Tuesday, June 25, 2013
Shield: Allie’s War, Book Two by JC Andrijeski
JC Andrijeski has published novels, novellas, serials, graphic novels and short stories, as well as nonfiction essays and articles, including the Allie’s War series, The Slave Girl Chronicles and bestselling novella, The Alien Club. Her short fiction runs from humorous to apocalyptic, and her nonfiction articles cover subjects from graffiti art, meditation, psychology, journalism, politics and history. JC has traveled extensively and lived abroad, but currently lives and works on the Oregon Coast.
Please visit JC's blog or her website.
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Grappling with her new identity as “Bridge,” a being meant to herald the end for all of humanity, isn’t even Allie’s biggest problem. She’s also coping with a whole new set of rules around her seer marriage, as well as the power-hungry Rook she helped put in the White House, who is currently doing his best to start a war with China.
Then the boy appears. A sociopath with all of the energetic markings of Syrimne, a highly dangerous telekinetic seer who killed thousands during World War I, he doesn’t appear to have aged in one hundred years.
Worse, he thinks Allie belongs to him.
About the Allie’s War Series:
An urban fantasy paranormal romance set in a unique, gritty version of Earth, populated by a second race of beings called seers, the Allie’s War series centers on the relationship of a strong female protagonist, Allie Taylor, and her antihero guide, Dehgoies Revik. Falling into the new adult genre of books, the Allie’s War series takes place in a modern version of Earth you’ve never seen, that spans centuries along with the lives of its main characters, the seers, and the wars they fight with themselves and their human allies and enemies, (steamy sex scenes in parts!).
1. What is your name? How would you describe yourself?
John Sebastian Taylor. I’ll be turning thirty-three in July. Describe myself? I don’t know. I’m around six-foot, one hundred and eighty pounds...well, less now, probably, because I’m out of shape and I lost a lot of weight while Terian had us in those mountains. Hazel eyes. Dirty blond hair. Kind of a mutt white guy. I’m not sure what else you want? I mean, do people really care what I look like?
2. Where were you born? Where have you lived since then?
I was born and grew up in San Francisco. I pretty much lived there my whole life, apart from a few years spent in Seattle for college. Since then? Well, I live in India now. That’s kind of a long story, though. Well, or a really short story. I got kidnapped by this totally insane seer and locked in an underground prison in Russia somewhere. Then, after my sister’s husband got us out of there, we went to England, and then here. We now live in Seertown, which is in the Himalayas in Northern India. In fact, we live in the compound of Vash, who’s like the head guy around here. Well, other than Allie, that is...I guess technically, she’s in charge now. See what I mean about the long story part of things? I suppose I could have just said ‘India’ and left it at that...
3. Tell us about your friends and family. Who do you surround yourself with? Who are you closest to?
Well, back in San Francisco I had a decent number of friends, I guess. I taught martial arts, so had a lot of buddies from there. I had a boyfriend. Yes, I’m gay. Get over it, please...I really hate when that becomes ‘the thing’ people want to talk about. Since I’ve been here, in India, I’ve been getting to know some of the seers, but it’s kind of a long slog...mostly they just hit on me, because, yeah, they’re seers, and have ‘issues’ when it comes to sex or whatever. I really like Vash, the head of the seers. Revik, my sister’s husband, is probably my best male friend...and then there’s Cass, who pretty much lived at our house when we were kids. My best friend is still probably my sister, Allie, though. My parents adopted her when I was four, and from what they tell me, we were pretty much glued at the hip from day one.
4. What is your biggest fear? Who have you told this to? Who would you never tell this to, and why?
At this point, my biggest fear is that a psychopathic seer will lock me in a cage and torture me for like six months...wait, that already happened. I guess my biggest fear is that something like that could happen again. Not just with Terian, but with Seer Containment, the military, other seers, whatever. I think my sense of ‘safety’ is still pretty much nonexistent after the events of the past year or so...ever since my sister got tagged as a seer and a terrorist.
