Tag Archives for " scifi "
Dindi is kidnapped to be the bride of a shark... To escape she must untangle a terrible curse caused by a love and magic gone wrong.
This stand-alone novella is set in Faearth, the world of The Unfinished Song. Available here ONLY.
The Unfinished Song - This Young Adult Epic Fantasy series has sold over 70,000 copies and has 1,072 Five Star Ratings on Goodreads.
I’m so excited to introduce you to the debut novel from R.S.A. Garcia. We are in a writing group together and I’m so thrilled for her first novel, Lex Talionis, a science fiction mystery. I have an interview with her below, as well as all the details on Lex Talionis.
1. What is your favorite place to write?
If I had my way, I’d write where I had a view through a picture window to water, mountains or trees. However, my computer is in the spare bedroom in my house, so I go there. It’s got the advantage of being quiet, so it’s my favorite place.
2. Tell us a little about your writing process.
I’m a dedicated pantser. I go in knowing the beginning and the end and a bit about the middle, but I don’t like writing scenes out of order. I get inspired by kernels of ideas and usually bury them deep. They can take months or even years to germinate a story. Once that story idea has reached a point where I have to sit down and tap away at the keys, I’ll generally keep going until it’s done.
I don’t usually write more than one book at time, but I’ve recently developed that skill out of necessity. I’ve also realised it might be a good idea to start doing plot outlines and keeping lots of notes rather than storing the entire book in my head and flipping back over the text when I need to remember a small detail, like the colour of someone’s eyes. LEX TALIONIS was written this way, but I’m looking to try different methods. I’m exploring Scrivener at the moment.
3. If you could be any fictional character, who would you be?
That’s a huge question! Why do I have to pick one? I’ve never been able to narrow down anything I love to just one favourite. So for now, I’ll just say there was a time I wanted nothing more than to be the captain of the Enterprise, or Xena, or Buffy. But deep down I think I just want to be Spock.
Or the woman that ends up with Shane Gooseman of the Galaxy Rangers.
What? A girl can dream.
4. What is the best writing advice you’ve been given?
You have five senses. The more you use them to build a scene, and by extension your story, the stronger your writing will be. Lots of writers–myself included–have vivid imaginations and a great love of film. This leads us to write amazing visuals, but your writing can’t immerse the reader until you can make them smell, taste and touch the world you’re introducing them to, as well as see and hear it.
A battered young woman wakes from a coma in a space port hospital with no memories of her past. The only thing she remembers are two words: Lex Talionis—the Law of Revenge. To discover her identity, she must re-live the nightmares of her past, and face the only survivor of a terrible massacre that connects her with her abductors.
Death came for Michael while he slept.
He woke, gasping and trembling, from a dream of being pushed out the airlock. His fingers were cold and numb; the weight of his head on his arm had cut off his circulation. Michael sat up, wiping sweaty strands of hair off his forehead. Shifting his feet out from under him, he cursed as pain lanced up his leg.
Shit. I fell asleep. I can’t sleep. How long was I out?
Michael crawled along the vent to the grille that covered its entrance, stopping once to catch his breath. Despite having dozed, he was exhausted and cold. The air in the vent left a metallic taste in his dry mouth and he couldn’t stop shaking. The wound in his leg, which he’d bandaged with cloth ripped from his pants, made a white-hot line down his shin.
God, it hurts. If I don’t find some meds soon…
He had to figure a way out before he was incapable of going on, or lost consciousness again–maybe for good. Michael pulled himself onto his knees, inching his way toward the harsh light that shone through the grille. Dust motes danced in the path of square patches of illumination.
Then he heard it.
Faint, a mere whisper: the brief sound of air being expelled from lungs. And it came from outside, from the corridor below the vent. Despite the fact that he was freezing, sweat broke out all over his body.
Fuck. Oh, fuck no. Please, no.
Michael strained to hear, ignoring the pain in his wounded leg, which had become twisted beneath him. There was nothing but the impossibly loud sound of his own breathing. Seconds ticked by, then minutes. He blinked as sweat dripped into his eyes.
Heart tripping, he decided he must have imagined it all. He began to shift his weight in a careful movement.
Tap, tap, tap.
All the air left his lungs. The grille wavered and darkened before his eyes.
The sound came from right below him, on the wall just under his hiding place.
Tap, tap, tap.
