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Welcome to Alternative-Read.com! We are delighted to take part in this Silver Dagger Book Tour and guest post featuring author Adam Gaffen!
Today’s GUEST POST is a unique book excerpt from Triumph’s Ashes, Book 5 (The Salted Earth Series).
Unique Excerpt :
From Triumph’s Ashes, Book 5 (The Salted Earth)
“You knew about this?”
“Why weren’t we informed? This is vital information!”
“What part of Need to Know don’t you understand?”
“We’re protecting you!”
Kendra allowed the arguments to rage for a few more moments before sending a command to Diana through her ‘plant.
Let’s get their attention.
As you say, Admiral.
“Pipe down!” Kendra’s amplified voice blasted through the conference room and silence fell abruptly.
“Take your seats,” she said at a more normal volume.
“Please,” she added, obviously an afterthought.
“Tamara, Kyra, we didn’t tell you because we haven’t been able to bring you up to speed yet on everything. This is all new to us, and we’ve had more than just ourselves to worry about for what, six weeks? Seven? You’re just going to have to forgive us when we forget things, because we don’t know what we don’t know.”
Kendra locked eyes with the two planetary leaders until she got agreement from both.
“Thank you. Now, let’s try this again. Cristina, bring us up to speed.”
Cristina Montana, a tall, strongly-built woman with a pair of anachronistic square-framed black glasses, stood. She was Director of OutLook and the de facto Director of Intelligence for the Federation, but anyone who mistook her for a chair-bound warrior would be sorely mistaken. She’d started as an agent who specialized in, as she put it, “hurting people and breaking things,” and she’d maintained her trim.
“According to our sources, Newling’s cabal now controls roughly 90% of the warrens in Artemis. Unfortunately, that only accounts for less than 30% of the population, so they’re not going to do anything by brute force. They’ve sent messages requesting our formal recognition and assistance, which we’ve deferred until after this meeting.”
“What are their chances if we don’t assist them?” asked Kendra.
“Ye can’t be serious!” burst out an older woman, jumping to her feet on the far side. “We spent a month there planning with them, pledging our support, and ye expect us to walk away?”
“Mikki, stand down. I’m asking questions, not making decisions. Stand. Down,” Kendra repeated when she remained standing. “That’s an order, Master Chief.”
“Aye-aye, Admiral,” she nearly snarled. “But if ye think we’re going to abandon them, we’re going to go a few rounds.”
“Any time, Chief,” Kendra replied, smiling. Master Chief Mikayla Stone was passionate, and death on two feet, but she was also one of the adopted ‘aunts’ to Cass and Ken’s daughters. She might be quick to anger, which led in part to her retirement from the SEALs, but she also would cool off quickly. Kendra felt safe in challenging her, at least in this setting.
“We have no intention of abandoning them,” she said now. “But we’re going to talk about it first. That’s part of working in a partnership.”
Looking around again, she said, “Let’s do this in an orderly way. Nicole, I want to hear from you first. Give us your best guess for next steps. Cristina, I’ll want your analysis. Kyran, I’ll need your evaluation of our ability to support them. Davie, you’re covering our military capabilities. Chief, I want your evaluation of their chances on the ground and of their personalities. Now they’ve kicked off I don’t want to replace a Stalin with a Qin Yang.”
Seeing nods around the group she finally turned to Kyra and Tamara, she said, “I’m going to want your opinions as well. You’ve worked with Artemis more recently than anyone else here. Fair enough? Moderator Kumlien?”
The head of the Asteroid Miner’s Guild nodded. “Quite fair. Thank you.”
The leader of the Titan Colony also nodded. “Equitable.”
“Good. Diana, record session. Official Federation business.”
The former Minister of War stood gracefully. “Admiral, before I begin, I’d like to suggest we bring Colin Dent and Jake Taylor in on this discussion.”
“I thought you might ask,” Kendra said. “Why?”
“Dent was the Minister of Intelligence for years and will bring a valuable perspective on this rebellion from the position of the authorities they’re trying to replace. Taylor replaced me as Minister and has the most current information on the capacities of the Artemis, Martian, and Union navies. And I trust them both.”
Her voice caught.
“I know Jake took a huge risk in bringing my family aboard the Averroes when they fled. He didn’t have to. It would have been far simpler to leave them behind, but he didn’t. He brought them – home – to me, safely.” She stopped and sniffed. Given the history her family had with MinSec, and the events of the past few days, it was certain they would have been picked up for ‘questioning’ again. The odds of them surviving would not have been good.
“Cris? Are they cleared?”
The intel specialist nodded her agreement.
“Their stories check out seven ways from Sunday. I had Stephanie interview them as well and they passed without a blip. I think Dent is itching for some revenge on the Primus; she ordered him to kill his cousin, Arthur, or else. He won’t talk about it, not in any detail, but he did say he chose to follow the order because he didn’t want Arthur to suffer.” Montana’s voice hardened. “Nicole’s right, I think. He’s a decent man who finally escaped a crappy system. I’m planning to bring him in-house and pick his brains.”
