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Shanghaied

Lost Gatekeepers, Book 1

The Wild Rose Press

Heat Rating: SWEET
Word Count: 76,975
Available Formats
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ePub
Mobi

Now that they've bought their dream home, Jenni and Elliott Hamilton just want to settle down and start a family. But their plans are derailed when they get sucked into the In Between and learn they belong to a race of people called the Gatekeepers, with the power to travel between worlds and realities. Navigationally challenged, they find themselves on an adventure they never asked for. If they can survive the killer rain, saber-tooth zebra cats, and a horrible penchant for accidentally gating into war zones, they might even find a way home. That'll only happen, though, if they can stay under the radar of the high council and convince the Underground to stop kidnapping them for secret missions…which would be a whole lot easier if the organization wasn't run by family.

Excerpt

“Son of a—”

“Elliott, watch out,” Jenni screamed, pointing with her free hand over his right shoulder to the massive thing swinging a giant metal staff at her husband’s head, momentarily distracted from the nausea gripping her stomach.

“Run,” he yelled as he rolled to the side, wrenching his hand from hers.

Stupid man, did he not get the concept they couldn’t gate out of this mess without physical contact? She still felt the low hum of power running through her body, and if he just—

“Run,” he hollered again as the eight foot bulbous grayish-clear insect turned what might be a head in her direction and swung the staff toward her with speed defying its gelatinous form.

She spun, hoping the movement wouldn’t make her vomit, as Elliott vaulted himself toward her attacker, pummeling into it and grabbing it around its middle. The massive stick swept less than an inch past her face as she fell backward. Landing with a jolting thud, all of the air knocked from her lungs and she gasped, stunned for a second before crab walking away from the wrestling insect and her husband.

Fighting dizziness, she desperately searched for a rock or a stick to aid in the fight; vaguely registering they had landed in the middle of some battle between humans and these creatures.

If it’s not a cliff, it’s a stinking war.

Surrounded by mayhem, the humans shouted to each other, calling battle cries and working in pairs to cut down the giant bugs screeching at ear splitting decibels. Each pair of warriors grasped long silver sticks with sharp bulbs at the end, and their main focus lay in ramming it into the gut of the massive mutant tick-like things, causing blue lightning to shoot out the end and melting the insides of their victims.

“Dammit woman, run!” Elliott hollered at her again as he fought to ward off the pincers in his face. He pulled a huge knife from somewhere off his person and stabbed the thing in the back, but it merely screeched without even flinching as it continued to attack. He stabbed again and again as they rolled on the rocky ground, but the monster remained unaffected, oozing grayish-clear liquid through the new holes.

Finding a big sharp rock, Jenni grabbed it off the ground beside her, jumping to her feet. Ignoring the roiling earth around her, she chucked it with all her strength at the monster trying to kill her husband. The two combatants rolled and, despite the fact her projectile actually flew with perfect aim for once, it managed to hit both of them in a ricochet effect, opening another oozing gash in the creature which dripped onto Elliott’s neck—directly onto the angry red scratch where her rock bounced off him. As the thick, slimy gray pus landed on his skin, smoke drifted upward with a low hissing noise barely discernable through her husband’s scream of pain and the monster’s screech of anger.

Terrifying war cries pierced the air and two children ran past her, jumping on the massive creature. The boy and girl, no more than eleven or twelve years old and dressed like peasant villagers escaped from a renaissance fair, each wielded one of those weird lightning sticks and worked in tandem. Hitting, poking, yelling, slicing, they angered the insect until it crawled off Elliott and bounded for the girl. As it jumped toward her, the boy lunged and twisted his weapon, causing the blue lightning to erupt the insect’s gut into a storm within its clear cavity.

Screeching, it fell to the ground, motionless.