Tuesday Teaser November 30, 2021
My teaser this week is from Electric Candle (Book Two of The Sleepless City). This series was written with Anne Barwell.
Forge heard Simon grumble, “The next time I say, ‘stay back,’ maybe you will.”
Lucas darted around and caught the guy from the back, hustling him out the door. Forge faced the other two, did his best to appear to bulk up, let his eyes turn to solid blue and showed his fangs.
The two remaining men grabbed each other’s arms, trying to back away, but there was nowhere to go when Forge sprinted and blocked their retreat to the back.
“What the hell!” One guy stumbled and would have fallen had Blair not flashed in and snatched him up by the shirt collar.
Forge swallowed a laugh. From Blair’s expression, he was definitely surprised he’d caught the guy. Lucas was guarding the door again, so Forge relieved Blair of his burden and shoved the guy hard enough he crashed into Lucas.
Without missing a beat, Lucas’s eyes glowed gold and he growled. The guy gulped, pulling out of his grip. Lucas pushed the door open and gave the guy a hearty shove out into the parking lot.
“Duck,” Simon yelled and grabbed the last of the men. Lucas dropped to his knees and the last guy skimmed over his back and sailed outside.
A few minutes later, everything had calmed down, chairs had been righted, and Sally was back to getting food out to the customers.
“Thank you,” she said when she made her way to their table.
“I doubt they’ll be back,” Simon told her.
“Have you seen this?” Sally asked Blair, gesturing with another beer, the cap still in place. “It’s the sexiest thing.” She patted Blair’s shoulder. “Don’t worry, I’m not interested in your boyfriend, you’re safe.”
Blair cocked an eyebrow at Forge. “Seen what?” he asked.
Forge took the bottle Sally offered. “Sometimes, she’ll get me to do this all night.” His fangs slipped down, and he hooked one under the bottle cap then pushed it out with his tongue. He caught the cap and tossed it on the table, grinning broadly as the rest of the men laughed.
Later, as they were getting ready to leave, Ben asked, “Why would this cambion want to collect sperm or eggs?”
“I’ve been wondering that myself. I can’t come up with a reason,” Forge said as they left the bar. The dark sky was littered with some clouds and stars.
Lucas stopped a few feet from his Jeep, put his head up, and howled.
“Lucas, there is no moon tonight,” Simon said, sounding unimpressed. He unlocked the passenger door of his car for Ben. “You’re riding with us.”
“But I—” Lucas sounded out the two words carefully.
“You are not driving when you start howling. We’ll get your Jeep on the way to work tomorrow,” Forge said.
“Come on, Lucas. Here’s your big chance with a vampire and a human together in one car.” Ben leaned against the door and waved at the backseat.
Lucas grinned and got into Simon’s car. “Oh, yeah.”
Blair laughed, and after he and Forge were driving home, he said, “I hope Ben doesn’t regret encouraging Lucas.”
Forge smiled and nodded but kept quiet. He had plenty to think about and only a small fraction of those thoughts revolved around their case or what Lucas might do.
Electric Candle is available in eBook, paperback and in Kindle Unlimited. Grab your copy now! The eBook is on sale for only $2.99.
Rainbow Snippets 11/28/2021
Welcome readers to another Rainbow Snippet!
This week my snippet is from Bait.
“Hey!” Linden barked. “Get away from him. Now!”
Tyler tried to twist his head to see where Linden was. The woman turned her head, and screamed. She jerked away from Tyler and charged through the snow, her path taking her behind Tyler’s vantage point.
A shot rang out, and Linden warned, “The next one doesn’t go into a tree.”
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Until the end of November Bait is $2.99 for the eBook.
Triumph’s Ashes by Adam Gaffen
Adam Gaffen has a new LGBTQ+ space opera out, The Cassidy Chronicles volume 5: Triumph's Ashes And there's a $100 giveaway!
Viva la revolucion!
The Primus, Vasilia Newling, is facing her worst nightmares:
All because of those damned Cassidys!
But she's still as ruthless as ever.
And if Aiyana and Kendra thought she was playing dirty before? They're going to see how filthy she really can get.
