The Gap Year Angela's Epistles Book 1
by Rita Kruger Genre: SciFi LGBT Romance
Angela Wright might have everything her father's money can buy, but that meant nothing to her on the night of her twenty-eight birthday. She is angry and a little bit drunk as she flees the scene of a fight with her mother.
All her life she has done the right thing. But she is tired of living under her mother’s shadow. How can she ever compete with Margaret Wright, the first Human judge on the Intergalactic High Court?
Within the space of a few days, Angela drops out in the last semester at Intergalactic Bureau of Investigation Academy, signs a bounty hunting contract to find the top ten criminals in the galaxy, and kisses Brenda, her best friend since childhood.
She might be late, but at last she is blooming.
“My gawd,” a voice said behind her.
Angela turned to see two teenage girls standing there with their mother. They were on the new treadmill bikes, where you walked on a treadmill like conveyer strip, and this created power to drive the bike. To Angela the ‘bike’ looked more like a skateboard with a handle. She considered getting herself one, but then decided to spend the money on an AI lover instead.
She got an older model. The saleswoman told her that he looked like Brad Pitt, whoever the hell that was. But at least now she could have cuddles- and more, as needed- and not have to run into the first available man’s arms.
The girl’s eyes were on the dress. It was quite exquisite, she thought earlier when she put it on. A figure-hugging dress covered in tiny silver sequins that weighted down on her like a heavy hand… or a tainted conscience.
“Is that a Clayton?” the blue haired girl asked.
“It sure is,” Angela said with a smile.
Gasps rose all around her. Some people liked Clay for his brand. Designer to the stars and the extremely rich and famous. Appointment by invitation only. She hated him because he was a brutal man who hit his girlfriends when they didn’t obey his every command. Under the dress were two small scars made by his rings. They would always be there to remind her of that mistake. The emotional scars on her mind would be with her forever.
And to avoid stupidity like that, Brad Pitt was worth every credit she spent so far, and any future updates to software or maintenance that might need to be paid. He was a great listener, cuddled like a dream, didn’t complain when she slept with one arm and leg draped over him, and performed beyond expectations in all the required departments.
Sins of the Fathers Angela's Epistles Book 2
Angela Wright is new to bounty hunting, and on her way to find Nuremburg, a cop-killer. She is also new to Uranus. And to loving a woman. She thinks she’s doing rather well, for a late bloomer.
She learns that Uranus’ has a nickname. “Black widow.” Interesting Creatures. An underground where the resistance live in squalor. And a box with journals and pictures from her father, Winston James Wright.
Only, he died when she was six years old.
Meanwhile on Earth, a stalker rears his head. His has his eyes and mind Angela’s girlfriend, Bren.
Maybe blooming isn’t really what she thought it would be. Or maybe it is just that everyone else had a head start.
Angela rose too, walked towards the box in the corner and then stood looking at it for a long time. Finally she sat down, and touched it. There was a layer of dust on it, and she knew that it had been waiting here for a long time. Waiting for me?
Reaching out, she lifted the lid. On top was a photo. Of her on graduation day. She was standing beneath the trees on campus, holding her diploma. She remembered the moment, reading those words typed out, her name in bold letters.
And the grey-haired man with the camera snapping what would be this picture, lifting his journalist tag for her to see when she looked concerned about the stranger and his camera. Then he smiled, nodded and turned to walk away.
Her father was at her graduation. And she did not even recognise his face.
But then, how was she supposed to know? In her mind he’d been dead and buried. She’d been at his grave on occasion, touching the cold marble stone, saying a few words. But even now, thinking back, she always felt as if he wasn’t there. She just assumed that it was because she did not know him and have felt disconnected from the idea of a father. But what if it was a premonition? What if deep down inside she knew that he was still alive?
She lifted the photo, and set it aside.
Underneath were what looked like personal journals, and more photos. Pictures of her playing outside on the lawn, swimming in a pool at a friend’s house, in the backseat of the car on the way somewhere. Most were grainy, taken from a distance. Some she knew where from articles of her mother on the internet. But in these, mother had been cut off and she became the main feature of the photo.
