Today I finally finished formatting an uploading the second book in the Refuge series, Refuge: The Arrival: Book 2. Technically the third book, as Refuge: Doppelganger was published on Smashwords several months prior, and then on Amazon this last weekend. However, Doppelganger is set two thousand years into the future of the Refuge saga, while The Arrival: Book 2 follows directly from, of all things The Arrival: Book 1, and will be followed by the two book of Refuge: The Legions in the Spring of 2013. This is the description of the book on Amazon and Smashwords:
The adventure continues. Millions of Earth humans are transported to a world of magic and are in the fight for their lives against an evil Ellala Elf Emperor who sees them as soul energy to extend his life as a lich. But the forces of NATO have brought their weapons along, and it’s tanks against wizards, attack helicopters against dragons, nuclear weapons against elder Gods. The technology of Earth will only work for a short period of time on the new world, due to the laws of Refuge finally overwhelming the beliefs of the newcomers. So it’s use it or lose it, and the humans, under the command of United States Major General Zachary Taylor, use it with a vengeance. And the humans have brought along allies unlike an seen on Refuge in recent memory. Immortals of great physical power and an immunity to magic. Centenarian Kurt von Mannerheim, a veteran of the slaughter on the Eastern Front of World War Two. Ismael Levine, the Wandering Jew of legend, born prior to Christ. And newcomers, the American Jackie Smith, and the giant Brit Paul Mason-Smythe. Will they be enough to tilt the balance? Or will the humans have traded the nightmare of a nuclear ravaged world for one in which dark Gods prey on their souls? Allies will be gathered, and new enemies made, as technology fights magic in an effort to gain time and space for the forging of a new kingdom.
Refuge was written for self pub, unlike my other novels that were written for submission to agents and publishers. It was never planned for endless rounds of submission and rejection. This may be the way I am going in the future, as the world of traditional publishing seems to be a no win situation for the author looking to start out on the midlist and build a career. It is only for those writing the next big thing, even though the people doing the selection don’t know what the next big thing is. I may continue to submit my latest offering, Daemon, through a cycle of rejections before self pubbing it, or I may just throw in the towel and put it out there to be judged by the public on its own merits. But back to Refuge. Below is an excerpt or two from the book:
“Not another one,” yelled Anni Goebbels, shielding her eyes, the flash of a detonating nuke lighting the horizon.
Dirk cursed under his breath. It only seemed like yesterday that he had seen one of the damn things going off in his rearview mirror. This one seemed to be much further away, or much weaker, or both. But it was still disconcerting to see one of those fireballs rising into the sky.
“It’s probably roasting a bunch of those evil elves,” said Peter, a smile on his face. “And maybe a passel of those ugly guys they use.” He too had covered his eyes. A yell from outside the car and he quickly turned his attention back to the road, pushing the brake pedal and stopping before he hit a bunch of pedestrians who were also gawking at the far blast.
“That would be a good thing,” said Anni, her frown turning to a smile. “That’s right,” she yelled waving a hand out the window. “Nuke the hell out of those fuckers.”
“And that’s the last one,” said Wolfgang, nodding his head toward the cloud.
“Why do you say that?” asked Reinhold from the back seat.
“One of the soldiers told me there were only three,” said the bass player, holding up three fingers. He ticked off two. “They already let off two of them, so that leaves one. And that would be the one.” He pointed at the cloud which was now leveling off.
“Well,” said Dirk, listening to the cheer that was rising from the people watching the aftermath of the nuke as if it were a party. “I hope they got maximum bang for their buck.”
“I hope it scared the hell out of the elves,” said Anni. She grunted as she looked out the other window and saw a quartet of the woods elves standing on the side of the road, frowns on their faces. “I don’t think our friends approve.”
“I’m not sure I do either,” said Dirk, watching the elves talk among themselves. “But we’re against a hard place, and the damned Ellala are swinging a rock at us. We have to do what we can to survive.”
“And now that they’re all gone??” said Peter, gesturing toward the cloud that was starting to collapse on itself.
“Now we depend on the same powers the natives use,” said Dirk, a smile stretching his face. He watched the military truck just ahead that hand their equipment strapped to it.
“Like musical magic?” said Karl Wilhelm in a slurred voice. “That is so cool.”
“And they haven’t seen anything yet,” said Dirk, nodding toward the truck. “I can’t wait to see what an electrical set does.”
“What a beautiful animal,” said Warrant Officer One Jessica Stuart, looking into the large, saucer shaped golden eye of the creature. A deep rumble rose out of the chest of the dragon with each breath, much like the purr of a cat. She felt a calm washing over her from that purr, despite standing next to a twenty ton creature sporting teeth big enough to cut her in half. One that could also swallow her whole.
“Gallandralla is a beautiful girl,” agreed the Ellala who piloted the great beast. “She is the treasure of my life.”
“The big reds made me feel afraid,” said Jessica, running a hand over a smooth golden scales on the side of the dragon’s head. A head that was longer than her entire body. “I don’t feel that way about these guys.” She gestured around the courtyard of the cliff top castle, where a dozen of the beasts, most smaller than this matriarch, were bedding down for the night.
“They are beloved of the Goddess,” said the Ellala dragon rider, Mishanana, patting the dragon on the other side of her face. The rumbling grew deeper and the dragon gently rubbed her head into the hand. “They are creatures of good, unlike the reds.”
“Well, we’re glad to have you here,” said the helicopter pilot. “We’re spread kind of thin in the air as it is. And this evil empire had what, hundreds of the reds?”
“Over six hundred total,” said the rider, his brows furrowing. “We have about a hundred to oppose them.”
“And it takes forever to raise one to this size, huh,” said the human, nodding her head.
“Maybe not forever,” said the rider, “but over a thousand years to get one to maturity. Most of the dragons here are still juveniles.”
Juveniles at ten tons, thought the pilot, frowning. It would take centuries to raise an air force from these creatures.
“I need to be getting back down the mountain,” said the warrant officer to the Ellala rider, who was the squadron leader. “I would like to see you fly these guys tomorrow.”
“Perhaps you would like a ride on Gallandralla,” said the rider, patting the giant on the head and then following the human as she walked to her hummer.
“I would love to,” said the human, her face breaking into a smile. “It looks like I’m going to have to learn to fly one eventually if I want to fly at all.”
“And I would like to see what it is like to ride in one of your machines,” said the rider, his eyes shining. “Before such wonders are gone from this world.”
“It’s a deal,” said the human, sticking out her hand. “You give me a ride on yours, and I’ll show you what mine is like.”
The Ellala looked at her offered hand for a moment before realizing what the gesture meant. He grasped her strong hand in his delicate one and gave a vigorous shake. A moment later Jessica was on her way down the mountain road, wondering if she would sleep much tonight, with the promise of a dragon ride tomorrow?