Van Brunt, K.D.: Win the Rings
Win the Rings
by K.D. Van Brunt
Jace has been the property of the U.S. Army since they found out about her when she was five, and now she has become one of its most valuable weapons. But Jace is not the only one of her kind. Gray is one too, but with the help of his sister, he has spent most of his sixteen years hiding from the Army.
Now, the Army has found out about Gray and they cannot allow him to roam free. Operating on the theory that it takes one to catch one, Jace is send out with a special ops squad to hunt Gray down. But Jace is not the only one pursuing Gray, and the competition is after her too. What ensues is a desperate chase through city after city as duty and honor collide with love and sacrifice.
“I’m Mark,” he says.
“Tina,” I blurt out before I know what I’m doing.
“Princess Tina from the kingdom of Berwick,” Mark says with a wolfish grin.
I can’t help myself. I shoot him a flirtatious smile. I’m about to tell him that he looks like Justin Bieber having a bad hair day, in a kind of blended compliment-insult thing, when Nia’s words crash into my head.
Gray, I think it’s him.
By Au Bon Pain. He has a dark green trench coat on, but I saw a flash of the hoodie underneath.
“Shit,” I say out loud, grabbing the wheel back from Tina. I toss the paper and bolt for the restaurant.
“Hey, wait a sec,” the Biebs shouts to me.
As I turn the corner of the newsstand, I hear Nia’s frantic words.
He’s pulling something from his coat.
I see him now. He’s standing in front of a plate glass window looking in on a crush of people inside, sitting at tables and queued up behind counters to buy lunch. He’s pulling back a slide on an automatic assault rifle, preparing to pump the first of a hundred rounds of bullets into the crowded restaurant. There’s no time to find a policeman. In seconds loony tunes will be shooting.
We have to stop him, I say, and then I see Nia sprinting at him like me.
We both slam into him at the same time just as he’s leveling the gun to fire, and all three of us tumble to the hard, icy concrete. I’m lying on my side facing Peter Eklend and he’s on his side facing me. I’ve wrenched my shoulder and it’s too painful for me to sit up. Peter Eklend shoots a glare of such hatred at me that I flinch. Then I see that he still has the gun in his hands. Nia is on her feet now, but before she can do anything, Peter pulls the trigger. The explosion brings a sudden quietness to my ears, as if I’ve just gone deaf, and I feel a stabbing hot pain in my chest, as if I’ve been impaled on a red-hot fireplace poker. I cough, sending a froth of blood spraying out of my mouth. I need to breathe, but my lungs aren’t working.
Then my ears start working and I hear Nia scream. Others are now wrestling with Peter. Another shot goes off. It doesn’t hit me.
Shift. You have to shift!
I’m losing consciousness. I can’t breathe. My lungs are filling with blood. This body is dying. I can feel it. I’m seconds away from the last, icy embrace of death. I have to get out of this body, leave it behind and flee to another body—a healthy, unwounded body. I need to shift now. With one last shred of will power, just as awareness winks out, I shift back to me.
A crowd has gathered around me by now, and I hear a collective gasp when they see me shimmer and change. I’m lying on the ground in a sticky, syrupy pool of blood, but I’m back in my own body now—my own bullet-free body. Nia is immediately at my side pulling me to my feet. Some of Tina’s blood stains my pants and sweatshirt as I roll away from Peter Eklend. I’ve shifted away from death in the nick of time. A strange exhilaration causes my skin to tinkle and a rush of adrenalin floods through me. I’ve evaded eternity by mere nanoseconds.
Run! Nia says, bringing me back to the moment.
It is my pleasure to feature K.D. Van Brunt, author of Win the Rings, on Room With Books. Thank you, K.D., for answering several questions for our readers!
Do you ever wish you were someone else?
At times. There is no one person, but perhaps the most frequent one is my father. He always seems to be so strong in areas I’m not—full of self-confidence, exuding charm, and always so eloquent. Me?—I’m the reserved, writer type, who is more comfortable speaking through words than talking. Thankfully, my father has always been totally supportive of me.
What did you do on your last birthday?
I’m a big hockey fan. So, for my last birthday, my wife and I went out to dinner at an awesome Irish pub, attended a Washington Capitals game, and partied at a nearby hotel that night.
Do you have any tattoos?
There is a point in time when your body is amenable to tattoos and a time when it’s not. Sadly, during my younger years when tattoos would have looked nice, tattoos were totally out of fashion. Few people would get a tattoo in those days; it was a “fringe” phenomenon. Now, it’s mainstream and cool, but it’s a little too late for me to ink a line of barbed wire around my not so muscular biceps. *Sigh*
What are you working on right now?
I’m finishing the Win the Rings Trilogy. Books 2 and 3 are mostly done. I’m also working on a new adult sci-fi story that’s basically Pride and Prejudice in the year 2230. I like it. While Win the Rings is my first fiction book, I continue to publish professionally in the non-fiction world.
I appreciate your time, K.D., and thank you for allowing Room With Books to take part in your tour!
AUTHOR Bio and Links:
K.D. Van Brunt has been writing professionally his entire career and has published an extensive list of nonfiction works. Win the Rings is his first fiction book. When not writing, he reads and listens to audiobooks during his daily drive through the sea of gridlock that is commuting in and out of Washington, DC. A long time resident of Maryland, he can often be found tromping around the many civil war battle sites in the area.
K.D. is offering a prize for the tour:
• One randomly chosen commenter will win a $50 Amazon/BN.com gift card.
I encourage you to follow the tour and comment; the more you comment, the better your chances of winning. The tour dates can be found by clicking on the tour banner below.