He recognized the rhythm. It had been centuries since anyone had used it on a military vessel, but everyone had studied the same vids in their naval history holobooks during basic training.
Three short, three long, three short. SOS. Save Our Souls. A cruel jibe. The only soul left to save was his, and the very thing he tried to escape stood right outside, mocking him with the ancient distress signal none of them, least of all him, would ever be able to send.
The tapping stopped. Michael stared at the opening in front of him, seeing the grille being yanked off like paper as if it were already happening, seeing the light falling fully into the narrow vent, revealing him where he crouched, helpless and too terrified to move.
Not that he would be able to escape even if he could.
The silence pushed at his ears. The grille in front of him continued to filter the light into shapes on the inside of the vent. He waited, certain he was a dead man; wanting it to be over now, because he was tired, so very tired.
Eventually, it dawned on him that it had been silent too long. It took a few more minutes before he worked up enough courage to make his way to the front of the vent and look down to see the empty corridor stretching out on either side.
After he opened the grille and slid down from his hiding place, his legs gave way below him and he crumpled to the floor.
I’m still alive. I’m still alive.
But not for long if he just sat there. He had to find medication. That meant Med Bay–and the bridge.
He shuddered, his mind shying away from the endless corridors that waited for him, lights flickering while darkness edged their walls.
Don’t think. Just go. Go now.
Leaning on the wall, Michael pushed himself to his feet. He started limping down the corridor, slow at first, and then faster. The way to the bridge would be long and dangerous, and if he was right, he had very little time to get there.
Desmond Obuki was not particularly kind or generous. He gave to charity for the tax breaks and avoided fund-raisers like the plagues they were usually trying to eradicate. He was a businessman, not a meal ticket. But he was also something else.
And if the shoe on the unmoving foot he had spotted told him anything, it was that the Elutheran had a human down on the ground. It kept lashing out viciously, its muscular proboscis waving between its short, sharp beak as it chirped away to itself. The feathered red ball of its body rippled every now and again, as if caught in a stiff breeze. It was at least knee-high; definitely an adult.
After that, he couldn’t very well walk away. The warren of alleys surrounding Bradley was dangerous. Not so much for a former soldier like himself, but even he wouldn’t be here now if he wasn’t trying to beat the clock.
He had no idea how the Elutheran had managed to overpower the human, but a mudsucker couldn’t be up to any good in an area like this one. The guy had probably fallen asleep drunk in the gutter, and the Elutheran must have come across him. Humans were few and far between in this part of PortCity; the least he could do was drive off the little mudsucker and help the poor bastard up out of the gutter.
He didn’t need to check the dim street for friends of the alien. The alley finished in a dead-end beyond the spot where the Elutheran had the human backed up against the building. The smooth seventy-foot walls of the ore factories on either side offered no hiding places.
“Hey! Get the fuck off him!”
The Elutheran panicked. It sucked its feeding tube back into its head, rolled across the narrow alley, bounced along the lower edge of the wall and shot past Obuki before the man could grab hold of it. Shrugging his shoulders, Obuki walked over to the gutter and bent over the shape clad in a dark jumpsuit and a pair of spacer’s boots. There was a faint smell in the air–like rust.
“Hey, you, wake up. This is no place to sleep off…”
He rolled the body over and sucked in his breath.
His hands were wet. He looked at them and it dawned on him that the top half of the jumpsuit was not red. It only looked that way because of the blood.
He’d lost his comm panel on the flight back. Hadn’t thought much of it at the time as he had a replacement at the office, but that wouldn’t help him contact the police now.
He looked at the battered face again and sighed. It had to be a woman. And she was still breathing.
Well, he thought, no good deed goes unpunished. He would be late for sure now. Grumbling under his breath, he picked up the unconscious woman and strode out of the alleyway.
I’m excited to feature the RONE Award-nominated Displaced by J.F. Jenkins.
Chevelle Donahue thought going into work would be just like any other boring day at the mall. Sure, there was her annoying co-worker Wicken Sanders, and a promotional visit from teen heartthrob Timber Hudson, to watch and keep her entertained. But who was she kidding? Working retail was lame no matter what happened.
A terrorist attack changes everything – an attack from aliens of all things. The patrons are given two options: comply or else. Complying means giving in to a new set of rules and changing her entire life. “Or else” means she has no chance of going home again.
