National Superhero Day Reading Suggestions

What’s that, you say?  There are Superhero stories that aren’t about the Avengers?  Who knew?!  😛


AF 1 BR Version - Michael Bailey.jpg See it on Amazon!

Join the action with the Amazon best-selling YA superhero series! The worst summer of Carrie Hauser’s life began with her parents’ divorce and ended with her receiving superhuman abilities from a dying alien. Now Carrie is trying to put her life back together, and all that stands in her way are an insane artificial intelligence, the mercenary known as Manticore, and a mysterious organization that wants to claim her power for itself. Save the day? Sure — as soon as school lets out.


CoverSMALL - Emerald Dodge.jpgSee it on Amazon!

For one superhero, the good guys can be deadlier than the bad guys. 

Jillian Johnson, known as the mighty Battlecry, was born into a superhero cult. She craves a life of freedom, far away from her violent and abusive team leader, Patrick. With no education, no money, and no future to speak of, she’s stuck in the dangerous life…until she meets the mysterious and compelling Benjamin, a civilian with superpowers. When Patrick confronts her, she fights back–and then runs for her life. One by one, her ex-teammates join her until a new team has formed.

But Patrick will not let his upstart teammates get away so easily. Humiliated and hellbent on vengeance, he waits for his chance to strike back and kill the new team, and he is happy to murder superheroes and civilians alike. On top of that, Benjamin has joined Jillian and her comrades, angering his own lethal family. Jillian’s enemies begin to close in from all sides.

Desperate and in hiding, Jillian must shed everything she thinks she knows about what it means to lead. Can she rise up to the challenge of defeating Patrick? Can she save Benjamin from his family? Or will she die like every other superhero who’s dared to challenge the cult?

 

 
 

Starrella-Review2Post - Aurora Springer.jpg See it on Amazon!

 
 
Teen superhero, Starrella, and her flying horse combat vicious villains in the skies of Atalanta.The quiet summer before her freshman year turns frighteningly weird after Estelle Wright trespasses onto an Army base. Blown into the air and knocked unconscious, she wakes with a nascent superpower. Not to mention a winged horse with a snarky attitude and a mind of her own.

Back home in Atalanta, a serial killer is targeting the students at Goldman University. Before long she must juggle college classes with sneaking out of the house after dark to battle alien monsters. Estelle’s life is in danger, but who can she trust: handsome Captain Copper from military intelligence, or hunky Toby, the tough gangster with a motorbike? Both men have secret agendas, but falling in love is not in their plans.


eBookCover-BoS-FINAL-50pct - Richard Wright See it on Amazon!

 
 
She can heal any wound, but the price is her freedom, her humanity, and her love. 

After a brutal attack, medical student Cassie Whelan discovers she has empathic healing abilities. She’s become an exohuman – a non-human according to the law. She must choose between hiding the miracles she can perform or becoming an anonymous, numbered government slave – like Guardian 175, the horribly disfigured exo who is falling in love with her. With her empathic senses, she can actually feel his growing affection for her. But his loyalties are divided between love and duty. She wants to trust him, but betrayal by him could destroy everything. And the one thing she can’t heal is her own heart.


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See it on Amazon!

 
 
After a mysterious phenomenon called The Event, superhumans—called specials—now walk among us. And the potential danger these untested and powerful beings warrants a way to keep them in check. Enter Vanguard, a government-sanctioned team of superheroes designed to deal with rogue specials. This team of powerful beings with even more powerful personalities must overcome their differences while dealing with one life-threatening crisis after another! 

But a mysterious warlord and his terrorist network waits in the shadows, planning to use superhumans for their own nefarious purposes!


SHW Cover LQ - Joynell Schultz.jpg See it on Amazon!

 
 
What happens after the superhero gets the girl? 

Nobody said being married was easy, but try being married to a superhero. Not only is there laundry, cooking, and a career to balance, but throw in a few supervillains and your day’s booked.

Ariana, Victoria, and Emma’s men spend more time saving the world than doing dishes. These wives want some semblance of a normal married life, but would settle for an uninterrupted meal together.

How can they compete with saving the world?

When a catastrophic earthquake devastates Shadow Town and crime spirals out of control, the city needs help.

