Release Date: December 6th
Special Release Price: $2.99
Price good until: December 15th
A brand new Breeders Universe Story that will keep you up reading past your bedtime.
Five generations after Riley and Clay first set foot on Shiprock, the community is thriving. Liberated from the Breeders, the new society is free to live and love how they chose.
Eighteen-year-old Meg is Shiprock’s apprentice gunslinger and wise-cracking security guard, keeping the people safe as she patrols the stony cliffs. She can hit a target at fifty paces with her eyes closed, and yet, she’s never ventured outside the sheer cliffs of her home. It isn’t safe out there. Marauders still roam, snatching up unsuspecting victims.
Then a plague hits their peaceful city. Her sister, and only living family, falls ill.
People will die if a cure isn’t found.
Meg ventures out to find renowned doctor Fulton Tally and a cure to save her sister and the town.
But untold peril awaits. Will Meg’s training prove enough to survive the night road?
Fans who love The Breeders will not be disappointed with this companion series set in that same universe.
Link to the book (Amazon exclusive and KU): https://www.amazon.com/Night-Road-Dystopian-Romance-Second-ebook/dp/B07HZSN1J7/ref=sr_1_13?s=digital-text&ie=UTF8&qid=1542645250&sr=1-13&keywords=the+night+road
And now, a preview of The Night Road, A Breeders Universe Novel.
My name is Meg, and I’m an apprentice gunslinger. I keep watch while the citizens sleep, protecting them from fools who try to enter our city.
Like this fool currently creeping up the sheer rock face of my home.
The intruder’s approach is easy to mark with my binoculars despite how dark the night is. There isn’t much movement on the walls, so any draws my attention. This man is climbing out in the open like he thinks we don’t pay attention.
This idiot couldn’t pour water out of a boot with instructions on the heel.
He must think everyone is inside, getting ready for bed. And most are. Behind me, candles and gas lamps flicker to life, warming the carved stone. Every apartment was hand-crafted long before we arrived, chiseled out of the rock. The mountain keeps us cool in the heat of the day and dry during the rainy season. Interior rooms protect us from intruders and severe storms. Like a huge ship in the desert ocean, she bears us through whatever trials come our way. Sitting in the north-west corner of what used to be called New Mexico, it’s one of the only cities for miles. It’s also one of the only places able to be spotted from a far-off distance, like a lighthouse in a sea of sand.
Which also makes it a homing beacon to every imbecile around.
Heartbeat starting to flutter, I clock tonight’s particular chump as I check my weapon. I have one gun, a boring silver revolver manufactured by our friends at Merrick Guns and Ammo. Our partnership with them is what allows us to defend what’s ours. Guns are scarce, bullets nearly impossible to obtain. We get ours at a discount, and the people at Merrick enjoy our livestock and free lodging at our secure facility for their shipments to other towns.
At my hip, my gun is ready and loaded with their stock. Hopefully, it won’t come to that.
Gunslinger Rule #5 – Don’t shoot unless you damn well have to.
When he starts to scale a particularly sheer piece of wall, I got to hand it to the guy. He’s got guts. A fall will mean severe injury and death. The odd part is we allow legal entry with a vetting process. If someone has decided the illegal route is the way to go, that’s bad news for everyone.
Tucking my binoculars into my jacket pocket, I take off at a run.
My watching perch leads to a path of smooth stone, curving around the southside of the mountain. I take the path, skimming past apartments that throw out the scent of food and sounds of family gatherings. The apartments aren’t much, usually two rooms of stone with hand-hewn furniture. Cramped but clean. Chiseled out of rock, everything is the same hue of desert brown, but our architecture is what gives our home its charm. Some owners have chiseled sayings above their door. Others have painted archways or carved vines wrapping around open windows. Homey. It reminds me of all I am charged to protect.
Through the tunnels and down the stairs that flicker with torchlight, I sprint across to the other side of the city.
When I get to where I spotted my mark, I’m out of breath but invigorated. It’s been a long time since I’ve had anything exciting happen on my watch. As I draw my pistol, adrenaline tingles to my fingers.
I drop to the flat rock platform, then crawl quietly to the edge and peer down.
The drop below me is steep. The ground awaits a hundred feet down, the rocks eager to claim anyone who gets too cocky. We’re born up here and used to the heights, but my climbing friend is not. He clings to the rock’s face as the wind buffets him. Even in the moonlight, I can see the terror on his face as he realizes his arms are too tired to go up and too weak to go down. He’s stuck.
Only gravity will help change his position now. And gravity is a bitch.
