Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Book Tour: The Rebels--Excerpt and Giveaway




Thank you for stopping by and joining us for our stop on the Read-A-Long portion of The Rebels by Elizabeth Lang virtual tour. We are excited to post this segment of the story and we hope you enjoy it too!

The Rebels - Chapter 11

A hundred credits. Bryce brushed the broad rim on his dashing new hat, bending it back against the stiff material. It was too bad they didn’t use old fashioned currency anymore. The sound of coins jiggling in his pocket would have been magical.

An orphaned sunbeam reached down and warmed his face, and birds chirruped a cheerful song. They were a hardy bunch here, not going south for vacations in warmer climes. Like that panther thing, a chitterling, the locals called it. Kali had actually named the ugly thing. Eelie, or a pain in his posterior region, as the lieutenant would say.

A hundred credits. It wasn’t a fortune, of course, not like a hundred million credits. But when you didn’t have a dust mite to your name, a hundred was a lot. Well, a hundred minus twenty or so for the hat and some food, and whatever was left from the sale of the bands. Bryce ran his fingers along the brim of the hat and angled it a bit more to the left. He imagined it made him look like an adventurer from one of those holo-vids, the kind where the hero went on quests and came back with chests full of treasure and a buxom beauty on his arm.

Things were looking up. The locals had been mightily impressed by the job on the compressor and a couple wanted Adrian to fix a few more things. Having a business might be fun.

He whistled a happy tune from his childhood, something to do with springtime and diving into pools. Not even Eelie squawking at him and flapping its leathery wings as he passed, dampened his mood. He opened the door, took a step inside, ready to announce the good news when he saw Kali lying on the floor, still as a corpse.

It felt as if he'd been run over by a tank. Bryce stumbled over and dropped to his knees, his fingers trembling, feeling for a flutter of warmth under her nose. Please don’t be dead. Please don’t be dead.

Fear gripped his heart. He felt nothing. Or maybe he wasn’t doing it right. It’s not like he was a medic.

The still woman groaned. “Wha—happened?”

“Kali!” he shouted, relief bubbling over to joy.

Her face scrunched up as she touched the back of her head. “I was outside and…s-someone hit me.” Strands of midnight black hair netted her face and she brushed them back as Bryce helped her sit up. “Did you see anyone?”

“Dunno. I just got back and found you lying there. Gave me a right scare. I thought you were dead.”

“W—where’s Adrian?” Her hand tightened around his arm.

Bryce’s heart dropped—it felt like it was somewhere around his ankles—and he swallowed hard. Just when he thought he could relax, someone had to burst his bubble. “I’ll check.”

Other than the kitchen-living-workroom area and the bathroom, there was only a tiny bedroom which barely fit the bed and a clothes cupboard.

His feet dragged as he pushed open the door. Even before he slapped the light on, he knew it was empty. His voice quavered, “He’s not here.”

Kali’s face paled and she pulled herself to her feet. “Check outside.”

“I didn’t see him when I came in.”

“Do a sweep of the area. Wait…” She stared at the hook beside the door. “His coat is still here.”

“Well, that means…what does it mean?”

