Monday, February 12, 2018

Resist and Triumph: A Charity Anthology #Review #Excerpt

As 2017 opened, the United States took several steps back in the progress toward equality. In response, a group of authors has stepped up to offer positive stories of hope and love. In an effort to help fight and support those groups who are facing even greater challenges, we wrote these stories to offer a small amount of aid. 

Stories of hope, resistance, and ultimately triumph fill the pages of this anthology.

Cover Artist: Jess Small
Publication date: 1/26/2018
Length: 310 pages
Genres: M/M Romance, F/F Romance, Paranormal, Historical, Dystopian, Contemporary, BDSM

I let the silence sit for a few moments while we took the next couple of turns, my mind on what was ahead. As we followed the main road toward the library, I frowned because we were approaching the end of the block and our first checkpoint. It was one of two we’d have to deal with, despite my careful planning. I was nervous as hell, but there wasn’t any other option.

A booth sat on the right side of the road, with a vertical swing-arm gate next to it and uniformed military holding M4s. These booths had sprung up all over the city since the coup, to make sure we were legal and not wanted for something—as had been more and more common as things got worse.

There wasn’t much of anything I could do. If Andy’s parents had already called, he’d be pulled out of the car on the spot and given a bullshit excuse that was nothing but show. My only hope was that his parents were waiting until he got home and had planned to have him picked up there to minimize talk. If they hadn’t called yet, he and I would both still be registered as going through the checkpoint—yay, technology—but all that would tell them was that we were together, not where, exactly, we were going. The only thing they’d be able to figure out was our general direction when we went through the second checkpoint. So, they wouldn’t know anything beyond that.

And I’d lie through my teeth if they came after me.

In way too little time, we approached the gate. I had my ID out and was glad to see Andy had his as well. As I rolled down my window, the guard approached. Too young. They all seemed way too young to me. Barely out of high school, if that. He still had pimples, for fuck’s sake, and looked so nervous, I expected him to jump at the tiniest of sound. I hoped to all hell he kept that weapon over his shoulder and didn’t decide to aim it at us for any reason. That kind of nervousness caused all sorts of problems.

A lot of the career military had fought back against the changes happening during the coup, and most of them had been killed. The rest had gone into hiding. The draft hit right after, and any boys old enough to serve but not rich enough to get out of it had been brought in or put on reserve for when the first group got killed.

I handed my driver’s license to the kid, who took it and inserted it into his handheld chip reader. The device reminded me of the small devices many delivery drivers had started using. All they did was pull up the information on me that was available through their system—which was pretty much everything. Within six months after the coup, we were all required to “upgrade” our licenses and identification to include the chip. They couched it as better “security,” though we all knew exactly what it was—a way to track us. When the law passed to require it, every DMV and state upgraded so fast, it made our heads spin.

The original use of the chips—credit and debit cards—had been incredibly slow to process a transaction. I had no idea what they did to speed it up, but these devices worked a lot faster than the old machines. In less than a minute, the little light on the top turned green and the guard handed my license back to me. I wasn’t too worried about mine. Except for the school knowing I had Andy with me, there was no reason for them to want me. The guard put out his hand out for Andy’s, and I held my breath as I waited for the machine to clear him.

I was sure it took years for that information to come back. Decades. Maybe even a century. By the time the green light went on, I was a little dizzy. I carefully let out the breath and took the ID from the guard, then handed it over to Andy without looking at him. The guard waved me through, and it took all my focus and nerves to drive calmly through the gate and past the booth. I didn’t even look at the guards, not wanting to give them even the slightest hint that I had any reason to be suspect.
White Rabbit
by Grace R. Duncan
I love this story, even though it gave the the chills. It's set in an alternate future, but has characteristics eerily similar to past American struggles for freedom and equality. While I wouldn't describe it as a romance, it definitely has romantic elements. The character's individual struggles, hopes, fears, along with how they affect their relationships with each other, are brilliant. White Rabbit is a short story that's filled to the brim with courage and love-- Grace's writing never disappoints! 
All proceeds of the anthology go to The Trevor Project and GLAAD to help fight the effects of the dark times we’re facing.
Stories included in the anthology:
Breaking Ties with the Bully by Perci T. Brooks
Consummation by Tucker McCallahan
Fighting the Alpha, the Omega Way by Carol Pedroso
Get Off of My Runway by Shane K. Morton
Leto of The Ionian Sea by Maria Siopsis
The Respect of Love by Mandi Ware
Small Victories by Helen Dupres
White Rabbit by Grace R. Duncan

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