She must figure out the truth behind why the aliens are holding everyone hostage. In doing so, she risks her chance at freedom – but by the time she learns what’s really happening, she might not want it.
I looked between the two guys standing between me and the doorway, wishing I could read their minds. They were both so quiet and I hated it. Earlier they each had rather strong opinions of what to think. Now there was nothing? Did I have to make the decision for all of us? I wasn’t sure if I could handle that kind of pressure, let alone live with the consequences.
But I wasn’t left with much of a choice.
“I guess we turn ourselves over,” I said quietly, my face half-buried into the large hippo’s synthetic gray fur.
Timber nodded, his shoulders hunched up around him, and he rubbed his arms slowly. His gaze hardly ever left his phone. The light bouncing off his eyes revealed a glistening of tears. If that wasn’t the look of defeat, I don’t know what was. Wicken was the exact opposite image. He remained confident and poised, his gaze strong and determined. The only hint that he might have been afraid was the slight shaking of his hands.
He looked down at me. “You don’t know what they’re going to do to us.”
“I know what will happen if we don’t agree to their terms, though,” I said softly. “Escaping is futile, not following instructions sounds dangerous. I personally do not want to die.”
“And you’re assuming they won’t mass execute everyone or pick us off one by one until their demands are met,” he snapped. “I think I like my chances better with escaping.”
Timber held his phone over his watch. “We have twenty-five more minutes to decide. Ten if you want to include time to walk down to the main entrance. I’m personally going to go along with them. I’m with her.” He pointed at me. “I’m not ready to die yet.”
“Then I guess this is where we go our separate ways,” Wicken said. Again, he looked as if I had betrayed him or something. There was a sadness in his tone laced with anger. His gaze met mine and for a moment his strong composure faltered. “Last chance, Chevelle.”
I shook my head, tears pooling in my eyes. “I’ll never make it. I’ll slow you down. I’ll be the reason you can’t get away.”
His hazel eyes closed and he reached over to hug me. Then he whispered in my ear with a shaky voice, “I love you.”
My gaze met his and I didn’t know what to say in return. Part of me was wondering if I even heard him right or if I imagined him talking in the first place because the words had barely been audible. When the sadness in his frown increased, I knew he had actually said it. He pushed his way past us and toward the back door.
“Wicken,” I whimpered. “I…” Felt the same way? Loved him too? None of that seemed right, though my heart did have a special fondness for him that I didn’t understand. We’d gotten close enough through all of our time together.
He waited in the doorway, waiting for me to finish my thought.
“I…s-same. Please be careful so we can talk about this again.”
He flashed me a small smirk. “Of course.”
And then he was gone.
Timber gave my shoulder a squeeze. “Come on. If we’re going to do this, we should go now before we waste any more time.”
I nodded and stood, never letting go of the hippo. That thing was coming with me, I didn’t care how stupid I looked. The girl brought along her teddy bear, and the three of us made our way out of the door using the light of our phones to make sure we didn’t trip over anything. Timber dropped down to pick up his bag of purchases from earlier on our way to the gate – the gate which was now open. Outside were bright blue lights which reminded me a lot of tiki torches. They were tall and illuminated with electric light instead of fire.
We followed the lights to the escalators which were now nothing more than an ordinary staircase leading us to our potential doom. Timber took the lead and with his free hand he held onto the little girl who had been forced into our care. Every so often he’d look back at me and give me a small smile, as if that were his way of silently telling me he’d take care of me too.
At the bottom of the stairs was the main entrance. There were not as many people there as I originally thought there would be. Somewhere between fifty and seventy individuals of mixed ages sat on the floor under the glow of the blue lights. What disturbed me was how many of them were parentless children or teenagers. The next-well represented age group was twenty-something-year-old women, then a few middle-aged couples, and an even less number of elderly. How many men tried to get away? What had happened to the mass of teenage girls who had been here earlier? There wasn’t any blood, and the only signs of struggle were a few tipped-over plants. Did they escape, or at least try to?
The three of us found an open spot on the floor and sat down near a group of crying children who couldn’t have been any older than nine or ten.
“Do you think my mommy will be here?” The little girl asked.
I shrugged. “Maybe!” I wanted to be hopeful for her. Maybe that’s why all of the kids had decided to congregate at the entrance too. They were looking for their parents as well.