Margaret would hate the idea. Angela smiled. Pulling the first notebook out, she flipped it open. The pages where covered in small script, the words tightly fitted, reaching to the very edges of each page.
“It’s hard to come by paper and ink here,” Angelo said.
She jumped, slamming the book closed.
“But he would want you to have those,” Angelo smiled, and hobbled back to the bedding. “None of us here can read Human anyway.”
“Why didn’t he tell me?” she asked. “It’s obvious that he wanted to be close to me, to know how I was doing.”
“He loved you,” Angelo said. “Ask anyone who knew him.”
“I still don’t understand why he faked his death.”
“He didn’t fake his death. Someone tried to kill him. He actually died. The first people on the scene where able to resuscitate him. But when they ran to get help, he got up and walked away,” Angelo coughed. “And stayed away.”
“Why would someone want to kill him?”
“He was a journalist,” he told her. “And he was working on a story that would shake the foundations of the Intergalactic House of Rulers, and all the peace treaties that were ever signed.”
She did not answer him.
“It’s all in there.” He gestured to the box. “You can read all about it.”
“How did you know I was here?”
“We are the résistance,” he said. “We know everything that happens on this bloody planet.”
“Why connect with me?” she said. “I didn’t know he was gone, and now you have opened all kinds of wounds. For what?”
“Read the journals,” he said. “He left them for you.”
“How could he have done that?” she said. “How could he have known I’d ever come here?”
“He pulled some strings with the right people, okay?”
“In other words, he blackmailed someone to offer me a job?”
“God,” he said, “if your mother is anything like you, I think he probably just wanted out of the marriage.”
Angela rose with a scream. “How dare you talk about my mother…”
“No,” he said. “How dare you talk about your father like that? He was a hero. A man of principle. A man that would lay himself on the altar to save another. And everyone that knew him would do anything for him. Anything.”
Dancing in the Dark Angela's Epistles Book 3
This is book three of Angela’s Epistles Series.
Finally Angela tastes success in as a bounty hunting. The Top Ten list of worst criminals was changing because of what she did. Having conquered her new career, she now turned her mind to new endeavours.
Bren, her girlfriend, was still plagued by a stalker, and the police was not helping much.
Angela starts to read her father’s journals, at last. He speaks about a betrayal. They are also filled with concern for the atrocities that was happening on Uranus. Therefore she sets forth to rescue her brother from the Black Widow (Uranus). She has a brilliant scheme, a map, and just in case, a Plan B.
But can she leave Uranus untouched? Will its darkness touch her? Will she, and the team of people who are gathering, be able to get to the stalker before he gets to Bren?
“So tell me what happened before I go crazy.”
“He left something on the doorstep,” Bren said, and shook her head as if she wanted to rid herself of something really bad.
“It probably wasn’t flowers and chocolates,” Angela said. “By the look on your face.”
“It was blood.”
Bren coughed to clear her throat. Nodded. Coughed again.
“Three wine bottles, neatly cleaned, filled with blood,” Bren said. “And a nice hand-written card.”
“It’s at the police lab for testing. We’ll know in the morning.”
“You saw the detective that helped Thomas and Sarah the night they were kicked out?”
“Yes,” Bren said. “Detective Peacock.”
“What did he say?”
“He took a statement from me and Thomas. Sent a team of investigators to our home. They took finger prints and shoe prints and all kinds of stuff. But the detective said it might all just be ours.”
“So we are waiting to hear from them.”
“Did he text again?”
“Only to say there was a gift waiting. Nothing else.”
“That’s strange,” Angela said.
“Trim suggested that he gets a thrill out of seeing my reaction to the texts,” Bren said. “And since we removed all the cameras inside, it has lost its power.”
“If that is true,” Angela said, “and I do believe it might be, he would have been watching you as you went for the gift.”
“You think?” Bren asked, her eyes large and filled with fear.
“Gawd,” Bren cried, “I just want this to be over.”
“Me too, babes. Where’s Trim?”
“Outside. Patrolling the border, as he puts it.”
“He went with you to the police station?”
