The best reward is to hear from readers who enjoy the story and take a moment to say so. I'm very pleased to say that Masi'shen Stranded has received some very kind comments. They're appreciated. It's the sort of push that helps keep me going even when a scene falls in a hole and it takes much staring at the screen to dig my way out.
Oh yes, it does happen. Sometimes it's like trying to figure out where all the stepping stones are, just under the surface of the water at the creek ford.
I find the biggest challenge is trying to take a fantasy story, with more than a few supernatural or paranormal elements, and try to weave it so the thing is both beautiful and halfway sensible and believable. Easy-outs, magic gimmicks and instant solutions, spoil the story. In this case, our charming aliens can weave energy forces and traverse the universe, commune with others across vast distances, and do other mind-bending things but they cannot stop on-rushing destruction or strike their enemies dead. With great gifts come equally great limits, and a heavy burden of responsibility.
In this story, the Masi'shen are not gods. And they are non-violent. If they are forced to defend themselves, they will do everything possible to avoid killing or accidental death. After some hairy and violent scenes, this attitude will begin to influence Michael; he will begin to seek non-lethal solutions whenever possible. Think of it as evolution.
This is an inconvenient truth. It's easy to get them into a tough situation; not so easy to get them out.
Before long we'll meet a new ally; Marie Wapato and her parents, native people who have rare gifts of their own, gifts of the spirit and mind. Again, awesome abilities, but useless for turning bullets or bombs—unless, of course, they can get into the head of the shooter or bomber.
So we'll work hard to avoid the story-spoilers of the easy-outs. I hope you continue to enjoy the ride.
Oh .. due to popular demand, I'll try very hard to post a chapter every other day.