“Wherever he is, he didn’t go willingly.” She closed her eyes, her slender fingers pressing the side of her temple.

~~~

Adrian groaned, wishing he could throttle the crazed drummer beating a drunken tattoo inside his head. He didn’t remember falling asleep, but hazy images tantalized him, refusing to sharpen into focus. It was very irritating.

His eyes opened a sliver and were greeted by shadows creeping up the sides of a moisture-slick cave and the crackling of a primitive fire.

Flames licked towards him as a ghostly wind whistled past. The scent of burnt wood wrestled with a sharp tang he remembered from earlier and there was a briny smell from lichen-encrusted rocks.

The cave extended further back, hidden in shadows. Layers of milky quartz ran along the walls and straw-like stalactites hung from the roof.

From across the cave, the nameless bounty hunter watched him, his bulky frame blocking the mouth of the cave. He couldn't see the man's face but he had broad swimmer-shoulders and muscular bulges easily visible even under the leather jacket. Lifeless hair cascaded in limp strands from a wide-brimmed hat. From what Adrian remembered of the fight, despite his bulk, the man had the grace of a hunting cat, each movement fluid and precise, ready to pounce.

Just beyond, pinpricks of light struggled to illuminate the night sky through rolling banks of invading clouds. That meant most of the day had been wasted while he was unconscious and Kali—

A dagger-like pebble digging into his right hip disrupted his thoughts. He rolled back and looked down in surprise at an unexpected freedom of movement.

The ropes around his body were gone.

A bundle arced over the fire and plopped in front of him.

The bounty hunter’s voice rumbled, “Put that on. I don’t want you freezing to death before I collect the bounty.”

Adrian stared at the man. “I have no interest in making your life easier.”

“I could knock you out again.”

“Of course.” His voice had that particular bored, flatness of a scientist who wasn’t surprised that all of his assumptions were correct.

The man pointed the knife at him. “Do you enjoy being unconscious?”

“No more than you would, I imagine.”

“Then put it on.”

“Striking me on the head would not be a good move on your part. The Empire would not be appreciative if my brain were damaged. I doubt if you would receive the full bounty.”

“I could live with fifty million.”

Adrian glared at him.

“Besides,” said the bounty hunter, “there are many ways to knock you out without touching your head.”

“And you know all of them.” It wasn’t a compliment.

“Remember that the next time I tell you to do something. Now, put on the jacket.”

Adrian picked the bundle up, lifting it slowly. The material was lighter than he expected and appeared to be black or dark green.

Fine ribbed texture. Tough but flexible shell. He angled it towards the fire, intrigued despite himself. A light-absorbing polycarbonate covering. Military grade. So the man was likely a deserter. That narrowed the possibilities considerably.

He slid the jacket on, his brows pulling together when the sleeves hung considerably past his finger tips. It was warm though, the thin lining efficiently trapping the heat. He rolled the sleeves and tucked the ends in neatly.

A pair of handcuffs clattered against the stone. “These. In front,” ordered the bounty hunter.

“If you are so concerned, why not behind my back?”

“I have zero interest in helping you take a leak.”

The metal gleamed fiercely next to the fire and a flash of indignation tensed Adrian’s jaw. Just when he thought he was free from the most technologically advanced civilization in this galaxy, he was slugged into unconsciousness by a Neanderthal with a pair of handcuffs. It was more
than disappointing, but at least the bounty hunter didn’t know about the implant in his head. That would have been intolerable.

Speaking of which…

With a casualness he did not feel, that he could never feel, he slid his right hand towards his trouser pocket.

“Are you looking for this?” The bounty hunter held up the transceiver.

Adrian’s heart skipped a beat. “It’s nothing important.”

“That’s not what I asked.”

If he could kick himself, Adrian would have done so.

“It is valuable, but not in a way that you would understand.” Not technically, at least. He snapped a cuff around his left wrist, leaving it loose.

“Tight,” said the bounty hunter, his eyes flashing white in the flames. He slipped the transceiver back inside his jacket and Adrian looked away, squeezing the cuff tighter, trying to hide his relief. At least the bounty hunter didn’t know its purpose. He snapped on the right cuff and tightened it.

The bounty hunter grunted and leaned back against the sloped wall, returning to his dubiously artistic endeavors with the piece of wood.

