A spiritual journey in a space opera landscape with a literary twist.
The first two books in this series were published by DAW Books by C.F. Bentley.
Now you will find them under Irene Radford writing as C.F. Bentley in e-book and print at Amazon and as e-books at Barnes and Noble, iBooks, and other major retailers.
They met with amazing reviews and critical interest, but lacked sales. The rights came back to me and I reissued them through Book View Cafe, a publishing cooperative that I belong to www.bookviewcafe.com. You’ll find all of my independent books there. Then I added a third book. Still thinking about more…
Harmony, a new Utopia for space-faring humans. Or is it a thinly disguised tyranny locked in a rigid caste system? Slavery by another name? Either way, xenophobic Harmony holds the secret to Badger Metal, a unique ceramic-metal alloy that protects people from the radiation and hard vacuum of space.
Sissy grew up Worker Caste on the planet Harmony, her only hope for survival is to remain unnoticed, hiding her full array of seven caste marks.
A devastating quake appears to be a major temper tantrum by the goddess Harmony. Sissy sings the planet, and her goddess back to benign quiet–matching the vibrations of her voice to the vibrations of the planet. This one act throws her into the role of High Priestess. Then she discovers she is the only one who can prevent her world from falling out of harmony into chaos.
Jake has reinvented himself from wild pilot, to spy, to Sissy’s bodyguard while he hunts for the precious formula of Badger Metal. Can he find it and protect Sissy from outraged priests who fear change more than death, before civil war, and invasion bury them all?
Aboard the space station First Contact Cafe, station commander General Jake Devlin and Sissy, inexperienced and under-educated High Priestess of Harmony, confront the mystery of an odd eight-limbed stowaway, a mystical refugee who talks in circles rather than revealing the truth, and clues to the origin and genetic breakdown of enemies and friends alike.
William Gladstone once pointed out that a culture reveals itself in how it cares for its dead. Mourner vividly explores how three very different cultures treat their dead when the body of Laud Gregor, Harmony’s High Priest, goes missing between First Contact Café Space Station and the Harmony homeworld.
Laud Gregor cannot be regarded as legally dead until he is officially buried–which means that Laudae Sissy, Harmony’s High Priestess, cannot institute the reforms her culture desperately needs until a new High Priest is named.
Suspects abound, from the repulsive Dragons, who show up to claim the space station as lost property, to the secretive avian Maril, to disaffected power brokers closer to home. It doesn’t help that Jake Devlin, commander of the station, finds himself haunted by the impatient Laud while he navigates all these new threats and trying to solve the mystery–and to figure out how he and Sissy can possibly surmount the cultural differences that obstruct their growing love.
Add in Jake’s former boss, the evasive spymaster Pammy, and tension escalates, especially when the body seems to keep moving.
Can Harmony find peace? Will there ever be a happy ending for Sissy and Jake?