Action! Adventure!

I came close to not writing a blog this week, but then I felt guilty. So, I decided to write one and provide a sneak peek at my new novel coming out in July, titled, The Others. For the very first time, this book is not a romash. There are precious few WLW action adventure stories that don’t contain a romance as a subplot. I admit to loving romashes (romance + something else) that contain a lot of action and adventure, but I wanted to try something different with The Others. After handing it off to betas and receiving encouragement to polish the story because of the limited number of action/adventure stories in our genre, I submitted to Affinity who promptly accepted the manuscript, even though there is not a prominent slow burn romance within the story. Instead, I focus on the main plot of survival in a post-apocalypse world with the two main characters being an established lesbian couple. There are others established couples in the story and even a YA couple, but no romance subplot in a typical format or trope.

I am hoping that my beta is correct and people are itching to sink their teeth into a good action/adventure story without romance as a prominent theme. However, I am nervous. Soooo…what else is new…I am always nervous with a new release. I am going to provide a teaser scene for y’all and hope that you are enticed enough to check the book out when it is released in July.

“You look surprised. Oh, ye of little faith.”

“I knew you would be successful. I just didn’t think the trout would be so big and that you’d catch two.”

“I had a wonderful accomplice. Cher would chase the fish in my direction, and after a few of my special jigs, they couldn’t resist my charms any more than you can.”

I laughed and kissed her on the cheek. “You must have had your Swiss Army knife with you. It’s amazing that little thing can do such a good job filleting a fish.”

“I thought it would be better to clean the fish by the stream. That way, I could wash my hands.”

“Good idea. I found berry bushes. While you were playing the hunter, I was gathering. I wish I’d come across someone’s old garden, bursting with a fresh bounty of vegetables.”

“You’ll get the seeds you took from the shelter to grow. I’ve never seen a greener thumb from anyone else. You should make sure I steer clear of the new shoots when they start growing.”

I must have pulled a face because Em crouched down and touched my cheek.

“Do you think any structures have survived? I can’t imagine winter will be a whole lot of fun in a tent,” I lamented.

“I do. We just need to find the right ones, so we don’t end up joining some overzealous survivalist unit where they believe women are only put on earth to bear their children and ensure the continued existence of the human race.”

“I’ll bet the president survived and hopes his base made it through his colossal mistake. I guess this was one way to avoid conceding to his epic loss,” I said bitterly.

“I have faith we’ll find the right group to align with.”

“Do you think our home in Seattle survived?” I ventured into that dangerous territory.

On the one hand, I hoped our home was still there. On the other hand, I didn’t want to see the damage. With a large navy base across the sound, Seattle by location had become a target and was on the list of cities to hit. I knew it was unlikely to have survived intact.

“I always wanted to live in a rural area, and now we will.” That was Em’s answer.

“Em, if radiation dissipates as quickly as you said, why did you want to stay in the bomb shelter so long?”

“I wanted to avoid the squabbles over dominance. Lise, many things will have survived, but not the infrastructure. Without a means to deliver supplies to people who are used to running to the grocery store, there will be chaos. That is the real danger of war. Internal fighting will kill more than the original bombs. When resources are limited, true human nature rears its ugly head. I had a vision we would find our place closer to the mountains. I wanted to ensure our survival by avoiding the initial pandemonium. Neither one of us possesses fighting skills. Coming late to the game ups our odds.”

“I could kill someone who threatened you.” I puffed out my chest.

Em gave me a sad smile. “Oh, babe, no, you couldn’t, and that’s why I love you. If you were put into that untenable position, a death by your hands would change you in ways that…” She shuddered. “I wasn’t willing to take the risk.”

Her assessment deflated me, but she was right. I didn’t have the temperament for aggression. War changes people, and sometimes a person doesn’t know what they’re made of until facing a horrifying position. Whether or not I wanted to, that was a lesson I would learn in the not-too-distant future.

Mashing wild berries on the fillets, I placed them in the grilling apparatus designed for fish but adapted to other items. The fish was the best I could remember. I suppose my comparison to ten months of canned food with limited fresh food offerings had colored my appraisal. We had cans of tuna, salmon, and chicken to supplement our small garden in the shelter, but there was nothing like freshly caught fish.

I didn’t notice Em’s keen eyes focus on the spot above my head or the snap of a branch until it was too late. Em set the trout carcass on the ground for Sonny and Cher to pick at the bones. She folded her hands in her lap before greeting our visitor.

“You’re in our territory without permission,” the gruff voice declared.

“We were simply passing through. If you prefer for us to pack up and move along right now, we can do that,” Em calmly responded.

“You’re unaffected. Are you one of the government deserters or from a survivalist camp?” he asked.

At that point, I glanced in his direction and saw the stranger’s partially disfigured face and arm. Radiation burns traveled down his jawline, changing his otherwise flawless, chiseled lines to something less than perfect. His appearance was far from grotesque. I had the odd notion that this flaw gave him more character. I didn’t turn away and met his eyes—two small granites. I shivered at how cold and impassive they were.

“We were in a bomb shelter until today. Not exactly survivalists, but prepared,” Em answered.

The eyebrow unaffected by radiation lifted. “For ten months?”

Em nodded. I was too scared to engage in any conversation with this man who carried an assault weapon as casually as an executive might hold his briefcase.

He pointed the weapon at me. “Is she mute?”

“No,” I croaked.

“Come with me,” he ordered.

I tried not to panic. Em touched my arm to reassure me. “May we bring our cats?” she asked.

“Only if they can catch their own food. Supplies are not wasted on animals.”

“It won’t take us long to pack up the tent.” Em made the plea.

“You have five minutes.”

He hadn’t made a move to kill us or do other unspeakable things. I took that as a good sign. For some ridiculous reason, this man with his Hollywood good looks, despite the scars, pinged my gaydar. He hadn’t leered at either of us. He had merely observed us as if we were an interesting new species of bug. I suppose my idea of the post-nuclear world after total chaos included a great deal of raping and pillaging. His actions suggested neither had happened. Yet, there was a lack of emotion in his manner that unsettled me.

Thanks in advance for getting The Others when it comes out in July. In the meantime, I have a large backlist for you to check out if interested, including an audible version of my award-winning book, Locked Inside, brilliantly narrated by Heidi Bindhammer. Just click the links below. Don’t forget about this week’s sale in My Lesfic that features one of my favorite Affinity authors who also happens to be the editor for many of my books. She is a brilliant author. Check out Reach of the Heron by Angela Koenig.

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4 thoughts on “Action! Adventure!

  1. Annette, So glad you shared the upcoming book. Wow, such a great teaser. Ok I confess up front that I don’t like those kind of survival movies. I am not a dead man walking kind of girl. AND YET, I need to know what happens to the characters.😥😳❤😉 Again you will encourage me to trapeze thru a genre just because you skillfully wrote it. I am looking forward to the July release. Hoping all is well with you and the mrs. blessings for a great summer! Pam

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  2. Sounds like you may be worried about your new book but it will be wasted worry! I will be first in line to either pre-order or “buy with one click” as soon as it’s possible. This sounds like a great story—- I know it will be! So, this old lady will be anxiously awaiting it’s arrival.

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