The drummer continued pounding inside Adrian’s head and he flexed his neck to the side, stretching the tight cords. The lump on his head seemed to have a pulse of its own, beating a counterpoint of agony.

He was getting very tired of being at the mercy of those who considered him merchandise to be bashed around. A dozen rocks glinted invitingly from the cave floor, some with nasty jagged edges. If he were a soldier as well as a scientist, he might risk tackling this man.

If only he were a barbarian.

Adrian mentally sighed and drew his knees up, stretching his hands towards the fire. He had to get away from this man and find Kali and Bryce. There was no mental contact from Kali, but he had to believe that Bryce had returned and found her. He had to assume she was fine; the
alternative was an option he didn’t want to consider.

In hindsight, he realized he should have set up a security perimeter around the cabin, some kind of detection system to warn of barbarians and bounty hunters. A gremlin of guilt gnawed at him. It was an unforgivable oversight. Next time, he would be better prepared.

The heat of the flames snapped towards him and he jerked his hands back.

“The others said that we’re two of the most wanted men in the Empire,” said Adrian, keeping his voice neutral.

The knife was pointed at him. “That doesn’t concern you.”

“You’re not Jon Tucker. He’s far more charismatic, a little more refined.”

“I said, shut up.”

“You move like a soldier, most likely from one of the special units; masters at killing with stealth, though not with a lot of subtlety or creativity.”

“Keep going and I will show you how creative I can be.”

“That would be refreshing.”

“Do you like committing suicide?”

“I’m sure you’ll show an uncommon amount of self-control in order to sell me to the Empire.”

The hand tightened around the knife. “I do not sell people. I fulfill a commission.”

“Semantics from a barbarian, that is mildly amusing.”

The bounty hunter growled, “I might just bash you over the head and forget the bounty.”

“How amazingly creative.”

The bounty hunter’s chest expanded, swelling his t-shirt like an overstretched balloon before exploding in a sharp exhale. “You may think you’re smart.”

“Moderately.”

“Well, consider this smart man, you could very easily become a dead one. It’s your choice.”

“You won’t let that happen, not until you deliver me for the bounty.”

“I wouldn’t be too sure of that. Some people can be too smart for their own good and you’re really starting to get on my nerves.”

“There is no such thing as being too smart.”

“From the details on your wanted roll, you’re a prime example of one.”

Adrian’s back stiffened and he stared lasers at the bounty hunter. “You can believe whatever you wish.”

“I plan to. Now, unless you want me to tie your legs and cart you around like a sack of potatoes, you will learn to shut up.”

A gust of wind stirred the snow, sending swirling streams inside like thin, searching snakes.

“I have a suggestion,” said Adrian.

The knife flipped up. “Don’t you know the meaning of ‘shut up’?”

“Of course, and I might consider it if I had nothing to say.”

“Why would anyone want you back?”

“Not for any personal reason, I assure you.”

The bounty hunter barked a laugh. “I suppose not. At least you’re honest.”

“Yes. At least. Not exactly a survival trait.”

The bounty hunter looked at him quizzically, his forehead crinkling. A large drop of water splashed into the flames, sizzling into oblivion.

“Is that why they’re after you?” the man asked. “Because you were too honest?”

“That doesn’t concern you.”

The man laughed, this time it was a wry scratchy sound. “Alright. We’ll keep this strictly professional.”

“Selling people for money is considered a profession.”

The bounty hunter snapped, “I don’t sell people for money. You’re not property.”

“You must have missed that part of the commission. That’s exactly what I am.”

There was a stony, immutable quality to the bounty hunter, like a man carved in granite. Adrian had been around military people long enough to recognize a leader who sent others to their deaths with detached professionalism.

“It’s not going to work. I have a policy—never get involved. It’s not going to start with you,” said the bounty hunter.

“Convenient.”

“Now, are you going to shut up or am I going to have to gag you?”

“Not until I present my suggestion. You may find it useful.”

The bounty hunter rolled his eyes. “I know I’m going to regret this, but if it’s the only way to shut you up, then go ahead, but remember, I’m the one with the knife.”

“Don’t worry, I only forget what I wish to forget.” If only that were true.

They glared at each other, neither one missing the barely veiled menace.

“You’re concerned about being recognized when collecting your bounty,” said Adrian, continuing before he could be interrupted. “That’s why we’re here instead of the nearest Security building. Two of the most wanted men in the Empire. That’s what the Hunter said.”

