Tag Archives: D. L. Cross

The Astral Conspiracy Series

It’s my great pleasure to welcome Staci Troilo to the blog today. She’s a great author, one of my Story Empire colleagues, and a true friend. She’s here to tell us about a series she’s published under the pen name of D. L. Cross. I’ve read the first part of these, along with a supporting short story, and they are outstanding.

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Ciao, Craig. Thanks so much for having me back today. And a hearty hello to all your readers.

I’m here today to talk about my Astral Conspiracy series. It’s technically science fiction, as it’s part of the acclaimed Platt and Truant Invasion Universe, but my saga is as much thriller as it is sci-fi, so I thought I’d have a little fun with my marketing and include pages from the top-secret government files on my main characters.

Today, I’m sharing info on Landon Thorne.


DOSSIER

Name: Landon Thorne

Occupation: Archaeologist and sometimes professor

Of Note: Professionally disgraced due to belief in the ancient astronaut theory

TRANSCRIPT OF INTERVIEW BETWEEN AUTHOR (Staci Troilo a.k.a. D.L. Cross) AND CHARACTER (Landon Thorne) ON ASTRAL DAY (the day the world is alerted to the approach of alien ships) via video conference. (Video is eyes-only, file #4021940-V, director’s approval required.)

Subject photo available, file #4021940-G

Staci: Hi, Landon. How are you?

Landon: Hey, Staci. Well, about as stunned as everyone else, I guess. You?

Staci: About the same. But I’m surprised to hear you weren’t prepared for this. Your theories are being proven true.

Landon: I don’t know about that. I posited aliens were here in our ancient history, not that anyone believed me. But I never expected them to come back. Especially in my lifetime.

Staci: Well, now that they’re on their way, what can you tell us?

Landon: (scoffing) You know what I know. An alien fleet is headed this way. Are they benevolent or malevolent? No idea. And what to do about it is well above my paygrade.

Staci: Don’t you think it might be a good idea to find out their intentions? Maybe talk with them before they get here?

Landon: Sure. Let me just see if my cell phone has a strong enough signal to reach Jupiter… (holds device in the air like he’s looking for service) Too bad. It doesn’t. So, unless SETI or NASA or some other observatory knows how, we’re out of luck.

Staci: And that’s the only way you can think of to reach out?

Landon: Well, Rysoft made the app. Maybe they know how to…

Staci: Professor?

Landon: The gate.

Staci: What gate?

Landon: Of course! The Gate of the Gods. Puerta de Hayu Marca. In Peru. Legend states if you have the solar disc, you can open what’s essentially a wormhole. Long ago, aliens were said to have come to Earth from there. And some people claim to have traveled through the gate from here to their home world. If we’re going to talk to them, that’s how. Thanks, Staci. You’re a genius!

Staci: Well, I wouldn’t say that. But if you really want to… (she chuckles, shrugs, and blushes)

Landon: I gotta go.

Staci: You heading to Peru?

Landon: Not without the disc.

Staci: And do you know where to get the disc?

Landon: Sorry to cut this short, Staci. But I really need to leave. Plans to make. Be safe!

Staci: You, too… (voice trails off because he’s already gone)


Landon makes his debut in the Astral Conspiracy series in book one, The Gate. You can read a brief synopsis of all five books below, and each one has links to its product page and a purchase link.


The Gate: When the hypotheses of disgraced ancient alien theorist Landon Thorne prove to be true, he travels across the globe in search of a way to communicate with—and perhaps stop—the approaching alien armada. Full Blurb | Purchase Link

The Stones: The invasion couldn’t be prevented, but there is a chance the Astrals can be driven away… if Landon Thorne can reach the Georgia Guidestones, unearth its secrets, and decode the mystery before the aliens stop him. Full Blurb | Purchase Link

The Nine: Landon Thorne and his team of resistance fighters seek a cipher to decode the message accompanying a cache of alien artifacts they’ve unearthed, but the government, a clandestine cabal, and the Astrals themselves stand in their way and might not only put an end to their plans—they might put an end to their lives. Full Blurb | Purchase Link

The Twins: When all factions converge for a human-versus-alien showdown, resistance fighter Reverie Sterling gets help from the least likely source. But even then, it may be too late for everyone she loves to make it out alive. Full Blurb | Purchase Link

The Lab: In the final showdown between Earthlings and Astrals, twins Asha and Vonn insist their long-lost grandfather has a plan to save humanity. It’s a long-shot, but the resistance takes it—and no one is prepared for the consequences. Full Blurb | Purchase Link

About Staci Troilo/D.L. Cross

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.

