Starry Nights

SFR Brigade Summer Blog Hop

Welcome to the SFR Brigade’s 3rd Midsummer Blog Hop. The theme is “Starry Nights”–which works out perfectly for me, because my heroine, Tompa Lee, and hero, Ming Mengliev, first made love under the stars.

Jane Austen famously omitted marriage proposal scenes, but I offer my lovers no such privacy.  To celebrate the blog hop, I’m sharing a wedding proposal from my upcoming release, The Triumph of Tompa Lee, available in ebook and trade paperback July, 2014

I’m also offering a prize — a digital copy of my award-winning science fiction short story, Devil, Devil — to anyone who can tell me how many times Ming (the hero) says the words ‘marry’ or ‘marriage’.  Simple, eh?

In your comment, please make sure you leave your email address to claim your prize. Use the format name at email dot com if you prefer.  Unless you tell me otherwise, I’ll send the little devil in Kindle format.

The blog hop also offers huge prizes. Details on that at the end of the post. Good luck, and enjoy!

“Now may not be the best time to bring it up,” Ming said, “but if we get out of this alive, Tompa, will you, uh…”

She waited, then asked, “What?”

“It’s … well … kind of hard for me to say.”  Ming was brave.  When he volunteered to fight a deadly, seven-foot-tall Klick on her behalf, he hadn’t stammered like this.

“Will I…”  She swallowed.  A premonition of the impossible sent a shiver down her spine. “Will I what?”

Triumph_ruins_i_thumbnailMing said nothing.  The gleam in his eyes, though, spoke sonnets and roses.

“Come on, Ming, spit it out.”

“Are you really going to make me say it?”

“Say what?”  Then, without a pause: “You bet your flickin’ oboe I will.”

“A woman can’t begin to understand how hard this is for a thirty-three-year-old bachelor to say.  Tompa Lee, will you … uh, will you—”

“Marriage is forever,” she interrupted.  “Forever, no matter what.”  Realizing what hopelessly outdated attitudes she was espousing, she added, “For me, at least.”

He said nothing, just looked at her with blazing eyes.

“Damn you, Ming, you’d better say something soon, or else I’ll…”

“Threats?  All I get are threats?”

A rosy glow radiated from Tompa’s heart to the rest of her body, until the air in her lungs purred and even her fingernails blushed.  Oh, God, oh God.  This was really happening.  To her.

“Then yes!  Yes, Sergei Yusefovich Mengliev, self-styled Ming the Merciless, the galaxy’s best secret agent and this planet’s best—and only—oboist.  How do you say ‘yes’ in Russian?”

He looked up at her, grinning.  “Da.”

“Oh yeah, I knew that.  Da, da, da, I’ll marry you!”.

You’ll also enjoy these other books in the Tompa Lee series:

Tompa Trial thumbnail



The Trial of Tompa Lee
The Tribulations of Tompa Lee



 Now, About those Prizes

  • 1st  $100 Amazon or B&N gift card plus 42 ebooks
  • 2nd $50 Amazon or B&N gift card plus 33 ebooks (including three of mine: Midas Rush, The Trial of Tompa Lee, and The Tribulations of Tompa Lee)
  • 3rd  3 separate winners each receive $25 Amazon or B&N gift card plus 12 ebooks.

Worth winning, eh?  The giveaway is open from the 21st-25th June 2014 Pacific Standard Time.  Click here to enter the Rafflecopter giveaway. (Please note that the prizes are as stated–no cash alternatives.)

If you want to enter more than once, be sure to visit other authors in the blog tour.  There are lots of neat writers in the SFR Brigade–old favorites of yours and maybe some new favorites.  Click here for a list of participating authors!



  1. Thanks for telling us about the blog-hop, Mr. Valentine!
    Loved your excerpt. Congrats on the upcoming release – looks like Tompa’s universe is about to change.
    Okay – I’ll play along to get things started. My answer to your question is zero. 🙂 Email is

    Happy Blog Hop!

    1. The one possibly surprising thing about the proposal: it occurs in chapter 2, not the end of the book.

  2. imogene nix · · Reply

    In this excerpt.. well, he doesn’t. But it was a very funny (read amusing) proposal. I love that he can’t actually say the words! 😀

    imogene @ imogenenix. com

    1. Thanks, Imogen. I was aiming for amusing!

  3. Mary Roya · · Reply

    I have really enjoyed following Tompa’s journey. Really looking forward to her HEA. So after this what are you going to write next?

    Ming never said marriage at all.

    1. Hi, Mary! I have a novella (science fiction romance) coming out this fall, published by a small Canadian press, and I’ve already started a sequel. It’s based very loosely on The African Queen, except the happy couple have to traverse the hostile environment on a mining moon.

  4. 0

    bn100candg at hotmail dot com

  5. Thanks for dropping by. I’ll be in touch after the blog hop has finished hopping.

  6. winterbayne · · Reply

    Great story excerpt. I’m following you now and will properly stalk you on social media later. Wishing you the best during the hop!

    1. Thanks for stopping by, Winter–considering that I’m sweltering down here in Arizona, I can use all the Winter I can get!

  7. Love that he manages to propose without actually managing to say marry or marriage.

  8. I guess it’s called non-verbal communication.

  9. I got a zero but what a fabulous scene – loved the byplay between them.

  10. I see what you did there! hah. Thank you for sharing and for participating in this year’s hop!

  11. Cute excerpt. I wanted him to say the words…but he just couldn’t. 🙂

  12. Zero. LOL that’s a good one and so true. LOLOL

  13. I was about to argue you with you that Jane had some fabulous wedding proposals. Take Darcy’s fiasco proposal try as he might, despite all the unwanted baggage she brought with her, he ardently admired and loved her. It has to be one of the most memorable proposals ever. But then I realized, you didn’t actually mean the proposal…rather the after proposal celebration activities. So never mind. I won’t yell at you.

    1. Well yes, she wrote wedding proposals that weren’t accepted … but not the ‘real thing’, so to speak. Mr. Collins’ proposal is included for comic relief and Darcy’s first proposal is included to show why it angered Lizzy so; but unlike the modern dramatizations, which always highlight the proposal, Austen’s books fade to black for the question gets popped.

  14. I think she just proposed to herself! 🙂

  15. It’s a nice excerpt, Ed. And a clever question :).

  16. S. J. Pajonas (spajonas) · · Reply

    Lol. That made me laugh 🙂

  17. Cute scene. I am disappointed that the Rafflecopter excludes those of us who don’t use FB. Thank you for sharing!

  18. smclement5 · · Reply

    Thx for the excerpt. Not mentioned at all…LOL.

    1. Thanks for stopping by. I’ll be in touch after the blog hop ends.

  19. Sorry about that, ELF! I’m afraid I didn’t realize non-Facebookers couldn’t try their luck.

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