There isn't room for both the Terran Federation and the Union.
This time, one is going down.
Amazon US | Amazon UK | Amazon CAN | Barnes & Noble | Kobo | Liminal Fiction | Smashwords
Adam is giving away a $100 Restaurants.com gift card with this tour:
Direct Link: http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/b60e8d47213/?
“Commander? Aren’t you on your honeymoon?”
Commander Daniela Garcia-Kay stopped filling her coffee cup and to stare at the questioner.
“Ma’am,” she belatedly appended.
“Better, Rat,” Garcia-Kay said, finishing the pour. “And for your information, yes, I am, but I need to stay sharp.”
She added, in a much more conversational tone, “Boomer’s been after me as well. He says that he’s still trying to integrate with his new body and I should be flying him, so…”
Rat, Ensign (JG) Judith Bastin, grinned. The Epsilon-class AI’s installed in the Direwolf fighters could be nearly human in their personalities, if encouraged by their human counterparts. A good number of the pilots of Nymeria Squadron did so, reaping the benefits of the enhanced partnership, taking after the lead of their commander.
Daniela, as the first Direwolf pilot, had led the way. She’d investigated the interests the Admiral had in 20th/21stcentury ‘television’ and ‘movies’, eventually arriving at ‘Boomer’ as a good name for her AI. As a result, his personality tended to be cool, calculating, and confident, with a special knack for engineering his way around problems. His level-headedness complemented Daniela’s more aggressive flying style.
“I heard they salvaged your chair,” Rat said.
“They did,” agreed Daniela. “That was about all, though.”
Her face clouded briefly at the memory. Her prior Direwolf had been ruined by a mid-space collision with another fighter during an exercise in which the other pilot had lost her life. It was the first non-action casualty the squadron had faced and it still stung.
Rat picked up on her discomfort and tried to change the subject. “How’s Boomer doing? Does he like the new ship?”
“He appreciates the new capabilities, but keeps sending me messages about how things just aren’t quite ‘right’ with it. Which is why I’m here at oh six hundred instead of in bed with my husband,” she finished, raising her mug.
“Aye, ma’am,” said Rat, raising her half-empty mug in mock salute. “Do you need a wing? I’m scheduled for the mid-watch CAP, but I have a couple hours.”
“Thanks, Rat, I’m covered. Locksmith is going out with me.”
Rat nodded. Locksmith was the XO of the second Direwolf squadron under Lt. Commander Ashlyn Bontrager. Red Squadron was officially assigned to the TFS Endeavour, but only half the fighters could fit aboard at any one time for away missions if there would be a couple of the older Wolves attached for the duration. The other half remained at Njord and did drills until the Endeavour returned.
“Catch you later, Double Dip,” Rat said and strolled out.
She had to smile. For all that Starfleet was a military organization, the formality and rigidity which plagued longer-established militaries simply didn’t exist. Given the preferences of the Admiral, it probably never would.
Daniela spent the next few minutes with her thoughts before Locksmith arrived.
Lieutenant Lexie Marsh, recently promoted, was nearly a mirror image of Double Dip. She was just as tall and built in a similar, athletic manner. Her hair, which she wore in a single long braid, was dyed a pale green which set off her emerald eyes and dark skin. Her most prominent feature, though, was her smile. It was said in her division that as long as Locksmith was smiling you were doing well. If it flickered, though, you were in trouble. Nobody knew what would happen if it disappeared. Yet.
Today, it was in full force.
“Morning, Danni,” Locksmith said, already carrying her own mug.
“Morning Lexie,” Daniela answered around another sip. “Ready for today?”
“As soon as I finish my cacao.”
“You and Commander Cassidy,” Daniela chuckled. “What is it about that stuff?”
“I could ask you the same,” countered Locksmith. “Coffee, yuck.”
“Just for that I’m going to dust you,” Daniela said.
“Hello? We’re both flying the same bird?”
“Nope. I have the first of the Mark II’s.”
Instantly Locksmith was all business.