“I should have killed him before he opened his mouth,” growled the bounty hunter.

“Hindsight is always perfect. For some, at least. But it leaves you with a dilemma: how to sell me without being sold in return.”

The blade lifted, it’s sharp blade glinting with menace.

“You didn’t think of that?” asked Adrian. “How very short-sighted of you. Once you deliver me, I have nothing to lose and I have no incentive to keep your identity a secret.”

“You’re not just irritating, you’re dangerous.”

Like a jungle cat, the bounty hunter flowed forward, his dark brown orbs becoming more distinct, like the gun portals of a ship opening, ready to fire a fatal volley.

“There is a reason I’m on the Most Wanted list.”

“I can see that and I think I will bind your legs. Just in case.” He sheathed the knife before dragged over a khaki rucksack. From its hidden depths, he pulled out a length of coarse rope.
Adrian’s eyes narrowed as he stared at the frayed cords. “You obtained that from the cabin.”

“You didn’t need it anymore.”

“You went inside the cabin.”

“Stretch your legs out.”

Adrian ignored him. He had no intention of helping this man tie him up. “Why did you go inside the cabin?”

The bounty hunter grabbed Adrian’s legs and pulled them straight. “You can’t fight me and you can’t persuade me, so you might as well give up.” He looped the rope around his legs and tied them together.

“Not until you answer my question. Why did you go inside the cabin?”

“None of your business,” said the bounty hunter, returning to the other side of the fire.

“Kali is my business. Did you bring her inside?”

The bounty hunter leaned back on the slope, folding his arms across his chest. Silence descended on the cave, a rare moment between drips of water and the restless blowing of the wind.

Adrian ground his teeth in frustration. There was no hope of shaking the answer out of the man, even if his own arms and legs were not bound, but he had to find out what happened to Kali. What would the devious psychostrategist do?

“Why did you do it?” asked Adrian.

“She was blocking the doorway.”

It was so easy that it was disturbing. “Then you did bring her in.”

The bounty hunter turned to look at him, a scowl on the only portion of his face not hidden in shadows. “Are you satisfied?”

“Far from it, but I have a reason to shut up now.”

“Then do it.”

Adrian pulled his knees up and rested his shackled hands on them, allowing himself a sigh of relief. At least Kali was safe. For now.

***********

Also Elizabeth Lang has shared with us an exclusive picture from The Empire Series



To read more of the Read-A-Long please follow the tour schedule…

02/03/2013 - The Edible Bookshelf - http://www.theediblebookshelf.blogspot.com/ - Chapter 1

03/03/2013 - Vixie's Stories - http://vickiejohnstone.blogspot.co.uk/ - Chapter 2

04/03/2013 - Decadent Decisions - http://wlynnchantale-decadentdecisions.blogspot.com - Chapter 3

05/03/2013 - Independent Writers Association - http://iwassociation.com - Chapter 4

06/03/2013 - Self Publish or Die - www.selfpublishordie.com - Chapter 5

10/03/2013 - Reviews From Beyond the Book - www.reviewsfrombeyondthebook.blogspot.com - Chapter 6

11/03/2013 - Great Alpha Speaks - http://atrussell.com/Blog/ - Chapter 7

12/03/2013 - The Kat Daughtry - http://thekatdaughtry.wordpress.com/ - Chapter 8

13/03/2013 - Sheenah Freitas - http://sheenahfreitas.com - Chapter 9

14/03/2013 - Natasha Larry Books - http://natashalarrybooks.com - Chapter 10

27/03/2013 - Castle Macabre - http://castlemacabre.blogspot.com - Chapter 11

28/03/2013 - My World - http://stephsgrn.blogspot.co.uk/ - Chapter 12

29/03/2013 - The Cro's Nest - http://p45crok.wordpress.com - Chapter 13

30/03/2013 - Tink's Place - http://myblog2point0.blogspot.com/ - Chapter 14

31/03/2013 - Reading, Writing And More - http://stephsgrn.wordpress.com/ - Chapter 15


Page Turner Book Tours and Elizabeth Lang have teamed together to set up an amazing contest, be sure to enter today for your chance to win a KOBO MINI!!


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Thank you for joining us and Page Turner Book Tours and Elizabeth Lang today on our stop.


About the book:
With Adrian's jump gate, the Empire is readying to take the fight to their enemies. The Rebel Alliance takes advantage of this opportunity to expand it's power and bring down this oppressive regime.

The charismatic Tucker and his second-in-command, Dain, are at the vanguard of this Rebel push, but is everything as simple as it seems?

Adrian is once again caught up with factions vying to use his brilliant mind when a bounty hunter recaptures him while Kali and Bryce try to save him.

Will they succeed? Are the Rebels their salvation or is there a hidden agenda that will destroy them all?

Charles Sester the psychostrategist is back and at his manipulative best, but whose interests is he serving this time?



