Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Rescheduled! Dreamspinner Twitter Takeover

Due to a scheduling conflict I couldn't avoid, Dreamspinner has kindly let me change my Twitter Takeover of their account EARLIER. I'm giving away audio books and other prizes, so don't miss it!!


Monday, March 30, 2015

More Prizes!! Dreamspinner Twitter Chat Tomorrow!

Do you like prizes? Didn't win during my Facebook chat on Dreamspinner's page? Well you get more chances!! I'll be giving away 3 audio book codes for The Experiment as well as a few other prizes tomorrow when I take over Dreamspinner's Twitter feed! That starts at 6 PM Pacific (9 PM Eastern) and will go on for a few hours. Come chat, ask me questions, etc...



Saturday, March 28, 2015

Dreamspinner chat day!! I'm taking over their Facebook today from 12-3 PM, Pacific (3-6 PM Eastern) to chat with readers and fans, ask questions and answer them, and run some... contests! Don't miss out!

Dreamspinner Press' Facebook Page

Didn't win any prizes at my chat? You can still enter my Rafflecopter contest!!


Friday, March 27, 2015

Release Day Spotlight!! A.E. Via's Defined by Deceit


~ A.E. Via ~


Edited by: Tina Adamski

Cover Art by: Jay Aheer

PAGE COUNT –  300 pages

Release Date: March 27, 2015



Life isn't always fair, and that’s something that Llewellyn Gardner knows about first hand. His life was on the fast track until one night of extreme passion changed everything.
Now eight years later, he’s still living with the aftershocks of that night. Everywhere he turns or runs, there’s another reminder. What the hell do you do when you try to drown your demons only to find out they can swim?
Shane Smith, Jr. owner of Smith Construction, could see the emotional turmoil within his new employee — it’s why he hired him. There was something about the gorgeous, misunderstood man with the overly expressive eyes that came to their small town with a past no one was willing to overlook. Shane could see the good in Llewellyn, and those eyes of his were a clear window to his soul. Shane wasn't going to let the man live a future of solitude because his past had been plagued with deceit.
Llewellyn wasn’t sure what to think about Shane. After years of protecting himself from being tricked twice, he was now faced with worry again. What would happen to him if Shane didn’t believe his truth, and walked away? Llewellyn wasn’t sure he’d be able to survive being left alone. Again.


“Thinking of going in? Or are you just gonna block the entrance?”

Llew turned at the sound of the sure voice behind him. Since he seemed to tower over everyone he looked down at the pretty brunette with dark brown eyes to match. “Um. Sorry.” Llew mumbled quickly moving out of her way.

“Well don’t be sorry shuga’, just escort a lady inside.” Llew didn’t blink as he watched the lady stalk towards him. Her full chest sat above an extremely narrow waist. It almost looked unnatural. She dressed and wore the amount of makeup that a grown woman would, but her smooth face and approach screamed her real age. She was jailbait if he’d ever seen one. Llew gave her a slight head nod and turned to leave when his elbow was hooked.

“I saw you in the general store applying for a job. You musta’ jus’ got into town, because if not I’d have known, honey. So you got kin here?”


The laugh was an all-out immature giggle and it graded on his nerves. “Cat got your tongue, darlin’”. She moved in even closer and dragged a long red nail down Llew’s arm, tilting her head back to look up at him. “You want me to beg, huh? Come on now, handsome. Escort a lady to a movie… then maybe -”

“Maybe when he sees’ a lady… he’ll escort one.”

Llew diverted his attention away from the overzealous minx that was practically humping his leg and focused on the beautiful man approaching with another guy in tow. His voice wasn’t overly deep like his own, it was a smooth and melodic southern drawl. Like he could be a singer or a poet. He walked with an unhurried gait that was a mixture of ‘I’m in charge’ and ‘you’re on my time, not the other way around’, and Llew found it sexy as fuck. His tall friend chuckled behind him, moving away to purchase their tickets. Is he on a date? No, their demeanor definitely said ‘friends.’

“Mind ya’ own business Smith, Jr. I saw him first.”

Smith, Jr.

The man hooked one thumb in his pocket not the slightest bit fazed at the remark. But Llew was thrown. Was this guy actually gay or was she being a smart aleck? The man gave him nothing to go on. He moved closer towards them and Llew got a nice whiff of his spicy, bold cologne when a cool breeze blew his way. It was an interesting contradiction, because the man’s entire persona said ‘cool and composed’.

