It’s 2021. Chaos reigns.
Matt Carney needs to get across the country to his girlfriend, Raine. Now.
It’s not just that he misses her. Raine is in mortal danger.
With 17,000 cross-country checkpoints restricting movement and people tending to shoot first and talk later, however, there’s no such thing as a simple road trip. Political party assassins, homeland security thugs, local police, and various militias are hell-bent on taking over the country, no matter what the cost–and Matt will find himself stuck in the middle of their killer games.
Break the rules.
Save the girl.
He only gets one chance before she’s gone forever.
Excerpt from Saving Raine (The Drone Wars: Book 1)
The door had a plain glass knob and a deadbolt key lock. Her fingers ran over solid wood, wooden panels encased in a thick old frame. But only two hinges. With the screwdriver and hammer she started working on the pin in the top hinge. Tap, tap, tap, tap, tap … she couldn’t do much about this noise. If anyone were here, and sober, they probably would’ve investigated when they heard the hammer. If anyone came now, they would get a hammer in the face. A gun would be more to her liking, but a hammer would do.
Claire had received her first BB gun for Christmas when she was eight, and spent the whole afternoon taking shots at squirrels and birds in the back yard. Her mother had been afraid she would put an eye out.
“I don’t aim it at my own face,” she’d said. Mothers were so illogical.
“Why did you give her a gun without even asking me?” Beth Tenneman had asked her husband, white with anger. Claire had heard the whole thing through the kitchen window.
“We had girls,” her father answered.
“You know I hate guns. Someone’s going to get shot.”
Bob Tenneman had had a whole collection of guns – pistols, rifles, assault rifles. He’d kept them in the basement in a locked cabinet, and he’d kept the basement locked. All three girls had grown up, or were growing up – Claire being the oldest, at nineteen – and no one had ever gotten shot.
When she was twelve, her father had taken her to a firing range for the first time. She loved the noise. She loved the smell of cordite. She loved the kick when the bullet left the chamber. It confirmed some law of physics, she figured. The bullet was expelled in a burst of expanding gases, like a controlled explosion, and forced in one direction. The gun kicked back in the opposite direction.
The University of Michigan had a strict policy against firearms on campus. Even campus security officers carried only pepper spray and a baton. That was one reason why Claire lived off-campus with two other women and one man. She had a clothes cabinet in her room, and next to it, just as tall, a fireproof gun cabinet with two locks.
With the pins out of the hinges, she only had to pry the door free, while making damn sure it didn’t land on her bare feet. A ticklish task even if you could see. Everything took three times as long, blind. Still, she didn’t feel quite so helpless as an hour ago.
Once out of the wood cellar, Claire quickly found a light switch. One last look into the room gave her satisfaction. One whole wall had split wood stacked neatly, the workbench was scattered with tools, and someone’s old coffeecup lay in the middle of the floor. What sat next to the cup looked more ominous. She took a step closer. A small, dark gray plastic box with a red light on the side and a timer. As the timer clicked from 14 to 13 to 12, she turned and ran.
Ignoring the pain from her puncture wound, she took the stairs three at a time, no small feat for a woman of her size, praying that the door at the top wouldn’t be locked. She blew through it, ran down a hallway and into a kitchen, looking for a door. She turned the lock in the kitchen door, and ran out into the backyard.
At that moment an explosion ripped into her from behind, throwing her fifteen feet across the grass.
About the Author:
Frederick Lee Brooke launched the Annie Ogden Mystery Series in 2011 with Doing Max Vinyl and following with Zombie Candy in 2012, a book that is neither about zombies nor sweets. The third mystery in the series, Collateral Damage, appeared in 2013. Saving Raine, the first book in Fred’s entirely new series, The Drone Wars, appeared in December, 2013.
A resident of Switzerland, Fred has worked as a teacher, language school manager and school owner. He has three boys and two cats and recently had to learn how to operate both washing machine and dryer. He makes frequent trips back to his native Chicago.
When not writing or doing the washing, Fred can be found walking along the banks of the Rhine River, sitting in a local cafe, or visiting all the local pubs in search of his lost umbrella.