About Elizabeth Lang:
I'm a science fiction writer who started off life as a computer programmer with a love for reading, especially science fiction, fantasy and mystery.

Being in computers, I found my writing skills deteriorating so I decided to take up writing. It became a joy to create characters, stories and worlds and writing soon became a passion I couldn't put down. As a writer, I like to explore, not only the complexity of characters but the human condition from differing points of view. That is at the heart of the Empire series, of which 'The Empire' and 'The Rebels' are the first two of a four books series.

You can connect with Elizabeth Lang at the following places:
Author Page on FaceBook | Blog | Twitter | Website


About Page Turner Book Tours:


Page Turner Book Tours is fronted by the face behind Read2Review Kate. Page Turner Book Tours has been put together to help promote authors and give something back to the writing world. Kate has put together a team of incredibly talented people to help with the project by incorporating their individual skills into making new, fresh and exciting promotional plans that we hope you agree are amazing. If you would like to book a tour with Page Turner Book Tours please check out their tour packages. If you would like to become a tour host with Page Turner Book Tours please check out their Tour Host page. You wont be disappointed!

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Saturday, March 23, 2013

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Monday, March 18, 2013

Book Launch! Night Demon by Lisa Kessler

Today we are celebrating the launch of the incomparable Lisa Kessler's Night Demon, second book in the Night series. Please join me in congratulating Lisa on this momentous occasion!


Gretchen Finch’s job would be much easier if she weren’t alone in the jungle with a brilliant recluse whose every glance sets her on fire. But the more she focuses on her work, the closer she gets to unlocking the mysteries of a terrible creature—the Night Demon—that threatens the world as she knows it. Though her scientific mind tells her it’s impossible, she’s beginning to believe the ancient Mayan tales as the sinister jungle comes alive around her. 

Lukas Smith has spent hundreds of years searching for answers to his immortal Night Walker nature. As a series of ancient glyphs become clear, he’s about to find out more than he’d ever hoped, but the more he learns, the more his fate intertwines with the Night Demon, and the harder it becomes to hide his immortal secret from the beautiful, intelligent Gretchen.

Together, they must find a way to stop the inexplicable violence and mass destruction surging across the earth before the Night Demon destroys more than just mankind.


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Also, check out the first book in the series, Night Walker, as well as the prequel, Night Thief.


Lisa Kessler is an award winning author of dark paranormal fiction. Her debut novel, Night Walker, won a San Diego Book Award for Best Published Fantasy-Sci-fi-Horror as well as the Romance Through the Ages Award for Best Paranormal and Best First Book.

Her short stories have been published in print anthologies and magazines, and her vampire story, Immortal Beloved, was a finalist for a Bram Stoker award.

When she's not writing, Lisa is a professional vocalist, performing with the San Diego Opera as well as other musical theater companies in San Diego.


To celebrate the launch of Night Demon, Lisa is giving away four prizes: A $25 Amazon gift card, a Mayan Glyph necklace, a signed paperback of Night Walker, and an ebook of Night Thief. Fill out the Rafflecopter form below to enter.

Book Tour: The Empire--Excerpt and Giveaway



Thank you for stopping by and joining us for our stop on the Read-A-Long portion of The Empire by Elizabeth Lang virtual tour. We are excited to post this segment of the story and we hope you enjoy it too!

The Empire - Chapter 12

“Well, well, well.” Kegan’s condescending voice, exaggerated beyond the bounds of bad acting, greeted Adrian as he entered the Science Lab. “After your punishment yesterday, I thought they might have to carry you in.”

With a frosty glare in Kegan’s direction, Adrian arranged the items he needed, scowling at the mess someone had made of his workspace.

No intelligence was needed to guess which petty, vindictive little Tech Commander committed this act.

Professor Boudreaux watched him intently with a faint grin of amusement. “How are you feeling?” she asked.

Her voice was full of innocent concern, but Adrian didn’t trust her for one minute. His jaw tensed in irritation. Adapting the accelerator unit to work with the ship’s impulse engines needed his full attention, but these two were like predators smelling blood. They thought they had the upper hand after successfully manipulating his punishment yesterday.