“I didn’t think they were going to be in production until next year! That’s why my girlfriend told me, and she should know; she works at HLC, testing.”
“She’s not wrong. But someone has to break them in before they start rolling them out, and since I have the most hours in Direwolves of any pilot in Starfleet, well, the decision was simple. Mine’s one of the two-seaters, too, a training model.”
“Is the scuttlebutt true?”
Daniela laughed. “I hope so! We’ll find out today anyways.”
Locksmith put down her mug, sloshing the contents onto the table, and stood. “What are we waiting for?”
Daniela took a final swallow and led the way to the bay. After they’d done the mandatory walkarounds and pre-flight checks they each climbed into their cockpits.
“About time,” grumped her AI as she settled in.
“It’s my honeymoon,” she grumped right back. “I’m permitted.”
“It’s all well and good for you, you can get out of the ship just by standing up. Me, it takes major mechanical surgery.”
“Sorry, Boomer. Admiral’s orders. I tried to delay the wedding but she wouldn’t allow it.”
She could tell he was somewhat mollified, though, as they ran through the power-up checklists. They’d developed enough of a rapport over the previous months that they could do the tasks almost on automatic while holding a conversation.
“How does she feel?” Daniela asked now.
“It’s different,” Boomer said. “The basic systems are all the same, except where they aren’t. It’s tough to explain.”
“Anything I need to be concerned about? Anything radically different?”
“No. Most of the changes they made are incremental, evolutionary. Like the aiming mechanism on the lasers.”
“We can aim?”
“A little. About two degrees, but it’s enough so we can do some pinpoint shooting at longer ranges.”
“If you ask me, though, I’m most impressed with the new reactor, if it works.”
“What do you mean, ‘if it works’?”
“It’s a new design. The old reactor was a laser-pumped design, while the new one is a z-pinch. If it works the way it should, we ought to achieve increased thrust as well as higher power for the other systems.”
“How much increased thrust?”
“Up to 650 g.”
Daniela allowed herself a low whistle. The Mark 1 already had the highest acceleration of any sublight craft in any fleet, 500 g, and a skilled pilot/AI combination could squeeze an extra 10 g or 20 g performance. 650 g, though, was unheard-of.
“What will I feel?” she asked. She knew she could tap her implant to get the information, but one of the reasons she and Boomer were such an effective team was she treated him as a partner. Currently, at max accel, she felt 6 g, which was eight times more than the Federation standard aboard vessels and habitats. Her nanobots prevented the lower gravity from weakening her bones and muscles, but she’d been in Starfleet since the beginning. Three-quarter g felt normal now, hence her concern.
“You’ll love this. Five g.”
I was born in Maine, didn't live there for long before my parents figured out that it was too bloody cold and moved south, all the way to Massachusetts. Grew up there and in Connecticut, lived in Maryland and Indiana for a while before moving back to Maine. Lived there for twenty years before I, too, decided the winters were too long. Of course, where do you to get away from long winters? COLORADO! Naturally. Married to a wonderful, inspirational, supportive woman; between us we have five kids, five dogs, and five cats.
As for my writing, well, I've thrown a bunch out onto Amazon. There's a couple Sherlock Holmes stories, a few horror-ish shorts, and then you get to my longer books: Refuge, a time-traveling take on vampire stories, and The Cassidy Chronicles. Triumph's Ashes is the fifth book in the series and completes the Artemis War story arc.
Like I said, thanks for dropping in! You can find me on Allauthor.com, Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and on my website www.cassidychronicles.com.This month, I'll be appearing on the Meet the Author Podcast/Vidcast on November 24th, so tune in and check it out! It's an hour of Cassidyverse talk and it's at https://indiebooksource.com/podcast/ I love interacting with fans, but be warned: I often add my fans into my books!
Author Website: https://cassidychronicles.com
Author Facebook (Personal): https://www.facebook.com/adam.gaffen
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Author Amazon: https://smile.amazon.com/Adam-Gaffen/e/B009QMIW3K
Words tumbled through the air at Tyler McCall and crashed over him like a steamroller.