“Then we should have them here.”
“Admiral,” said a dark-complexioned woman. “I think we need to break this up for a while, maybe an hour, to get the various specialists together. Then we can just have a few short reports, rather than all the in-depth analysis. We need to move quickly on this if we’re going to support them, otherwise their morale will suffer and that will crush the revolution as surely as Artemis bombing the other warrens.”
“Davie, are they likely to do that? Wait, irrelevant at this point. Fine. Show of hands. Should we send a message to the rebels expressing our backing and telling them that the details are coming?”
Every hand went up.
“Good. Davie, organize them and we’ll regroup in ninety minutes. Kyra, Tamara, let’s go draft a note. You can help me with the language.”
The Cassidy Chronicles
The Cassidy Chronicles Volume 1
by Adam Gaffen
Genre: LGBTQ Science Fiction, Steampunk
The year 2113 is a post-modern America, after decades of warfare and the near collapse of civilisation, America is shattered into a dozen nations. Aiyana Cassidy is a genius physicist who has stumbled upon a technology that will revolutionize the world. She makes contact with her old high school friend Kendra Foster-Briggs, who is an employee of a shadowy organization called OutLook. Cassidy’s experiments at Heavy Lift Corporation (HLC) into teleportation cause many different players to begin tracking her down. Kendra and Cassidy set of on a cross-continental journey to find some answers.
The Road to the Stars
The Cassidy Chronicles Volume 2
An Amazon Bestseller!
Top 10 – Space Fleet Science Fiction – July 2021!
Top 20 – Space Exploration Science Fiction – July 2021!
Top 30 – Space Opera Science Fiction – July 2021!
Cass and Ken are back! Five years after the events in Volume One, life is good for the Cassidys. Aiyana is perfecting her teleporters while running the Heavy Lift Corporation. Kendra is overseeing her ambitious starship project in her own, inimitable way. They want nothing more than to live their lives and raise their girls. It seems, though, that the universe has other plans for them. First there’s a mysterious request to meet with a pair of leaders from the world government; they have a problem and it seems the Cassidy’s are the only ones who can solve it. But they’ve never met a challenge they could walk away from, and this one’s no different. Meanwhile, Kendra has to find a captain and a crew to make her starship come to life. Then there’s the little matter of the science officer… Juggling demands from every direction, will Cass and Ken be able to rise to the occasion again?
The Measure of Humanity
The Cassidy Chronicles Volume 3
An Amazon Bestseller!
Top 30 – Space Opera Science Fiction – July 2021!
Top 50 – Science Fiction Adventure – July 2021!
Six months have passed since The Road to the Stars. An uneasy peace has settled between the Solarian Union and the Terran Federation. Negotiations continue, but seem to be going nowhere. But that doesn’t mean Cass and Ken haven’t been busy. Their second starship is about to commission. A new habitat is nearly complete. A new class of fighters is entering service. And they still have stars to explore. But within the Union, new plots are arising. New challenges are being prepared. Soon, they will be ready to strike. Will Cass and Ken be able to handle the latest attack? Or will the dream of a Terran Federation die?
A Quiet Revolution
The Cassidy Chronicles Volume 4
An Amazon Bestseller!
Top 5 – Hard Science Fiction – July 2021
Top 10 – Space Exploration Science Fiction – July 2021
Top 10 – Space Opera Science Fiction – July 2021
How do you end a war you want no part of? Cass and Ken just want to get back to their plans for exploration. That doesn’t seem to be in the cards, though, so now it’s time to think outside the box. If the leaders of Artemis won’t listen, maybe it’s time for new leaders. New tools, new crews, new challenges, but the same Cass and Ken: they’re not going to let anything stop them!
The Cassidy Chronicles Volume 5
Viva la revolucion!
The Primus, Vasilia Newling, is facing her worst nightmares:
A revolution on Luna
Titan and the Asteroids abandoning the Solarian Union.
Defections from within her own government.
All because of those damned Cassidys!
But she’s still as ruthless as ever.
And if Aiyana and Kendra thought she was playing dirty before? They’re going to see how filthy she really can get.
There isn’t room for both the Terran Federation and the Union.
This time, one is going down.
Return to the future for the fifth installment of The Cassidy Chronicles: Triumph’s Ashes.
Get the Box Set on Sale now!
**Only .$2.99 Nov 24th, then $5.99 until Dec 7th!!**
Adam Gaffen has been reading science fiction for as long as he can remember, so writing it was a natural progression. He’s the author of The Cassidy Chronicles series of science fiction and LGBTQ-inclusive novels, focusing on the exploits of Kendra and Aiyana Cassidy. He’s also written Refuge, a time-travel/vampire novella in which the vampires do not sparkle. He’s hard at work on a few projects, including the childhood adventures of Kendra and Aiyana (Memories of Aiyana) and two as-yet unnamed Cassidy novels. He lives in sight of Fisher’s Peak in Southern Colorado with his wife, Michaela, and their pack of dogs and plague of cats.
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