The last thing Adrian wanted was to swallow his pride and feed their arrogant egos but, in the quick meeting with the Fleet Admiral this morning, it became clear what was included in their new arrangement and what wasn’t. No one could find out the Admiral was not following his
orders. Grinding mental teeth, he said evenly, “You can gloat and work.”

Boudreaux flashed him an ingenuous smile as she brought up the simulation models. “Of course.”

She was always magnanimous in victory. They began working, slipping into a familiar teasing aggression that made them more productive together than apart. Until she found the next, delicious way to torment and punish him, there would be a deceptive truce of sorts. Adrian felt like a mouse next to a cat licking its lips in anticipation. He would much prefer to be a tiger and eat the cat.

Kegan hovered at his elbow, his oppressive presence a distasteful odor. “How did it feel, Stannis? Was the pain unbearable? How long did it take before you begged them to stop?”

Adrian’s hand gripped the clear sides of the accelerator unit. His voice was taut. “Why don’t you try it and find out?”

“Maybe I’ll convince them to let me watch next time.”

“You do that. Meanwhile, if you have anything even less productive to do, I recommend you do it and leave me alone.”

The sneer on Kegan’s lips made him look even more toad-like, or perhaps, rat-like would be more appropriate. He grabbed the other end of the accelerator unit and pulled against Adrian’s grip. “Seems you haven’t learned your lesson yet. What did the Admiral say about addressing me?”

“That you’re the Tech Commander.” Adrian was fuming inside. He knew what this man wanted from him, but his pride rebelled at giving it to him. “And a fool.”

Kegan shoved hard against the unit sending it into Adrian’s chest. Adrian grunted and glared at him but bent to his task again without responding.

“Seems like I’m going to get my wish sooner than I expected,” said Kegan with a superior sneer. Baiting someone who couldn’t escape was proving ridiculously easy. “And I have your stubborn stupidity to thank for that. I’m going to look forward to this.” He headed towards the exit with a
spring in his step.

Adrian’s teeth clenched and, he tried to force himself to do what was needed. “Wait.”
Kegan turned around in triumph.

Act defeated. A caged animal. Adrian’s eyes lowered, looking down into the bowels of the accelerator. “I apologize, Tech Commander.”

Kegan came towards him, his nose twitching, smelling success. His superior smile made Adrian nauseous. Kegan planted his feet wide and placed his hands on his waist. “I didn’t hear that, Lieutenant.”

“I a-po-lo-gize.” The word was sour, each syllable making his tongue cringe as they passed over his lips. Anger boiled over and Adrian’s eyes flared as he looked up, “I apologize for only thinking you’re a fool and not a petty, vindictive, narrow-minded…”

Kegan reddened with rage, and his hands came up….

“…little man with no talent and…” The Tech Commander grabbed a heavy spanner and whacked it across Adrian’s head. Adrian jerked out of the way, but not fast enough as the tool connected with a sickening crack and blood dripped from a gash in his forehead.

Adrian’s lips contorted in a terrifying, shark-like smile. “…and a Neanderthal…”

“You’ve made a serious mistake, Stannis!” Kegan threw the spanner down and stalked out, presumably to look for the Admiral.

“Would you like me to kiss it and make it better?” Boudreaux handed him a cloth which he accepted without a word. “You know, Adrian. It’s so much more fun when you play along,” she purred and ran a provocative finger across his chest, an intimate gesture, as if she was claiming him. A satisfied smile came to her lips when his back stiffened and his body tightened to repel her. “But I wouldn’t recommend making it too easy for Kegan.”

Adrian turned and grabbed her hand. “I have no interest in prolonging your pleasure.”

The Professor took a step forward, forcing him to take a step back, hitting the workbench. “But you’re so good at it. Don’t you remember?”

Her voice was seductive, suggestive and her closeness stirred a familiar fire. His breathing was heavy as he fought against remembered sensations, the heat that was once between them was still below the surface, like a dormant volcano coming to life. Lust and intellectual prowess. It
had been a powerful combination that caught him in its snare. He had been very young then, and inexperienced in the ways of women like her. She was far more dangerous than Kegan.

After what he shared with Kali during the night, he could not let this woman get to him. He thought of icy water, pouring down over his body.

Adrian put his hands on her shoulders, gripping them tightly as she leaned into him, her lips parting as she lifted her head.

His lips curled in distaste and he pushed her back. “No.”

Boudreaux smiled.

