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Angela’s Epistles Series
🌟 Please join me in welcoming author Rita Kruger to Stories That Make You Smile. Rita is here today sharing information on her amazing SciFi adventure series, Angela’s Epistles, and celebrating the recent release of Close Cuts, the sixth book in the series. She’s generously brought along a few excerpts, a giveaway, and took the time to sit down with us and answer a few questions. Read on to discover more about this fabulous series and the author behind it! 🌟
Angela’s Epistles Series by Rita Kruger
Angela might be late, but at least she’s blooming…
Publisher: Listless Lizard Publishing
Cover Artist: Covers by Lisa
Pairing / Genre: F/F Romance, LGBT, SciFi
The Gap Year
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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.
Angela opened the door to her apartment for Bren, who arrived with pizza and wine and enough chocolate to feed a small town’s children. She also chewed with her mouth open, gasping at the hot cheese on the pizza slice. Angela picked with her fingers at her own food. Her stomach was all tied up in a small fist, and there was no place for anything.
“You need to eat, girl,” Bren said.
“If Thomas was here, he would have told you that isn’t cheese,” Angela said, nodding at the pizza.
“It’s not cheese?” Bren said. “Then what is it? Because it looks like cheese, it sure smells like cheese, and,” she took a big bite, “it tastes like cheese.”
“Not real cheese,” Angela said. “That was made from chickpeas. Real cheese came from milk.”
“But now there are no more cows, or goats or whatever other animals gave Humans milk,” Bren said, chewing. “So this,” she nodded to the pizza slice in her hand, “is real cheese.”
“Anyway, isn’t he a vegan?” Bren asked. “What does he know about cheese?”
“He used to not be one,” Angela said. “But he still remembers what real cheese and real meat tasted like. He hates the new meat they grow artificially. Says it tastes like grass, but smells like cow, or chicken, or whatever variety you bought.”
“And don’t think by changing the subject you get out of jail,” Bren said, shaking her head from side to side. “You still need to eat.”
Angela looked into Bren’s eyes. “I had something when I got back from the gym.”
“Liar,” Bren said.
Angela sighed. “I had a protein shake.”
“Ok, that I do believe. But you need real food.”
“We already established that nothing you are putting in your mouth right now is in fact real food,” Angela said, smiling. “Not the cheese nor the meat.”
“Its food according to the standards of 2053,” Bren said. “So have some.”
“Maybe later,” she said, shoving the plate away. “I’d feel better once we have looked at the mess and did what we could to contain the fall out.”
“Did you let your mother know?”
Angela shook her head. “Should I be the one?”
“That is a copout thought.”
Angela lifted her mobile, opened the last conversation to her mother. Typed in #wrightfight. For a moment her fingers hung in the air as she thought about what else to say. But there was nothing to add.
She pressed send.
“That was short.”
Angela took a swig from the glass of Shiraz. “…and sweet,” she added.
“Did you talk to her since the party?”
Angela rose, started to clear the table.
“Stop running, Ang.”
“I don’t know what to say to her,” Ange said from the kitchen. “All ties seem to be severed.”
“That’s a lie,” Bren said. “She’s your mother. It might be all twisted right now, but the connection is still there.”
“But you lack the courage to make the jump, don’t ya?”
Angela shrugged, but Bren’s eyes on her burned like fire. “Yes,” she admitted.
“You were a cop. You worked the city streets,” Bren said, “Courage isn’t something you ever had a shortage off.”
“I don’t feel myself anymore,” Angela said as she sat down at the table again.
“What changed? Because the Angela I know would never fuck up her career with the Intergalactic Bureau of Investigation by driving drunk after a party.”
“I don’t know.”
Angela sighed, swirled the red wine under her nose, and then swallowed it in one large gulp. Placing the glass down, she tried to think of what to tell Bren.
“I feel trapped.”
“I’m Margaret Wright’s daughter,” she answered. “The one with the illustrious career as a judge. You know what that is like. You’ve been around long enough to see.”
Bren watched her carefully.
“But it’s even worse now that she is also the first ever Human to be selected to sit on the bench of the highest court in the galaxy,” Angela sighed.
“It never made you feel trapped before.”
“I’m almost thirty, and people still see her when they hear my name. It is as if I don’t exist at all… as if I’m not a person in my own right. I’m just another part of her, like an appendage that unexpectedly showed up.”