Everyone expected the superheroes to save the day, but nobody expected the wives’ help too…


RedandBlack_E-BookCoverFinal - Nancy O'Toole Meservier.jpgSee it on Amazon!

 

Dawn Takahashai knows all about superheroes.

She’s been a fan of them for years. So when she’s granted an impressive powerset of her own, she dives right in, eager to prove herself as Bailey City’s first superhero: Miss Red and Black.

Her first challenge is Faultline. He’s powerful, smart and, as a henchman for Bailey City’s first supervillain, standing right in her way. But that’s not the real problem. The real problem is that under the mask, Faultline is Alex Gage, a working-class guy trying to scrounge together enough money to help support his younger sisters.

Dawn has no idea that the charming and seemingly straightforward Alex is Faultline. Alex has no idea that the adorably awkward Dawn is the superhero he clashes with at night.

And Dawn and Alex have a date next week.


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The Just Cause Universe is the original superhero universe created by Ian Thomas Healy and published by Local Hero Press. It focuses on diverse, complex characters in a gritty, realistic setting despite their fanciful abilities.


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See it on Amazon!

 

No powers? No problem!

That’s never stopped Alice before, and it’s not going to stop her from finding her aunt’s killer. Especially not now that she’s become the legendary vigilante Serpent.

But being a hero doesn’t come with instructions and one mistake unleashes the living nightmare Phantasm upon Jet City.

With no time to waste, Alice and her super-powered allies, vow to end this fight. But is her determination enough to protect the city or will defeating Phantasm demand a hero’s sacrifice?

Serpent’s Sacrifice is the first book in The Phantasm Trilogy, a twist on the popular superhero mythos. If you like brave heroines, chilling villains, and nail-biting action, then you’ll love the thrilling emergence of the Serpent!


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Jill Andersen is one of Baltimore’s best and brightest detectives, but she harbors a dark secret — a secret that threatens to come out when the body of Dr. Trent Roberts is pulled out of the Chesapeake Bay. Dr. Roberts’ connection to Jill reveals a past that involves a tour in Iraq, a secretive cybernetic experiment, and a conspiracy that involves a native son.

Can Jill solve the case while still keeping her secret? Will her partners at the Seventh Precinct find out what she’s so desperate to hide? What was Dr. Roberts looking into that led to his murder? And perhaps the biggest question of all…

Who is Bounty?


2790A664-8853-4767-B5CA-87FAC8355DE7 - Ranil Perera.jpeg See it on Amazon!

 

A below-average underdog. A supercharged crime-fighter. Their shared secret could transform the world.

Kalum Walker lives in the shadow of his athletic older brother. Scrawny and prone to panic attacks, he’s a far cry from the superheroes he doodles in his notebook. When his brother steals his meds to help calm his game time nerves, he doesn’t put up a fight. After all, the fate of his family rides on his brother’s performance. But without his pills, Kalum’s blackouts begin getting worse… and a disturbing voice inside his head starts urging him into some dangerous situations.

When a blackout-related encounter with bullies puts him in a hospital bed, he starts to notice mysterious bruises all over his body. As he learns of a masked crusader serving up a new kind of justice outside the Corporation compound, he realizes the vigilante bears a striking resemblance to his superheroic sketches. Locked in a battle with the voice inside his head, Kalum must solve the mystery of the infamous Steel Falcon and save his brother before he loses control for good.

Awakening is the first fast-paced novel in the Steel Falcon YA sci-fi superhero series. If you like immersive future worlds, family drama, and edge-of-your-seat twists, then you’ll love N.K. Quinn’s action-packed coming-of-age tale.


CRITERION cover - Jeff C Carter.jpgSee it on Amazon!

 

Criterion is the world’s mightiest hero.

His sidekicks just found his body.

The Cadets are shattered by the death of their idol. Unable to maintain their brave and plucky façade, they are consumed by strife and jealousy.

The only thing keeping them together is terror. Once protected from on high, they are now isolated and vulnerable. Can they cover up Criterion’s death and avoid a global meltdown while his murderer is still on the loose? What hope do they have against an enemy that can kill anyone?

Who killed Criterion? Who will die next?