~~~

In the Admiral’s office, Adrian stood at attention, his eyes forward, st aring at a spot on the wood-patterned wall.

Verel watched him for a few moments as he considered the situation. Kegan had been livid. The gash on Adrian’s head was a line of red but it was no longer bleeding. He tapped his fingers on the desk twice. “What am I going to do with you, Stannis?”

“I’m sorry, sir. I find it difficult to be something I’m not.”

Shaking his head, Verel sighed. “Are you trying to commit suicide? No. Don’t answer that.” He wasn’t sure he wanted to find out the man he had sworn to help, might have a suicidal streak. “Honesty is not always the best policy.”

“I’m beginning to understand that, sir.”

“Do you? I’m not so sure you understand what it means to be diplomatic.”

Adrian’s lips thinned in distaste. “A precursor to political expediency.”

“You’re wrong. It is the difference between a tactical withdrawal and fighting to a pointless death.”

“I don’t see the relevance.”

“It’s a different kind of logic than you’re used to. Less rigid.”

“A ‘soft’ science,” he scoffed, a hard wall of rejection behind his dark eyes. “Subjective.” Coming from his lips, it was a dirty word.

This was one of those headache-inducing discussions Verel had been expecting. He sighed resignedly and rubbed a spot of pain that was starting just between his eyes. Stannis had curious holes in his knowledge and understanding of the universe, at times gaping ones. “Have you always been like this?”

“I see no reason to change.”
“Well you’re going to have to, or you’ll drag all of us down with you. Including the Ensign. I know you don’t want that.”

Adrian paused, the rebellious fire in his eyes sputtering. “I will try to do what you suggest.”

“Trying might not be enough with Kegan. The man’s excitable and vindictive. Having the two of you in the same room, is like putting two incendiary devices together and waiting to see which one explodes first. He wouldn’t have been my choice to be Tech Commander for this Project,
but we’re stuck with him. Ensign Mirren may be able to help you. She has a good head on her shoulders and she knows how to handle people. And, from what I understand of her psi abilities, she can sense your emotional states.”

Adrian’s eyes narrowed and he frowned, displeased that his private life was becoming a group project.

“She needs more opportunities to develop her abilities. This will be a practical exercise and it will help you.”

The scowl deepened.

~~~

Bryce’s favorite haunt these days was the posh officer’s bar. The no velty of it hadn’t worn off yet and it had a far better selection of alcohol. He was slowly making his way through the list. Of course, he had one other reason, and after a strenuous day of not doing a great deal, he finally got lucky. Lieutenant Kerril sitting alone, nursing a pint of ale. They’d barely said a civil word to each other since he joined the ship but he still had hope.

He ordered a pint of whatever was on tap and glanced at her out of the corner of his eyes. She was awfully quiet.

“You alright?” Not an original pick-up line, but it usually worked.

“Oh, it’s you.” Her expression didn’t change. She might have been picking lint from her uniform for all the reaction she gave him.

“Well don’t sound too enthusiastic. You’re going to embarrass me.” The bartender slid a mug in his direction and he caught it with a flourish.

“I didn’t think that was possible.” She eyed this display critically.

“Look, I’m trying to be nice.”

“What do you want?”

Her hands gripped the mug, strangling it. Bryce was glad it wasn’t his neck. “Do I have to want something? Can’t I just be nice?”

“I don’t know, can you?” Kerril said listlessly, her eyes following the ripples in her mug, no longer paying attention to him. Lifting it to her lips, she drained the rest in two gulps and put it down. “I need to go. This has been…whatever.” She slid off the tall stool and left.

“Well, that was,” he began but she was already gone, weaving her way through the crowds.

What was that about? Bryce looked forlornly at his mug; the frothy surface winked invitingly. He pushed it away and went after her.

~~~

Kerril forged ahead at full speed, looking as if she would knock down anyone in her path. Fortunately, no one blocked her way.

“Hey, Kerril, wait up!” He ran and caught up to her at the next junction.

“Why are you following me?” her eyes narrowed in suspicion. “You’re not stalking me, are you? I don’t go for that kind of thing.”

Bryce was about to say something snarky in return but the look in her eyes stopped him. “Well, me neither. I haven’t stalked anyone in ages. Actually never.”

“Leave me alone.” She was still walking fast and Bryce had to keep up or be left in the dust.

“It’s a free corridor. I just happen to be going this way.”

“You called out to me.”

“Yeah, well, I thought, since we’re going the same way, we could do it together.”

“Where are you going?”

There were only two choices down this corridor, the gym or the archives. “It doesn’t matter which one I pick does it? You’re going to pick the other one.”

“I thought you said you weren’t stalking me?”

Bryce winced. Trying to be clever only worked if you had something clever to say.

“Well, you looked upset back there.” He jerked his thumb back towards the bar. “I thought you could use someone to talk to.”

“You’re trying to be nice?”

“I can be. Look, why don’t we go back to the bar. If you want to talk, then I have two ears. If not, I’ve been known to say funny things.”

