Title: Release: the Alliance Chronicles Novella
Author: SF Benson
Genre: NA Dystopian
Cover Designer: Regina Wamba
Tagline: “Out of pain comes growth.”
Years before the United States collapses and the New Order takes over, Asher Jones is a teenager living in Taylor, Michigan. Turmoil rocks the country. Citizens are dismayed. But for Asher, his only concern is the girl next door.
His world is perfect until the night his family is brutally killed. Asher struggles to make sense of his life. Drugs and alcohol become his constant companions and land him in jail. Now he’s at a crossroad—clean up his act or continue down the path of self-destruction. Every choice, however, comes with a consequence.
When a kid from the right side of the tracks veers left, how does he find his way back?
“Can we talk, Rihana?” I cut my eyes at Bashur. “Alone?”
Bashur took the hint and said his goodbye.
“Was all of this, like, a setup?” I asked after he left.
“All of what?”
“The lunches, the talks…your friendship.”
Rihana put a finger to her lips and walked to the door. She looked into the hall and then locked the door behind her. She returned to me and said, “No. All of that was genuine. I am genuinely your friend. You mean a great deal to me. Tu dilê min î.”
“What does that mean?”
She grasped my hands, a forbidden gesture, and said quietly, “You are my heart. If you choose not to help us, I will still want you in my life.”
I was uncertain of the Alliance, but I was sure about Rihana. She helped me get over the pain of losing Cindy. Rihana listened to me talk about Shiloh and my parents, and she understood in a way that Mark never could.
“Okay.” I squeezed her hands. “I’ll do it.”
Rihana smiled. “When do you go to the Academy?”
“I will tell Raman.” She held her hands up and waved them in the air as she spoke. “This room is our meeting place. When you can get away from the Academy, you will come here.”
The next day, I moved from Griffin’s and into my room at the Academy. I shared the space with two other guys. It made sneaking out difficult, but I managed it.
Two or three times a week, I drove to the mosque to meet with Bashur and Rihana. I received instruction in Alliance operations. Afterward, Rihana taught me about her culture and gave me lessons in Kurmanji, her native language.
Everything went smoothly until one of my roommates saw me leaving the mosque. One cold morning, a couple of soldiers escorted me to see the commanding officer. Carmella Bartlett, a statuesque African-American woman with skin the color of warm toffee and short curly dark hair, sat behind a large wooden desk. I remained standing at attention.
“Cadet Jones, do you know why you were called here?” she said caustically.
“No, ma’am.” I kept my eyes focused on the wall behind her.
“I have it on authority that you have been seen frequenting a mosque. Your religious affiliation is Catholic. Care to explain?”
A knock at the door interrupted her interrogation. My heart raced when I heard her voice. I didn’t dare turn around.
About the Author
SF Benson, a Michigan native, resides in Georgia with her husband, a human daughter, and a couple of miniature fur kids (two female short-haired guinea pigs). At one time she wrangled a household which included three Samoyeds, saltwater fish, a hamster, and three guinea pigs.
SF has always wanted to be a writer, but she’s had a variety of positions ‘feeding’ her creative brain—blogger/reviewer, customer service representative, veterinary assistant, marketing assistant, editorial assistant, receptionist, and even cashier for women’s clothing and shoes.
She’s an avid bookworm who appreciates a well-written book regardless of genre. SF prefers to write stories which allow her to answer the question “what if”. She leans towards writing strong, diverse protagonists set in dystopian, science fiction, or paranormal worlds.
Find her online at:
Facebook Alliance Chronicles page: https://www.facebook.com/jointhealliance/
Amazon Author Page: http://www.amazon.com/SFBenson/e/B01DI9Z58Q/ref=dp_byline_cont_book_1