“He didn’t,” Bren said. “Insisted that as few people as possible should know of his presence. Says he is our,” Bren made quotation brackets in the air with her fingers, “secret weapon.”
“I love the idea,” Angela said. “To outsiders he will look like a wild creature, at most a beloved pet. Who would ever guess he has intelligence, or expect his strength?”
Bren nodded. “That is true.”
“Secret weapon,” Angela smiled. “You’d swear he had been doing this all his life.”
“Maybe he dreamed about it all his life?”
“He was in the resistance movement,” Angela said. “So he probably learned a thing or two.”
“Like setting traps? That would be nice,” Bren said.
“Imagine waking up tomorrow morning and there the perv is, hanging from the oak tree in the back.”
Bren smiled. “Oh, how I wish.”
Dark Eclipse Angela's Epistles Book 4
This is book four in Angela’s story.
The attack on Bren unleashes all kinds of trouble in Angela’s life. With Bren and Angelo both in hospital, she is almost living there. Heading for a nervous breakdown, she is able to get them both in one room, with a guard outside. And an extra bed for herself.
In the middle of this she needs to find answers. What really happened on the night Bren was attacked? Where did she go? And why did she make those calls to Bren?
No, WHO made those calls to Bren?
Prof Linden and the top students go through Bren’s case file and find some irregularities. Evidence is missing. The police investigation is going nowhere. All fingers point to the stalker being a policeman. Soon the Intergalactic Bureau of Investigation takes over. Can they find the truth?
And Margaret wants the journals her father wrote for her. She is willing to take Angela to court.
Adulthood has a fierce bite. Can Angela hold on amidst all the twists and turns life is throwing at her?
“I have no idea what any of this is, but it smells delicious,” he said.
“He ate most of the cupcakes all by himself,” Angela told Sarah.
“That’s a lie!” he defended himself. “Bren had half, and Francis… don’t even get me started on how many she ate.”
“Don’t blame me,” Francis said, waving her index finger at him. “You still had more than both of us together.”
“Okay,” he said. “This is what I recognize because we have it where I come from. Green beans.” He pointed at each as he mentioned their names. “Carrots, although these are very small, and are those potatoes?”
“Baby carrots we call them,” Angela said. “And yes, these are potatoes that have been oven roasted. The bowls you skipped were white rice, here,” she pointed at the bowl, “which is a grain. And these are meat. Roasted chicken and this here is meat loaf with gravy.”
“Meat, as in flesh?”
“Yes,” Angela said. “I know you’ve never had them, but they are good for you. Especially if you want to gain weight.”
“I’m not sure I want to,” he said.
“You don’t want to gain weight?” Angela asked.
“He doesn’t want to eat meat,” Francis said.
Angelo only nodded his agreement.
“My father is a vegan too,” Francis said. “He does not eat any animal products at all.”
“I was a vegetarian for a few years in high school,” Angela said.
“It’s perfectly in your right to not want to eat meat,” Sarah said. “I’ll make sure to bring you something with lots of protein next time. It will still help you gain weight and make you strong enough to leave the hospital soon.”
“Thank you, Sarah,” he said with a nod of his head. “The more I think about it, the more I don’t want to eat flesh.”
“Meat,” Angela said. “We call it meat.”
“A rose by any other name…” Angelo quoted.
“Shakespeare!” Thomas shouted. “You read the man’s work?”
“Father always brought me books when he came to Earth,” Angelo said. “He said the classics where the best, and since we spend so much time in hiding, reading was the perfect activity. You could do it anywhere, and it made no noise.”
“What was your favourite?” Sarah asked.
“The Count of Monte Cristo, of course,” Angelo answered.
“Why?” Angela asked. “I hated that one.”
“That is because you were free,” Angelo said. “I identified with him. My whole life was spent in confinement, and I considered myself innocent of the crimes which I had been accused of.”
Francis touched him lightly on the shoulder with her hand, and when he looked up at her, she gave him the widest smile ever.
“But am I free?” he asked. “There was a poetess from your planet, long ago. Emma Lazarus. I read her because I liked her surname. Lazarus was the one who died and was resurrected in another ancient document from Earth. But she said the following…” He coughed into his hand.