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In the dying world of 2027, there’s no place worse than Babylon.

The fallen city once known as New York is now ruled by feudal gangs and plagued by doomsday cultists. No sane soul ventures there willingly, but former childhood friends Morgan Whitechapel and Kurt Petrovich have no choice.

Fate once separated the compassionate, streetwise survivor and the brooding son of privilege. But the dangerous attentions their newly-manifested superhuman powers bring force them from their homes and reunite them on the savage streets. Their only hope for survival lies with each other – and with a pair of strange nomads who possess powers of their own. Against all odds, these extraordinary young people will fight to make a new home for themselves in the bones of the Big Apple.

Together, they might just stand a chance…


IMG_20190418_101110 - Rebecca Bosevski.jpgSee it on Amazon!

 

Superheroes aren’t born. They’re moulded by government academies.

Ellen doesn’t remember much about her parents, they died when she was four. Raised by her aunt she’s envied for years the homo-magis children called on to be tested and subsequently enrolled in one of the five academy’s for heroes.

Ellen isn’t a homo-magis.

Or so she thought.

Her parents were two of the first Superheroes, their lives sacrificed to stop Novaside and save their only child.

Ecstatic, yet a little nervous to finally be a part of the world she’d dreamed of, Ellen is off to Imperium Academy.

But her classing doesn’t go as expected.

Instead of joining the ranks of the illustrious Star Heroes, Ellen is regulated to the role of Sidekick, after all, night vision is barely a superpower.

Many have begun to question the need for Sidekicks, some teachers even suggesting they would be better suited to other employment.

But with Novaside getting bolder, and her latest attack hitting too close to home, Ellen is determined to stay at the academy and prove them wrong.

After all, where better to learn to be a hero than a school full of supers?

Cover Reveal for “The Eighth”

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“I’m going to die tonight.”

Esme, the Order’s current alterni, wields magic she barely understands.  This is not her world. These are not her people.  Whenever she closes her eyes, she relives battles with a thousand malevolenci demons.  And tonight, she knows this could be the end.

King Owen Lord is responsible for summoning Esme to this nightmare.  It’s up to him to keep her alive.  But deep down, he fears Esme is in over her head.  They all are.  The Order is losing this war, no matter how many cavali soldiers Owen leads against the demons.

When a malevolenci rift opens right on top of a treasured historic site, it triggers the worst battle of Owen and Esme’s partnership.  Can Esme close the rift and stop the demons’ invasion?  Or will Owen lose yet another alterni friend?


Stay tuned for the future release!

Heroes & Villains: A Superhero Collection

Superhero Box Set CoverIn this ten novel boxed set, indie publishing’s greatest superhero authors will introduce you to the heroes that save the world and the villains scheming to destroy it. Whether you like dystopian heroes, modern capes and cowls, champions of a bygone era, or guardians past their prime, you’ll love the high-octane adventure in this boxed set.

1. “Serpent’s Sacrifice” by Trish Heinrich
2. “Morning Sun” by Jeremy Flagg
3. “Action Figures” by Michael Bailey
4. “Supervillain High” by Gerhard Gehrke
5. “Origin” by David Neth
6. “Sidekick” by Christopher Valin
7. “The Kota” by Sunshine Somerville
8. “Super” by Karen Diem
9. “Wearing the Cape” by Marion G. Harmon
10. “Hero Status” by Kristen Brand

Buy Heroes and Villains today and suit up for the ride of a lifetime!

Amazon
Kobo
B&N
iBooks

Superhero Box Set

Cover Reveal!

Alterni (The Alt-World Chronicles Book 1) is still $0.99 for a limited time!
Get it here: http://bit.ly/Amazon_Alterni

And here is the brand new cover for the sequel, Malevolenci!

