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


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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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1 comment:

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  1. This sounds good, I enjoyed reading this segment. Looking forward to reading this book. thank you.

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