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Tuesday Teaser Nov 23, 2021
My Tuesday Teaser this week is from Bait!
“Did you sleep with him?” Linden asked quietly.
Something cold and raw speared Tyler’s gut and bloomed across his chest. The sharp sting of acid under his tongue oozed across his mouth. It took everything he had in him not to cough, puke, and scream at the same time. Not that something like that was possible anyway. He pulled in a deep, shuddering breath, suppressed a shiver, and put his hands on his lap under the table. In an attempt to quiet his nerves and gather his thoughts, he curled his fingers around his knees and gripped hard. Shaking his head slowly, Tyler said, “No. I never slept with any of my students.”
Linden leaned back in his chair and continued to study Tyler. It was unsettling to say the least. Tyler had to put a lot of effort into meeting Linden’s gaze without wavering. If he flinched away from events in his past and didn’t set the record straight, Linden would never trust him or believe in him.
Tyler desperately wanted Linden to believe in him, trust him, and be his friend, though he wasn’t sure why.
“Tell me about Dimas Praede. You did have sex with him.”
It wasn’t exactly phrased like a question, but Tyler nodded and whispered, “Yes.” The cold in Tyler’s chest was replaced by unexpected anger surging through him. “What did you come here for?” He slammed his palm on the table and noticed immediately that Linden didn’t so much as twitch. “You decided I was guilty before you walked through that door, so why not just arrest me now?”
“I told you before, if I thought you should be arrested, you would have been. Are you guilty?”
“No!” Tyler snapped. “I wasn’t then, and I’m not now.”
“I’m trying to find out the truth about what happened to a man. Both of his former boyfriends are nowhere to be found, and the only link I have to them and him is you.” Linden glanced down for a few seconds before looking Tyler in the eye again. “Tell me everything from the beginning. Explain to me why you weren’t guilty when the law said you were.” He picked up Tyler’s bottle of beer and held it out to him. “If you did something wrong, you’ll pay. If not, I’m on your side.”
Tyler slowly pulled one hand out from under the table and gripped the beer bottle, then took a sip. He nodded. “No one ever really wanted my side of the story. It was all pretty cut and dried at the time. I did it. I paid.”
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“I’d like to think he wouldn’t. But I’ve seen cases where the meekest people turn into rabid tigers and get very unpredictable. Tomorrow after he’s sobered up and calmed down, I’m sure he’ll be more reasonable. For now, it’s just best everyone stay away from everyone else. If there is any trouble there tonight, call me. I’ll be there.”
“My white knight in shining armor and all.” Jay sounded more relaxed.
“And don’t you forget it,” Eric said, dropping his voice. “I saw Kellie hold your hand and kiss your cheek, not to mention the fact I’m sleeping alone tonight. Repercussions.”
Jay wuffed out a short laugh. “Oh God, I hope so.”
Breathing a deep sigh of relief, Eric chuckled. Jay was doing all right for now. “You sleep good, we’ll work it out,” he murmured, and when Jay responded in kind, Eric ended the call.
Eric threw on some clothes and drove to the resort. The night clerk there verified that Senator Molloy was indeed in one of the rooms and had been for about an hour. Eric decided it was time to flex a little head-of-resort security muscle.
“If he leaves tonight, I want you to call me immediately.” Eric wrote his number down for her and slid the paper across the front desk countertop.
“Sure. Is there a problem?”
“No. But a lot of folks, the senator included, had a lot to drink tonight, and I don’t want any of them driving around these woods getting into car accidents, crashing into trees, and being eaten by Sasquatch.” The woman nodded, giggling softly. “And, I’m sure I don’t have to remind you about confidentiality?”
“No. I don’t know a thing.” She smiled when Eric snickered. “I don’t even know you.”
He tapped the counter a few times and bid her good night. After a fast check to make sure Senator Molloy’s car was in the parking lot, Eric decided he’d done all he could and headed back home. Most of the night he spent staring at the ceiling, waiting for some phone call of doom. Eventually, he dropped off to sleep, hoping in the morning Jay’s parents, or at least his father, would go their merry ways and leave him and Jay in peace.
