Karen’s Killer Book Bench: The Swords of Gregara – Riza by Cynthia Woolf


Welcome to Karen’s Killer Book Bench where, every Wednesday, readers can discover talented new authors and take a peek inside their wonderful books. This is not an age-filtered site so all book peeks are PG-13 or better. Come back and visit often. Happy reading!


 The Swords of Gregara by Cynthia Woolf

Back Cover Blurb

Riza Lamrona was a highly sought after plastic surgeon on Alarcon.  In a society dependant on machines for their health care, she’s one of the few who can change the human body not just fix it like a machine.  Unfortunately she has the misfortune to be the best at her job and when notorious space pirate wants to evade the authorities by changing his appearance he finds Riza.  Now that the job is done he wants her dead to keep his new identity a secret.
Darick Remaul is a former Space Patrol Detective who now owns a profitable kalcion mine on the planet Gregara.  It’s as far away from his former life as he could get.  Darick has secrets of his own but recognizes someone in trouble when he sees them.  Especially when it’s a beautiful woman.  When a bounty hunter threatens her life he offers her a safe haven at his mine as their new doctor.  But who will keep her safe from him?


The Swords of Gregara – Riza by Cynthia Woolf

“Ow!  Are you trying to kill me, Doc?”

The man was understandably nervous, but he had to allow her to set his leg.  She knew he was in a lot of pain.  The bone stuck out through the skin and he had lost a lot of blood, but he needed to relax so she could set the leg.

“I haven’t even started yet.  Stop being a baby.  Here we go.  You’ll feel a little pinch in your neck, then count backwards from one hundred.”

“Ouch!  Little pinch!”

“Count, now!”

“One hundred, ninety-nine, ninety-eight, ninety-seven, ninety….”

“Finally.”  Riza worked quickly, not sure just how long he would stay out.  She opened his leg, surgically implanted two kalcion rods and several screws to secure them to the bones.  It would have been so much easier with a med-tech unit.  But there were none on Gregara.  They weren’t allowed.  There were many things on the other civilized planets that weren’t allowed here, like blasters, but for some reason blasters always seemed to make it through the customs process.  In Ruciem it seemed that as many people carried blasters as carried the traditional kalcion sword.

Most of the planet preferred to keep their customs, barbaric as they were.  They used swords, not blasters and preferred the body to heal itself without help from technology.  It made her work much more difficult.  A broken leg like this one could have been healed in a few hours in a med-tech unit.

She stitched everything closed.  It may not be necessary, but this man would have the smallest stitches ever put on a leg repair.  Her skills as a plastic surgeon might not be usable here, but that didn’t mean she couldn’t keep her stitching up to par.

With her patient now awake and groggy, Riza went to talk to the next of kin.  There was only one man in the waiting room.  An extremely attractive man, if you liked handsome in a rugged sort of way.  He hadn’t shaved recently and his inky black hair was on the long side, tied back with a leather strap.  It suited him.

He stood as she approached.  Well over six feet tall, he towered over her own five feet, ten inch height.

“Mr. Remaul?” she said holding out her hand.

“Yes.”   His hand engulfed hers.

“I’m Riza Lamrona.”

“Doctor.  How is Tarin?”

“He’ll be fine, but he’s going to have to stay in bed for a week or so before he’s ready to travel.  I want to make sure the bones start to mend properly.  Can you arrange that?”

“Of course.  We have rooms at Wardson’s Bedstay.”

She nodded.  “I wish there was a hospital here.  A med-tech unit would be even better but….”

“I guess they don’t think they need one.”

“Well, he will heal fine, but it could be so much faster and better.” She went over and dropped Tiran’s file on the receptionists desk.  “You’re not from around here, are you?”

“No.  I came from Alerkan a couple of years ago.  And you, where are you from?”

“I’m from many places.  Alerkan is one of them.”  Riza didn’t want to make small talk.  Her secrets were too dangerous.  She retreated to her work.  “Here are some pills to help with the pain.  Have Tarin take them.  Don’t let him try to ‘tough’ it out.  Sarina Wardson is used to my sending her patients to care for.  I’ll check on him in the morning.”

“What time do you want him here?”

“Oh, I’m staying with Sarina myself until I find a place of my own.  I’ll come by before I head to work.”


“Yes.  Um. Well.  It was nice to meet you.”  Riza wasn’t usually tongue-tied but she seemed to be with this man.

“You, too.  Perhaps, since you are staying at Wardson’s, I’ll see you at dinner tonight.”

“Unless I get an emergency call, you can count on it.”

Darick was struck with the seemingly plain woman with the amazing blue eyes.  The little doctor thought she could hide behind her tight braid and glasses.  She was wrong.  There was no hiding her sexy body, soft brown hair or clear blue eyes.  Eyes so pale a blue you could see the black rim around the iris.  Hair with natural blond and red highlights, so it looked like a flash of fire running through it.

He shouldn’t be interested.  Should let her keep her secrets.  He had secrets of his own, but his past kicked in and suddenly he was the Star Patrol lead detective again, digging into the past of a suspect.

There was something about the doctor that was familiar, but he couldn’t put his finger on it.  Dr. Riza Lamrona was in hiding.  And not doing a very good job at it.  Perhaps at dinner, the picture would become clearer

  Meet Cynthia Woolf, Author….

Cynthia Woolf was born in Denver, Colorado and raised in the mountains west of Golden.  She spent her early years running wild around the mountain side with her friends.

Their closest neighbor was one quarter of a mile away, so her little brother was her playmate and her best friend.  That fierce friendship lasted until his death in 2006.

Cynthia was and is an avid reader.  Her mother was a librarian and brought new books home each week.  This is where young Cynthia first got the storytelling bug.  She wrote her first story at the age of ten.  A romance about a little boy she liked at the time.

She worked her way through college and went to work full time straight after graduation and there was little time to write.  Then in 1990 she and two friends started a round robin writing a story about pirates.  She found that she missed the writing and kept on with other stories.  In 1992 she joined Colorado Romance Writers and Romance Writers of America.  Unfortunately, the loss of her job demanded the she not renew her memberships and her writing stagnated for many years.

In 2000, she saw an ad in the paper for a writers conference being put on by CRW and decided she’d attend.  One of her favorite authors, Catherine Coulter, was the keynote speaker.  Cynthia was lucky enough to have a seat at Ms. Coulter’s table at the luncheon and after talking with her, decided she needed to get back to her writing.  She rejoined both CRW and RWA that day and hasn’t looked back.

Cynthia credits her wonderfully supportive husband Jim and the great friends she’s made at CRW for saving her sanity and allowing her to explore her creativity.

Find her books on Amazon








FMI about Cynthia Woolf & her books:


**SPECIAL ANNOUNCEMENT: Cynthia will give away a Smashwords coupon for THE SWORDS OF GREGARA – RIZA to one lucky reader who comments!  Winner will be randomly selected and announced on Friday.  Thanks, Cynthia, for sharing your stories with us!

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3 Responses to Karen’s Killer Book Bench: The Swords of Gregara – Riza by Cynthia Woolf

  1. Good interview. The characters are interacting well in this excerpt. I certainly can relate to the isolation for our nearest neighbor was a quarter of a mile away. For children our age, it was one half a mile.

  2. Although I’ve read this excerpt before, it is still so very engaging.

    What I forgot to comment on in the past is your cover. How eye-catching!

    Good luck with this novel, Cynthia!

  3. Diana Layne says:

    sounds fun! I love space operas!

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