Mistress is a job title, but I may bend the rules here.

  6. Sarah L says :

    All back from holidays and caught up on the washing so time to catch up here 🙂 It’s as gripping as ever. I don’t find the style that you have when you are explaining background info slow at all. I never feel there is a wasted word and hence I enjoy every one. Hanna was so not what I was expecting, yes in one way but I was not expecting her to be agreeable – so in that I now have 2 completing opposing theories on what her purpose is!

    I never for one moment thought that Lady Tremayne committed suicide, but what I am curious about is who else knows that, suspects that and if anyone knows the absolute truth and if the ‘public’ are being purposely fed info. As ever I am eager for any snippet of Shohwa, have no idea why ‘it’ captured my imagination so much but it did.

    With each episode I get a stronger and stronger feel of Cornwall, not the same of course but that general sense of things – without the masses of tourists that is!

    I feel for Zara’s predicament – a battle of self preservation and doing the right thing, in looking out for others, especially Rhoswyn whom she obviously identifies with as a younger self. I also really like Talan, she’s the sort of person who would make a wonderful friend once her trust is gained.

    • Mark Henwick says :

      Um, what can I say? (While I tip-toe past the big spoilers).

      Shohwa is still there, or rather the ‘clone’ installed on the Xian delegation’s servers is there. Zara begins to think of the clone as the daughter of Shohwa. The ship will return.

      I had a sense for what was expected of Hanna and enjoyed turning it on its head. 🙂 More to come!

      We also find out more about Lady Tremayne’s death in the next episode, and soon we’ll know the things you want to know.

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