“Mosey along, Sallie Ann. Don’t make me ring ya’ daddy. He told me keep an eye on you while he’s gone and I agreed. He’d be rather put out if I didn’t follow through on my promise.”

She reluctantly let go of his arm, letting loose a long drawn out huff of annoyance. Llew didn’t bother watching her walk away. She was irrelevant. With his hands tucked deep in his pockets he eyed the man in front of him with a mixture of curiosity and wistfulness.

“Sometimes a person has gotta’ run interference with that girl. She’s usually not that bad but her daddy’s outta’ town, so ya’ know how young girls can be.”

Actually, not really.

“Hi. I’m Shane Smith, Jr.” he stuck out a large, calloused hand and it took Llew a couple seconds to process that he was going to touch him. Llew shook his hand, his mouth still closed tight as he watched the man’s eyes. They were light brown and full of humor and amusement. He immediately thought that this was obviously a guy who had little worries if any in life. Wait a minute…Smith….Jr. Is he the owner of? He let go of the strong grip on his hand and wished he’d been able to hold it a little longer.

“And you are?”

Llew swallowed before answering. “Llew.”

Those eyes twinkled again and dark brown brows rose up in question. “Llew…just Llew.”

It was a humiliation when a man hated to tell someone his name. But by doing so it meant that they would soon know who he really was. Know who he was classified as. He didn’t want this man to know that, god help him he didn’t. But lying wasn’t an option.  Fuck it. “Llewellyn Gardner.”

So many broke eye contact with him and Llew was more than intrigued that Mr. Shane Smith, Jr. was staring at him just as hard as he was staring back. He didn’t know why he was looking at him that way but he didn’t mind it.

“Now that’s a name.” Smith smiled beautifully.

Llew wasn’t sure if this guy was flirting with him or not, he’d been in a place where flirting didn’t exist for so long, he’d forgotten what it looked like…what it sounded like. The way Shane Smith, Jr. was smiling at him it sure seemed like it. Llew could imagine himself with a strong man like this. A man who was gorgeous but didn’t know it. Not overly done up in fancy digs, he was dressed like a working man but he wore that look well. He appeared simple but confident, like a man that followed his own counsel and was not easily persuaded. But Llew wouldn’t dare get his hopes up. As soon as word got out that there was a newly registered sex offender in their quaint little town, Smith, Jr. might be leading the lynch mob to run him out of there.


A.E. Via is still a fairly new author in the beautiful gay erotic genre. Her writing embodies everything from hopelessly romantic to spicy to scandalous. Her stories often include intriguing edges and twists that take readers to new, thought-provoking depths.
When she’s not clicking away at her laptop, she devotes herself to her family—a husband and four children.

While this is only her seventh novel, she has plenty more to come. So stalk her – she loves that - because the male on male action is just heating up!

Go to A.E. Via’s official website http://authoraevia.com for more detailed information on how to contact her, follow her, or a sneak peak on upcoming work, free reads, and where she’ll appear next.
Author Official Website: http://authoraevia.com

Facebook Author Page: https://www.facebook.com/aeviaauthor

Facebook (Friend me)https://www.facebook.com/authoraevia


Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Wednesday Briefs: Fortitude Part 23

Another week--and this one we get some really juicy information finally! This week's flash with the Wednesday Briefers is inspired by the prompt: The truth is out there, and it's scary as hell.
Fortitude Part 23

I blinked. “Why do you ask?” I spoke carefully, casually, but I could tell from their expressions my caution was like openly admitting my parents were up to something bad.

“Our parents sold us to the king,” Chester said bluntly. He crossed his arms over his chest. “Just like yours sold you, even if you don’t know it yet.”

Teddy’s mouth dropped open. “You can’t sell people.”

Chester snorted. Bart elbowed him. “I’m afraid it’s entirely possible. It’s not even that much of a stretch. What is apprenticeship, after all, but indentured labor? Do you really believe have a choice?”

Printing wasn’t Teddy’s dream, and we both knew it. It wasn’t so bad; he had no head for numbers, at all. Words were more his thing, but his drunken father wouldn’t let Teddy pursue writing.

The last beating for story telling had been pretty bad; the paper wasn’t selling so well and he’d been missing his drink. Blaming Teddy for wasting time—the precious few hours he had to himself—was nothing new. The beating was nothing new.

