Zara – A Name Among The Stars – SciFi Adv/Rom – Episode 23

Zara! Oh, my goodness, you’re just carrying on like this just to scare us. BUCKLE UP!

Good News… I have ‘finished’. Okay, not quite such good news, I have to go back and fill in bits and fix bits and correct bits and submit it to the demon editor.

Some of the fixes are small, but crop up in lots of places. For instance, name changes:

I always hated ‘Amethys‘ as a name for the planet. It is now Kernow.
Director ‘Rhom‘ is too close to ‘Rhos’. He’s now Director Zabo.
The ‘conspiracy’ needs a name, it is now the Hajnal political movement. (It means ‘Dawn’ in Hungarian)
Welarvon is actually Welarvor.

You may start to see these as we progress. They will definitely be in the final version.

I think the only way to fit to my originally proposed schedule is to publish on the 28th October. (That happens to be when the German version of Angel Stakes is published as well). That means it is very likely that the full editing job will not have been done, and there may be some embarassing grammatical or punctuation errors. Ah well. If this is the way we go, then we have this episode and *maybe* next Friday, but also maybe you open the episode on Friday 27th and it says ‘ha ha, go buy it on Amazon for $2.99’. In any event, the weekly episodes will stop and it will be available on Amazon (and Kobo, if I can get back in there).


+ + + + +

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

20 responses to “Zara – A Name Among The Stars – SciFi Adv/Rom – Episode 23”

  1. janine orlando says :

    I can’t wait for the release of this book. Thank you for an invigorating chapter and the delight of knowing that these damn cliffhangers will be over in two weeks!!! It really has been quite the ride.

  2. wiggiemomsi says :

    Urk? Gurgle!

    Wait, wait, you accidently stopped right in the middle of the posting, and forgot to finish. Come back and finish it!!!!!

  3. Justin Savely says :

    Mark, I feel you are taking all the puns possible of a,” cliffhanger” a little too seriously.

  4. Pat Olver (@ladygeeke) says :

    Going to the toilet before a long flight – I love it. People in books never do prosaic things like that. They must all have bladders of steel.

  5. Richard says :

    OMG what a flippin tease. Are you having fun with us?

    I bet the whole trip down will be her going over everything and figuring out who, what, where, and when. This will be her planning stage. Or you’re just going to throw us another curve ball right out of the bleachers.

    Only time will tell, come on Friday! !!!

    • Mark Henwick says :

      We’re a step away from the figuring stage. Without spoilers, this flight is the entry into the action roller-coaster section, which will effectively complete three of the story threads… (leaving just the one to trip you up when you think everything’s resolved).

  6. Shana Pare says :

    Curiously I wonder if you do hang-gliding, because you certainly wrote the maintenance glider escape as if you know well how to do it. Loved it.

    • Mark Henwick says :

      Thank you! I have flown gliders to solo level, but not a hang-glider. Most of my aviation these days is with an engine up front in my little microlight, which is *huge* fun.

  7. Edward Patterson says :

    FYI: Embedded video ads are making the chapters impossible to read. Even typing this lead to flick between reply window and video.

  8. Edward Patterson says :

    After I entered the comment, the videos quit steeling control of the page location. Waiting a couple of hours before the first comment and that did not stop the commercial videos from stealing control of the location.

    A lot of work to read your snippets, but they are worth it!

    • Mark Henwick says :

      Thanks Edward, I’m glad you’re enjoying the episodes, if not the behavior of the screen when you read.

      The ‘reading experience’ varies based (I think) on location and cookies. Unfortunately, on a freebie platform like WordPress, it’s all in their hands and I can’t reformat or control their access. In future, I will be duplicating my work on other serial novel platforms, which may be less intrusive. I may also offer a service by email as part of my marketing drive to increase the base for alerts when I release a new novel.

  9. Lee says :

    I really like this post. I’m less of a romance fan than others so I found some of the posts a bit too angst ridden. This one on the other hand is just good quality science fiction 🙂

  10. Robert Harris says :

    Excellent addition. We’re starting to have real fun here!

    One niggle
    “They show that the tube has no faults, which is good, because I have no idea what I would do about it if they didn’t. ”

    Rather confusing double negative.

    A more fundamental problem that I was thinking about the other night …

    You describe this as a sci-fi romance. You certainly have the sci-fi and the action well covered, but as I was thinking about it from what I remember Zara has only spent a grand total of about half-an-hour in the Duke’s presence (maybe a little more with the wine interlude). How on earth can she fall into any more than lust with him.

    At least put her on a half-day interaction (aka “date”) with him. Maybe he and Zara, Rhos and Talan (+/- Hanna?) can go off and do something. You don’t even need to write it, just allude to it.

    Perhaps I’m misremembering (long term serial here!), but it really does seem like they haven’t spent much time together, and certainly not enough for this to be a believable “romance”.

    It may be that you are planning more in future scenes, but in that case the scene with Talan and Zara where Ta;an realises something is up should be more light-hearted (i.e. Talan teasing her about falling for the Duke).

    Anyway just my tuppenceworth.

    • Mark Henwick says :

      That sentence does need a bit of polish, doesn’t it.

      Yes, I’ve gotten swept away with the ‘adventure’ and the ‘science fiction’ and the romance has been limping along behind. Alas, the die is cast, bar a bit of polish here and there. I don’t think it’ll be easy to insert a credible date for them to go on without affecting the rest of the story…

      This is a combination of lack of experience with romance and the need I have felt to make every episode something of a cliffhanger to keep up interest during a long (23 weeks!) serial. I am sure that an experienced romance writer can create romantic cliffhangers, but I have to make do with people about to fall off actual cliffs and so on. 🙂

      • Robert Harris says :

        I have to admit, I’m not exactly a Romance reader either, so I was just enjoying the story until I started thinking about it. Hopefully they’ll have some more meaningful interaction later.

        If the die is cast, maybe just don’t be as heavy handed with how she is falling in love with him. Just so attracted to him she can’t stop thinking about him. Which may not sound much different, but – in my head at least – implies a more realistic sort of thing. I think the scene with Talan where Talan realises she’s “in love” with the Duke was the one that was most problematic in terms of ringing true.

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