Monday, March 4, 2013

The Rebels (The Empire Series) and a 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 3


A cloud-filtered sun sunk into the horizon and shadows congregated, plotting mischief, dogging their feet as the trio escaped into the heart of the forest. A carpet of pine needles solemnly swallowed the sound of their footsteps.

Birds dared to pierce the gloom with musical chirrups, which may have been enjoyable if they weren’t so cheerful; the creatures seemed to be mocking them.

Adrian's military boots gained a pound each time he had to lift them over gnarled roots that seemed intent on tripping him. Each scratch marred the well-polished sheen, rubbing away the last vestiges of the orderly world they left behind. A tight bandage formed a thick white bracer
around his forearm, but there was no pain, only icy numbness that deadened the senses. Swerving to avoid a low-hanging branch, exhaustion dragged on his limbs, making them heavier with each step.

All he wanted was peace, the calm logic of a world that followed laws he understood, that he could mold into beautiful creations of light and energy.

A streak of sunlight punched through the umbrella of reaching limbs and lit his face.

The Empire should concentrate on gathering its resources, building a massive network of jump gates. It would take time. They would have to harness the energy of a dozen suns to transport ships and men on that scale and distance, but it was possible. He had provided the calculations
and detailed plans for their best solar engineer. Camden would have the appropriate skills. Or even Zyla-sli.

“Feels like we’re going around in circles,” griped Bryce, swishing a branch with the energy of a crazed orchestra conductor. “How can you tell where you’re going? It all looks the same. Same trees, same branches, same everything.”

Adrian blinked, his attention returning to the forest, and he barely managed a raised note of sarcasm. “Perhaps you would like some signs?”

A sheen of perspiration coated his brow and he wiped a bead dripping down his nose.

“A few wouldn’t hurt,” said Bryce, jumping over a fallen log with an exaggerated leap.

Adrian scowled at the lively younger man. “Fortunately, we have the positioning unit. Far more accurate than visual indicators.”

“I wonder how the ancients managed. If it were me, I’d be lost all the time.”

“And how would that be different than now?” Focusing on the banter helped him to ignore the sheet of agony in his back.

An unseen animal scrabbled above and a shower of snow rained on them.

His mind clouded with exhaustion and with each step he moved closer to the past.

Hello, my boy. I’m glad you still remember me.”

He lifted his head, seeing past trees and bushes to the shock of white hair that could not hide the cold, calculating eyes. So much like his own.

Dr. Ellis Rayburn—the man who had operated on his mind with clinical precision using methods that had long been outlawed, at least, officially.

What did Rayburn make him forget? What secrets had been torn from his mind? He had to find out what they took from him, he needed to know that his life had not been a lie, fabricated by others.

Buried embers flickered, the visceral recollection of anguish that had been stolen. His rational mind was only a whisper.

With a snap of the fingers, like the flick of a light switch, they had lifted the veil to his past, at least, the part concerning Rayburn.

That meant the memories must still be there, buried so deep that even Kali, with her psi abilities, had not suspected.

That small twist of concentration caused his foot to snag on an arched root and he stumbled, reaching out to break his fall, only to find Kali’s strong arms around his shoulders.

His lips thinned in irritation. She had been prepared, waiting for him, knowing he would fall.
I don’t think you’re weak, she projected into his mind.

“I am.”

You’re the bravest man I’ve ever known.”

“Then you haven’t known many men,” he snapped.

“Maybe we should rest.” The understanding in her eyes made him look away.

“We should keep going. It’s getting dark and we’re not familiar with the dangers in these woods.”

“It will get even darker if we have to carry you.”

Bryce peered through the gloom, his neck craning. “Hey, I see something.” He pointed to a dense growth of bushes a little to the right. “Over there. I think it’s a building.”

“In the middle of the forest?” asked Kali. “Who would live out here?”

“Go and check,” said Adrian.

“Why does it have to be me?” whined Bryce.

“You’re the assistant.”

“Fine, but I expect danger pay for this.” He tiptoed forward, wincing as a twig cracked under his boots.

~~~

Tree shadows nearly made the building invisible and gnarled branches blocked the entrance, but it was a log cabin of some kind. Well, not much of one unless you liked your outdoors in your indoors. The elements ate through the wood in places, leaving jagged holes, but the roof
seemed fine, at least from Bryce’s angle. It looked abandoned.

“There’s nobody here.”

“Check it,” said Adrian.

Kicking branches away and pulling at others, Bryce got to the door. The curved handle twisted, creaking piteously, but refused to budge.

He backed up a step, angled his shoulder, and then with a half-hearted grunt, he slammed into the door, nearly flying through it when it gave way with a swoosh of dust and debris.

Bryce wheezed, as faded light filtered in, revealing cupboards, overturned chairs, a wooden table, a cooking plate on a counter, and layers of dust and leaves burying the rest.

Through a half-open door on the right, there was a crowded bedroom with a wood-framed bed, a lumpy mattress with most of its stuffing on one end, and some threadbare blankets. Piles of clothing sat on an open shelving unit. It was a sorry excuse for a shack, but it was better than
nothing.

Glowing red orbs peered at him from the shadows. Bryce yelped and backed away, grabbing at a broom and thrusting it in front of him. An angry mewl greeted his actions and the eyes slinked closer. He backed up, bumping into a table, waving the broom wildly. The animal emerged
from the shadows, a small panther-like creature with jagged teeth and blood-shot eyes. It bunched up on hind legs, ready to pounce.

Kali pushed the door open and stepped in. “Are you alright? Did you find something?”

The startled creature launched towards them, torpedoing through the air, its wings spread and eyes glowing angrily.

“Kali, watch out!”

~~~

Europa Central Spaceport stretched out with octopus arms, quivering sands churned around its energy screens, and a crush of humanity rushed about in single-minded purpose.

Charles Sester breezed through the security checkpoint with a disarming smile and the promise of favors to come.

Psychostrategist extraordinaire, the greatest in his generation, or so it was said. Not that he disagreed, but he imagined that something else was about to be plastered to his name. Wanted: Dead.

That was his reward for disobeying the Guild, for acting outside of his commission. Clients must always get their money’s worth and the Empire had wanted, had paid for, a broken Adrian Stannis.

Well—a flash of a smile fluttered at the corner of his lips—he was broken, in a way. Just not in any way that they wanted.

Adrian stared at the control unit in his hands, and then at Sester. He asked the question they both wanted the answer to, “Why?”

Sester shrugged. “I wish I could answer that for myself.”

He still didn’t have an answer for why he had committed professional suicide. What possessed him to save a man who gave him no benefit in return?A gust of frosty air from a ventilation duct grabbed at his long coat as he walked past.

Sester had no illusions. None of his carefully prepared answers, excuses, or explanations would pass the scrutiny of the Guild Master. A lance of guilt, edged with the poison of fear, pierced his chest. Perhaps he was the one who was broken.

Then why was he going back?

A wry, self-mocking smile touched the corner of his eyes, drawing tight the radiating lines. Only a fool defied the Psychostrategist's Guild.

Stars peeked through the canopy of darkness and floating, shimmering clouds played masquerade in a kaleidoscope of light and shadows. It was a projection screen, of course. Nothing was ever real under the Domes on Earth, only computer-painted approximations of what used to be.

Run far and fast, Adrian, and don’t let them find you. You will not like what they have in store for you if you do.

Death would be a mercy…

…for both of them.


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!!



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

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:



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!

1 comment:

Elizabeth Lang said...

Thanks for hosting Chapter 3 of 'The Rebels.' I will be off and on all day today if anyone has any questions.