And no one really cared.

I grabbed Teddy and pulled him in close. I squeezed his hand behind out backs. “My dad never cared if I worked with him.”

“Of course not. You’re not going to be a… whatever your family does,” Chester said. “You were always destined for something else.”

My plans had been mocked by my brother several times; I’d made no secret of my unhappiness at my family’s station. My reasons had been my own, no one else’s. “And what is that?”

“Slavery,” Bart whispered. He took a fortifying breath. “And then death, if you’re lucky.”


“Because you’re a beta.” I knew my status made me stand out; my parents had told me many times of my special nature. That’s why I’d had so many tutors.

Bart looked at Teddy who was leaning against my side. “And because he’s a gamma.”

“What does Teddy have to do with it?” I demanded. I stood rigid. Teddy began to sweep his hand up and down my back.

“You’re connected. That’s why you’re in so much danger.”

At first I thought he meant our physical touch. Usually Teddy and I were far more circumspect but the brothers had been touching since Chester stopped holding a knife to my throat. They were in sync, far more than I could even fathom, like two halves of a whole.

Just how I felt about Teddy. Even though I felt the urge to move away, to protect our secret, I didn’t. That would draw more attention to our actions by making it seem as they were untoward and we shouldn’t be touching.

“I’m nobody special,” Teddy said. That was so not true. I pinched him and he winced. “What? It’s the simple truth. Gammas are always looked down on.”

Bart didn’t argue; if he was one too, he knew

“Your parents introduced you, didn’t they? But are they friends?”

My parents, be seen with someone like Teddy’s father? No.

“Do either of you have other friends? Someone more than a casual acquaintance?”

I’d been far too focused for friends, and Teddy’s dad worked him hard.

“Have your parents been pressuring you about your coming of age lately?”

Of course they had, but didn’t everyone’s? Joining adult society was only done once.

“He doesn’t have a clue,” Chester said. He leaned forward, spitting out the words. “Your whole life has been a lie. You were groomed to become nothing more than a means to a very selfish end. Your purpose begins and ends with the capabilities of your minds.”


He ignored his brother’s chiding. “No! Their ignorance can’t go on, Bart. Do you want them to learn the hard way? The truth is out there”—he waved his hand upward—“and it’s scary as hell!”

My stomach roiled. Chester was an abrasive boor, but the agony in his voice was plain.

“We’re not as naïve as you think. We’ve heard things. Look, Teddy and I came here for answers. We’re on a path and we can’t turn aside. But we’re listening. Can we sit down and just talk, without this?” I waved a hand between us, the separation and distrust a nearly tangible border across the scraped up floor.

The room was shadowed, but I could see a few chairs grouped around a battered table near one wall. Bart and Chester stared into each other’s eyes; I waited for their response.

Chester deflated, some of his anger trickling away, though I sensed a vast ocean of it inside him. “Fine,” he muttered.

Bart even bustled over to a small brazier and pulled off a pot of warming liquid, pouring it into cups for tea. All in all, seated at the table with china cups in front of us, the mood had changed quite a bit.

From everything I’d seen, I had the sense our time to find answers was running out far sooner than I anticipated. Ana had raised questions about the hidden nature of our city’s ruling class, and my misgivings about those being truth were almost gone.

Something was very, very wrong in the city.

“A beta and gamma are not as different as everyone thinks,” Bart said. “We think differently, but when we’re close to a beta, the ability to filter and focus changes when we fugue. The power of our minds is such that we have nearly unlimited computing capability—but we can’t really express that physically through power. Betas can.”

Bart paused and Chester stepped in, speaking for him. “Betas can do all sorts of things. Power machinery—like Schvesla’s machine. That’s how it powered the whole city.”  

“Right, but it drains them. That’s why his design was so revolutionary. It amplifies a small bit of power exponentially.”

“Exactly. Now think about the other things a beta can do with their power.”

Teddy gasped.


Where do you think this is going? Now go check out more flash!!

Briefers Website

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Release Day Contest Winner!!