“Until we are all free, we are none of us free,” Sarah said.
Angelo turned to look at Sarah. “Exactly,” he said. “I don’t consider myself free. I am in a better position than I used to be, but that doesn’t make me free. It only adds a greater responsibility to me. My fight for freedom continues until the war upon it is won, and all creatures of Uranus are free.”
“Then you are in the right place, son,” Thomas said. “Angela and I have been looking at the Future Foundation Mining Company for weeks.”
“Why?” he asked, looking at Angela.
“Because of Trim,” she told him. “And the way he and his people have been treated.”
“Thank you,” Trim said. “For acknowledging that there is something wrong in that system.”
“You are not the only tribe that suffered under the hands of this company,” Angela told him. “So far we have found that where ever they go, they follow the same procedure. They select a tribe that would work like slaves, and then start to create the idea, with propaganda and biased research, that they were less than the others on that planet. And wham, bam, thank you ma’am, they have a workforce that costs them nothing.”
“Cost effective for the company,” Thomas said. “But the tribe has to pay the price.”
“Are there other planets where the workers are rebelling?” Trim asked.
“If there is a hammer, there are people fighting,” Sarah said.
“There is always a hammer,” Angelo said. “Father taught me this.”
“Not here on Earth,” Angela said.
“Tax is a hammer,” he told her. “Your inheritance, once you receive it, will become a hammer.”
“How so?” she asked.
“Because it comes with a responsibility to continue the accumulating of wealth,” he told her. “And you have no idea of how your family has acquired wealth in the past, or how they are accumulating it right as we speak.”
“I’ve never been interested in my family’s business,” she said.
Masquerade Angela's Epistles Book 5
This is book five in the ANGELA’S EPISTLES series.
Life after the attack on Bren is hard on our relationship. Her walls are up so high I cannot reach her. But I know it’s not only the attack. I lied to her. Everything between us is tainted.
Angelo has found love! I’m happy to have my brother here. Only, he isn’t my brother, is he?
The board members of Search International is having a party. Only, it turns into the worst idea ever. I should have expected that for them. Anyway. The new target on the International Bureau of Investigation’s Top Ten list is Identity Thief. Which means I have to go to the bank right after the party to ensure my money is protected properly.
And then the hunt starts.
Can I find a way to reach Bren in her tower of pain? How deep does the investigation into the mining atrocities in her father’s journals go? And what other secrets will he share with her? Will Margaret change her mind about wanting the journals? And can Angela find the Identity Thief before he finds her?
Follow the escapades of Angela, Bren and the people they love. This time Angela has to face enemies from within and without. But can she do this without the support of her lover, Bren, who had always been the rock on which she could stand?
Margaret, her mother, is still fighting her around every corner. Added to this is a trusted friend that turns into an enemy.
The Identity Thief seems like a walk in the park in the middle of Angela's storms. But will she ever find this elusive criminal?
What new secrets will her father's journal reveal? Can she heal the damage to her relationship with Bren before it is too late? Can she survive in a world filled with people that want to kill her?
Rita Kruger lives in Vereeniging, South Africa. She is wife, granddaughter, daughter, mother, and grandmother. Most of childhood happened within the pages of books. Stories conspired to carry her away from the world she knew. The places and people books introduced her to were much more exciting than her boring existence.
Currently married to her personal MacGyver, she surrounds herself with what enriches her body, mind and soul. Family. Friends. Nature. Great food. Good wine. Mountains of books. She writes novels challenging major themes of her life in the genres of fantasy and gothic horror, which she loves.
What is the first book that made you cry?
It’s difficult to remember the first, since I’ve read so many. The last one that made me cry was Stephen King’s THE GIRL WHO LOVE TOM GORDON. I recommend it to anyone that loves stories that makes your heart bleed with feeling and scare the crap out of your mind.
What is the most unethical practice in the publishing industry?
Stealing someone’s work and selling it without their consent. Writers spend a lot of time and creative energy to write. Time and energy that could have gone into their families. It also costs a lot of money to pay for other professionals to make tour book the best it can be. Editors. Cover designers. Formatters.
