Meet the XK9s in Jan S. Gephardt’s Books

Meet the XK9s in Jan S. Gephardt’s Books

Jan S. Gephardt's current books are "The Other Side of Fear," "What's Bred in the Bone," and "A Bone to Pick."
Cover credits: The cover artwork for The Other Side of Fear is © 2020 by Lucy A. Synk. Cover art for What’s Bred in the Bone is © 2019, and cover art for A Bone to Pick is © 2020, both by Jody A. Lee.

Meet the XK9s in Jan S. Gephardt ‘s books about a pack of super-smart police dogs. They live in a science fictional future on Rana Habitat Space Station.

The XK9 “Bones” Trilogy tells the exploits of XK9 Rex Dieter-Nell and his Packmates. He’s an enormous, bio-engineered dog who is way too smart for his own good. Or for the peace of mind of many of the humans he meets.

Once a human shows him how to “leverage his influence for a better outcome,” he’s on his way to chart a new path. No matter what.

The XK9 Project designed Rex and his Packmates to be state-of-the-art “forensic olfaction” sensors. They have a “verbal interface,” meant for handler convenience. And they’re verbal, all right.

But they’ve transcended being mere “talking equipment.” Anybody who’s ever had a really smart dog will have predicted that.

The Orangeboro Police Department thought the XK9s would be a great a tech-upgrade. What they really are is more than anyone–especially their creators at the XK9 Project–ever intended them to be. Or hoped their new owners would figure out.

But Chief Klein is an honorable man. And Rex is a determined dog. And Ranans–unlike some cultures–don’t throw people away.

Are you ready to meet the XK9s?

The Other Side of Fear

The cover of Other Side of Fear bby Jan S. Gephardt. Cover art © 2020 by Lucy A. Synk.
Cover art © 2020 by Lucy A. Synk.

This prequel novella happens before the action in the XK9 “Bones” Trilogy.

It tells the story of a young officer, Pamela Gómez, who gets a chance to move beyond the limits her upbringing has taught her to expect. It’s frightening to step past your old self. But as her favorite XK9 points out, “the other side of fear is freedom.”

Meet the Pack and their partners before they found each other. Before the Pack ever came to Orangeboro. Their lives are about to change forever, including some ways they don’t expect.

The human candidates travel to Transmondia on the exoplanet Chayko from their home on Rana Habitat Space Station. They’ve never been away from the Station before. They may be police officers with several years’ experience, but they know nothing about life on a planet. Follow Pam and her new friends on the biggest adventure of their young lives.

What’s Bred in the Bone

The cover of What' Bred in the Bone by Jan S. Gephardt. Cover artwork ©2019 by Jody A. Lee.
Cover art ©2019 by Jody A. Lee.

This Is the first novel in the XK9 “Bones” Trilogy. In this book, the young XK9s of the Orangeboro Pack and their human partners have just started their careers as rookie detectives on Rana Station.

For the dogs, everything is strange, hard to understand, and lonely. The Orangeboro Police Department follows handling protocols set by the XK9 Project that created these super-dogs. The protocols keep the Pack separated from each other.

But the Project and especially its director, Dr. Ordovich, have seriously underestimated Rex. He’s “the perfect dog,” Dr. Ordovich’s ultimate creation. He’s also a whole lot smarter than Ordovich and the Project want his new owners to realize.

When his partner Charlie’s catastrophic injuries force Rex to improvise on his own to help the humans solve a major crime, he also uncovers the nasty secret Dr. Ordovich doesn’t want revealed.

A Bone to Pick

The cover of "A Bone to Pick."
Cover art ©2020 by Jody A. Lee.

The second book in the XK9 “Bones” Trilogy opens with a troubling incident outside Corona Tower, where Rex lives and his mate Shady has come to visit. The Transmondians who sponsored the XK9 Project may have suffered a setback, but they’re not ready to give up their hold on the Orangeboro Pack.

Especially not the Transmondian spymaster Jackson Wisniewski. He has his own bone to pick with Rex, and won’t be happy till the XK9 Pack Leader is dead.

Rex, Shady, the rest of the Pack, and their human allies doggedly pursue the mass-murderers who destroyed the spaceship Izgubil. The Pack strives to maintain their tenuous freedom–officially recognized on-Station but not everywhere else.

Meanwhile, Rex’s human partner Charlie faces his own struggles. He must go through a long healing process to recover from his injuries after the dock breach. And a new challenge arises when an old friend he thought he’d lost forever comes back into his life. Can he reconnect with a long-lost love? Can he become more fully the partner Rex needs and deserves?

Bone of Contention – Book 3

Set for release in 2023! XK9 Rex is a dog who dreams too big. Now he may lose everything.

Meet the XK9s through Bookshop! Did you know that you can help a local, independently-owned bookseller if you order through Bookshop? Or use their bookstore-finder to locate an independent bookseller near you, order through them, and save the shipping with local free pickup.