Timber reached into his bag and pulled out a bag of gummy bears. The guy was like a walking candy shop. I wondered what else he bought. He opened up the bag and waved a few of the other kids over.
When our gazes met, he shrugged. “It’ll keep them from panicking or going into shock.” He looked me over. “So you know who I am, but I don’t think I’ve caught your name.”
“Chevelle,” I said softly.
“Like the band.” He smiled.
“I doubt that’s what my parents were thinking, but yes, like the band.”
He nudged the girl. “And what’s your name?”
“Lara,” she said in between bites of gummies.
“Nice to meet you Lara, I’m Timber.” He kept his voice low.
It was hard to tell if she recognized him or not. She was a little young to be a part of his fan base. I pegged her at about six years old. Still, kids were smart and observant. If she knew who he was, she didn’t care. She did, however, lean in closer to him to snuggle in a little.
“Will you stay with me until my mommy comes back?” She asked.
“Of course.” He smiled and showed off his perfect teeth again. They glowed in the blue light, and it was more than a little amusing to see. Lara giggled, and the sound was music to my ears and contagious. Soon I was laughing as well, if not quietly. Sure, we both got a couple of strange looks from some of the people sitting around us, but I didn’t care too much. A small lift in the tension was nice.
Not like it lasted long, because eventually our half-hour deadline was up. I’d been praying silently that Wicken would change his mind and come with us after all. He never showed.
Today I’m excited to share the first book in the dark fantasy Survival Trilogy, Breaking Cadence.
I snorted softly. “You expect me to believe that you came to town looking for a cure? I’m not stupid, Zander. There is no cure. There never will be.”
“Oh there is,” he assured, staring right at me. “There has been for years.”
Decontaminated. Deflowered. Defunct.
Cadence Laurence has suffered pain and humiliation at the hands of the town committee, but the saving grace of her torture means nothing when her brother, Alex, and his girlfriend, Kitty, break the rules for the last time.
Now the only place they have left to go is on the run in the unforgiving Wastelands, a place where sand spiders and the Infected become the least of their problems when Cady’s ex-lover escapes her darkened past and deepens their plight with an agenda of his own.
Dodging Wastelanders out for blood and Kitty’s father determined for revenge, can Cadence avoid a bite from the Infected long enough to save her two wards and escape or will her ex-lover’s plans destroy them all?
Warning: Mature content with reference to criminal, adult-themed acts that may serve as triggers.
It was raining the day we were outcast. And I blamed him.
I drove my car over to their house, windscreen wipers flipping in the heavy downpour as my headlights grazed the row of small suburban bungalows. This was one of the more populated areas but the street was quiet. Nobody was out.
A streak of white caught my eye. My brother’s car sat comfortably in their driveway, engine off. I pursed my lips together and tugged my eye patch a little further down. I would be unwelcome, but they would just have to deal with that.
My car pulled smoothly to a stop, barely any noise emanating from the wheels in the kerbside puddles. The headlights died, leaving the faded ginger streetlamp the only light source. I took off a glove and wiped the rain residue from my brow as if it was sweat. It dripped from my sodden hair, staining my cheeks and clothes. I’d been walking when she’d called over to me, all filled up with panic. A stroll to reminisce would have to wait now.
The box on the seat behind was still there, strangely reassuring me in the rear view mirror. It was white and well cared for even though the dress, once entombed, was no longer inside.
But these things change.
Heavy hearted, I swallowed, glancing up at the house between the shadows of running rain on the window. If it had been anyone other than Sera who’d asked I wouldn’t have gone, but I’d sealed all our fates when I’d said yes to her.
Yet, hesitation clawed at me. He should be old enough to look after himself and to follow the rules, but obviously that was too much to ask for. This was not somewhere I’d choose to go. The cold windows of the house stared back.
I still remembered the family inside. They despised the tainted ones.
Tainted one. There was only me, now, to claim that title. All others had drifted away or died. I established the knife in my belt, just in case, and then stepped out of the car. The rain had grown heavier. It hit my coat like a shower of lead shot, reminding me of long days in the Wastelands. It was always heavy there when it came.
My key checked the car door with a soft chink like locking it would really matter in a place like this. My shadow cut a dark line in the dull orange light. The neighbours were probably watching behind their darkened curtains, but the street remained eerily quiet all except for the sound of the skittering rain. The silence didn’t bother me any more. I moved past my brother’s car, hand sliding across the cold, wet paintwork as I passed.
