Guest Post – Adverse Effects by Alicia Nordwell

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Saving Caeorleia Book Two

Published by Dreamspinner Press

 

 Interview with Dade

Dade

  • What is your current state of mind?

Conflicted as hell? Caeorleia is like a paradise—but after my lifetime, how is it possible to adjust to something like that? In my experience, if it’s too good to be true—then it’s too damn good to be true. There’s a catch somewhere.

Always is.

  • What is your most treasured possession?

Used to be my weapon. Soldier without a gun? Dead man walking!

  • What is your favorite planet you’ve visited?

I wouldn’t call it visiting. Invading? Conquering? Sure. It’s definitely a change, being on an alien world when I’m not battling for my life. At least, not overtly. That damn guy on their council, Buphet, is a slimeball.

  • When and where were you the happiest?

Growing up wasn’t a picnic. I lived on an overcrowded planet. I didn’t see anything green until my first deployment. But I remember this one time, a friend found an old picture book once. There were trees and water not blackened by pollution, and animals—so many different ones. We hoarded that book for months before he traded it for some food.

  • What is your greatest fear?

Soldiers aren’t allowed to have fear, but if I were to pick the one thing I’d hate the most, it would be to die without having made a difference. It was a naïve dream I realized real quick wasn’t going to come true after I enlisted, but there’s still a bit of truth in it. If you do something to help others, you’re remembered. I don’t want to die forgotten.

  • On what occasions do you lie?

When telling the truth would get my ass in the shit? No one needs to know what’s going on in my head. I don’t need anyone prying about, trying to figure me out.

  • If you could change one thing about yourself, what would it be?

What they did to me. The doctors who changed me didn’t do it for any reason other than their own advancement. I’ve never been anything but a pawn. But I won’t be that anymore. I’m going to become something better.

  • How would you like to die?

*snorts* Quick! I don’t think any soldier hasn’t seen their death in their heads a thousand times, but I don’t want to suffer. If I have to go, I’m going to go out with a bang.

  • What do you like about Caeorleia?

Probably the food. I’ve never tasted anything as amazing as their food. I’d spend all my time eating if I could. Some of the people are okay, too. I’ve met a few lately…

  • What is one thing you want us to know about you?

I’m not defective. I’m not a coward. I’m strong, and I won’t let anyone make me into a victim.

 

Buy Links:

Dreamspinner Press: http://tinyurl.com/nbuqun7

All Romance eBooks: http://tinyurl.com/k4jvod7

Amazon: http://tinyurl.com/nvcaqqm

 

Excerpt:

“Dade!”

My body arched and twisted in a bid to get away from the sensations forced on me. The intense feelings had faded to one of concern. I jerked away, ripping the hand off my shoulder as I rolled and came up in a fighting stance on the other side of the bed.

“Ow!”

The knife I’d pilfered during a meal days before was in my hand. My chest heaved as I tried to separate reality from the vivid nightmare of a memory I’d been locked in.

Nicklaus stared at me with wide eyes, cradling his arm against his chest. The one he’d broken was still weak even after they’d fixed it. Fieo rushed into the room, a projectile weapon naked in his hand.

“What in the name of all that is holy is going on in here?”

I straightened the second Fieo came in, palming the knife and sliding it into the back of my wrap’s waistband. A slight sting told me the edge was still razor-sharp.

“Nothing.”

“I heard screaming.” He looked back at Nicklaus. “Are you hurt?”

“Twisted my wrist a little.” Nicklaus stared at me. “My fault, though. Dade was having a nightmare. I tried to wake him up.”

Fieo snarled. “He hurt you.” His fangs were showing when he glared at me.

Nicklaus shook his head, reaching out toward Fieo with his good arm before pulling back. “No, I’m fine. Besides, he didn’t do it on purpose. He was asleep.”

Fieo turned and stared at me. “Is that true?”

I was trying to hide the way my teeth wanted to chatter in the chill of the air. I was cold, but sweat slid down my spine. I nodded instead of speaking.

Fieo put his gun into the harness around his waist just under the top edge of his wrap. He gave me a hard look, a violent promise in his eyes. I knew what he’d do to me if I actually hurt Nicklaus. I didn’t cower, returning his glare instead. He could try.