Malevolenci Cover FRONT

Travelling for work is brutal, especially when your job is hunting demons. Fortunately, Esme’s magic is now limitless. Together with Owen’s team, Esme battles malevolenci across the country, closing rifts along the way. But why aren’t the demons attacking at full-strength? Esme knows she must learn more about the enemy, but her investigations only lead to further mysteries.
Meanwhile, Owen has his own problems. While he rules from the road, the paranormals within the Order grow restless. The jinn are dabbling in civilian politics. The fairies demand an impossible return to their home world. Rebel vampires claim the Capiti healers are slaves. Age-old tensions rise, and civil war is looming.
One thing might unite the Order – telling them how close they truly are to losing the war and what that will mean for the alt-worlds. But should Owen break eighty generations of secrecy? If the paranormals rally, Esme’s power will give them a shot at survival. And, if they find the malevolenci’s weakness, they could defeat the demons once and for all. How much hope dare they have?
With old friends, the queen mother, and unexpected allies joining the fight, Esme and Owen search for answers in ancient texts, dark caves, and blood memories…
But some things are meant to stay buried. Uncovering the truth about malevolenci might win the war, but will it tear apart everything the Order believes?


e-Book:
Amazon (Kindle Unlimited) 

 


Coming February 2018!

Paperback Giveaways – ALTERNI

We’re within the final week to enter the paperback giveaways for my soon-to-be-released Urban Fantasy book, Alterni!  If you’ve missed out on entering these contests so far, I’ve compiled ALL of them below.  Just click the below posts, comment with your answer (they don’t even have to be the right answers!), and you’re entered to win 1 of 10 paperbacks that I’ll give away on 12/12/2017. 

Twitter Contests: 

Instagram Contests:

 

Enter as many contests as you want to increase your chances to win!  

ALTERNI Paperback Giveaway(s)

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I’m so excited to release this book next month in time for Christmas!  BUT I’m also moving in real life, which means a lot of my book promotion needs to get set up now.  So, why not make a giveaway that runs until the book release?  That way, you all can help  me spread the word about my book, and we can have a little fun in the meantime.

GIVEAWAY #1:  Everyone who shares this post – whether on Twitter or Facebook or wherever – will be entered for a chance to win a FREE PAPERBACK OF ALTERNI that I’ll send to one lucky winner, chosen on 12/12/17.   All you have to do to enter is click one of the share icons below and be sure to include @kynacoba in your message so I get a notification.  (If you forget that step, just comment on this post.)

GIVEAWAY #2 and #3:  I’ll also be playing ALTERNI-related games on my Twitter and Instagram accounts every Tuesday from now until 12/12/17, so make sure you follow me there so you see those games for more chances to win ALTERNI paperbacks. 

FOLLOW ME ON TWITTER

FOLLOW ME ON INSTAGRAM 

GIVEAWAY #4:  The wonderful people on my mailing list have an exclusive chance to win a paperback by entering a giveaway there.  AND, that mailing list receives the first chapter of ALTERNI to read for free in the Somerville Series Samplers!

JOIN MY MAILING LIST 


I hope you like free books, because I’m giving away at least 4 with the above giveaways.  (I like free stuff.  Do you like free stuff?  We should be friends.)

Or, if you can’t wait, I’ve made ALTERNI available for pre-order — at $0.99 for a limited time. 

ALTERNI PRE-ORDER


Alterni Cover FRONT

Ever have a nightmare where you’re naked in public? What if everyone else in the room was also naked…and also a version of yourself? That’s the reality Esme Kuchis finds herself in, and soon things get even weirder.
She’s not in her Kansas City anymore. This alternate world is home to an ancient, secret Order with a king, conjuri magicians, cavali fighters, and dozens of paranormal races. And the purpose of this magical Order? They protect an unsuspecting public from malevolenci, demonic beasts from otherworldly rifts.
As an alterni summoned to this world, Esme must partner with the king and fight using magic only an alterni can wield. Unfortunately, the model-perfect King Owen is broken by grief and guilt, the Order has little faith in her, and the malevolenci are worse than ever.
Eight alt-Esmes preceded her. Eight lost their lives. Can Esme use her unique gifts to master this world’s magic? If she can’t, the consequences might be more devastating than Owen is willing to say.

Share, follow, and join for your chance to win!

Review of “Serpent’s Sacrifice” by Trish Heinrich

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Of course I’m going to read about superheroes. I went into this book expecting a fun, action-packed adventure, and I was delighted by how much more this story held.

