Please welcome Staci Troilo here today with her new book “The Gate” written under the pen name, D.L. Cross. Isn’t that an amazing name? I think that makes us pen name sisters! I don’t usually have the book read and reviewed for release day posts, but this time I do. So, I’ve included the review at the end of today’s post
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.
“Wait,” Landon said.
Nadia turned around.
“How are we going to pay for all this?”
“There’s no one here to pay.” She rolled her eyes.
“But taking this stuff is stealing. It’s going to come out of someone’s wages. Or prices will rise. And what if we’re on their security cameras?”
“This is Armageddon, buddy.” Dev slung an arm around Landon’s shoulder. “I doubt the owners will miss what we took, and in two days, this place will have been looted to the last nail. The cops will have more problems on their hands than one in a large number of thieves.”
Three. Not one. But making sure they shared the blame was hardly the point at the moment. “I just don’t feel right about it.”
“If you find this troublesome, you’re probably going to hate … well, everything from this point forward.” Nadia turned then walked out the door.
Dev followed, munching on cheese puffs.
Landon longed for the days when people carried cash. He’d have left money at the register. But if they were right, it probably wouldn’t matter. And with that bleak thought, he followed them out to the Humvee. After a silent debate with his inner Jiminy Cricket, he caved and selected a bag of nacho chips and a cola.
It was well past the park’s posted operational hours when they arrived. It closed at four o’clock on weekdays, but they were about fifteen minutes from dusk.
“I forgot about park hours,” Landon said. “I don’t want to wait until tomorrow to get in there.”
“You’re kidding, right?” Nadia shook her head and jumped out of the vehicle. “You sure are slow to process info, Professor. Rules no longer matter.”
Professor. That made the stolen chips and soda slosh uncomfortably in his gut. He wasn’t a professor anymore. He wasn’t anything anymore. Just a washed-up crackpot with outlandish theories. What if he was wrong about the disc being there? They might leave him in the middle of nowhere to find his way … where? Landon had nowhere to go. If this government-helper thing didn’t pan out, he was screwed.
Maybe he should have asked for a contract of some sort.
Dev tossed a shovel to him and shouldered the other. Then he grabbed both sets of gloves. “Can’t drive around the gate. We walk from here. Lead the way, Doc.”
“Sergeant,” Nadia said. “Stay with the vehicle. Keep the lights on. Maybe we’ll get lucky and they’ll help.”
They wouldn’t. The mouth of the serpent was too far away. But Landon didn’t want to tell her that.
The three of them climbed over the gate, the agents much more gracefully than him. He hefted the shovel and nodded down the road. “This way.”
The click of a gun’s safety was unmistakable in the silence of the gloaming.
Then came a single chilling word in a deep, gravelly voice. “Freeze.”
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.
My five-star review:
I’ve been looking forward to this release and was impressed from the first page. “The Gate” is the beginning of the Astral Conspiracy Series, and I found it was like reading a movie it was so vivid. The characters felt very real including my favorite, Landon Thorne. He had theories others made fun of until they realized he was right. I connected with him staying true to himself and not allowing others to force change. With so much action and urgency in the story, it was hard to put down. I found myself saying more than once: “They don’t have time for this!” There was plenty of history and research mixed into the story that added another level of intrigue. Ancient Alien Theories fascinate me, so I was thrilled to find an exciting story with that woven into it. I highly recommend this well-written book, especially if you love aliens, the what-if scenario, action, history, theories, and characters you can grow to love–and hate!