He would be inside the house courting the girl, but that was no excuse for taking that thing from Sera. He was getting us all into trouble.
I stepped up to the door and instead of simply turning the handle, I knocked. An uneasy feeling unfolded in my stomach like the separation of haemoglobin and plasma in a bag full of blood. Crimson and ochre. You were always supposed to knock, but I hadn’t knocked in a very long time.
The door opened filtering out a cold light. She stood there with curlers in her hair, feverish rings under her too wide eyes like a ventriloquist’s dummy. If her lips hadn’t compressed I might have mistaken her for one of the Infected. Her shock died down, her eyes tightened to small holes. It didn’t take a genius to work out that she’d recognised me.
“I don’t want you in my house.”
It wasn’t really her house; it was just one of many things inherited from long dead inhabitants, but there was little to gain from arguing with her. To her and plenty of others I was already outcast.
What was going to happen would make no difference to that.
“He’s here and I need to see him.” I raised an eyebrow at her impassive façade. “Is Maurice inside?”
Her eyes flared for half a second, telling me all I needed to know. Diplomacy wasn’t usually my strong point where committee members were concerned. My hands tightened into balls and I tried to soften my tone, gentle but unyielding.
“Let me in, Wilma. I’ll speak to my brother and I’ll be gone.” She didn’t inch from the door, her pincers curled around the wood. My gaze levelled on her, cool and calm. “I give you my word.”
“What good’s your word?” she hissed, retracting from the entrance nevertheless.
I stepped inside, moving smoothly past her as she recoiled. Frightened rabbit syndrome scratched her gaze. Once upon a time, I might have sympathised, but now I didn’t care having been treated to her cruel words and unkindness more than I deserved.
The kitchen felt loveless, the kind of place where food preparation had no passion and eating was a task forced in silence. It was a graveyard to fine dining, the pale bulb sluicing everything in a jaundiced light.
Wilma still held the door ajar, her eyes burning into my back. Her disdain hardly registered any more. Instead, I focused on the voices in the other room. The girl’s laughter wrinkled my nose. Silly teens. I pushed through the door, soft browns and pale creams divining nothing but a washed out heart of a so-called living room.
They were on the sofa. My brother saw me first, rolling his gaze and wrenching his lips into a twist of disgust. “If they sent you to spy on me–”
“You took Sera’s pet.” The words were hushed. “You know what’ll happen if they find it.” My hem dripped dark circles onto the faded carpet, pooling around my boots. My brother’s mouth moved into a line. I could see the cogs working in his skull, preparing his angry excuse. “I need to take it now, before you get us all into trouble.”
With nearly 100 reviews averaging over 4 stars, Tara Elizabeth’s Zoo is definitely worth a read.
A chronicle of my time living in a zoo . . . I’m not really sure where to start, and you may have trouble believing me even as I tell you my story. My family did. They laughed the first time I told them, so now I just say it was all a crazy dream. You see, I died in a totally preventable car accident . . . or so I thought. When I opened my eyes, I was shocked to discover that I had been resurrected into the year 2282 and, just as unbelievably, was locked up in a zoo! A HUMAN ZOO! Oh wait, I mean the People’s Past Anthropological Center.
The Global Government created the Centers because all of the different cultures of the world had, over centuries of time, slowly absorbed into one uniform culture. Everything and everybody felt the same, and the world didn’t like it. So, to help the people of 2282 find cultures they thought worthy to live their lives by, they used time travel to zap the people of the past into the future. They created enclosures to house their live human exhibits. And that’s what happened to me. I became a research project, a source of entertainment. I was a prisoner who was over two hundred years away from my family and friends.
Most of my time in the enclosure was spent trying to escape. I also made friends, lost friends, fell in love, was betrayed, was held captive within captivity, and lots of other fun stuff. There were some shocking moments and some devastating moments . . . It’s a lot to recount, but I’ll try my best to tell you all about my time travel . . . PAST, PRESENT, and FUTURE.
I’m Emma, by the way.
DAY ONE – THE ENCLOSURE
When I woke up, I saw green, lots and lots of green. There were green plants, green trees, and green moss covered rocks. Underneath me was a cushion of green grass. I heard rushing water coming from somewhere nearby, but the pounding in my head dulled the pleasant sound. They drugged me, and my body did not like whatever they gave me. I stayed stretched out on the soft carpet of grass, trying to adjust to my surroundings.
