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Winga was raised on Gaia, where men are stay-at-home caregivers and subservient to a government dominated by women. Stifled by her mother and the Gaian matriarchy and haunted by the suicide of her sister, Winga marries Jakor Jansing, an investigator for the Inter-Planetary Services. When her new husband dies under suspicious circumstances, Winga is visited by IPS Captain Rifkin Lile. The IPS wants Rif to marry Winga in order to gain entry to the notoriously closed society of Gaia and investigate an alleged drug smuggling ring.
Rifkin Lile, born and bred on a spaceship, wants only to get this mystery solved so he can go back to the job he loves — captaining a spaceship. He is very reluctantly following orders; eventually, he discovers that he was given this job precisely because he was expected to do poorly at it.
Rif and Winga marry, but before they can leave for Gaia, Winga is attacked, and in the aftermath, she finds an information disk hidden among her belongings. The disk documents changes in human genomes. When they reach Gaia, they learn the disk is a record of genetic alterations deliberately made over centuries by Gaian women. Winga’s brother contacts Rif and tells him the men of Gaia have been smuggling contraceptives for some time, and Jakor had been helping them.
With the help of a diverse cast, including Rif’s best friend, who is a descendant of Muslims still living on Earth, and Rif’s sword-wielding ex-girlfriend, they discover the reason for Jakor’s death and for the genetic alterations — all part of a long-standing conspiracy designed to ensure the men of Gaia are forever compliant. In a hair-raising finale, the now very pregnant Winga fights for her life against her own aunt who is the leader of the conspiracy to maintain female superiority on Gaia. Along the way, Rif and Winga struggle to learn to work as a team and to respect each others’ talents and differences.
I’m a kayaker, writer, mother, wife, gardener, teacher, cat lover and book addict. I self-published Snail’s Pace and Arabella’s Gift after their publishers went out of business. Matriarchs: Eliza’s Revenge won best genre novel from the Pacific Northwest Writers Conference. Ferry Findings, an anthology of short stories, was published by Kitsap Publishing in 2016. “Well written,” “quirky sense of humor,” and “doesn’t fit the genre” are the comments I hear most about my books and stories.