This is the first of my new Portal Worlds series. The book is still being written and edited, so what you read today is subject to change without notice in the published version.
On St. Antoni you got tough or you died. The only defense is a gun; your security is your ability to use it. This is the story of three sisters and the choices they make to survive on St. Antoni. Bethany marries a mercenary warrior to shield her family from a predatory neighbor. To protect her sister, Iris chooses between an arranged marriage with a beloved friend and an outlaw. Jeanne and the son of her greatest enemy defy both their families to find love.
Technology to find and open gateways to alternative worlds was found on earth in the late 21st century. Those expecting to get rich off the tremendous resources on these new worlds controlled Access to them. People talk though, and it wasn’t long before the new technology became common knowledge and unregulated Portals cropped up. Illegal settlers passed through Forbidden gates looking for new places to live and find adventure and liberty.
With only the technology they could carry or build from raw materials on St. Antoni they built a new way of life. To survive they must rely on themselves. The learned to master deadly plants and animals. On St. Antoni, Adventure was a one-way trip to a hardscrabble life and Freedom meant relying on yourself for food, a roof over your head and safety.
This is a work of fiction and any resemblance to any persons living or dead is unintentional and accidental. © Gail Daley 2017 All Rights reserved. Any duplication of this work electronically or printed, except for brief publicity quotes, is forbidden without the express written permission of the author. Cover Art © by Gail Daley’s Fine Art 2017
Serial Chapters are posted on Fridays. Check in next Friday for the next chapter of Warriors of St. Antoni
Click below to Download a PDF copy and start reading Chapter 16 The Plot Thickens
MIKE FRANKS waited until the St. Vyr women had disembarked in Junction City to approach Iris. She and Jeanne were waiting while Gran negotiated with the dockworkers to take their baggage to the hotel.
“Miss Iris, what a nice surprise to find you here,” Franks said. “Can I help you ladies get your luggage to the hotel?”
“Thank you, but that won’t be necessary,” Giselle told him. “These gentlemen have already agreed to do that for us.
“Then may I find you a cab to take you there?”
“That has been arranged, but thank you,” Giselle’s voice was perfectly polite, but dismissive.
Franks scowled at her back as the three women mounted closed buggy drawn by a large brown tricorn.
“Excuse me, but you tell me where you’re taking the baggage?” Franks asked the nearest dockworker.
The man scowled over at him. “Seems to me the ladies weren’t too anxious to make your acquaintance,” he said. “You want to know so bad, you’ll just have to follow us.”
Irritated, Franks waited until the dockworkers had loaded up their wagon with luggage to take on into the town. It was doubly annoying because he discovered as he followed them on foot, that they made stops at several places along the way to drop off goods and baggage. The last stop was the Grand, an upscale hotel that boasted a café as well as rooms for rent.
He was at the front desk, trying to convince the skinny clerk to let him see the register when he saw Samuel Johnson enter the lobby. Instead of his usual cowman’s pants and boots, Johnson was dressed in a grey suit. When he saw Johnson approaching the desk, Franks ducked behind a large potted plant a few feet away.
“Tom Clancy,” Johnson told the clerk. “I believe you are holding a room for me.”
“Yes sir,” the clerk agreed. “Here is your key. The room is at the top of the stairs on the right. Do you need assistance with your luggage?”
“No thanks, I just have this.” Johnson held up a single valise. “I’m staying here overnight to meet my fiancée. We’ll be leaving tomorrow afternoon after the wedding.”
“Thanks.” Without having seen Franks, Johnson started up the stairs.
Franks whistled to himself. Now just what was Johnson up to? And why had he given the clerk a false name?
So, one of the Johnson cubs was getting married, was he? And under a false name too. Franks knew enough about the Johnson family to think none of the sons made a move that hadn’t been sanctioned by old Ira Johnson, so this must tie in with one of Johnson’s schemes. If he found out what the Johnsons were up to, it might be worth money to keep quiet about it or if that didn’t work, then to talk to the right people. Considering matters, Franks decided to stay a while. Tracking down Iris St. Vyr could wait.