Female main characters are often used for the sake of just having a female main character, but the time period this book was set in allowed for a lot of feminist exploration.  That, in a superhero book, I found really compelling. There were a lot of modern comparisons to make from the simple set-up: “in 1960’s Jet City, women are supposed to want marriage and babies, not cowls and secret identities.”  It was great to see how Alice tried to break out of those expectations. It was also interesting to see how the other characters reacted to it.  I think any female reader would nod along at certain parts, and these struggles might be good for some men to recognize too.

But the book didn’t stop there.  Set in the 1960s, of course racism was incorporated into this world-building.  The book’s characters who are equally as smart and talented as their white counterparts aren’t used as simply token black characters, but instead they play vital roles in the action.  Also, the book tackles the traumas of abuse and alcoholism, making them real issues that Alice has to deal with as she grows into an adult.

This book is quite long and covers a lot of ground, but I was neither bored nor overwhelmed.  The cast of characters is full but not too full.  The dialogue is genuine and strengthens the relationships between the characters. The action is well-described and believable, with the superpowers adding a boost of fun.

Overall, this is a great first novel from an author who packs a lot into her superheroes, villains, and familiar-but-amped-up world.  It’s sure to please fans of more famous superhero/comic stories, fitting into that club but definitely holding its own as a unique story.

5 Stars See it on Amazon!

ALTERNI Cover Reveal

I’m having so much fun writing this new series with new characters, a new world, and new monsters!  Here’s the brand new cover for The Alt-World Chronicles Book 1, ALTERNI. 

Description: 

Ever have a nightmare where you’re naked in public? What if everyone else in the room was also naked…and also a version of yourself? That’s the reality Esme Kuchis finds herself in, and soon things get even weirder. 

She’s not in her Kansas City anymore. This alternate world is home to an ancient, secret Order with a king, conjuri magicians, cavali fighters, and dozens of paranormal races. And the purpose of this magical Order? They protect an unsuspecting public from malevolenci, demonic beasts from otherworldly rifts. 

As an alterni summoned to this world, Esme must partner with the king and fight using magic only an alterni can wield. Unfortunately, the model-perfect King Owen is broken by grief and guilt, the Order has little faith in her, and the malevolenci are worse than ever.

Eight alt-Esmes preceded her. Eight lost their lives. Can Esme use her unique gifts to master this world’s magic? If she can’t, the consequences might be more devastating than Owen is willing to say.
Stay tuned for some cool stuff ahead until the book release on 12/12/17. 

Preorder HERE

Review of “Border Lines” & NEW RELEASE “Every Storm Breaks” by L.E. Fitzpatrick

(I don’t normally post reviews of sequels, but these books are REALLY good, you guys.  To see my earlier review for Book 1 in this series, go here:  The Running Game)

33553840I love sequels that don’t feel the need to recap every little thing from the first book before moving on with the story. While you should read the first book in the series first, this one is very much its own thing. Same characters, yes, but the setting quickly becomes different and the job, dangers, and relationships are different.
The dynamics between Rachel, Charlie, and John are great. The interactions between the brothers feel and sound the same as they did in the first book, but with Rachel added to the team they’re now more protective and a bit more loving. Rachel isn’t afraid anymore and has her confidence bolstered by the brothers, and I really liked how these three worked together.
The story’s world again feels very dystopian, and there’s some interesting commentary here about the health care system in particular. The “whodunit” aspect adds a nice mystery element. The ongoing background tension with characters from the first book ties in nicely to keep the books connected and the overarching story moving forward, but it was balanced well with the brand new plot of this book.
The writing is great, witty, and sets the mood perfectly for the story. I eagerly look forward to the next book.

5 Stars

See it on Amazon!


21148270_1355021074595848_121658889_n(Okay, so I didn’t wait long between reading the previous book and this one.  I was supposed to read other books in between, but I cheated.  That’s how good these are.)

I loved the first two books in this series, so saying this one is my favorite should give you some indication how much I really, really loved this one.  We know these characters by now, we know how they interact, we recognize the world they’re in.  At the same time, nothing that happens in this book feels predictable or boring.