5. Have you ever been in love? Had a broken heart?
Only once for both. I think I was starting to fall for Trey, the guy I was seeing in San Francisco before everything went down with Allie, but I wasn’t totally there. My first head-over-heels thing, I was fifteen. He was a friend of mine in martial arts, and he was straight, so yeah, not much was going to happen there. Pretty much devastated me, though...I’m not exactly a ‘big dater’ type. Allie seems to think I’m totally incompetent in that regard. Maybe she’s right.
6. What is in your refrigerator right now? On your bedroom floor? In your garbage can?
Uh, what refrigerator? This is India, man. There’s a ‘fridge in the main compound, I think, but there are brown-outs all the time up here, and there’s not a ton of stuff that you need to refrigerate, because there’s no way to transport it up here in the first place. Generally, it’s shop, cook and eat up here. There are exceptions, but not many. On my bedroom floor...uh, books? Probably some clothes. I sleep on a mat on the floor, so pretty much everything in my room is on the floor, in a manner of speaking. I have a stack of books in there, I know, from Vash...most of them on seer philosophy, but a few history books, too. My garbage can...jeez. I have no idea. See the thing about the ‘fridge. That stuff is really different out here. I imagine I have paper and some other stuff...?
7. It’s Saturday at noon. What are you likely to be doing?
Probably out in the markets of Seertown with Allie and Cass, drinking coffee or playing pool or just walking around and looking at things. We go hiking a fair bit, too...there are trails all over out here...and we’ve taken rickshaws to the valley to screw around, visit the kind of scary zoo here and some of the shrines and a few of the neighboring human towns. In San Francisco, I’d be teaching a sparring and weapons class at Saturday noon, for brown and black belts. But yeah, that life’s pretty much over...
8. What is one strong memory that has stuck with you from childhood? Why is it so powerful and lasting?
Well, I probably would have answered this differently a year ago, but the one that sticks out now, the one I dream about sometimes, after everything that happened with Terian and whatever else, is what happened with our Uncle Stefan out at the pig barn when Allie was like six or seven. I don’t remember all of the details that well, but I know that somehow, she threw our uncle...who was a really, really big guy...into the wall of the barn, and started threatening him...something about the runt pigs. She’d just read Charlotte’s Web and asked him what he did with the runts, so he told her and she just...freaked. I blocked it out afterwards, but I think that’s the first time I knew...I mean really knew, deep down...that Allie was different from other people. I don’t think I knew enough back then to think ‘seer’ or anything, but I knew she wasn’t like other people. I think that’s when I started trying to hide that fact from outsiders, too.
9. What were you like in high school?
(Snorts) Jeez. I was a total nerd in high school...like, the nerd other nerds avoided. I had the big coke bottle glasses, I was so skinny I looked ill half the time, I was shy...the whole nine yards. Allie used to have to rescue me from lockers and dumpsters a lot. That’s why I started studying martial arts, at least in the beginning. My dad didn’t argue about paying for lessons or anything when I asked...even though I know now that they must have been pretty expensive. I don’t think he knew how to help me, because he seemed relieved when I asked about joining a kung fu class in the Richmond that I’d heard about. My mom wasn’t crazy about it at first, but once she realized it wasn’t all about me pummeling people or them pummeling me, she chilled out. When I got older she used to come to matches and so on.
10. When did you go on your first date? What was it like?
Wow. Yeah. Awkward. I was like twenty, I think...and he asked me out, of course. Allie practically forced me to go, even though the guy was cute and everything, the whole thing just terrified me back then, mostly because I had absolutely no idea how anyone expected me to act. You’d think it would be easy to be gay in San Francisco, but somehow I still managed to make it hard. I honestly still wonder if Allie set me up...meaning, if she got the guy to ask me out in the first place...but I never wanted to ask her. Maybe I was afraid she’d tell the truth. Still, even with me acting like an emotional cripple, it was an okay date. Awkward, like I said. We only went out a few times, but it did kind of break the ice for me. The next guy I dated, we were together for six months. Which yeah, isn’t that long, but for me, that was huge. I think I still figured everyone saw through the kung fu thing to “Bug,” the kid who got thrown in dumpsters and covered in spitballs in class. I was shy to the point of acting autistic, I think...but yeah, I finally got over it.