Prism Book Alliance® would like to thank TA Moore for taking the time to talk with us today.
Title: Labyrinth of Stone
Author: TA Moore
Publisher: Torquere Press
Cover Artist: unknown
Genre/Sub-Genre: M/M Romance, Science Fiction
10 years ago the Black Rapture transported thousands of people, seemingly at random, from Earth to the strange, inimical world they call the Labyrinth. Will Teller was one of them. Surviving that meant joining an army and becoming better at killing than he’s comfortable with. It’s enough upheaval for anyone’s life. The only problem is, apparently no-one told his commanding officer that.
Pride, and heart, stung by abandonment, the icily controlled General Nathan Kearney has decided that Teller can either find the wayward lover, or he can take his place in Nathan’s bed. That’s pretty good motivation for a straight guy, only thing is – Teller’s sexuality seems to have gone a bit Magic-8 Ball on that issue. Suddenly Nathan’s starting to look pretty good, and the only question is whether or not Teller wants to be the consolation prize?
Nathan Kearney – Extract Four
By the time people started to ask the ‘where were you then’, they already knew not to ask him.
The co-pilot had put the plane down on a narrow strip of grey. From above it had looked like concrete, but it was a dense tangle of moss. The plane was nose-tilted into it, long, dusty tendrils knotted around the wheels and caught in the flaps of the wings. Nathan hunched into his hoodie, shoving his hands into the pockets. He could swear it was spreading.
The flight attendants had gotten everyone off the plane, bouncing down the inflated slides and onto the yielding mats of vegetation. There were a lot fewer people than Nathan remembered getting onto the plane. None of the flight crew were saying where the pilot was either.
Thing was…the plane was here. So what had happened to all the people that weren’t?
None of the options were pretty. Nathan shrugged the thoughts away. Whatever happened to them, it hadn’t happened to Ben or to him. That was all that mattered. He gave the grounded plane one last look, then walked over to where Ben slouched with a bottle of whiskey.
‘You should save that,’ Nathan said, crouching down. ‘I get the feeling we aren’t going to find more.’
They both looked up. There was no sky. Just a ceiling. One high enough up that there was room to fly a plane under it. Ben shuddered and took another drink.
‘I’m gonna drink until that doesn’t freak me out,’ he said. ‘Or I pass out. Pick one.’
A woman from the plane wobbled over to them. She’d lost a shoe in the panic to get off the plane, her tights torn at the toe and heel from stumbling around in the moss, but she kept the other one on. Her eyes were huge and she’d sobbed off her makeup, revealing crows-line around her eyes. Older than she looked, and with the brittle, perfect hair that Nathan associated with good Baptist wives.
‘We’re in heaven,’ she said, smiling a watery smile. Despite that, her eyes were haunted. ‘This is the Rapture and God has judged us worthy. He has chosen us, lifted us up bodily to heaven.’
Nathan looked around. Maybe there was something over the horizon, beyond the curve of … what? granite? stone? All he could see, though, was their strip of grey and miles of uneasy water. It was the green-brown of a swamp, stank like it too, but it splashed and moved with restless tides.
‘Doesn’t look much like heaven,’ he said.
Her smile widened and she giggled, stopping the sound with her knuckles. ‘That’s because God’s dead,’ she said. ‘This is his corpse, and it’s rotten.’
Oh-kay. Nathan looked at Ben and raised his eyebrows; Ben took another drink. The woman giggled again and stumbled off. One of the flight attendants caught her, tucking a primary blue coat around her bare shoulders. He fussed her back over to the shelter of the plane’s wing, trying to settle her down.
Nathan took a deep breath. The stench caught in his throat and made him cough. Oh, to hell with it. He slid down onto the moss next to Ben and held out his hand. ‘Give me a shot, then.’
Tomorrow would be time enough to work out what was going on. Until then, booze sounded as good a way though as any.
Of everything they’d lost in the Black Rapture, Teller thought he’d missed pizza the most. It hadn’t exactly been on top of anyone’s priorities after they’d woken up here, under the stone skies of the labyrinth. People had counted themselves lucky if they’d been able to scrape together enough cat and rat to fill their family’s bellies. They’d counted themselves lucky to have families still alive to feed.
Ten years on, and now you could walk down the Corridor unmolested and buy yourself a slice of pizza from Papa Stromboli’s hole in the wall.
It was tomatoey civilization on a slice of baked dough. Thank God whatever had dropped them here had the good grace to grab some tomato plants on the way through.