“Hi there! About time you woke up,” a breezy, female voice chirped.
I slowly rolled my head in the direction of the voice. A girl about my age was sitting on a boulder staring at me. Her blonde hair was wild, like she took the time to tease it but used a twig to do it. Her eyes were a cool blue like a clear sky. Her dress was plain. It was made from what looked like burlap or some other horrible fabric (if you could even call it fabric). It looked completely out of place on her.
I was thinking about how awful it would be to wear something like that while I was scratching at my own skin. And sure enough, I had the same horrible fabric on. I was so mortified. I was wearing a brown sack that came to about mid-thigh, and when I checked, I discovered that I also had on tiny, bikini-cut panties. I was more of a boy short kind of girl.
“Where am I?” I asked the blonde girl.
“Didn’t they show you the film?”
“Yeah, but . . . ”
“Well, you’re in your new home.” She flipped her hair over her shoulder, and I almost expected her to start smacking on some gum.
I sat up and looked around. There was a small jungle toward the back of the enclosure with the rest of the area being flat land. The jungle was thick with ferns and trees. I could see a hint of a waterfall over some low hanging vines. At the front of the enclosure, on the flat land, I could see a small vegetable garden, a fruit tree, and a cow tied to a post. Half of the space was surrounded by a rock-wall, and the rest was encased by a glass-dome.
“This isn’t anything like where I came from,” I said aloud to myself and to the girl.
“Yeah, me neither. All I can figure is that they want to experiment by putting us in different environments and then seeing what happens.” The girl shrugged her shoulders. “So, what’s your name?”
“Emma David. You?”
The girl spewed a ton of information at me all at once. “Janice Hall. Grew up in Manhattan. Got into partying young. Overdosed on cocaine in a nightclub. Been in here alone for about a month. It’s good to have some company. I started talking to the cow a few days ago. Can you believe that? They could have at least put me in one of these things with some good neighbors or something.”
She completely overwhelmed me, and I didn’t know what to say in response. The thing that stuck out the most about her little speech was that she said she had overdosed. She looked too young to have had an overdose. “How old are you?” I finally asked her.
“Sixteen,” she answered nonchalantly, while inspecting her cuticles. Then she dropped down next to me and grabbed my hand to have a look at my nails. She was behaving like a monkey. I could recall watching them at a regular zoo. They would sit and pick at each other, searching for bugs or whatever nasty things inhabited their fur. It made me uncomfortable, but I was so focused on figuring her out, that I let her continue for a while longer.
Janice was so young and beautiful, and she was probably wealthy if she grew up in Manhattan. I’ve seen plenty of famous socialites on cable TV hit rock bottom before they hit 18. What a waste. Drugs were one thing that I never messed with, and she was a prime example of why.
“What year are you from?” I could tell she wasn’t from my time, even though we were dressed the same. There was something about her that was different, besides the New York accent.
She continued to look over my cuticles. I let her because it seemed to calm her down, which also helped my own nervous energy. She answered, “I was born in 1962. They ‘saved’ me in 1978.” She made air quotes with her fingers as she said the word “saved.” Then she asked me, “What about you?”
The time travel crap was starting to weird me out. I felt like my head was going to explode, but I held myself together long enough to answer her. “Um, I’m 17. I was born in 1995 and they ‘saved’ me in 2013 . . . This is crazy!” Nope. I couldn’t keep it together after all. Why was I sitting there making small talk with a strange girl? I needed to get the hell out of my new prison.
I ran over to the rock wall, searching for a door. Nothing. After I reached the glass front of our enclosure, where the public would be observing us from the other side, I beat my fists against the hard surface. I screamed and screamed and screamed.
Then, I screamed some more.
“Tried that already. It’s no use. Besides, the park’s not even open. Nobody’s here, silly,” Janice told me. She stood behind me, next to the cow, with her hand on her hip. I noticed she had fashionably tied some kind of vine around her waist to accentuate her curves under the hideous sack dress.
I didn’t care what she said, so I ignored her and kept beating the glass wall from one side all the way to the other. I went on that way until I reached a point where I could see into the enclosure next door. What I saw was unexpected.
Today I’m excited to feature the third volume in Summer Lane’s YA dystopian science fiction Collapse series: State of Rebellion.