Connect online:

Website | Blog | Troilo Amazon | Cross Amazon

Troilo BookBub | Cross BookBub | Troilo Goodreads | Cross Goodreads

Social Media


I just wanted to once again say thank you to Craig. And to all of you who visited today. This post was as fun to write as the stories were, and I appreciate you taking the time to read it. Grazie!

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Something Wicked: The Astral Conspiracy Series

Your Story Empire authors are on tour this week. It’s my great pleasure to host Staci Troilo today, but she’s incognito. This series is published under one of her pen names. Make her feel welcome, and share this on your social media if you can. I’ve read this one and think it’s awesome.

Thanks for welcoming me here today, Craig.

The Gate

Ciao, amici! For the last two days in the Story Empire Something Wicked tour, I discussed some of the ancient lore woven into my Astral Conspiracy series (specifically the first book, The Gate).

Today, I’m going in the other direction.

My series is a combination of ancient history and futuristic tech. It’s time to delve into the futuristic tech part.

Science fiction can be a fascinating genre, with story worlds as rich and complex as the fantasy genre. But instead of magical realms filled with dragons, elves, and ogres, we’re looking at medical, communication, and transportation advancements.

A Typical Unwatering

Photo Attribution: Phylyp [CC BY-SA 4.0 (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0)%5D

There’s a trick to writing sci-fi tech that fantasy writers don’t necessarily need to concern themselves with, though. And that’s believability. To an extent. Let me explain.

In every novel (set in “real life” or not), readers have certain expectations about what the world is like. Obviously, the real life stuff is easy enough to deal with—research the time period or, if it’s contemporary, design the story-world to be like what you encounter every day. Fantasy worlds are limited only by their imaginations. If they want something to be a certain way, they only have to attribute it to magic. (Most fantasy fiction has an element of magic in it.) It’s a little different for sci-fi.

Science fiction has “science” right in its name. That means the author has to rely on scientific principles, or the readers won’t buy into the story. Those principles can be pushed well beyond our current bounds, but everything has to be rooted in science fact.

Take, for example, worm holes (a favorite subject of mine, and if you’re interested, you can read more here). Einstein proved worm holes are theoretically plausible. Do we have the technology to use them now? Not even close. But they’re a possibility authors can use in science fiction because the theory is rooted in proven fact.

In the Invasion Universe, a lot of scientific technology is introduced. Some things, like self-driving cars and holographic entertainment, are easy for readers to accept. We’re on the cusp of those technologies becoming commonplace, anyway. Other things (like intergalactic space travel and medical mesh that heals injuries) are barely on our radar.

So, how do writers get away with these advancements?

Simple. It’s a matter of introduction.

Things that take a lot more explanation and suspension of reader belief are better introduced as alien technology instead of human invention. That way, readers aren’t bogged down with trying to understand something that isn’t logically explicable. (It’s kind of the scientific version of the magical workaround fantasy authors can use.)

It doesn’t have to be that way. But it helps. It’s a solution I relied on to make things more acceptable to my readers.

How a sci-fi author handles writing about advanced tech will inevitably vary. The most important thing is to not get lost in techno-babble. Readers don’t want or need a four-page description of how something functions. Fiction is an immersive experience. Put yourself in the reader’s shoes. You want to experience this world just as you experience our reality. In real life, you don’t get a dissertation anytime you use technology. You turn on your television and expect to watch a show. You aren’t told how that happens (and thank God for that); you just trust that it will.

That’s the most organic way to introduce technological advancements in fiction. The characters live with it, so they know what it does and don’t over-think it (or maybe don’t think about it at all). And if the characters come across alien tech, they would discuss it in their own terms. They might marvel at what it does, but they won’t take it apart to learn how it works.

Save that kind of writing for instruction manuals.

There is a lot of advanced technology in my novel, The Gate, book one of my Astral Conspiracy series. I think I introduced these advancements in a believable and organic way. If you’re interested in seeing how I handled it, I encourage you to read the book.


The Gate

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.

The Gate is the first of five novels in the Astral Conspiracy Series, part of Sterling and Stone’s Invasion Universe.

Universal Purchase Link

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That’s some awesome advice that goes beyond science fiction. Thanks for that Staci. We’re all on tour today, and we’d appreciate you finding us and checking out our posts. I’m over at Staci’s today, by pure coincidence of the schedule, if you really miss me.

Connect with Staci online:

Website | Amazon | BookBub | Goodreads | Social Media

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