Kerril slowed her advance and looked at him. “I don’t feel like funny.”

“Or you could always insult me. If that would make you feel better.”

“It might.”

Bryce grinned.

*************

Also Elizabeth Lang has shared with us an exclusive picture from The Empire Series



To read more of the Read-A-Long please follow the tour schedule…

03/03/2013 - Tribute Books Reviews & Giveaways - http://tributebooksreviews.blogspot.com/ - Chapter 1

04/03/2013 - Vixie's Stories - http://vickiejohnstone.blogspot.co.uk/ - Chapter 2

05/03/2013 - Decadent Decisions - http://wlynnchantale-decadentdecisions.blogspot.com - Chapter 3

06/03/2013 - Reviews From Beyond the Book - www.reviewsfrombeyondthebook.blogspot.com - Chapter 4

07/03/2013 - Great Alpha Speaks - http://atrussell.com/Blog/ - Excerpt - Chapter 5

09/03/2013 - The Edible Bookshelf - http://www.theediblebookshelf.blogspot.com/ - Chapter 6

10/03/2013 - Independent Writers Association - http://iwassociation.com - Chapter 7

11/03/2013 - Self Publish or Die - www.selfpublishordie.com Excerpt - Chapter 8

12/03/2013 - Natasha Larry Books - http://natashalarrybooks.com - Chapter 9

13/03/2013 - Michelle Anderson-Picarella - http://shellypicarella.wordpress.com/ - Chapter 10

17/03/2013 - Sheenah Freitas - http://sheenahfreitas.com - Chapter 11

18/03/2013 - Castle Macabre - http://castlemacabre.blogspot.com - Chapter 12

19/03/2013 - My World - http://stephsgrn.blogspot.co.uk/ - Chapter 13

20/03/2013 - Reading, Writing And More - http://stephsgrn.wordpress.com/ - Chapter 14

21/03/2013 - Ami R Blackwelder - http://amiblackwelder.blogspot.co.uk/ - Chapter 15

GIVEAWAY DETAILS:
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Thank you for joining us and Page Turner Book Tours and Elizabeth Lang today on our stop.


About the book:
"It will be interesting to discover which will make you beg. Will it be the pain or the pleasure?"

How do you tame a man without breaking his spirit?

The galaxy is under siege from alien invaders. The Empire is the only force that stands in the gap, trading the freedom of its citizens for a tenuous security.

Amidst this chaos, Lt. Adrian Stannis is a brilliant scientist trying to stay out of the limelight. He hides on a research vessel plying the Outer Rim and finds peace of a sort with Kali Mirren, a psi-enabled humanoid. But his days of anonymity may be coming to an end. Someone has discovered his secret and is determined to make him pay for his treachery. He must finish the project he abandoned years ago, one the Council deems essential in its fight against the aliens, but things are never that simple where Adrian is concerned.

Is he more man than machine, or have years hiding behind a mountain of logic eroded his humanity? Can he learn to love and will he be able to survive the tangled web of political expediency and psychological manipulation that surrounds him?

Will Kali be able to save him from himself, or is there a mystery surrounding him that may explode in their faces?

Everyone wants to know the truth, but will it set them free?


About Elizabeth Lang:
I'm a science fiction writer who started off life as a computer programmer with a love for reading, especially science fiction, fantasy and mystery.

Being in computers, I found my writing skills deteriorating so I decided to take up writing. It became a joy to create characters, stories and worlds and writing soon became a passion I couldn't put down. As a writer, I like to explore, not only the complexity of characters but the human condition from differing points of view. That is at the heart of the Empire series, of which 'The Empire' and 'The Rebels' are the first two of a four books series.

You can connect with Elizabeth Lang at the following places:

Author Page on FaceBook | Blog | Twitter | Website


About Page Turner Book Tours:
Page Turner Book Tours is fronted by the face behind Read2Review Kate. Page Turner Book Tours has been put together to help promote authors and give something back to the writing world. Kate has put together a team of incredibly talented people to help with the project by incorporating their individual skills into making new, fresh and exciting promotional plans that we hope you agree are amazing. If you would like to book a tour with Page Turner Book Tours please check out their tour packages. If you would like to become a tour host with Page Turner Book Tours please check out their Tour Host page. You wont be disappointed!

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