There's still time to win more prizes!! Enter my Rafflecopter giveaway from my blog tour or attend my promo events coming up!!
Dreamspinner Press Facebook Chat
Saturday 3/28 12-3 PM, Pacific Daylight Time
Dreamspinner Twitter Takeover
Monday 3/31 6-8 PM, Pacific Daylight Time

Monday, March 23, 2015

BUY NOW!! Adverse Effects, Saving Caeorleia Book 2


Published by Dreamspinner Press

Buy Links:
Dreamspinner Press: http://tinyurl.com/nbuqun7
All Romance eBooks: http://tinyurl.com/k4jvod7

Dade, human-Caeorleian hybrid and ex-military grunt, doesn’t fit in—not with humans, not with aliens, not anywhere. He’s always on the outskirts, angry, and people aren’t sure they can trust him. When he encounters a compatible tziu named Yaseke, secrets, misunderstandings, and attacks nearly prevent the two from making a connection Dade sorely needs. Even after they unite, Dade and Yaseke face challenges that two newly joined males should never have to endure.

From traitorous council members, to sadistic aliens who plan to sell them as slaves, to meeting a mysterious race of revered aliens called Collectors, Dade and Yaseke manage to stay together—and even rescue two youths related to Yaseke, who’ve lost their parents to the same betrayer.

Someone from Dade’s past is at the root of everything he’s suffered. No way can he let them get away with what they’re planning, but Dade isn’t sure he can stop them on his own. If he doesn’t let go of his isolation and risk the pain letting others in will bring, he’ll never save Caeorleia in time.
Sunlight glared off the silver surface of the lake, blinding me where I crouched away from everyone. The guard currently assigned to me stood at my back, making my skin crawl. I shivered, even though it was hot enough I was sweating. I never knew when one of them might try to touch me.

The water cooled my fingers when I dipped them in, making small swirling circles ripple around my hand. My hovering shadow, a guard assigned to follow me around, shouted over to the guards who were with the main group lounging together beside the lake. The sound startled me, and I jerked, splashing water over my robe. I glared at him from the corner of my eye, but my guard was talking to Fieo and not paying that much attention to me. Nicklaus was sitting in the shade of the weird brown trees by the water. He was busy talking to Ryker, the other human who’d set us free from the military scientists.

Over the last few days, things had settled down. Those Caeorleian Council guys were no longer trying to force us into matches with their own people. Ryker’s guy had really told them off, calling it the rape it would have been. The other two men might want one of these pale aliens touching them, but I didn’t. I wasn’t sure what would happen to us on their planet, but I didn’t need anyone pawing at me. I’d known I would need more information, so I pumped the only person I could. Ryker had spent a few afternoons telling us everything he’d learned living on Caeorleia, which was the name of their planet.

I’d tried to absorb everything about the Caeorleians, treating what he told me like a debriefing. Before Ryker and his isit had rescued us, the only term I’d heard the planet called was MC-214-XXV. It had been the subject of a lot of speculation among the rank and file since it’d been discovered. The rest of the time I stayed in my room, avoiding the guards. Especially the one always hovering over Nicklaus. It creeped me out to see the way he watched him every second—so possessive. Fieo never touched Nicklaus but focused on him with a single-minded intensity.

Ryker and his alien guy, Seral, were never far apart, either. Being part of that kind of constricting relationship would’ve driven me insane. A slave to a need not my own? No. Not on the agenda.

I sighed, dipping my other arm in the water up to my wrist. It was really too hot out in the sun, but the shade of those weird sampanga trees was filled with naked aliens. And as tempting as the water was, I didn’t want to go swimming. That would involve taking off my robe.

I was not comfortable with that, even if it seemed like almost everyone on this planet shunned clothing. I’d never seen so many cocks and balls, and I’d been in military school and then actually joined the Space Forces as a teenager. Close quarters with a lot of guys was nothing new, but I couldn’t believe the Caeorleians’ blasé attitude toward nudity. Ryker had told us about the confusion over the different concept of clothing he’d encountered when he first showed up. Ryker ran around in a pair of shorts and had given Nicklaus a few pairs. I was too big for his shorts, so I had to wear the aliens’ version of a skirt and robe.

It was awkward. I’d tried to wear my pants I’d been wearing when we fled the ship, but it was too hot. I was not going to go naked, though, not like these aliens.

A shadow fell over me. I dipped my shoulder and spun as I surged to my feet. The guard who had come up behind me seemed startled and looked at me uncertainly as I glared at him.

“Don’t touch me!” I snapped, clenching my hands into fists, barely resisting the urge to show him my fangs. “What do you want?”

