D.L. Cross Talks Aliens and Alternate Identities

Can you believe we are already over two weeks into August? Summer is speeding by on a rocket ship.

Speaking of rocket ships—and by default space travel—it isn’t a stretch to make the jump to aliens. Today, my guest, Straci Troilo, is serving up two crazy good books, written under her pen name, D. L. Cross. How do I know they’re crazy good? Because I’ve read them both and gave them resounding 5-star reviews!

Staci is a good friend, a talented author, an editor, and a colleague at Story Empire. If, by some impossible hiccup in the universe, you’re not already following her blog, I encourage you to visit her corner of the blogosphere and hop along for the ride.

And now, that I’ve jabbered enough, here’s Staci to tell you about her latest CRAZY GOOD books! 😀


Hi, Mae. As always, I appreciate the warm welcome. And everyone else, hello! Thanks for giving me a few minutes of your time to talk about the Invasion Universe.

If you know me and my early body of work, you know me as Staci Troilo, author of suspense fiction mashed up with romance, paranormal, legal, medical, and/or family drama. I can’t help adding anxiety-ridden situations to the works I write, regardless of the genre.

Which brings me to my latest endeavors. I’m now writing sci-fi.

Splash graphic foe The Gate, a science-fiction novel by D. L. Cross

When I made the jump to science fiction, my publishers insisted on a pen name. (They’re much more conscious of the “also-boughts” on Amazon than I am.) I used to resist writing with different pen names for different genres because I write in so many of them and didn’t want to manage several identities. Turns out, it’s not that difficult. And (if their theories are correct), it’s probably beneficial. At least on some level.

But what I found surprising is my work didn’t change. I’m still writing suspense. Only now, instead of megalomaniacs or serial killers stalking my heroes, aliens are. Actually, that’s not entirely true, either. Sometimes the villains are aliens. Other times, they’re still humans with nefarious agendas.

I have to tell you, I don’t read much sci-fi. But I love it on screen (small or big). Especially space-oriented shows and films. TV series like Lost in Space, Star Trek (original and TNG), Stargate (SG-1 and Atlantis), Roswell… I get lost in them every time they’re on. And movies? I’m hooked. All the Star Wars episodes (even the bad ones), Star Trek (yep, it’s on both lists), Stargate (yes, it made both lists, too), Independence Day, Close Encounters of the Third Kind, E.T., Avatar, even Mars Attacks (there’s nothing wrong with humor—even ridiculous humor). The lists are endless. I watch as many as I can. And I love most of them.

Splash graphic for The Scout: Dark Crossings, a science-fiction novella by D. L. Cross

The cinematography is usually engaging; the world-building enthralling. But what really draws me in is the characters. Regular people fighting larger-than-life enemies against impossible odds. Who wouldn’t want to watch that?

Who wouldn’t want to read it?

That’s why I made the switch to science fiction—because the genre is wonderous. I was still able to tell my kind of stories with my kind of characters. But now, I get to do it in an alien-rich world.

If you read my Astral Conspiracy series, you’ll find aliens—beings with all kinds of advanced tech and inhuman abilities. You’ll also find a lot of history. I have to admit, Ancient Aliens is a guilty pleasure of mine. Not because I believe their theories, but because of all the amazing places the show’s hosts go and the lore they uncover. I know, it’s weird to think of ancient history melding with futuristic science, but I did it. And early reviews suggest the combination is working.

I hope it is. And I hope you agree. If you give it a try, please leave a review and let me know what you think.

If you like the Twilight Zone, you might enjoy The Scout, my Astral Conspiracy prequel story.

And if you like ancient astronaut theories, you may like The Gate, the first novel of my quintet.

Book cover for The Gate, a science-fiction novel by D. L. CrossBlurb:

He lost his job. Lost his girl. Now it’s all he can do not to lose his life.

Landon Thorne is a disgraced archaeologist, a laughing stock in his field because of his unconventional beliefs – he’s an ancient astronaut theorist. No one takes him seriously.

Until an alien armada targets Earth.

Now Landon’s in high demand – by the US government and someone far more sinister.

They race across two continents to the Gate of the Gods, the one place on Earth that might give humans an advantage over the aliens. But no one is prepared for what they’ll find.

And not everyone will make it out alive.

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Book cover for The Scout, a science-fiction novel by D. L. CrossBlurb:

The aliens have landed. The humans are panicking. The scouts have been sent.

J’s mission is clear — find an alien outpost, observe, report back. Simple enough. It’s what he’s trained to do. But he’s always worked with his team, never as a party of one. Now he’s been sent out alone to blindly navigate a dense, dark forest until he finds his target. The dynamics are foreign to him, the stakes never higher. He’s completely isolated. Resources are scarce. Comms are down.

And he’s found the enemy.

It’s imperative he’s not caught, but clandestine spying doesn’t yield enough intel. J needs an ally, someone on the inside of the camp who can feed him information. And he finds one. But he gets more than he bargained for with Aria.

Their relationship grows complicated. Her people get defensive. His superior becomes suspicious. He doesn’t know who to trust. His loyalty’s divided, and pressure’s mounting from all sides.

J is shocked when everyone’s true allegiances are revealed. And the consequences of betrayal will be deadly.