You’d think people would be grateful. They never were. Least of all Stromboli. Teller was pretty sure the old man spat in the sauce whenever he had to serve one of the sentries. Not that it stopped Teller. He didn’t care if Stromboli swabbed the sweat from under his arms with the pastrami. It was the principle of the thing.
He sat on a low stone wall outside the stall, eating his second slice of extra garlic pizza and contemplating a third. It wasn’t that he was particularly hungry, but it was an excuse not to head back to the Keep. Not a good excuse, though – or at least he was pretty sure that it wasn’t one General Kearney was going to buy.
What the hell. Teller shoved himself to his feet, brushing the dust off the ass of his trousers. Stromboli scowled at him when he headed back to the roughly carved window.
“You’re scaring off my other customers,” he griped sourly. Heat flushed his round, wrinkled face ruddy, color striped over his heavy cheeks and squashed, bulldog nose. It made the scar that ran from the corner of his mouth up into his ear look pale, a welt of rough, white skin. “The sentries upset people’s digestions.”
“Yet I’ve never seen anyone turn down our business,” Teller said dryly, tossing a clipped, stamped chit onto the scarred granite shelf. “Another slice.”
Stromboli grabbed the coin, sticking it into his belt, and spat out of his kitchen. The gob of spit hit the ground and strips of gray moss came crawling from the walls, groping for the smudge of moisture with long, fine cilia. They preferred blood, but anything wet would do.
“I’ll start you a tab,” Stromboli said, nodding over Teller’s shoulder.
He looked around. A rangy, bay mare trotted over the cobbles, glossy black brougham rattling along behind it. People scattered out of the way, urged on by the crack of the driver’s whip. Easy to tell the innocent from the guilty of something by the ones who pressed themselves to the walls and the ones that disappeared into the cracks, darting for the backways.
It pulled up at the side of the road. the door cracked open and Sol Porter got out, pausing to adjust the fit of his jerkin and the pinch of the collar at his neck.
Teller turned back to Stromboli. “I’ll take that to go,” he said. Cracking a smile he added, “Chuck on some extra garlic?”
Suspension was still a technology in re-development. Teller slouched back on his barely cushioned bench, the jolt of wheels on cobbles jarring his tail bone. When he shifted, his boots kicked the hook set in the middle of the floor. It was meant to anchor shackles. Maybe, Teller mused, he’d irritated the good general more than he’d planned.
“Idiot,” Sol snapped, his mouth tight in the frame of his patchy, close-clipped beard. “You knew Kearney would want to see you.”
Author Bio: As a small child TA Moore genuinely believed that she was a Cabbage Patch Kid and no-one had told her. This was the start of a lifelong attachment to the weird and fantastic. These days she lives in Northern Ireland with an unimpressed cat and her friends have a rule that she can only send them three weird and disturbing links a day (she still holds that a DIY penis bifurcation guide is interesting, not disturbing).
TA Moore believes that adding ‘in space’ to anything makes it at least 40% cooler, will try to pet pretty much any dog she meets and once lied to her friend that she had climbed all the way up to Tintagel, when actually she’d only gotten to the beach and chickened out. She writes about vampires, werewolves and ghosts (*whispers* ‘in space!) and once wrote zombie erotica to prove it could be done.
About the Author:
As a small child TA Moore genuinely believed that she was a Cabbage Patch Kid and no-one had told her. This was the start of a lifelong attachment to the weird and fantastic. These days she lives in Northern Ireland with an unimpressed cat and her friends have a rule that she can only send them three weird and disturbing links a day (she still holds that a DIY penis bifurcation guide is interesting, not disturbing).
TA Moore believes that adding ‘in space’ to anything makes it at least 40% cooler, will try to pet pretty much any dog she meets and once lied to her friend that she had climbed all the way up to Tintagel, when actually she’d only gotten to the beach and chickened out. She writes about vampires, werewolves and ghosts (whispers ‘in space!) and once wrote zombie erotica to prove it could be done.
I have a number of paperbacks, most of which are signed, to giveaway. Over the between now (11 Mar 2017) and 31 Mar 2017, every comment on the blog (this post and all other new posts), will be entered to win 1 of these paperbacks. There are also some misc swag items, so there will be a few packs of these to give away as well.
Thank you so much for your support over the last 4 years. Prism will be closing its doors on 1 April 2017. All content will remain available, but no new content will appear after 31 Mar 2017. As such all request forms have been turned off. Again Thank you,
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