Near Death on a Sidewalk
We were walking home on Monday near a newly minted on ramp for the 405 freeway when a car that hadn’t been moving very fast sped up just as we were crossing the street. He narrowly – and I mean narrowly – missed us. I think he was on the phone. I know he thought – as many Angelenos seem to – that no one really walks anywhere in LA. We were big as life and holding flashlights (so we’d be noticeable and not trip on the road construction debris). Strangely, my blood pressure was fine. I did feel the need to make roasted garlic leek soup (I add cauliflower to mine for fiber, vitamins), and the brandy I largely use for cooking is largely gone, but I’m okay. We found a new route through the neighborhood at night that is freeway on ramp free. Thus began an interesting week.
A Soldier’s Fate Cover
I am very pleased to announce that A Soldier’s Fate has a cover! Anne Caine has shown her brilliance once again, perfectly capturing the themes of the book. Speaking of themes, here is the blurb from the back of the cover. If you have not read A Soldier’s Choice, this whole blurb is a HUGE spoiler. Be Warned!
Love was the Easiest Battle
Colonel Rik Heron thought he and his lover, Major Vincent Greven, were finally free. They had survived the treachery of military commanders and retired to head a foundation dedicated to the well being of their kind. Their lives would be filled with love and satisfying work making the lives of Altered soldiers better. But fate is not that kind. The landscape of the Foundation was as treacherous as any battlefield. The demands of their new roles and intrigues of the staff nearly tear their relationship apart. And despite the purge of mad generals, someone is still trying to kill them. To make matters infinitely worse, Bobby Greven, Vincent’s brother, disappeared with his squad during his first mission out of training. Thus Rik and Vincent must put on their uniforms and become weapons once more.
It’s not so easy to pick the right section of a book to entice the curious to buy. It has to say something about the characters and the nature of their relationship, it has to have a hint of what the plot is about sans major spoilers. And, in the case of erotica, it has to be really hot really quickly. For A Soldier’s Choice, Chapter One was a stand alone story that hinted at more. This made my choice easy. Picking an excerpt for A Soldier’s Fate has been a lot harder. I had to have a section that not only stand alone, but can stand without the info from the previous book. Why, you ask? Well, experience has taught that readers often find my sequels before they find the original. According to my stats, readers often buy The Price of Surrender before they buy The Gift of Surrender. The Demonspawn titles often sold before readers found the novelization for Demon Under Glass. I don’t question it anymore, I just accommodate it. I finally found the right excerpt for A Soldier’s Fate. Jon will be adding the teaser along with the cover and other info on the website for A Soldier’s Choice this week. I’ll make an announcement here and in the Yahoo Group when it goes up.
I decided to put a different excerpt here today that involves the research Rik, Vincent and their team complied for the generals. This one is for those still following and writing stories around Demon Under Glass. This is the first time Rik and Vincent address the Benefactors about the conditions for Altereds going through the procedure that makes them weapons. The photo is a still taken between takes on the set.
“Our research team complied the data from the files of a government sponsored program called The Delphi Project and the universities that analyzed the data generated by the experiments it performed,” I began as the large AV screen came to life. “In the early part of the last century, the military and at least one security organization funded a project to capture and study a human with extraordinary gifts. How it was determined that this man was real and not a legend, is not clear. Many of the early specifics are missing, including the exact dates of the project. What we do know is that a man named Simon Molinar was captured and subjected to a vast array of medical tests.”
“Why was this Molinar of such interest?” Mrs. Lindstrom asked.
“It is documented in the packet Ms. Becker is handing out now,” I replied. “He was incredibly strong and fast. All of his senses were heightened to that of a predatory animal.”
“He was almost impervious to pain and could heal from major injuries in hours,” Vincent added.
“Molinar had all manifesting traits at full measure,” Dr. Auerbach said. “He was also insane, as far as we can determine.”
“What is your evidence of that?” Stroh asked.
“Molinar was a prolific serial murderer,” I replied. “He also believed he was a vampire.”
General Zumwald chuckled. “Is that where those rumors came from? I thought those tales were passed along to scare inductees.”
“I did, too, sir,” I admitted with a smile. We had all been told that our traits came from a vampire and that one in ten of us would turn into one and have to be destroyed.
“Subject Molinar was extremely old, despite a vigorous physique and affect,” Auerbach said. “But his age can be explained by his being a full manifest along with the immune system.”
“This is fascinating, gentlemen, but how is it germane to your topic?” Stroh asked.
“It is central to our proposal,” I replied, moving the AV presentation forward. “If you’ll look at the screen. On the left is the quarantine chamber that held subject Molinar. On the right is the medical chamber where Altereds are kept during transformation. The only difference between the two is the big, silver box where they held him.”
“In other words, the youngsters we put through Alteration are treated in the same fashion as a psychotic serial killer,” Auerbach said bluntly.
The evidence was there in full color – an antiseptic, isolation tank as a home for kids going through extreme trauma. Vincent was silent though I sensed he wanted to say more.
“Please, speak you mind, Major,” Mrs. Lindstrom said gently.
“What we went through was hard – harder than anything we faced as soldiers,” He said quietly. “There was so much pain...and fear ..and there was no one to talk to but there was always someone watching. That treatment made me feel like I wasn’t human. It makes me angry knowing it didn’t have to be that way.”
“It’s all the more appalling when you consider the road we travel afterwards,” I muttered. “Altereds deserve better treatment.”
Stay tuned for more!
A Surrender Convert
I’m always excited when guys like my het romance novels. My leading man for the Gift of Surrender short is reading the book and really loves it! It’s exciting though a little unnerving to have a guy I know finding out how twisted and naughty my prose is. He didn’t seemed frightened though. And I think he may want to read the sequel. David is very laid back and nonchalant. I noticed a photo on his myspace page of him with the full body tats he wore in Pirates of the Caribbean: At World’s End. I told him I was imagining Johnny himself painting them on that lovely back. The, David told me that was exactly what happened. I about fell over. How closed mouthed can you be! I know Nikulainen has no tats, but I may have to think some up and practice my painting skills!
More next time. Look for the full chapter announcement.