Bren did not answer.
“When they see me, it is like: look, here is something that popped off Margaret Wright, people. Margaret Wright MADE that…” Angela waved her hand from the head down to the feet, “well, whatever that is.”
“That sounds insightful. I’ll take it.”
“I don’t want to live in her shadow forever. I’m suffocating.”
“What do you want to do?”
“I need to get away,” Angela reached over and filled their glasses again.
“Ask for a transfer?”
“In the department she will always be with me. No matter where I go.”
Bren opened the box of donuts she brought on the way from the office, holding it out to Angie who selected the chocolate covered one, tearing off a piece to pop into her mouth. They ate the pastries in silence, pondering how to move forward.
“I need to get off this planet.”
Bren’s eyes jumped from her donut to Angela’s face. “Don’t you think that’s a bit extreme?”
For a long moment they only looked at each other, and then Bren looked away.
Sins of the Fathers
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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
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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?
“Hey bro,” she said, keeping her voice soft and low.
He coughed, and then laid down again. “What are you doing here?”
“Looking for you.” She hunched down next to his makeshift bed.
“You shouldn’t have come,” he told her between coughs.
“You’re my brother. I promised to bring you home. Everyone is waiting to meet you.”
“I’m too ill,” he told her. “This planet is killing me. Those antibiotics worked well, but then they were finished and it was back to the same thing. I can’t make my way to the shuttle port. And even if I could, this cough would give me away as a rebel immediately. People under the domes don’t cough from the oil deposits in the air. It’s only us here below the surface that taste that Black Death each time we breathe.”
“We expected this difficulty,” she answered, opening the side pocket of her pants to take out a needle with amber liquid. “And I have the solution right here.”
“This is the best tranquilizer on four planets,” she said. “Or that is what the doctor who gave it to me said.”
“You will not be able to cough on the shuttle,” she told him. “You will be sleeping all the way to Earth.”
“And I’m just supposed to trust you?”
“I’m your sister!”
“So what?” he shouted. “I have only met you once before. It’s not as if we have a history together.”
“I don’t know what you have been taught about family,” she told him. “But where I come from, family is the most important thing. You are important to me. We are connected by blood.”
He coughed, wiped his face with the back of his hand, and coughed again.
“Let me help you,” she said. “Please.”
“I don’t want to live anymore,” he said. “That is why I didn’t come. I just want to die here.”
“On Earth, doctors might be able to heal most of your illness.” She took his hand. “And even if they can’t, you’ll spend your last days in a real house, with people who care. Sarah is going to feed you until you double in size. Thomas and Bren will love on you. Please let me take you home.”
He watched her for the longest time, coughing softly from time to time. She did not speak, even though she wanted to, only waited for him to think quietly. But inside, her mind was racing like a shuttle at top speed. And uncertainty swamped her like and angry ocean.
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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.
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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?
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This is book six in the series Angela’s Epistles.
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?
☆ Author Interview ☆
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.
Meet the Author
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.
Website | Facebook | Twitter (@RitaKrugerWrite) | BookBub | Amazon | Goodreads
10 thoughts on “BLOG TOUR – INTERVIEW – Angela’s Epistles Series by Rita Kruger – #Excerpt #Giveaway #Interview”
Whoopy!!! Thank you for this wonderful tour post.
You’re welcome. Best wishes on your tour! ❤️
I also want purple hair! Is 47 too old to dye my hair purple?? 😀
Never too old. My older sister was switching between pink, blue, and purple well into her 50s.
I shouldn’t do it though (because of skin conditions), so I’ll settle for another piercing. I haven’t gotten a new one in like 15 years, so I think it’s time! 😀
Do! I love that one you have…I don’t know what it should be called…chin? Or would it be called lower lip? It’s not something I see very often so it’s eye-catching (and so cool)!
It’s called labret (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Labret). I’ve had it for ages. I recently removed the one in my tongue because I got tired of it. Now I’m thinking of doing a septum piercing (it’s the middle part of the nose) 🙂
I’ve always liked the look of nose piercings, but can’t help but wonder how much trouble they’d be with a cold.
LOL yes, I’ve been having the same thoughts, but I’ve just decided to ignore it 😀