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One of the interns burst into the workshop, gasping for breath. “Th-they’re l-looking… for you…. Ms. Hollan sent me.” When Mal started patting himself down, the intern gulped a few breaths and added, “Your phone is sitting on your desk back at the offices.”
“Oh shit. What’s wrong?”
The kid shook his head. “I don’t know. She said it was an emergency and to run, so I did.”
“Thank you.” Mal quickly secured his workshop, and after they were through the door, he locked it before hurrying toward the distillery offices.
The last time Audrey had used the word “emergency” was when one of their shipping trucks overturned in front of a high school. There’d been broken bottles, whiskey, and kids everywhere. Once everything was under control, the situation was more comical than anything. If Audrey felt the need to send someone to retrieve Mal immediately, this must be bigger than that.
Having left the intern behind by the time Mal reached the main offices, he ran the final distance and burst into his office. Phillipe stood in the middle of the room with Audrey, Jeffery, and Frank. Something cold and nasty crawled through Mal’s gut to his chest and took root there like a heavy, jagged rock.
Colt had been with Phillipe.
Thoughts of car accidents, shootings, violent and sudden illness—all leaving Colt in a hospital in a coma or worse—rampaged through Mal’s brain.
“Wh-where’s Colt?” Mal stammered.
Phillipe looked terrified, and Frank wore an expression Mal could only describe as pissed off. Jeffery appeared stunned, and Audrey was the one pacing for once.
“Mr. K, I’m sorry, I’m so sorry.” Phillipe’s words rushed out so fast it took a second for Mal to process them and realize he was holding something out to Mal. Then it registered. Phillipe’s face was bruised, and he had a cut on one hand.
“Are you all right?” Mal asked softly. He took the paper Phillipe offered, read it, frowned, reread it, and looked up at the others. “What the hell? Colt’s been kidnapped?”
“Yeah. Notice they used Colt, not Colton,” Frank pointed out.
Mal could only ask, “How did this happen?”
“We, Colt and me, were to meet at a coffee shop,” Phillipe said. “When I got there, I found his order all over the sidewalk. Then a guy comes up to me, hits me, and gives me that note. Says, ‘Do it or Colt dies.’” Phillipe took a few deep breaths. “And no cops.”
“Oh hell no,” Frank said. “We have to contact the police.”
“But they said—” Jeffery started.
Frank cut him off. “Yes, we can take a bag of money, and I have a few friends who can help. We will likely get Colt back. However, think. None of that is legal. These assholes need to go to jail, and without the police, that won’t happen. We’ll be nothing more than vigilantes and open to prosecution ourselves.” Frank flicked at the paper in Mal’s hand. “Whoever did this aren’t pros. Too sloppy. They’re small-time thugs, and that makes them very dangerous. Professional kidnappers rarely kill. I can’t say the same for this type.”
“He’s right,” Mal agreed. “And Phillipe needs to get to a doctor.”
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Linden shrugged and said, “I’m not here for a vacation.”
“Oh.” Tyler’s face fell.
Linden felt a sudden stab of guilt. Had Tyler thought Linden came to see him for other reasons? “Can I?” he asked and waved at the few tables that weren’t covered in plastic.
Tyler nodded silently and carried Linden’s overcoat while Linden took his laptop case and crossed to one of the tables. He extracted the computer and bent to look around.
“There’s an outlet in the floor.” Tyler tapped a small metal plate near one of the table legs with his toe. He draped Linden’s coat over the back of a chair, dropped to one knee, and reached under the table. Using the pad of his thumb, he turned a large screw set into the top of the plate, and the plate popped off to reveal two outlets set into the floor. Nodding at Linden, Tyler held out one hand and Linden laid the power cord for his laptop into Tyler’s palm.
Once he was plugged in, Linden booted up his laptop, explaining, “I didn’t have the chance to charge it before I left home.” He used a USB cord to attach his phone to the computer. “It’ll be easier to see the photos I have on my laptop.”
Tyler nodded, but Linden wasn’t sure if he was simply acknowledging what Linden had said or if he knew what Linden was doing without any explanation, which might actually be an ominous sign. It was another minute before the files finished loading and Linden opened the first one.