 

Author Bio:

Alicia Nordwell is one of those not so rare creatures, a reader turned writer. Striving to find an interesting story one day, she decided to write what she wanted instead. Then the voices started… Yep, not only does she talk about herself in the third person for bios, she has voices in her head constantly clamoring to get out.

Fortunately, with the encouragement of her family and friends, she decided for her own sanity to keep writing. Now you can find her stories both free and e-published. When she’s not on the computer typing away, she’s a wife and a mom of two in the dreary, yet ideal for her redhead complexion, Pacific Northwest. Except for when she disappears into one of the many worlds in her head, of course!

She can also be found quite often at her blog, where she has a lot of free fiction for readers to enjoy or working hard, or maybe hardly working, as an admin on GayAuthors.org under her online nickname, Cia.

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Double Trouble: Chapter 32

Wednesday Briefs

For more free flash reading check out the list of authors at the bottom of this post.


Chapter 32

Trent ran his sleeve over his face, wiping off the sweat pouring from it. He’d started the day with at least a glimmer of hope, but it had melted away in the hot Oklahoma sunshine. The crowd of people he’d started the day with had thinned until there were only a few remaining.

Trent pulled his pickup to a stop, but made no move to leave the cab. He looked at the front of their house, unable to go inside and face Josh. Even this morning, the haunted look in Josh’s eyes had left a chill deep inside Trent. Continue reading

Double Trouble: Chapter 31

Wednesday Briefs

For more free flash reading check out the list of authors at the bottom of this post.


Chapter 31

Trent lay in the dark room, staring at the ceiling. He thought Josh was awake too, but neither of them had much to say to each other in the last day. Their time since Danny was taken had been miserable.

It wasn’t as if people hadn’t done what they were supposed to do. The Amber Alert had gone out. The right people notified. No matter how much they did, it wasn’t enough. Nothing would be enough until their child was returned. If he knew what to do, he’d be out searching. But Sheriff White Cloud was not subtle about telling he and Josh that they needed to get some rest before they both collapsed.

He knew today was going to be critical. They had to find Danny. He refused to think of it any other way. He knew that Josh had a tendency to expect the worst, and Trent was usually his biggest cheerleader. This time it wasn’t going to work though. It took all the strength he had to just put one foot in front of the other.

After lying in the bed without ever falling into any kind of restful sleep, the room had finally lightened to the dark grey of predawn, and Trent stopped even trying to give the illusion of sleep. He flipped the sheet back and eased himself to the edge of the bed. He lacked the strength and determination to make it any further than that. Danny’s kidnapping had left him empty, and angry.

They’d been fighting. Stupidly fighting. Who gave a damn about Josh’s family who they hadn’t heard from in years. Now. Now their son was missing, and Trent couldn’t keep from blaming himself for not keeping their most important thing in their life was safe.

Josh began to move, but it was obvious to Trent that he’d been awake long before he began to stir. He too sat on the bed, his back to Trent who could feel the waves of anger washing off his husband. He stood, and without turning to Trent, he mumbled. “I’m going to shower. Check on Sammy.”

Trent started to argue. He’d checked on his daughter a few dozen times last night. He’d also checked every door and window each time. But he knew it wasn’t going to help to point it out to Josh. The shower was running by the time Trent forced himself into action. He couldn’t make himself care enough to shower. He was almost dressed by the time Josh walked out of the bathroom, barely dried and his shirt sticking to his wet back.

His expression was grim as he fished a pair of socks from his dresser and sat to finish pulling on his clothes. Without a word, he stood and walked out the bedroom and a few moments later the slam of the exterior door rang through the house.

Trent’s boot slipped into place and he stood to follow Josh. This was going to be a long day.

He was surprised to hear the door open again.

“Trent. You better come out here…”

His heart sank as he sprinted for the open door. He found Josh standing on the porch, his jaw dropped in wonder as a single tear made its way down Josh’s cheek. Trent had to agree, the sight before him was beyond amazing.