Finding your book being sold without your consent is heart-breaking.
Does writing energize or exhaust you?
Both, in fact. There is nothing as exhilarating as writing a great scene. Or starting a new project. Or finally finding a way to tie all the knots together. But when I write an emotionally charged scene, it is exhausting. I often have to rest afterwards.
What are common traps for aspiring writers?
Thinking it’s going to be easy or fast. Building a reputation in any career takes time. Be ready to play to long game.
What is your writing Kryptonite?
Binge worthy television serials. I can lose an entire week or more of writing time by watching a series that has captivated me.
Have you ever gotten reader’s block?
Yes. Plenty of times.
Did you ever consider writing under a pseudonym?
I did. I have some erotica out under a pen name that I will take to my grave.
Do you try more to be original or to deliver to readers what they want?
I write the story. I allow the characters and the location to speak to me. They dictate what happens. I don’t write with a specific market in mind. I’m a storyteller first, a salesperson second.
What was the best money you ever spent as a writer?
Getting kick-ass covers. I have learned the benefits of having good covers the hard way. I recommend that you invest in the best covers you can afford. But don’t do them yourself, unless you are a graphic designer or have training in what works.
What did you do with your first royalties?
I spent it on covers!
As a writer, what would you choose as your mascot/avatar/spirit animal?
The dragon from the east! They are known as wise speakers of truth, protectors of sacred things, and revered as noble creatures. These are attributes I aspire towards in my life.
How many unpublished and half-finished books do you have?
Four are currently in the pipe line to publishing and still need editing and/or covers. Two are halfway completed.
What does literary success look like to you?
The ability to provide for myself with my writing. And having people read and enjoy my books.
Do you view writing as a kind of spiritual practice?
Yes. Writing helps me deal with issues that I might rather try and ignore. It also forces me to confront my prejudices and opinions. During research I am able to look at aspects of things I write about from different perspectives. This allows me to challenge the things I have been taught, and the things I always assumed where true. Writing opens me to a broader mind-set, and a wider soul experience.
How long have you been writing?
I have been writing seriously for about four years. As a teenager I wrote a lot of poetry about broken hearts and lost love. It dripped with clichés and overused phrases.
But I have always been a storyteller.
How many hours a day do you write?
Currently I have about two hours to devote to writing new work. If I don’t have anything on my schedule to edit, I usually manage another hour a day.
What did you edit out of these books?
There were several very erotic scenes that I edited out. When I write myself into a corner I revert to the erotic. Don’t ask me why. I try to fight it where I find it.
How do you select the names of your characters?
I usually start writing a story with MC1 and MC2. MC refers to Main Character. MV would be Main Villain. I allow the characters to tell me their names as I go along. I was writing one day and when I got to MC2 I heard “Bren” in my head and typed it in automatically. But Angela whispered her name to me in a dream one night when the first book was almost completed.
If you didn’t write, what would you do for work?
What was your hardest scene to write?
I have a dark epic fantasy series coming in 2020. Three of those stories are completed and have several scenes that were emotionally difficult to write. Killing off a young girl’s mother. Having that girl kill a monster returning that looks like her mother later in the book.
In Angela’s Epistles, there were several hard scenes between Angela and Bren that were emotionally challenging for me.
Do you Google yourself?
No. But I am told authors need to do so in order to see if their social media platforms are effectively reaching people. It seems weird to me.
What is the most difficult part of your artistic process?
Procrastination. I have to fight my urge to leave everything to the last minute.
Does your family support your career as a writer?
My mother does indeed. I have a paranormal romance that is on the edge of horror. Once she read that, she looked at me and asked: “what did I do wrong to make you turn into the person that can write this?”
So, she’s not reading anything I write more, but she tells me to go on and supports me in my career.
How long on average does it take you to write a book?
It depends on the books. Most of Angela’s Epistles were done in two to three weeks. But the dark epic fantasies centres around mythology and required a lot of research. For most of them I spend about a month in research before I even started to put pen to paper.
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