Play the game.
Murder the innocent.
Don’t let them see you sweat.

Commander Boone’s treacherous secret could save thousands of lives—if he could only escape from the murderous warlord who employs him. He wears his game face while following orders to destroy enemy fleets and handles a reckless assassin with elemental powers. Behind the scenes, he is undermining the warlord’s pursuit of an innocent rival.

The duplicity and the horrors are taking their toll. Boone wants out.

In a bold gambit, he crafts a plan to escape. But his superiors might be catching on, and the plan is not without its own horrors. With everything working against him, including the woman he thought was his salvation, he may not live long enough to execute it.

Where to find and read The Handler’s Gambit:

  • for discounted EPUB, PDF, and Paperback (my personal store)
  • Campfire, an online platform with the option for extra content, including out-takes and short stories

Audiobook coming soon to Audible!

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A fleet for hire.
A mysterious client.
A weapon of mass destruction.

No longer a commander, Boone will come to the rescue of any fleet that will pay him, but he has chased off so many pirates, his clients have no need to call him. His fleet-for-hire is running out of funds—and options.

Things look up when he accepts an operation to retrieve the wreckage of an ancient terraforming machine. He soon realizes the device can be turned into a devastating weapon, and he has no idea who is paying him to find it. Boone’s investigation to find the buyer triggers Coalition Security, who are eager to hunt down this high-profile defector.

But Boone’s inquiry goes too deep, propelling himself and Elyon into a Coalition trap that could lead to their executions.

Loved it! * * * * “Perfect for fans of Ender’s Game, Handler’s Gambit contains intricate worldbuilding and gripping action scenes.” —Reedsy Discovery

“Moon’s worldbuilding is also top-notch and detailed, and the space battles are tense with high-stakes. I can’t wait to read more!” — Liz Sauco, Author

“This is a wonderful, vibrant adventure that grabs your attention right from the start.” — Lori P. on Goodreads

“The Handler’s Gambit” is a stellar piece of science fiction that left me utterly captivated from start to finish. Moon did a wonderful job of skillfully weaving a tale of intrigue, friendship, and danger onto the page.” — Dustin L. on Amazon

“Brilliant! There’s such a good mix of emotions here that are expertly understated but deeply felt … all against a backdrop of thrillingly accurate science and space. 10/10!” — Dax Murray, Author

Boone’s theme song:
Castle of Glass
Linkin Park

Elyon’s theme song:
Fist Fight

Vindik’s theme song:
Evil Walks

The images were created on MidJourney and modified by me in Photoshop.
I am excited to be getting more commissioned character art since I am not fond of stealing art.

Issues of Race and Diversity in the Future

This story has elements of race, racism, and inclusion as one of its themes. Most people fear and loathe the Saxen “race,” but of course, many aren’t. The Saxen themselves often try to hide or suppress their appearance and talents to blend in and avoid the trauma that comes with being excluded and abhorred. There are other races, which will come into play in future books, but otherwise, people come in all shapes, shades, and colors.

Thousands of years from now, diversity will look a lot different than it does today. Cosmic, solar, and other forms of radiation will change our genes, and the interracial relationships of today will lead to many blended forms of human apperances in the future. Elyon’s genes, after thousands of years of her ancestors living on a planet bombarded by radiation from a red giant star, have turned her skin and eyes into pale pigment hues of blue. I never actually describe Boone other than having brown hair and brown eyes—he could technically be descended from any race or mix thereof. Reia, with her blonde hair and green eyes, is an extreme rarity. That rarity may give her some of her allure.

I believe that in the future, what we stress over “race” today will be long gone in terms of skin color, cultural background, etc.. The histories that made our current society will be long gone, replaced by many new atrocities, cultures, and disenfranchisements. As it is, I have many characters of many colors, with rich back stories that inform their characters. We can all relate to one or more of them in one way or another.

As for LGBTQ+, being queer myself, I did not really bring any sex or romance into this first novel. In fact, Boone is probably aroace. I wanted it to be about the bond of friendship and trust that two people share who have never been loved. In the sequels, I explore more depth in these relationships, including a nonbinary person and, as the characters mature, an extension into sexuality. Love is love, and that’s all I want my future to hold.