“Crystal Clear Truth is supposed to be the final book in the Antonello Brothers series. I said that when I wrote book #2 also, so there’s that,” says Kayelle. She’s the author of twenty books in her Sempervian series, with another six in various stages of completion. Her mythic science fiction romances feature a galaxy-flung empire spanning uncounted worlds, humans and non-human species, and an immortal king, Pietas.
Kayelle writes of this story:
His entire life, Joe worked for this moment: Primary Terraforming Scientist, assigned to the firestorm planet. Yet tragedy mars the day with the accidental death of both parents. Grief-stricken, he plods through family decisions and moves forward, surviving day by day. While reading his mother’s handwritten diary, he discovers a folded flatpic of a teenaged girl and the cryptic words, “our son’s mother.” He searches for details, determined to know more.
When a friend asks Shohn to help Joe locate a missing person, she jumps at the chance. She’s researching the firestorm planet for her employer, who seeks access to eyes-only information. Helping Joe might be her opportunity to uncover long-hidden secrets.
As their unexpected friendship deepens into more, each mystery they solve reveals yet another hidden layer. The truth they seek could immobilize interstellar commerce in the empire. To protect the Empire they both love, they must solve the riddle behind this elusive young woman in the picture, and trust one another.
But how can they trust when the “truth” they’ve been fed is a lie?
This sci-fi love story features a brainy human hero and a kick-ass feline heroine chasing an ever-elusive truth through an empire full of treachery and secrets.
Meet Joe – Crystal Clear Truth
Tarthian Empire, Kyrenie
Fenris City, Taskya District
The barren house echoed the void inside. Empty places looked back, demanding a reaction. But Joe Townsend the third had nothing left to give.
From the moment he’d learned of his folks’ accidental death, life had screamed past him like a banshee. The never-ending whirlwind of people needing around-the-clock decisions sucked his energy dry. He leaned against the inside of his parents’ front door and slid down.
Today, he’d said his formal goodbyes at their memorial. He’d smiled like a wooden soldier at the unending I’m-so-sorrys and the non-stop oh-poor-Joe-how-are-you-doings.
How did they think he was doing?
Life had plunged him into a lightless, inescapable world of sympathetic platitudes.
How could he move forward when everywhere he looked, the past held him fast?
How could he move forward when every step led him further away from the people he’d loved most?
How could he move forward and lever past this pain?
There had to be a better way to handle heartbreak. A saner way.
Joe stood and dusted himself off. He would throw himself into his work. That’s what his dad always–
A fresh ache swept over him.
“Whatever you can’t change, accept and work through, Son. Focus on what you can do, what you have to do, and don’t waste time looking back.”
Joe braced an arm across his stomach. Would he ever think of his father’s words of wisdom again without this foreboding sensation of loss? This sense that part of himself was missing? Or of his mother and her strength? Her abiding belief in him, encouraging him, guiding the way?
Dragging his feet, Joe staggered through the house, back to the room that had been his when he lived here as a boy, now stripped bare. His parents had put the house on the market and accepted an offer weeks prior to their deaths. They’d put everything in storage, preparing to move. The new owners would arrive tomorrow.
Nothing remained of the place Joe had once called his haven.
There was no home to go to. Starting tomorrow, this place would be someone else’s. Not his parents’. Not his. Not anymore.
This sterile room symbolized everything he’d lost.
He couldn’t think about this tonight. Couldn’t think about work, even work he’d been preparing for his whole life.
Joe had longed for the opportunity to work at his father’s side. The pride he’d felt when appointed had rivaled the thrill of collaborating with him. The joy of raw discovery, uncovering new truths while pushing the frontiers of knowledge to the nth degree.
Now, he was taking his father’s place instead. Trying to fill shoes he would never be worthy to wear.
Right this moment, success was a meaningless distraction.
Exhausted, he curled up in the middle of the floor, surrounded by nothing but loss. He’d spend one last night in this empty shell of a place he’d once considered home.
Come morning, he’d walk away forever.
You can find Kayelle’s books here: Amazon