Charlie, John, and Rachel are once again quickly in over their heads in a dangerous situation, and the suspense and twists kept me reading.  I love how subtly this dystopian world is different. The telepathic, telekinetic Reachers add a Sci-Fi element, of course, but it blends so well that it doesn’t feel overly Sci-Fi.  These books all feel more like crime thrillers, in a way, which is a cool way to approach it.

The fact that this chunk of the overall story is once again a complete book unto itself is also great.  It helps to read what’s come before, of course, but this book feels like its own unique part of that story with nice resolution for what’s happened here.  You feel satisfied with the ending because it wraps up this particular storyline, even though it’s obvious Charlie, John, and Rachel have more work ahead.

5 Stars

See it on Amazon !


 

Psst!  

Because the above book is a new release, the author was kind enough to give me a snippet to show my followers!

 

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EVERY STORM BREAKS
Reacher Series #3
L.E. FITZPATRICK

SNEAK PREVIEW….

The concrete barrier separating London and the surrounding Safe Haven was impenetrable. Built to withstand a full militia invasion, it was guarded day and night by trained security officers. On a normal day they would be watching a queue of traffic as the daily commute crossed the open gates, but this wasn’t a normal day. A full watch was gathered at the top of the blockade, automatic weapons poised, ready to shoot, ready to kill. The growing crowd being kept out was swelling, spilling over into the surrounding streets like an overflowing drain. The bubbling cesspit of discontentment polluted the atmosphere. Tension climbed as more and more people took up the plight of the immigrant workers, fuelled by fear, isolation, and more hardship. The rioters crushed themselves against the gates, kicking at the barbed fencing; screaming, climbing, falling. Blood stained metal like crimson rust. Things were turning bad and turning quickly.

John pulled up the car at the junction leading to the main gate. It was farther away than they had originally planned their ambush, but there was no way they were going to get any closer without being swallowed by the crowd. A raucous energy surged through the concrete jungle. Rachel dared a glance behind them. Another tribe of urban warriors was coming towards the gate, and soon their current position would be compromised too. Police sirens were getting louder, a tinnitus in this nightmare. It was going to erupt into a full-scale riot, and in a few minutes all of S’aven would be engulfed.

She twisted her fingers together, focusing on the closed border, allowing her powers to penetrate the collective feeling of the mob. The concentrated fear and hatred were overwhelming. She could feel their frustration, their utter hopelessness, even as far back as she was. Desperation was winning, and nothing short of a miracle could sate it. Bottles, launched into the air by the protestors, smashed against the fence. Glass rained down on the crowd, and blood started to pour. The police were closing in. Soon the fighting would flood into the surrounding streets. All of S’aven would be consumed. Rachel watched the gate and the air around her seemed to thin. She took a desperate gasp, trying to visualise their rescue attempt in this chaos. Anything leaving London was going to get swallowed up; anyone trying to help would be trampled.

“What if they don’t come out?” she asked.

“They’ll come out.” The certainty in John’s voice was unwavering. Nothing about their current view seemed to concern him. His composure was measured, as though he were watching this from a distant window, unaffected by the consequences of the phone call he had made.

Rachel couldn’t understand how he could be so calm. A couple of hours ago he was throwing bottles at a wall like the desperate men and women in front of her. Now he was sitting patient and expectant, waiting for a miracle she couldn’t believe in.

“And what if they do come out?” she said, softer this time. She clasped her hands together. The anguish around her was contagious. She wanted to lash out. To scream. To charge the gate and save Charlie herself. This wasn’t fair. This wasn’t how people should be treated. The rich shouldn’t be locked behind a wall with all the wealth, while people on the other side died in squalor. People shouldn’t be punished for wanting a better life. For trying. For being different. They shouldn’t be locked up, experimented on, executed.

“Hey, the gates are opening,” Roxy said, drawing her back before her outrage compelled her to action.

A shower of rubber bullets and gas canisters rained down on the crowd. Through the chemical mist, a vehicle pushed into the mess. It was unmarked, but it was obviously a government transporter. What else would brave leaving London in the middle of a riot? Before anyone could react, the guards behind it opened fire again. People dropped to the pavement, gasping in the smoke, crying out as feet stomped on their helpless bodies. Rachel could feel the rage surge through the street. If there had been a chance this was all going to pass over, they’d just lost it.