“How’s it hanging?” I call, grinning at my terrible joke. What can I say? Nightly watch is boring.
He isn’t amused, nearly falling off the ledge before spotting where my voice is coming from. “Help! I’m about to fall,” he yells, sounding desperate. His arms tremble with strain, fingers turning white.
I watch, making no immediate move to help. “I see you’re having trouble. It makes me wonder… what in the world were you thinking coming up that way, friend?”
“I… uh… I seek sanctuary.” His watery eyes plead with me.
“Oh, yeah, that.” I lean back on my elbow, examining my nails. “That only applies to people who do not try to break in first. Any crime committed automatically negates sanctuary. Breaking into my town is a crime, amigo.”
He grumbles, shifting as pebbles clatter down the wall. “Please. I’m going to fall.”
“Maybe you should’ve thought of that before climbing up.”
But I’m not heartless. I pull the rope off my belt. Using the anchor screw set, I start to drill the bit into the rock. It chews in slowly, spiraling deeper. No way am I just using my body weight and allowing some trespasser to pull me into the void.
“Hurry!” He shifts, arms shaking as more rocks cascade to the ground.
“Hey, I’m doing my best, but your mother should’ve taught you better manners than to rush someone who’s clearly trying.” I crank the handle of the screw. When it’s finally secure, I hook the carabiner through my rope and the anchor’s handle before giving it a tug.
“Ready?” I ask.
Terrified eyes stare up at me. Veins stand out on his neck as he holds on with his last ounce of strength. “Please.”
I toss the rope over. It pools on his shoulder before cascading over his back. One grimy hand grabs it and clings.
“Tie it around yourself,” I say, hoping he knows how to knot a rope. If not, heaven help him.
He lashes the rope around his waist with trembling fingers. When I give it a tug, he oomphs, but the knot holds.
I spend an hour of my evening hauling his marauding ass up the mountain. Sweating, straining, I stop and wipe my brow. This is not exactly what I pictured security detail to be like when I was a kid. My imagination convinced me I’d be a part of wild shootouts and car chases, but I don’t even get to leave the mountain. Instead, I track down lost cats or help elderly ladies kill the rats they find in their pantries. It’s a dirty job, but somebody has to do it, I guess. The higher-ups decided that someone would be me.
Hand over hand, I inch the invader upward.
When he finally breaches the top and falls face-first on the ledge, we’re both sweaty and exhausted. He pants, not moving a muscle.
“Ah, God. I thought I was done for.” When he raises his head, there’s a crooked smile on his face. He’s thin and lean, with all appearances of a man just barely surviving on whatever he can scrounge up. From what I understand, it’s rough out there. Not that I’d know much about what it’s like beyond the walls of Shiprock.
“Next time, try the front door,” I say, slowing my breathing and letting the night air dry the moisture on my brow. I’d remove my hat, but if I did, my long hair would be a dead giveaway. Most people assume because I have this job that I’m a male, and I don’t have any desire to tip them off on the fact I’m far from it.
Even though females aren’t bought and sold anymore, they’re still considered the weaker sex, which is ridiculous. I’ve seen Kace, my brother-in-law, cry more times than I can count, while Shannon, my sister, has never once shed a tear. Weaker sex, my left butt cheek.
But when I lean back and my jacket gaps open, his eyebrows rise. “A girl? Huh. Never woulda taken you for female.”
“Thanks,” I say dryly.
He sits up. “You know, you and me could scoot outta here. I got a car on the road a mile back. Real nice. We could go somewhere a hell of a lot better than this.”
I watch him carefully, noting the greedy gleam in his eyes. He doesn’t have a car. And he isn’t trying to be my friend. When he looks at me, he sees dollar signs. He’d have me hogtied, gagged, and shipped out to some sex farm in a hot second.
“Well, now, doesn’t that sound like a nice offer?” I respond dryly. “But I think I’ll kindly pass.”
When his hand goes for his knife, I’m not surprised.
I spring up, pinning him with my boot before he can get the blade out of his pocket. Pressing hard, I grind his face into the gravel. “And just when I thought you and me were getting along.”
“Gerroff,” he mumbles, struggling.
Dropping to my knees on top of him, I start to wrestle his arms behind his back to cuff them. The click of the metal handcuffs is satisfying.
“Ow,” he moans.
Yeah, I may have made the cuffs too tight.
“Let’s go,” I demand, hauling him to his feet.
“You bitch.” He spits as I lead him to the stairs.
“The name’s Meg, buddy,” I say, tweaking his arm a little harder than I have to. “And be sure to tell your friends it was a bitch who saved your life.”