He held up his hands and took a step back. “Sorry. Everyone is going inside; it’s too hot out here. Seral has invited you to eat with him, and the midday meal will be served soon.”

I grimaced. Being stuck in a crowd of people around a table was the last place I wanted to be, but I didn’t feel like I had much of a choice. I waited for the guard to move after he gestured at the path. The guard took another few steps away from me, but he didn’t start walking toward the building until I walked past him. Then he followed me. I ground my teeth, my shoulders hunching up.

I could have been safe the past five years, in a hovel back on my home planet, working in a factory as a drone assembler or something. I might have more freedom to move around on Caeorleia than I’d had on the ship Ryker and Seral rescued me from, but at this point I wasn’t sure how much better it was here.

Damn scientists.

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.


Friday, March 20, 2015

3 Days!! Adverse Effects Coming Soon!

That's right, it's just 3 days away! PLUS, right now on Dreamspinner's website you can get a copy of Adverse Effects for 25% off for just $5.24!! (almost exactly the price of my morning splurge of a coconut milk chai tea latte at Starbucks today, lol) Sale runs through March 22nd, so you just have this weekend left to get your copy at a steal! You can also pick up Dade's story on ARe and Amazon.

Pre-order Your Copy: Dreamspinner Press     All Romance eBooks    Amazon 

Don't forget, I'm running some contests during my blog tour! You could win an eBook copy of The Experiment, a signed copy of The Experiment paperback or the audio book version! I'm also giving away two gift cards.

Thursday I was at MA Church's blog talking about whether or not Adverse Effects is really sci-fi. Comment there, if you haven't already, to get more entries!


Saturday I'm visiting AR Von's blog to talk about what I learned from publishing Adverse Effects. Make sure you stop by and enter my contest there for  more entries, too!

**SATURDAY 3/28 from 12-2 PM, Pacific Time, I'll be taking over DSP's Facebook Page!**
Are you a follower? If not, like and follow HERE
**TUESDAY 3/31 from 6-8 PM, Pacific Time, I'll be taking over DSP's Twitter Feed**
Are you a follower? If not, follow HERE
Come hang out with me to enter my contests and win special prizes just for those chats!!

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Wednesday Briefers: Fortitude Part 22

Back again! What's gonna happen to Will? Can he get away and make sure Teddy stays safe too? Today's flash is inspired by the prompt: That's not any of your concern.

Fortitude Part 22

“Schvesla’s dead.” The sneer I couldn’t see was readily apparent in my assailant’s voice. I tried to calmly assess the situation; everything from the tension in his body and the minute tremors in the knife to the harsh snarl of his voice was a clue as to how much danger I was in.

How much danger Teddy was in?

Was he alone? I didn’t think so.

“We found a note,” Teddy blurted out. “At the scrap yard. It told us to come here.”

“Some scrap of paper lasted a hundred years at the scrap yard?”

The man’s condescension affected Teddy no more than anyone else’s usually did. He ignored it when people looked down on him for being what he was, even when they acted like he was stupid. I didn’t. I stared hard at Teddy, hoping he’d get the hint to be quiet.

It was time to end this farce.

“No. I expect you to believe we found a scrap of paper behind the mask of Murci in the metal plaque. It had this address, and a saying.” I decided to take a stab in the dark. “We know the hubris of man has to do with Schvesla’s machine.”

“Why?” the man jabbed the knife into my skin. A small trickle of warm liquid tickled my throat. “You want to make it work? Garner acclaim through the streets as the savior of the city?”

“No.” By now, we knew there was a lot more going on than the nobles just not wanting the machine to work. The conspiracy was too deep. Something more had to be going on. “We found out some things from… a friend. We didn’t believe them; we had to find out for ourselves. The monarchy and nobles are doing nothing while the people suffer, if what we know is true.”

“What do you care?”

“We’re the people.”

Finally, the knife was taken away from my skin. I swallowed for the first time, taking a deep breath, but I didn’t try to move.

“What did it say?”

“What did what say?”

The man growled. “Don’t play stupid. What did the paper say, exactly?”

“Beware the well-intentioned folly; such is the hubris of man,” I recited. “The cogs there, on that wall, do they do anything?” I’d been staring at three cogs nestled into the actual wall. Schvesla liked using cogs as a locking mechanism. What was hidden behind that wall?