“Well, that was a good idea,” Rachel said.

The smoke hissed, making it impossible to see anything. Bloody, bruised people fell out of the poisonous fog, into cleaner pockets of air, but more were coming. Coming from the surrounding streets; healthier, stronger, angrier. And the border patrol continued to fire. Rubber bullets giving way to metal. This wasn’t a security mechanism—this was war. The gas was clearing and the gates were once again closed, but that left the van stranded and suddenly the only thing the crowd could retaliate against.

“Oh God, do you think Charlie’s in there?” Rachel said, unable to control her panic. Would the crowd take mercy on a prisoner? She didn’t think so. Even if they did, how much damage would they do before they even reached him?

“He’s in there,” John said. Still cool. Still calm.

The protestors started pounding on the truck, rocking it back and forth. Again and again.

“Holy shit, they’re going to tip it!”

“Take the wheel,” John told Roxy. “Turn the car around and get ready to move. Do not fall behind. Rachel, you’re on crowd duty.”

“Are you bloody kidding, they’re going to rip you apart!” Roxy shouted.

John gave Roxy a look, half smug, half challenging—I’d like to see them try—and gestured for Rachel to get out.

Marginally inspired by John’s confidence, Rachel took his hand and focussed. If they were going to have any chance, she couldn’t let her surroundings frighten her. The people’s tension and anger were fuelling the riot. This wasn’t going to dissipate. This was years of stored-up fury at the richer classes, at the injustice folk on the wrong side of the border suffered. There was so much hate. Too much to control. The weight of it was oppressive and, as Rachel tried to sway the crowd to her favour, she found herself blocked and unable to push her commands into their one-track minds. Her subtle Let me pass was being ignored, or unheard, or deliberately disobeyed, as though that was the one command they had conditioned themselves to reject. She needed something more, something that suited their mood.

Red and blue started flashing. The police were encircling them. They were surrounded, unable to go anywhere, and Rachel knew what to do.

“Stop the police cars,” she said, tapping the nearest man to her. He paused, his hand held up in the air as her words filtered into his brain. Then, like a switch being pressed, he was charging towards the nearest police car. She touched another, giving him the same command. By the third, the crowd had picked up the idea. They covered the police cars like a swarm. There was no escape.

Rachel squeezed John’s hand. She braved a step deeper into the rabble. If her powers failed, if her concentration slipped, they could both be crushed. A shot was fired in the distance. More smoke canisters struck the crowd. John took over. He pulled her towards the truck, somehow able to see what was happening in the frenzy.

“Get in the passenger’s side,” he told her.

She let him go, and for the briefest moment she was drowning. Smoke stung her eyes, and she had to hold on to the vehicle for support. As her hands touched metal, she could feel Charlie inside. The connection to him steadied her nerves. It was as though he were speaking to her, only there were no words or directions, just a feeling, a knowingness. A tremor passed through the vehicle, and she knew he had unlocked the doors for her.

She grabbed the door handle and pulled. It flung open, and she nearly went with it. A rioter pushed past her and grabbed a fat man from the passenger seat. As he came hurtling out of the truck, she launched herself inside. She swung the door closed and jammed the lock in place. Another rioter pounded on the glass, ecstatic that she’d breached the vehicle. He cheered, and a bullet hit him in the temple, spattering the window with pink flesh. His body fell out of view, swallowed by the violence below.

She turned to the driver and froze.

Mark was staring back at her. His lost brown eyes were wide, his mouth agape. Of all the people to come across. She tried to think of something to say, and then she saw the barrel of John’s gun press against his head.

“Don’t do anything stupid,” he said, and hauled Mark from the driver’s seat.

John slammed the door closed. A bullet hit the safety glass, scratching the surface. “We need a route out of here,” he said.

Rachel nodded and closed her eyes. She pressed her hands on the dashboard. Her heart was racing, but her head was focused. The command was instinctual. Attack the border! Immediately, the crowd was moving, abandoning the vehicle and heading straight to the gate. She didn’t watch them go; there was enough on her conscience already. John slammed his foot on the accelerator and hit the road.

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See all 3 books here:  Reachers (3 Book Series)

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