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Friday, 4 October 2013

Special Feature--Tracing The Stars by C.E. Kilgore

Hello hello!

Today I have an unusual feature--a release snippet from C.E. Kilgore to celebrate the release of Tracing The Stars! It's an unusual sci fi romance, so buckle your seatbelts--it's going to be a bumpy night!

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Book Excerpt: Tracing The Stars , Chapter 1 – Hankarron gets a rude awakening

Ethan ran to catch up with Brom as the Orellian neared the carved-wood, double doors that lead into the solarium. Judging by the tense state of Brom’s muscles and the barely contained glare of his hazel eyes, Ethan surmised that Hank was about to get an unwanted and loud wake-up call.

Brom pushed open one of the doors and walked into the room, searching it for any sign of the Corwint. The room was dimly lit by the morning light filtered through the tinted acrylicite windows that filled the exterior wall and rounded upward to cover half of the ceiling. It smelled of old wood, musty carpet and whisky.

Brom eyed the empty, overturned bottle of whisky sitting on the carpet next to a high-back chair then looked at an identical, half-full bottle sitting next to a half-empty glass on a side-table. One of Hank’s arms dangled out to the side and gave a small twitch. With a deep breath to try and cool the fire brewing in his gut, Brom approached the chair and hit his hand against the back of it. “Get up.”

“Whoa… what…?” Hank’s brown eyes opened briefly then winced shut as the light in the room made his head pound.

Brom picked up the half-full bottle of whisky with disdain, his large fist tightening around the neck of the bottle. He’d promised Hank’s uncle, Jhonis, that he wouldn’t let the kid follow down the same path as his drunken father. “So, this is what you’re do’n now?”

Hank gave a gruff laugh of annoyance. “Not you, too. Tara pretending to be my mom is enough, thanks.” His hand raised to his temple as the room spun. “What time is it?”

Brom’s fingers clenched their hold on Tara’s jacket. “Time for you to grow the fuck up.”

“What?” Hank rubbed his eyes and attempted to open them again.

Ethan started to speak, but Brom signaled him with a shake of the head to let him handle it. “What did you say to her?”

“None of your business,” Hank grumbled.

“Wrong answer.” Brom set the whisky bottle down then tipped the chair forward and dumped Hank onto the rug. “What did you say to her?”

“The fuck, man?!” Hank tried to get up, but a wave of nausea overtook his body and forced him to stay on his hands and knees as Brom stood over him.

“I won’t ask again, Hank.” Brom hated having to do this. He loved Hankarron like a kid brother, but Tara was more like a daughter. In his world, she would always come first.

“I don’t know.” Hank sat back on his ass and tried to open his eyes again. “We had a fight, but it’s all a bit fuzzy. Everything is a bit fuzzy right now, actually.” Forcing his eyes to open through the pain, he noticed that Ethan was also in the room. “What’s going on? Is she refusing to come out of her room or something?”
Brom tossed Tara’s jacket into Hank’s lap. “She’s gone.”

“What?” Hank looked down at the jacket, his hand timidly running over one of the arms of faded brown canvas. “You sure? You know she’d never leave this behind.”

“Unless she never intends to come back,” Brom corrected.

Hank raised his gaze back up to Brom, trying to put the Orellian’s face into focus. “That doesn’t make any sense.”

Brom took in a slow, deep breath and crossed his arms over his broad chest. “That isn’t just her dad’s jacket, Hank, it’s also a promise. I was there when Garret gave it to her. Something about that mission had him worried, and somehow he knew he wasn’t coming back. He gave Tara his jacket before he left, and he made her and me both promise him something. He made me swear I’d look after her if something went wrong, and he made her promise that she’d always look after the Zera and her crew. Garret loved that damn ship and everyone on it, and so does Tara. The only way she’d ever leave that jacket and her promise to her dad behind is if you asked her to. So, for the last time, what did you say to my little girl?”

Hank’s mind stuttered as he tried to put Brom’s words into some form of comprehension through the alcohol wash swimming in his brain. His vision moved from Brom’s accusing glare down to Tara’s jacket as he struggled to recall what he said the night before. “I,” his voice broke as his eyes widened, looking to the far wall and the shattered glass pieces on the carpet next to it. “I told her to leave.” The hand still clutching the arm of Tara’s jacket started to shake as his voice fell to a frightened whisper. “I told her to leave and not come back.”

“You what?” Brom’s anger exploded as the cap flew off the bottle he had it contained in. “Do you have any idea what you mean to her? Are you really that fucking stupid?!”

“Take a breather, Brom,” Ethan finally stepped in, afraid that Brom may do something they’d all regret. Orellians were admired for their gentle natures and feared for the rare times when they did get angry. “Why would you say something like that to her, Hank?”