“That’s not any of your concern. You’re going to walk straight ahead. Don’t look around, don’t do anything untoward.”

I nodded. “Teddy.” I gestured for him to walk ahead of me. I didn’t want a man with a knife behind him. Teddy slipped a hand behind his back. I squeezed it quickly.

“What did you just do?”

My breath stuttered in my chest. We hadn’t held hands, not really. It wasn’t that suspicious of behavior between two men.

“Did he give you something? Let me see your hands.”

I sucked in a much needed breath, relief making me sway. I held my hands out to my sides, palms up. “He didn’t give me anything.”

The man huffed. “No touching!” He shoved my shoulder. “Get going. Straight ahead, then turn right at the upcoming hall.”

He guided us, barking orders, until we’d made more turns than I expected. Then I realized we’d been going downhill, even if we hadn’t gone down any stairs. “Where are we?” I asked.

“No questions.”

I clenched my jaw. The lack of information was driving me crazy. I don’t know what I expected, but it wasn’t this hostile greeting and being forced by an armed stranger to who knew what end. No one would hear anything down here; even if they murdered us.

At least I knew we were walking toward someone else. The only footsteps that had followed ours had been the unknown assailant, yet there were lights down here. They wouldn’t have lights on if someone wasn’t already there.

Once the door opened I expected to see someone waiting to see the intruders, a leader or something, who would take over questioning us. I didn’t expect to see a young man, a few short years older than me.

Or his twin behind us.

“Who are you?” I asked. I stepped closer to Teddy.

“Shouldn’t we be asking you that question?”

Maybe I should’ve been afraid; one, probably both, had weapons. Of course, so did we, but I didn’t want to hurt anyone. Teddy wouldn’t harm a fly unless he was forced. I had no such assurances about their intentions.

“My name is Will. He’s Teddy.” I stopped, one eyebrow raised.

“And what are you doing, looking into Schvesla’s machine?”

I tilted my head. “We never said we were looking into his machine. Maybe we’re enthusiasts, following a set of clues on a lark.”

“You expect me to believe that? I’m a gamma; I’m not stupid.”

“Hey!” Teddy objected. “I’m a gamma. Will would never think that, or say it.”

“You’re a gamma?” he asked.

Teddy nodded. “I just said that.”

“And what are you?”

I bristled at the guy’s tone, but I saw no reason not to answer his question. “I’m a beta.”

“A beta and a gamma, together. Brothers?” We didn’t look alike, so I wasn’t sure why they were asking us that.

“No. We’re best friends, have been since we were children.”

The guy who’d grabbed me up in the theater went to join his brother. “You two have no idea what you’re walking into, do you? You’re not of age yet, are you?”

More questions that made little sense, yet I saw no reason not to answer. “Next month. Teddy won’t be of age for another three weeks after that.”

“Soon, then.” The brothers shared a look. “I’m Bart. He’s Chester,” Bart said. He took a deep breath. “Tell me, have your parents had a sudden rush of capital in the last month?”

Where do you think that question is leading? Now go check out more by the other Briefers!

Briefers Website

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Adverse Effects! 6 Days Away! Who Wants Prizes?

Yes! It's coming! Soon!! I'm visiting several blogs before and after Adverse Effects becomes available for download on March 23rd. Today I'm visiting Tali Spencer's blog where I answered some questions and shared all the contest details! Anyone want a signed copy of The Experiment in print? An audio book version? An Amazon or ARe gift card? Check me out over at Brilliant Disguise!


Wednesday, March 11, 2015

Wednesday Briefs: Fortitude Part 21

Okay, it's Wednesday, and here we are again! I don't want to give anything away, so I'll get right on to my inspiration, this photo and the line: "There's a hole in the"

Fortitude Part 21

“Do you think the well-intentioned folly was Schvesla’s invention?” Teddy asked out of the blue. He straightened up and took a deep breath. “After all, he intended for it to help the city survive into the future, but it didn’t even work for his entire lifetime.”

Teddy had moved out of my arms when he came out of his fugue, and I missed his damp heat and the weight of his body against my chest. He began to pace a few steps back and forth in the alley. “It makes sense. But what’s the hubris of man?”

“Inventing his machine was hubris? He was a man, and celebrated for his accomplishments until it failed and no one could fix it. There are even some who believe that’s why there are so few betas born.”

