Guest Author: @StaciTroilo – Astral Conspiracy Series’ Reverie Sterling

Hey everyone! I’m over the moon excited to have my friend, fellow author, and Story Empire compadre as a guest today. Staci and I go back a few years. We met online and quickly developed a friendship – one I’m eternally grateful for.

She has just released the fifth and final book of her Astral Conspiracy Series under the pen name, D L Cross. Believe me when I say she turned this gal into a sci-fi fan. Each book was a page-turner. Today, you’ll meet one of the main characters, Reverie Sterling.

Staci, take it away!

Ciao, Joan. I’m delighted to visit again today. And a happy morning 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 Reverie Sterling.


Name: Reverie Sterling

Occupation: Second-in-Command in the Persica, Georgia branch of the alien resistance

Of Note: Former EOD expert, US Army; honorably discharged

TRANSCRIPT OF INTERVIEW BETWEEN AUTHOR (Staci Troilo a.k.a. D.L. Cross) AND CHARACTER (Reverie Sterling) ON ASTRAL DAY (the day the world is alerted to the approach of alien ships) via video conference. (Video is eyes-only, file #4041971-V, director’s approval required.)

Subject photo available, file #4041971-G

Staci: Hi, Rev. How you doing?

Reverie: Hey, Stace. Been too long. Wish we were chatting under better circumstances.

Staci: So, you think it’s bad, too, huh?

Reverie: Aliens are on their way to Earth. When has an invading army ever been a good thing?

Staci: Well, we don’t know they’re invading, per se. Just that they’re coming.

Reverie: (rolling her eyes) Since when are you glass-half-full? That used to be me.

Staci: That’s right. You used to be optimistic. But ever since you came back from—

Reverie: I’m not going to talk about that. I told you a thousand times, that topic is off limits. I’m home now. War stays in the war zone.

Staci: I’m just worried about you.

Reverie: (softly smiling) And I appreciate your concern, but I’m fine. We’ve got a ton of provisions. Set up places to sleep, places to eat. Got a latrine, showers. A well-stocked armory. Well-effing-stocked. Anyone comes here for the wrong reasons—human or alien—we’ll be ready. Not that I expect anyone will be able to find us.

Staci: Good. That’s good. So, what’s the plan?

Reverie: Boss has us searching for stragglers. Bringing in anyone who needs a place to go before things get FUBAR.

Staci: There’s no guarantee things will get that bad.

Reverie: More like there’s no guarantee they won’t. Not much standing between us and what’s coming. And who knows what’s on their tail? I know we’re set for whatever comes. Are you?

Staci: I’ve got some protein powder and some bottled water.

Reverie: That’ll last a week, tops. Why don’t you get your butt down here? I’ll save you the quarters next to mine. You can earn your keep by teaching the kids grammar or something.

Staci: You’ve got kids there?

Reverie: People in such close quarters, it’s only a matter of time. Until then, you can cook. You still make Easter pizza?

Staci: At Easter. And very few of the ingredients are nonperishable, so I couldn’t make it for you, anyway.

Reverie: Well, I know you’ll whip up something wonderful with what we’ve got.

Staci: I can’t leave my family, Rev.

Reverie: Well, there’s always a spot if you need it. If you can reach me. God only knows how long we’ll have phone and Internet serv— (call drops)

Reverie makes her debut in the Astral Conspiracy series in book two, The Stones. 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:

Connect online:

Website | Blog | Troilo Amazon | Cross Amazon Troilo BookBub | Cross BookBub | Troilo Goodreads | Cross Goodreads Social Media

I just want to end with another quick thanks for you hosting me today. And a thanks to all of you who are visiting. This post was as fun to write as the stories were, and I appreciate you taking the time to read it. Grazie!


Book Reviews: The Nine & The Twins by D L Cross

Hey everyone! Over the past few weeks, I’ve enjoyed reading the Astral Conspiracy series by D L Cross (also known as Staci Troilo). For someone who normally doesn’t read science fiction, I’ve been devouring these books.

Today, I’d like to share my reviews of the third and fourth of the series.

The Nine


He can’t trust his allies, won’t trust his enemies. Now he fears that he shouldn’t trust even himself.

Landon Thorne is convinced the key to defeating the Astrals is in the vault — a repository of ancient artifacts, origins unknown, covered with undeciphered glyphs. He’s also convinced he’s the one person on the planet who can translate the markings.

But strange, frightening things happen every time he gets close to the relics.

His allies decide it’s not safe to let him near the vault, so they force him to take a new mission. He’s captured by the Nine — the nefarious organization he’s been running from.

Their leader makes him an offer he can’t refuse — study the Dropa Stones for the answers they seek. Or else. To do that, he needs a cipher. And there’s only one place he can get it.