Hank tried to stand again, his own defences raising. He made it to his feet but remained stooped over and leaning against the mantle of the fireplace that was centered in the acrylicite wall. “I had my reasons. She’s been lying to me!”

“If this is because of what Jarren said about Orynn,”

“It’s not!” Hank cut Ethan’s words off. “Well, it is, but that’s the least of it. She knew, Ethan! She knew about Jarren and Keith, and about my parents. She’s known for nine damn years and she never bothered to tell me any of it!”

“For a damn good reason!” Brom jumped back into the conversation in Tara’s defense. “We all knew, Hank. Well, about your parents, anyway, but that’s beside the fucking point! You weren’t told because Jhonis wanted you to know the good people your parents were, and they were good people. They just made some bad choices, and Jhonis didn’t want you growin’ up with that hangin’ over you. Neither did Tara. You think it was easy for her to keep all that from you for so long? Goddammit, man, she’s in love with you, and has been since she had pigtails! So pull your selfish, hard head outta your ass and really think about what you said to her.”

“I didn’t mean it!” Hank cursed his hangover as he straightened his back and had to take in a quick breath to stop the urge to vomit. “I mean, I did, but I was pissed off, and I didn’t think she’d actually leave!”
Brom didn’t want to hear the excuses. “Well, how would you feel if the person you were in love with told you to leave and not come back?”

“How would you feel if you found out the girl you love has been lying to you for nine years?!” Hank shouted back, his chest heaving under the dead-weight of his heart and the growing urge to expel the contents of his stomach. “I get it. I overreacted. I said something I shouldn’t have, but I think I have every right to be angry and hurt, so step off your fucking box, Brom, and save it.”

With unsteady strides, he passed Brom to pick up the half empty whisky glass as the Orellian stood still, wide-eyed and staring. “You think I don’t know how long she’s been in love with me? You think I don’t know what a damn idiot I am?” He drank the stale contents of the glass, set it down and poured another. “I know I’m a coward, and I know that she can do a lot better than a fucking loser like me.”

Before Hank could put the full glass to his lips, Ethan knocked it from his hand and it spilled onto the carpet. For a moment, the ghost of the bitter, broken man Hank’s father became near the end had appeared in front of Ethan’s eyes, holding the whisky glass and saying almost those exact same words, except Hank’s father had been speaking about Hank’s mom, Elisen, and her pregnancy.  “I’ll be damned if you follow him down that road.”

C.E.Kilgore on Goodreads

All syndicate links: http://www.cekilgore.com/whispers.php

Author Links:

Author bio:
C.E. Kilgore (1981 - ) has always had a love of romantic stories and science fiction. Although active in the writing community during her undergraduate studies, she chose to focus on her love of history and culture. Graduating with an HBA in History and a BA in Cultural Anthropology, she puts a deep emphasis on creating characters and environments within her writing that are full of both culture and history. The relationship development between characters and the worlds they live in is also an important aspect of her stories. Sarcasm, comedy, hidden "modern" references and subtle hints at underlined universal meanings are common within her writing style, but there is always plenty of action and a darker side lurking just around the corner.

Book Links:

Book 1: Ghost In The Machine – FREE full length novel
Genre: Space Opera / Science Fiction Romance:
All syndicate links: http://www.cekilgore.com/ghost.php
Book Synopsis:
 "Love is like a wormhole. You stumble on to it blindly, it sucks you in and takes you somewhere completely
unexpected. You can’t fight it, because that would tear your ship apart. You can’t control it, either. All you can do is set your thrusters on glide and let it take you where it's going to take you."

Book 2: Whispers From Exile
Genre: Space Opera / Science Fiction Romance:

The Ruisks were once a fierce and proud race with courageous spirits, but after over a century of being held captive under the oppressive leash of the Xen'dari Empire, they have become defeated, hollow shells that bow their heads in submission. Can Larx help his people find their courage again to stand against the oppression, and can he find his own courage to be true to his nature and the callings of his heart?

Book 3: Tracing The Stars
Genre: Space Opera / Science Fiction Romance:
Amazon: Not yet available

Hankarron Eros has loved Tara since she had pigtails, but his fear of losing the strength and support that their friendship provides leads him to keep his heart's desires locked away. When the truth about his family is exposed and leaves him grasping to hold onto his ship, his crew and his sanity, words are spoken that can't be taken back and the presence he had grown so used to having at a convenient reach is gone.
Thanks for dropping by the nest once again. Don't miss any of the phuquerie. Find Michelle on TwitterFacebook, and on Tumblr. More interviews and witty commentaries are coming. Keep checking back to see those surprise posts, too. This is your darling SciFiMagpie, over and out! 

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