“Maybe. So if inventing his machine was something he regretted doing, is the warning about the reaction of the people to his invention or the invention itself? And if so, what does that have to do with whatever is at the address?” Teddy ran a hand through his hair, dislodging the lacing keeping it off his face.

“Let’s go find out.” Teddy hadn’t been lost in his mind nearly as long as his usual. I’d once asked him about the fugues. Whereas I tended to focus on one thing specifically, Teddy’s thoughts were fluid. He’d fugue focused on one thing but then he’d skip from one thought to the next, each connected. It reminded me of a web, one that could trap him in its sticky grasp for hours.

“You feeling okay?” Sometimes he was really logy after a fugue; he usually wouldn’t speak to anyone but me.

“Fine. I’m sorry I slowed us down.” He yawned. The fugues took a lot of energy out of him.

“Not your fault.” He couldn’t control them; I knew that. I looked around. We’d moved away from the park and there were some shops around us. “Let’s get you a coffee.”

Teddy protested, “We’ve already lost time.”

I nudged him into the road. “We both need to be at our best. I could use something hot and filling. Perhaps they’ll have some chocolate buns in that café.”


Fortified by large cups of hot coffee and an extra chocolate bun for the road, I was happy to see Teddy back to his energetic self. His insights had been helpful, too. Well, they might be, once we figured out where we were going. That inscription had not been placed on that paper on a whim.

“Are we close?” Teddy wiped his fingers on the handkerchief I handed him.

The afternoon was beginning to draw to a close. We didn’t have much time before calling hours would begin, which could help us or hinder us. “Next street over, I believe.”

A fence and ornate gate, patchy red with rust, enclosed the front garden of the address we sought. I ran a finger over the latch. More cogs. The building was large, and square. It wasn’t a house, though.

“Is this… a theater?”

There was a wooden sign over the door with two masks. “Not one I’ve heard of before.”

“I thought you knew everything about Schvesla.” Teddy raised an eyebrow.

“He enjoyed the theater in his latter days, but there was never any specific theater house named. I guess it was this one.” I tapped the metal cog. “Let’s go in.”

“Do you think they’re open? I don’t see a performance banner.” The gate screeched as Teddy pulled it open, and I winced.

“Only one way to find out.” He followed me through the flagstone courtyard. There were stone benches and planters full of wilting flowers. All in all, it did not look like a well-to-do establishment. But this was where the paper brought us.

The front entry was open. “Wasn’t that door closed?” Teddy frowned.

It had been. “Someone’s here.” I craned my neck to see as much inside without stepping into the doorway. “I don’t see anyone, though. Let’s just go in, but stay behind me.”

I waited for Teddy’s agreement, then stepped through the door. I glanced from side to side, but no one was there. Who’d opened the door? Why had they disappeared? “Hello…?”

The far door was also ajar. “Do we keep going?” Teddy whispered.

What other choice was there? Moving slowly, we ventured further into silent building. Where were the patrons who usually hung about such places? The actors? Building staff? Through the far door was the cavernous room, seats ringing a wooden stage at the far wall. Our footsteps echoed. There were lush red curtains hiding the backstage area, but as we drew closer, I could see they were worn thin in spots.

Teddy indicated a dark area to one side, a slit in the fabric. “I think there’s a hole in the curtain over there.”

The hair on the back of my neck stood up. I didn’t want to head back there; it was dark and I had a bad feeling. I swallowed hard. The things Anna spoke of would not be resolved without danger. We’d discover the truth of the lies we’d been told—whoever had spoken them.

I pushed the curtains apart gingerly. As I stepped through, an arm wrapped around my neck and yanked me sideways. I stumbled. “Teddy, get out!” I managed to shout before my attacker cut off my air. The prick of something sharp at my neck froze me in place. Teddy hadn’t run; he had his belt knife in his hands. He stared over my shoulder, his whole body tense.

“Who are you and what are you doing here?” a man hissed.

“We mean no harm. My name is Will, and this is Teddy.” The knife point dug in deeper. I gasped, but held up a hand to stop Teddy.

“What are you doing here?”

I licked my lips. “We were told to come here.”


The truth or a lie…?

“Would you believe… Schvesla?” I asked.

SO who do you think it is? Good guy? Bad guy? Theater guard? lol  For more flash fiction, check out the other Briefer's posts!

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