Getting in will be difficult. Getting out may prove impossible.

My review:

The Nine is the third book in D L Cross’s Astral Conspiracy series. By this time, the aliens are making themselves known and humans are endeavoring to save the world as we know it. If they can agree among themselves…

I was saddened over the death of some characters, angry over the actions of others, and wanted to take revenge on more than one. There were a few surprise twists, and like with the other books of the series, I kept turning the pages.

I’m usually not fond of serial stories, as I like satisfactory conclusions to a book, but this series is well worth the read and keeps me wanting to come back for more.

Five stars!

The Twins


They took the world’s best hope. Took the father of her children. Now she’ll take revenge.

Landon Thorne was abducted by the Astrals. But Reverie Sterling doesn’t have time to dwell on his absence. She has twins to raise in a dystopian world.

Twins with psychic powers.

She was trained to rise to any challenge, so that’s what she does. As one of the Resistance’s top fighters, she’s vowed revenge against the Astrals. To get it, she partners with an unlikely ally — the Nine, the mysterious organization that’s been thwarting the Resistance since Astral Day.

The tenuous alliance converges on Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, or what’s left of it. There they wage a war against local zealots and Astral warriors.

Reverie thinks she’s protecting her children. Too late, she realizes the twins have more power than anyone — and she’s the one who needs protecting.

My review:

The Twins is the fourth book of D L Cross’s Astral Conspiracy series and the action hasn’t missed a beat.

Ms. Cross has done an amazing job at character development, something I often find lacking in Sci-fi stories. She has also weaved in elements of suspense, not a “who done it” but it leaves me wondering the motives of several of them and wondering who is a good guy and who is a bad one.

As I said in my review of the first book in the series, I’m usually not a Sci-fi fan, but Ms. Cross has converted me!

The Twins set the stage for the fifth and final book of the series with a surprising twist at the end, and I early await The Lab. Another solid five stars for this one!

Book Review: The Stones #TuesdayBookShare

Hey, everyone. I’m super excited today to share my review of the latest book in the Astral Conspiracy series by D. L. Cross.

I’m not a big science fiction fan, but this author has changed my mind!


He’s running from Astrals. Running with Black Ops. And running toward the end of the world.

Landon Thorne belongs to an elite group: he’s one of the few people who have ever accessed the Akashic Record. He discovers a weapon that could defend the Earth.

The Astrals want to stop him. The government wants to control him. Even his allies are hiding something.

Through it all, he has one purpose. One compulsion. He’s drawn to the Georgia Guidestones.

His journey is fraught with danger – bandits, cannibals, and ancient booby traps — but when Landon finally reaches the Stones, even he is surprised by what he finds. If he can decipher the code, he can save the world.

If he can’t? His discovery may destroy him – along with the rest of the human race.

The Stones is a taut, fast-paced Indiana Jones meets Falling Skies style thriller that spans the globe and digs deep into humanity’s past, unearthing mysterious artifacts and clues to aliens’ motives for invading our world. It is the second book in the Astral Conspiracy Series, set in the world of Platt and Truant’s groundbreaking Invasion Universe – the original series with over 1000 5-star reviews.

D.L. Cross has a flair for high-stakes, heart-pounding thrillers that will keep you up late into the night.

My Review:

D L Cross has another winner on her hand with The Stones, the second book of her Astral Conspiracy series. The story picks up where The Gate left off.

Landon Thorne discovers a new weapon that could defend the world but several groups want to stop him. The government, rogue agents, aliens. He embarks on a journey to the Georgia Guidestones where he finds what could be the key to survival.

The action is fast-paced. Every chapter is a cliffhanger that keeps you wanting to know more.

The characters are three dimensional—from a power-hungry AATIP agent to a priest who believes he’s been placed on earth to save people from the end times. Not to mention the bazaar aliens.

Cross has a unique way of bringing depth to the characters in what is usually a plot-driven genre.

I highly recommend this book and yes, I’m already reading the third of the series, The Nine.

Five stars for this one!

Amazon Link


Viral Blues #SomethingWickedTour @StoryEmpire

Hey, everyone! Wow. Day four of Story Empire’s Something Wicked Tour. For today’s schedule, click here.

You’re in for a special treat for today’s stop of Story Empire’s Something Wicked Tour. I’m welcoming back a special guest – Lisa Burton, the Robot Girl. She’s here to talk about C. S. Boyack’s new release, Viral Blues. Lisa, take it away!

Thanks for inviting me over, Joan. Hi, everyone. I’m here as part of the Something Wicked tour from Story Empire. As Craig’s spokesmodel, sometimes I get to make these appearances. While I’m here, you can find Joan over at Harmony Kent’s place, so make sure to visit her.