“Do you know this man?” Linden turned the laptop to make it easier for Tyler to see.
Tyler pulled out a chair and sat down. He dragged the laptop closer and stared at the screen. “I don’t….” He shook his head. “Maybe. I’m not sure. He seems familiar. Possibly someone who came through here. I see a lot of people. He’s dead?”
“Yes.” Linden paused, then said softly, “He’s from Ohio.”
If he had doubted Tyler’s guilt before, he was positive of his innocence now. Tyler sat back in the chair, blew out a slow, somewhat unsteady breath, and wiped one hand over his face.
“H-he was one of my…. I was a teacher once, long time ago, and he….” His voice faltered, and he dropped his head back and ran both hands through his hair. “He was a student, and I can’t remember his name. God, I wanted to remember all their names.”
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Rainbow Snippets 11/21/2022
My snippet this week is from my scifi-post apoc romance, Strays.
It seemed impossible but the large, dark eyes got bigger; the face he looked at seemed even younger, more lost. Daniel nodded, sidestepped Pierre, and started to walk away.
“Thank you,” Kyle’s soft voice had a slight wobble, “for not killing me and all.”
Daniel stopped in his tracks, dropped his chin to his chest, and heaved a sigh. He did not do strays. Turning around he grabbed the unopened bottles of water and the two remaining sandwiches off the table and stuffed them into his pack. Holding out his hand at the woman medic, he waggled his fingers. “Give me some extra antiseptic and bandages for a few days.”
“Huh?” She looked up at him, surprise all over her face.
“Just… please?” When she laid the requested items in his hand, he stuffed those into his pack too. Moving around the table, he slipped his fingers under Kyle’s good shoulder and tugged. “C’mon.”
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Something Great to Read
Tuesday Teaser 11/16/2021
My Tuesday Teaser this week is from Quarry!
“Another glass just vanished,” Forge said. This time he took the tablet and replayed a portion of the video. “Off the tray that man is carrying around. Same thing, whiskey glass with what looks like whiskey in it.”
“Let’s try this one. It wasn’t held here but in Germany.” Blair loaded another one and again they finally saw a whiskey glass vanish off a bar.
“Looks like whoever it was got pretty chatty with the bartender,” Lucas said. He sighed and leaned his elbows on the tabletop. “You know, using electronic means to aid in a big heist and one of the only solid clues was the type of whiskey the thief drank sure sounds familiar.” He looked at Forge.
Forge nodded. “I was thinking the same thing. This story is getting old.”
Declan looked between them. “You’ve run into this before?”
Holding up two fingers, Forge mouthed the word, “Twice.” He turned the tablet to face him and played another video, stopping it where another glass vanished from a man’s hand. “In fact, it was the first case Lucas and I ever worked on together in the police department.” He turned to Blair and smiled softly. “Your dad was in on it as well.”
“Yeah?” Blair’s interest was definitely piqued. He sometimes forgot Forge had known and worked with Robert Turner, an FBI agent, and knew things about him Blair probably didn’t.
“It was also about the time when things got a little…warm for me in Ohio, and I left for Europe,” Declan said.
“’Cause the big guy here”—Lucas play-punched Forge’s shoulder,—“Was a cop and you’re—”
“Not a cop,” Declan interjected and chuckled. “Yes. Jonas was very entrenched in Boggslake’s police department then, and it was better my face wasn’t seen for a while.”
“First time in about a hundred years that when you left for other parts, I didn’t go with you,” Forge added.
“Most importantly it was the first time a werewolf and a vampire worked together on something, publicly no less. At least in that part of the world—that we were aware of. Not only did we work together, we hung out at his house, almost living in sin.” Lucas snatched an onion ring and ate it. Forge rolled his eyes and Lucas snagged another onion ring and said, “Rocked the bedrock of social conventions and was a huge scandal!”
Blair grabbed an onion ring and stuck it in his mouth, grinning as he chewed. “So, are you going to tell us how you two changed the course of history and all?”
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