Character development is important to me when I read. I am always curious whether characters are based on people the author knows and research, or if they are based are pure fiction.

Some characters are pure fiction but there are others who have a little bit of real people to them. My sister usually shows up in my storylines, sometimes as two completely different characters. Observations of strangers, because I'm a people watcher, sometimes start an outline of a character with the rest fictionalized.

Do you ever compare yourself to other authors and feel like you're lacking and if so how do you overcome that feeling of being not good enough?

LOL! Before I submitted my first manuscript I was comparing myself to other authors. But I'm lucky. I have a great foundation of friends and family. Talking things over with them really helped to put things in perspective. I'm not my idols and when I really thought about it I didn't want to be them. I am Lexi Ander and it is okay to be different.

Do you take a notepad with you wherever you go?

Yes, yes, yes! I won't go anywhere without a note pad. You never know when an idea will come or there will be a bit of inspiration. I cannot tell how many ideas disappear when I had to wait until later. *sob* Some really good ones too. You would think that with the excitement the idea would be branded into your mind. Nope.

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Alpha Trine, The Valespian Pact #1
Download 'Alpha Trine, The Valespian Pact #1here and here

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Blurb


Sole survivor of a science vessel discovered in deep space by the Mar'Sani, Zeus is adopted by the grieving royal family. The only human on Atlainticia, there are those who only see him as the orphaned Terren, and not worthy of the Vondorian family name.

Dargon Kal-Turak is a Dar Massaga, he and his symbiote, Alpha; command a ship of manned by members of some of the most dangerous races. After narrowly escaping a trap, Dargon and his crew dock at the spaceport for repairs. It isn't long before the Psonics have their location. Dargon snatches the Master Mechanic and limps out of port not realizing he has bought more trouble…and maybe the answer to salvaging the Valespian Pact.
Content Warning: M/M/M-Alien. Yes, this means that there is hot alien smexin'.

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Excerpt
PROLOGUE

Canry was lost—no—taken.

Empress Ashari ignored her attendants. She knew they would report back to her mate, Emperor Valdor Vondorian, and she cared not. She was hollow inside, the pain turning to a numbness that ate at her core until there was nothing left for her to feel. She refused to pretend that everything was normal because it wasn't. Nothing would ever be normal again because he was gone—stolen. Her youngest son, Canry, had disappeared in the Waters of Poseidon only two short months ago, and yet it seemed like yesterday.

Ashari slipped a hand under the cream-colored pillow and pulled out Canry's little night shirt. She had made the weave herself from the finest spyder silk. Ashari handled the material carefully, her claws were ragged from her nervous chewing, and she didn't wish for the fine thread to catch on them. Her eyes burned as she tenderly fingered the colorful clothing. He heart might have been hollow but her tears were rivers that fed the sea.

She wondered what she could have done differently. All Mar'Sani younglings were introduced to the Waters of Poseidon when they turned six lunar months. She and Valdor had been delighted Canry had quickly taken to the waters, more so than the twins or his sister, Shaneva. Canry had been swimming and diving perfectly at her side. One moment, he was there slithering through the water, his black scales glistening in the sunshine. She noticed the tips of the barbs that ran along his spine and down his tail were starting to turn red, a sign of his royal blood. Canry had splashed Ashari with his tail and dived into the water, never to surface again.

Within moments everyone was searching for the royal youngling. Those who lived in the waters combed the depths and found nothing. Canry was simply gone—disappeared—no trace or body had been found.

He was lost.

Never in Mar'Sani history had a youngling or adult been lost in the Waters of Poseidon. For days Ashari refused to leave the shoreline of the great sea in hopes her son would find his way back home. She spent hours diving and swimming until she was overcome by exhaustion and the attendants pulled her ashore.

Finally, the empress accepted the fact that Canry wouldn't be coming home. She took to her sick bed and there she stayed. Every day she ate a little less. Her mate, Valdor, tried his best to console her, but there was little he could do. Poseidon had, for some unknown reason, taken her son, and in a few short years, he'd also claim their daughter.

Shaneva had been showing signs of The Longing prior to Canry's birth. One in every two thousand younglings born would return to the Waters of Poseidon. These children would eventually choose to reside in the waters over living on land. The reasons for The Longing weren't known but neither were the children discouraged from the choice. As natural as The Longing was to the Mar'Sani people, Ashari couldn't help but wonder what she'd done that Poseidon would lay claim to two of her four children.

A large Mar'Sani male filled the doorway. His black scales gleamed like polished rock. Dark yellow eyes narrowed at the sight of Ashari lying on the platform, barbed tail swishing side to side. Resplendent in the imperial red and gold robes, the Emperor strode into the room. Ashari knew that look of determination on his handsome face and was unfazed. She tucked the outfit back under her pillow as Valdor sat on the edge of the low bed.

"Your attendants claim you're not hungry this morning." Valdor's voice was deep, resonating throughout the room. Ashari refrained from replying for there was nothing to say. "They also relay you're too tired to rise." Again she greeted him with silence.

Without another world, Valdor unlaced his boots and set them aside before climbing onto the platform. He gently nudged her to rise up and he slid under Ashari before pulling her down to his chest. He released a great sigh and stroked the smooth ridge of her forehead until her curiosity slowly surfaced.

"What are you doing?"

"He… Canry was my son too. I miss his laugh. I miss watching him sleep. I miss… Being the emperor requires that I put my personal sorrows aside to care for others but I can't keep doing it if I lose my mate as well. I, too, hurt and grieve. I'm exhausted and food holds no appeal. So I'll lie with my beloved for a time and keep her company in her sorrow."