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Bio:
D.L. Cross has loved science fiction ever since she was a young girl and fell for Major Don West on television’s Lost in Space. To this day, she still quotes the show, though her favorite lines were spoken by the robot and the antagonist. Parallel universes or alternate realities, aliens or dinosaurs, superpowers or super viruses, time travel or AI… no sci-fi theme is off limits and all of them fascinate her. D.L. Cross also writes other genre fiction under the name Staci Troilo, and you can find more information about all her identities and all her work at her website: https://stacitroilo.com.

Other Links:

Staci’s Amazon Page | Staci’s BookBub Page | D.L.’s Amazon Page | D.L.’s BookBub Page


I loved so many of the television shows Staci mentioned in her post, plus many others. I remember reading my first science-fiction novel in the fourth grade and being immediately smitten. As someone who’s loved science-fiction from a young age, it’s been a pleasure to discover a new universe populated by remarkable characters and riveting story lines. As I said in my review of The Scout, “You can’t go wrong with anything from the pen of D.L. Cross!” Still not sure?

Check out my review of The Gate, too, then go forth and one-click these wonderful titles! 🙂

New Release: The Yak Guy Project by C.S. Boyack #Fantasy #Dystopian #Adventure

Treat time! I’m uber jazzed to have the fabulous Lisa, spokesmodel for C. S. Boyack drop by today to talk about Craig’s newest release, The Yak Guy Project. Craig is one of my auto-buy authors, but Yak Guy holds a special place for me. I was a beta reader on this book and it’s just so . . . odd. Hey, odd is a good thing! I adore odd!

The story is filled with sly twists and turns, quirky characters and creatures, vivid descriptions, and clever dialogue. Trust me, you’re going to want to one-click this novel. You can do that right here and check out my 5-star review while you’re at it.

Want to hear more? Lisa has the low down about some of the research that went into this one . . .


Thanks for having me over today, Mae. It’s nice to get out of the writing cabin once in a while. My assignment today is to talk about Craig’s new book, The Yak Guy Project. This title has caught people’s attention, and there have been some positive comments about it. All I can say is the guy is a project throughout the story, he rides a yak, and he really doesn’t have a name. He adopts one later in the story so he can interact with others.

book cover of The Yak Guy Project by C.S. Boyack shows man in khaki hunting outfit with samurai sword strapped to his back and a large yak in the backgroundIt may seem odd to talk about research for speculative fiction. There is so much what if going on, and creatures are made up on the fly, that research seems kind of unimportant. The truth is there is always research.

Craig nearly got swept away by the Research Sirens on this one, when he dug into the silk trade. Guess I should tell you, that with a yak in the story, there is an Asiatic vibe about much of the setting. Anyway, the silk trade is fascinating. From gathering the worms, feeding them, keeping them happy with music and temperature controls, it became kind of a distraction. There were entire trade routes established just for the silk trade, and I’m sure there are many stories someone could tell.

That’s kind of the problem. The Sirens want to wreck an author’s ship against the rocks of research. Most of the research in a story leads to a paragraph or two, sometimes only a sentence. Craig spent weeks digging into the silk trade, because it was interesting. It became a distraction.

Fortunately, I was able to pull him back and get him focused on Yak Guy once more. There was other research involved too. Small things like the edibility of bamboo shoots, snakes with legs who wound up looking like Chinese dragons in the story, even color phases of yaks. We spent a day learning about farming and harvesting rice. My point is there is always research, even in speculative fiction.

Yak Guy is the journey of a worthless young man. He learns to take care of himself at the hands of a mentor, who happens to be a talking yak. Then he is taken to a place that’s designed to show him what he can expect out of life. Where he can want something more than survival in the wilderness. What he winds up wanting is a girl, a specific girl that’s a little out of his league.

Anyway, our Yak Guy turns out okay in the end. He learns a lot of life’s lessons, and some are hard lessons too.

The bonus is all the silk outfits I walked away with. I wound up with some beautiful clothing when helping Craig with dialog and positioning. We decided to make some posters of these, and I brought you and your fans one today.

Lisa Burton, a character created by author C. S. Boyack, wearing flowing green silk gown with old fashioned street lantern in background. Lisa's hair is in a Japanese style bun

I’m currently on the lookout for pirate girl outfits. Is there anyplace around here that might have stuff like that?

Blurb:
Imagine waking up in the desert with no idea what happened to you. You have clear memories of situations and places, but a complete loss in personal matters… like your own name. This situation is bad, and you have no idea how to get home.

When you’re rescued by a talking yak, the situation gets exponentially worse. You’ve obviously lost your mind. The immediate needs of a ride off the salt pan and searing heat, along with a drink of water, outweigh the concerns about your mental state.

This is exactly what happened to the Yak Guy. In fact he’s been placed in an alternate world and given a chance to start over in life.

Can this selfish, almost parasitic, young man learn to start over in a world where charity is hard to find? Life is brutal and short here, but he’s going to have to adapt or perish.

The Yak Guy project is loosely based around The Fool’s Journey from the Tarot. Those with experience in Tarot will spot people and situations from the Major Arcana.

Purchase From:
Amazon Universal Link

Biography box for author C. S. Boyack

Connect with Craig at the following haunts:
Blog | My Novels | Twitter | Goodreads | Facebook | Pinterest