Determinant (The Guardians of Vesturon #3)
by A.M. Hargrove
January St. Davis, on her own since the age of sixteen and struggling to stay in college, thinks she’s scored in a major way when she lands a paid summer internship at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta. One evening, after working an especially long shift, a chance encounter with a group of mysterious men alters the course of her life.
Rykerian Yarrister, a Guardian of Vesturon with unearthly powers and impossibly gorgeous looks, finds himself at odds over the human female he recently saved from certain death. When it seems he is on the verge of winning her over, she is ripped from his hands by a strange and powerful being, threatening to destroy her if his demands are not met.
Do Rykerian and the Guardians have the ability to meet this fierce barbarian’s ultimatums, or will January suffer a horrid demise?
The young female had been at our home for two weeks before Julian felt she would make a full recovery. She had hovered at death’s door for much of that time. Her fever raged and during those spells, she would scream at some unknown being that seemed to be torturing her. Julian assured me it was the fever causing these spells, but they worried me nonetheless.
Julian had sent a robomedic to see to all of her medical needs. She was given IV fluids and medication such as antibiotics, but the virus was incurable and would have to run its course. We were troubled over how she contracted this disease.
Her name was January St. Davis and she was a college student at Western Carolina University. She had interned as a medical technologist at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta from June until August and had an employee identification badge that indicated as such. We speculated that perhaps this is where she had been exposed to this horrific virus.
My brother Tesslar, who was an expert in both human and Vesturion technology, had been monitoring the hospitals around our location.
“Rykerian, you need to see this,” he called to me one day.
I made my way to the Command Center where he was running checks of hospitals.
“There are reports coming in around Atlanta of humans with this disease.”
I checked his screen and saw that indeed, the medical reports showed the same symptoms that the human female originally had.
“Our worst fears are coming to light,” I murmured.
“We must contact Father and Rayn. This can be catastrophic for the humans.”
“Indeed,” I said. How could this have happened?
“Tesslar, can you plant some directives into the homeland security and into emergency preparedness programs everywhere?” I wondered aloud.
“Yes…I see where you are going with this. We can get these agencies on Red Alert now so they can start instituting quarantine methods. This may help stop the spread of the disease.”
I shook my head, glad to see he was thinking along these lines. I left the Compound, intending to go to the kitchen in search of some lunch when I heard the blood-curdling screams. They were coming from upstairs. What is happening? It must be the human…
Using my Power of Speed I made short work of the stairs and burst through the bedroom door. She crouched on her knees in the corner, wide-eyed and trembling.
“Fear not, we mean you no harm,” I gently said.
“Liar!” she rasped, scrambling tightly into the corner.
What? Why would she think me a liar?
“I know not why you say such, but I am no liar. I am here to help you,” I explained gently.
She looked terrified. Her large eyes were nearly popping out of her head and she held up her hand, palm facing me as if she intended to ward me off.
“It is impossible for me to lie, this I swear.”
“That…that thing over there hurt me so that makes you a liar.”
I turned and glanced at the robomedic. “Stand down, robomedic,” I ordered.
“I am programmed to contain the subject, and said subject attempted to exit the room,” the robomedic explained.
Great! Just great! The bloody robomedic zapped her!
“You’re so bloody right! That bloody whatever-it-is, bloody zapped me.” Every time she said bloody, she held her hands up and bent her first two fingers. Her gesture confused me.
“Robomedic, alter programming. Remove containment order and stand down,” I ordered.
“Affirmative. Programming altered. Robotic Medical Assistant 3279 standing down.”
I turned back to the female and apologized. “I am very sorry for that. We only wanted to ensure you were safe, so it was programmed to guard you. I didn’t intend for this to happen.” She cocked her head and gave me a hateful stare.
“Truly, I am sorry.”
She made no attempt to respond or rise as her eyes drilled into mine.
“Here, let me assist you back to bed.”
“Stay away from me,” she croaked.
She cringed when I reached toward her. Great day, I am frightening her!
“Damned right you’re frightening me!” she exclaimed.
About the Author
One day, on her way home from work as a sales manager, A. M. Hargrove, realized her life was on fast forward and if she didn't do something soon, it would quickly be too late to write that work of fiction she had been dreaming of her whole life. So, she rolled down the passenger window of her fabulous (not) company car and tossed out her leather briefcase. Luckily, the pedestrian in the direct line of fire was a dodgeball pro and had über quick reflexes enabling him to avoid getting bashed in the head. Feeling a tad guilty about the near miss, A. M. made a speedy turn down a deserted side street before tossing her crummy, outdated piece-of-you-know-what lap top out the window. She breathed a liberating sigh of relief, picked up her cell phone and hit #4 on her speed dial.
A.M.: Boss, is that you?
Boss: Why yes, A. M., who else would be answering my phone?
A.M.: Er... right. Well, I'm calling to let you know you can pick up my luxury Ford Focus at Starbucks near the interstate.
Boss: Why ever would I want to do that?
A.M.: Because I quit!
A.M. hit the end button and speed dialed her husband.
A.M.: Hi hubs, can you pick me up at Starbucks?
Hubs: Sure... Having some car trouble?
A.M.: Not at all. I don't have a car to have trouble with because I just quit my job.
A.M.: It's time for a new career and I am going to be a very famous novelist.
So began A. M. Hargrove's career as a young adult paranormal romance author of self-published ebooks. Her series, The Guardians of Vesturon, centers around a family of six siblings and is a mix of humor, mystery, suspense and of course, love. Survival and Resurrection are her first and second full-length novels in the series and Beginnings is the prequel novella. Her third installment, Determinant, was released on June 30, 2012. (It didn’t happen exactly like that, but you get the idea!)
There is one giveaway that is exclusive to Bibliophilia, Please and the other is tour-wide. Just follow the Rafflecopter instructions and you're all set.
Bibliophilia, Please Giveaway
One (1) ebook from The Guardians of Vesturon (You can choose Resurrection or Determinant since Beginnings and Survival are currently free). This giveaway is open internationally, as long as you can receive ebooks.
1st prize: $15 GC Amazon plus Resurrection and Determinant
2nd prize: Resurrection and Determinant
3rd prize: Determinant