As far as he could see there were pickups with trailers of every type. Some unloading saddled horses, others for 4-wheelers. As Trent looked from one face to another, he saw nothing but grim determination. He fought his emotions as the sheriff walked to the porch.

“I asked if anyone could help look for Danny, in case he got out somewhere.” He turned to the mass of people, animals and vehicles surrounding them and then back to the couple. “Looks like most everyone had some free time to help.”

 


If you’d like to see a snippet from the other Wednesday Briefs authors you can go to the groups website. Or click on the name listed below to go directly to the story.

Double Trouble: Chapter 30

Wednesday Briefs

For more free flash reading check out the list of authors at the bottom of this post.


Chapter 30

Trent looked out the window to check on the kids. They’d seemed to decide that today was going to be a day to try and ride the wheels off their bicycles. He watched for a minute as they raced each other around the house.

“Are you hovering?”

He glanced over to Josh at his desk. “You just keep working. I’m taking care of the kids.”

Josh chuckled. “We live in the middle of nowhere. What do you think might happen?”

“These days, who knows. But I’m just keeping an eye on them.”

Josh turned back to the computer screen, shaking his head. “It’s sure changed since I was a kid and I ran all over the place without my parents knowing where I was.”

Trent glanced toward Josh. He waited for a few moments, weighing his comment before he made it. But then couldn’t keep it back. “Your parents aren’t exactly the poster child for how I want to raise my kids.”

Josh turned to him, his face a scowl. Trent waited, knowing there was a storm brewing between the two of them. Josh never had dealt with his parents disowning him to any real level.

“Fuck you, Trent.”

“You know I’m right. You’re parents have never even seen the kids.”

Josh clenched his teeth and slowly pushed away from his desk. He glared at Trent. “Don’t do this. You know how this crap goes.”

“Some day you have to admit it, your parents are terrible people.”

Josh bristled at Trent. “You don’t know them. They aren’t as bad as you think.”

“The people who kicked you out of the house? They’re good?”

Josh looked at him and through gritted teeth he hissed. “You don’t get it. Some day they will understand.”

“You’re right. I don’t get it. I don’t get anyone who sees their kids as disposable.”

Josh’s face was turning red as he turned on Trent. “Drop it. Just drop it.”

Trent tried to calm himself when he heard a scream from outside. Everything else became irrelevant as the two of them raced out the door. They rounded the corner in time to see a car barreling down the road with dust boiling up around it, making it impossible to see it clearly.

Sammy was still standing in the middle of the driveway screaming at the top of her voice. It took Trent a moment to realize she actually was trying to say something but was too hysterical to be understood. Trent raced to her as Josh tried to find Danny.

Trent’s stomach twisted and made him want to vomit. He knew what had happened. He’d been bickering with Josh, and someone had taken their child. He dropped to his knees and wrapped his arms around Sammy.

“What happened, Sammy? Where’s Danny? It’ll be okay. Da and I will fix everything.”

Sammy gasped, her voice trembling as she calmed herself. While she might not be screaming hysterically, she had an iron grip on Trent. It took a few moments to calm herself, and then she tried to tell her parents what happened.

“That guy came up. We were riding bikes just in the driveway, just like you said.”

Trent pulled her tight and Josh walked over, and the look on his face told Trent he was not doing well either. He focused on their daughter. “It’s okay, baby. You didn’t do anything wrong. Just tell Daddy what happened.”

She nodded and swallowed hard. “The guy said he’d lost his puppy. He had a leash and everything.” She turned to Trent. “Danny wanted to help him look, but you said to not trust strangers. I’d never saw him before.”

“You did really good, Sammy. What happened next,” Trent asked.

Sammy wiped the tears from her eyes. “Danny went to look inside the pickup. The stranger said he had another puppy in the back seat. Then he grabbed Danny. He yelled and kicked, but the guy threw him in the pickup and took off.”

Trent wrapped his arms around Sammy. “You did good. So good.” He turned to look at Josh, and found him holding his phone.

Through tightly held teeth, Josh got out. “Our son has been taken!”


If you’d like to see a snippet from the other Wednesday Briefs authors you can go to the groups website. Or click on the name listed below to go directly to the story.