I see a lot of playlists and videos on this site, so I decided to try using that to appeal to your readers.

Craig is also heavily inspired by music, and one of his characters, well two actually, front a band called Lizzie and the Pythons. She sings, and he plays the upright bass, but has to use her fingers to do it. Oh, I should mention that he’s a hat. Not just any old hat, he’s actually a creature from another dimension.

We all wound up going to a fancy country club to gather information about these paranormal crimes. The only way we could do it was to steal the musical gig from another band and gain access that way.

Girl talk happened, and we agreed that Lizzie’s saxophone player is hot. He’s just so stoic and wooden that we decided to tease him a bit during the show.

Turn your speakers up, hit the video, and enjoy:


Lizzie leaned the bass back. “We’re Lizzie and The Pythons, and we’re joined by a special guest tonight, Miss Lisa Burton. She’s asked to sing one for everybody. This is an old Joe Cocker song.”

Fat Larry and Shade started them off with some rhythmic piano chords and low saxophone support. Lisa turned her back to the crowd and started gyrating, making circles with her hips. She pulled her left hand through her hair, while her right arm extended toward Shade. Long elegant fingers grasped air in his direction as she sang the first verse.

She swiveled across the stage to Shade’s side, grabbed a handful of his shirt sleeve, then pulled him tight into her breasts. She made a quivering intake of breath, then sang directly into his ear, “You Can Leave Your Hat On.”

Shade’s jaw dropped open, and he missed the next two measures. Tanith tried not to crack up but kept the beat, and her backup vocals, in check.

Shade is still kind of wooden, and kind of hot, but it was a nice breather in the middle of the action.

Viral Blues involves several of Craig’s previous characters in a paranormal romp just in time for Halloween. Don’t panic if you haven’t read one of his stories before, there is no prerequisite reading. You can pick up Viral Blues and enjoy the heck out of it all by itself.

Thanks for inviting me over, Joan, and I really like the new look of the place.

Lisa, it was a pleasure to have you visit today. And now, here’s more info about Viral Blues.


Someone knows about the hat. The creature from another dimension that helps Lizzie fight against the creatures of darkness.

They are summoned to a cryptic meeting with a secret society, where they meet other people with enhanced skills. It turns out someone, or something, has been tampering with the world’s vaccine supply. The goal doesn’t appear to be political or financial, but biblical pestilence.

Can this group of loners come together in time to make a difference when even the proper authorities are obstacles?

Check out Viral Blues, for your dose of paranormal adventure, with a strong sample of dark humor. And in recent superhero style, don’t miss the secret last chapter after the back material.

Connect with Craig:

Gate of The Gods #SomethingWickedTour @StoryEmpire

Hey, everyone. It’s day two of Story Empire’s Something Wicked Tour. Yesterday was so much fun! For a list of today’s stops, click this link.

Today I welcome a dear friend and fellow author Staci Troilo back to my site. Her new Astral Conspiracy Series is written under the pen name D. L. Cross. I’ve read the first two, and I guarantee you’ll love these books.

Let’s hear what Staci, AKA D. L., has to say!

Thanks for welcoming me here today, Joan.

The Gate

Ciao, amici! We’re on day two of the Story Empire Something Wicked tour. Yesterday, I discussed the significance of the Great Serpent Mound in Ohio. Today, I thought I’d go international and talk about Peru—specifically the Gate of the Gods.

(We’re still using the futuristic tech and ancient history themes. My version of the Ancient Aliens show, I suppose.)

In The Gate, the first of my five-book series, my characters head to Peru because they think they’ll find a weapon to fight the aliens. Do they? Well, I can’t say. (I mean, I obviously can, but I won’t.) But I can tell you about the Gate of the Gods.

Aramu Muru
Photo Attribution: Yurileveratto [CC BY-SA 3.0 (
This is a nearly-forgotten site in Peru near Lake Titicaca. Carved into the rock is an adult-size T-shape alcove. It’s thought to be an abandoned architectural project.

Locals refer to it as “Puerta de Hayu Marca” or “Gate of the Gods” and legends claim people have crossed through the “doorway never to be seen again. People also tell stories of strange sights, such as “tall men accompanied by glowing balls of lights walking through the doorway.”

There is a round indentation carved into the rock, the perfect size for a key (or, say, the Golden Solar Disc) to fit into. Legend says when the key is inserted into the impression, the doorway opens. On the other side? The gods, of course.

Or could it be aliens?

In the novel, I explore the ancient lore about a priest, the disc, and the doorway. It was a lot of fun mixing fact, legend, and fiction to fit an ancient locale into a futuristic novel.

Whatever the true purpose of the site, it has a great significance in my novel, The Gate, book one of my Astral Conspiracy series. If you’re curious about how I used 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