Everything has changed. After a devastating ambush that left the militia group Freedom Fighters struggling to survive, Cassidy Hart has been lucky to escape with her life. Along with her Commander and former Navy SEAL Chris Young, she’s made a shocking discovery concerning the whereabouts of her father. The militias have moved further into the mountains. And the secret that is kept there will come with a price. But when the National Guard arrives, Cassidy is faced with a choice that will force her to decide between her friends and her family. Omega is getting stronger. The fight for freedom looms on the horizon. It’s all or nothing. And Cassidy has no intention of giving up.
No one said time travel would be easy.
Peter Cooper, a widowed father of two whose life is crumbling around him—until a bizarre encounter with a desperate Army general launches him on a risky mission: to go back to 1942 and change a moment in time. The repercussions will almost certainly alter the conclusion of World War II. But will the ripple effects stop there? And what kind of life will Peter return to?
Unknown Consequences: A successful mission may not have the success he had intended.
Linear Shift is a serialized novel, with 4 total parts planned. This is part 1.
“Why are you telling me this now?” Peter demanded. “Why didn’t you tell me this back then, if it’s so important to you? I’m no longer in the army and I’m not going back. What does it matter anymore?”
“Would it have made a difference if I’d told you this twenty-two years ago when you enlisted? Would you have stayed in the army longer with this information? Would you have still married? Would you still have become an architect? Would Mary still have died in an auto accident?”
All these questions floated through the air, but Peter flinched at the mention of Mary. Mary was his wife’s given name, and anyone that knew her called her Minnie. Hearing her name spoken out loud felt like an ice pick in the heart.
Peter was confused and irritated. “What’s the point of all this?” he asked, angrily.
“Peter, I clearly have more knowledge about you than just the basics. I know you are about to lose this house. I know your kids are barely passing their classes. I know you were laid off, and are currently looking for work. What if I told you that I could drastically change your circumstances, almost instantly?”
Peter was a proud man. To hear a stranger plainly spell out everything that he was struggling with almost brought him to tears. He had failed, and he was embarrassed. He was far too ashamed to ask for help from anyone.
“Are you sure I can’t get you something to drink? I’m going to get myself a scotch.” Peter stood without waiting for the general to reply and walked to the bar cabinet. He pulled out the bottle of Glenfiddich and two glasses. He returned to his seat and poured out two fingers each.
“Peter, this is not the answer to your problems,” said the general as he took the glass from Peter.
“It might not be the answer, but it might help ease the process.”
Peter brought the glass to his lips and tilted it back until the glass was again empty. The general sipped at his glass and returned it to the table. Peter poured himself another and leaned back, glass in hand.
“So, what do I have to do to get this ‘help’ that you’re offering?”
“Before I can really tell you more about that, I have to have your word that you will not divulge any of the information that we are to discuss to anyone. Not even your children—although I don’t think they would believe any of it. I have to be clear here: no one. No one at all.”
Peter held up his hand, his pinky finger pressed against his thumb and said with mock solemnity, “Scout’s honor.”
“I’m sorry Peter, but I’ll need more than that. I have a confidentiality agreement that you would need to sign. What I am about to tell you is beyond top-secret-level clearance.” The general opened his attaché case and removed a file folder with the words “EYES ONLY” on the cover. From it, he slid out two sheets of finely typed paper. He handed one of them to Peter, then sat back in his chair and again sipped his scotch. As Peter read over the forms, the general finally took his eyes off of Peter and scanned the living room. He was quite surprised to find the house in good order, considering all of Peter’s troubles, including raising two teenage children alone.
After several minutes of silent reading, Peter looked up at the general and said, “This must be seriously top secret if the army would go to these extremes, were I to talk. Do you have a pen?”
The general produced a blue-marbled Mont Blanc pen and Peter signed the document before returning it to the general.
“Actually, Peter, this isn’t an army operation. It’s an unclassified branch of the government that only a very select few even know exists. It’s so clandestine that I’m currently not at liberty to inform you of its call sign. The document that you just signed will only afford you just enough information to make a rational decision whether or not to assist us; no more than that. If you agree, there will be several more documents that will need to be signed along the way. Do you understand?”
“Good. Now that we have an understanding, and your signature, we are inviting you to join a small team of exclusively selected civilians, others such as yourself, to travel back in time. Back to 1942, France to be precise.”