Staci Troilo is one of my closest author friends. She’s got something new for all of us under her pen-name of D. L. Cross. Let’s make her feel welcome and share this around today.
“No Idea” Excerpt from New Sci-Fi Novel: THE GATE
Thanks for inviting me here today. I’m excited to share an excerpt from The Gate, Book 1 of the Astral Conspiracy series in the Invasion Universe.
“You do realize I’ve never done this before. I have no idea what’ll happen up there.”
“You better hope it’s what I want to happen. Or you won’t be coming back down.”
Landon gulped, no longer certain he’d made the right choice to stay on Lorena’s behalf. So far, the mercs had been more or less gentlemanly toward her. She’d probably walk out of this ordeal alive.
The same couldn’t be said about him.
They followed a path around the mountainside, but in the opposite direction of the gate. The trail started at a gentle rise but grew steeper as they ascended. About an hour into their trek, Lorena stopped at the entrance to a cave.
A chill of foreboding skittered up Landon’s spine. The side of the mountain wasn’t carved, but damn if it didn’t look like it had been — into the shape of a face. It took no imagination to see large eyes, pointed cheekbones, and a thin nose above a gaping maw. Not just any mouth.
The cave mouth.
A hell mouth.
Smoke trailed from the opening, the beast belching odoriferous brimstone from the bowels of perdition.
Landon’s muscles tensed, primed to run.
Wolf’s beefy fingers pressed into his flesh, bruising his shoulder. “Uh-uh, Professor. You’re not going anywhere. This was your idea, remember?”
Lorena yelled something that was carried away on the wind. Before Landon, or anyone else, could ask for clarification, shadows swelled in the opening of the cave. Despite the chill at that elevation, flop sweat formed on his brow and dripped down his face. He swiped at the salty perspiration stinging his eyes, then he squinted into the cave mouth. The shadow got darker, longer …
Then a man stepped onto the plateau.
Lorena approached him. They placed their hands on each other’s shoulders and bowed slightly until their foreheads touched. After a brief pause, they separated. Then she turned toward the group. “This is Eduardo, my grandfather. He is the shaman who will guide us on our spiritual journey. He bids us welcome.”
“Grandfather?” Wolf muttered. “Feels like we’re being taken advantage of.”
“How?” Landon asked.
“I’m sure we’ll see soon enough.”
Tex ignored them, talking over their discussion and approaching Lorena. “You speak English?”
“Why didn’t you say so?”
“Why didn’t you ask?” She smiled then gestured as an invitation for them to enter.
Tex led the group toward the cave mouth.
“Welcome,” Eduardo said. “Allow me to introduce you to Mother Ayahuasca.”
He lost his job. Lost his girl. Now it’s all he can do not to lose his life.
Landon Thorne is a disgraced archaeologist, a laughing stock in his field because of his unconventional beliefs – he’s an ancient astronaut theorist. No one takes him seriously.
Until an alien armada targets Earth.
Now Landon’s in high demand – by the US government and someone far more sinister.
They race across two continents to the Gate of the Gods, the one place on Earth that might give humans an advantage over the aliens. But no one is prepared for what they’ll find.
And not everyone will make it out alive.
D.L. Cross has loved science fiction ever since she was a young girl and fell for Major Don West on television’s Lost in Space. To this day, she still quotes the show, though her favorite lines were spoken by the robot and the antagonist. Parallel universes or alternate realities, aliens or dinosaurs, superpowers or super viruses, time travel or AI… no sci-fi theme is off limits and all of them fascinate her. D.L. Cross also writes other genre fiction under the name Staci Troilo, and you can find more information about all her identities and all her work at her website: https://stacitroilo.com.