Ashari buried her face in the crook of Valdor's neck, the scales pliant against her cheek. He needed her, Ashari reminded herself, and Valdor never gave up.

"I had hoped," he continued, "that I could peak your interest with something out of the ordinary. Interesting things are happening in the skies and I had hoped you would share it with me. I think we both need a break from our lives. Besides, you know how I love listening to council drone on about the quality of city paving stones. It's all very thrilling choosing between red or green."

Ashari abruptly laughed through her tears. "And what is going on in the skies that would draw your attention away from your duty with the council?"

"A human science vessel was found floating in space within the borders of our patrol."

"Are they sure it is human?" Ashari asked. "Terrens aren't allowed this deep into Galactic space."

The Terrens—humans—had been relegated to their quadrant of the galaxy by the Galactic Imperials for the last fifty cycles. Most of the humans who traveled in space were employed by one of the four major Terren corporations. They operated freely within the Under Earth-Sun Alliance space. Their quadrant was made up of a group of colonized planets, terra-formed moons, and worlds that were forcibly taken over by the Terrens before the Galactic Imperials received word of the Terrens' activities.

It had been the Terrens' treatment of the GyrFalconi on Aries 7 that had caused the Galactic Emperors to issue a cease order, which the Terrens had ignored after they'd killed the Imperial Ambassador. Later, at the conclusion of the Twenty Year War that had almost bankrupted the four corporations, their representatives had claimed a misunderstanding and asked for a truce. They'd sworn they were unaware they'd overstepped the Galactic Inner-Planetary Regulations until the Cypress of Neighn Council had played back the public executions of the Galactic delegates that had been broadcast on all of the human networks.

Per the treaty the Terrens had signed, they'd agreed to strict operating guidelines. They weren't allowed to travel Galactic space without authorization. They were also required to pay restitution to the GyrFalconi for four hundred cycles. If the Terrens invaded, made war with, or destroyed a sentient planet then the Galactic Imperial Patrol would take over the Terren quadrant and dissolve all offending operating companies.

Valdor pulled a communicator from his robe pocket. "Finding a Terren research vessel so far from their approved travel course is alarming. We are attempting to discover the purpose of a human spaceship this far into deep space before we report to the Galactic Imperial Patrol."

He checked his watch. "The ship should be docked at the orbital station by now. Do you mind if I listen to the transmissions?"

Ashari found a comfortable spot to pillow her head on Valdor's chest. "No, love, I don't mind."

Valdor switched on the handheld and entered his security code. For a few brief seconds there was silence before the first transmission came through.

"Team Deimos, this is Ares Station, report your activity."

"Warlord, this is Deimos reporting. We have boarded the deep space science vessel Asclepius. While waiting for the airlock to engage, I noticed EM net burn marks on the ship's hull. Upon boarding, there is evidence of short range phaser discharges within the corridors. All life pods have been deployed. Team Phobos is checking the data core. We have detected one life form. We request permission to investigate."
"Proceed with caution, Deimos. Team Phobos, report in."

Ashari's eyes had drift closed as she listened to the radio chatter, not really paying attention to the conversation. It was background noise that kept her from thinking for the moment and allowed her to simply relax, something she hadn't been able to do for a while.

"Phobos here. I don't know what happened, Ares. The data core was ejected with the life pods, backup drive was viral. We've been unsuccessful in drawing information from secondary systems. There are some written records, which we are gathering now. Whatever the Terrens were doing here, they didn't want anyone to know."

"Ares, is this Deimos? We've track the life source to the medical bay. You're not going to believe this, Sir. They left behind a youngling."

Ashari's eyes popped open. Surely she hadn't heard correctly.

"Say again, Deimos."

"A Terren infant of about two months old. Per the paper chart, his name is Zeus. There is no other information besides confirmation of his health."

Ashari sat up and stared at her mate. Could it be that Poseidon had shown her a small mercy?

"Any contagion or reason given why the youngling was abandoned, Deimos?"

"None that I can see, Ares. The child is blind. Although I didn't know human customs practiced culling." For the first time, the sound of derision colored the clinical dialog of the officers.

"They are heathens. Everyone knows what atrocities they perpetrated on Aries 7. Prepare the youngling for transport. I'll send in a medical team to double check for contagions. They will bring a unit to decontaminate your team as a precaution before transporting the child to the base. Ares out."

Ashari's heart fluttered and her breath quickened. Poseidon had sent… Oh, Gods above, could she even begin to hope? The child, Zeus, was two months old. Was this a coincidence or an omen? Ashari slid over the silk to the edge of the platform. It was a gift. He was a gift. That was how she would choose to see the situation.

"Ashari, what are you doing?" Valdor inquired, golden gaze watching her with poorly disguised optimism.
She rang for her attendants, then turned and regarded her ever patient mate. By Valdor's expression, the joy and excitement had to have been written on her features. "I'm going to get dressed so that I can pick up our son."

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Where you can find Lexi
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Lexi has always been an avid reader and at a young age started reading (secretly) her mother's romances (the ones she was told not to touch). She was the only teenager she knew of who would be grounded from reading. Later, with a pencil and a note book, she wrote her own stories and shared them with friends because she loved to see their reactions. A Texas transplant, Lexi now kicks her boots up in the Midwest with her Yankee husband and her 80 lbs. puppies named after vacuum cleaners.

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