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A Silent Evil by Tamar Anolic is a Salute Military Event pick #militaryscifi #scifi #giveaway
Title: A Silent Evil
Author: Tamar Anolic
Genre: Military science fiction
As the danger rises, the warriors multiply.
The MH1 gene has reawakened. After centuries of being urban legend, it emerges in military personnel across the country. Overnight, both officers and cadets develop unique superpowers- hurling fire, controlling the weather, even flying. Suddenly, everything is ablaze. But some who have the gene want to limit it to a worthy few. Several months ago, Cadet Katie McMann barely survived a supernatural fight at Norwich University after unexpectedly manifesting with the gene. Knowing that her opponents won’t stop until she’s dead, Katie is afraid the next fight will descend into an all-out war. But she’s also unwilling to simply slink back into obscurity. Instead, she heads across the country, hoping to find other cadets with the gene. At Valley Forge Military Academy, Katie mentors fourteen-year-old Deion Carter, a new cadet who has just started to read other people’s minds. Deion, to his shock, has the MH1 gene. Together, Katie and Deion race to uncover the origin of the evil they’re fighting. The weapons they need lie in their own family histories- and in the histories of the military personnel they’re up against. But the fire is spreading, and Katie and Deion know it won’t end with trials or the justice system. Together, they prepare for the worst- another confrontation that will scorch them and everything they love. A Silent Evil is Book 2 of The Vanguard Warrior Trilogy. Book 1 was The Fledgling's Inferno, published in 2020.
By the end of the week, Deion decided that he was finished with Valley Forge. Twelve hours a day of nothing but studying and marching, he thought. I’m not going to make it.
As study period ended that night, Deion ducked into the latrines carrying the one set of civilian clothes he still owned. He changed out of his uniform as quickly as he could, wrapped it up, and stuffed it into the corner of the bathroom. Then he opened the door a crack. The hall was empty. Deion slipped out of the latrine and made a dash for the front door of the barracks.
Three steps later, someone behind him yelled, “halt!”
Deion jumped. When he turned around, three older cadets that were coming towards him. As an afterthought, he remembered to salute them. Then he also remembered that he was in civilian clothes. I’m such an idiot, he thought.
“What are you doing out of uniform, Cadet Carter?” Evan Shaw yelled.
“Where is your uniform?” shouted Darrel Berry, a twelfth grader who was nearly a foot taller than Deion.
Their hollers brought the rest of the cadets on the hall to their doors, and within seconds, everyone was staring at Deion. Deion began to shake, and he couldn’t get his tongue to work.
Darrel and the third cadet, twelfth grader Isaac Wagner, marched up to him as Evan looked at the rest of the cadets. “Back into your rooms, Cadets!” Evan yelled. “We’ll deal with this on our own.”
Doors immediately slammed shut, and soon the hall became quiet. Then both Darrel and Isaac focused on Deion. “You were trying to leave campus and go home, weren’t you?” Isaac asked.
“Yes,” Deion managed to say. His voice came out in a squeak, and he cringed.
“Well, we have just the thing for you.” Darrel pulled a piece of paper from inside his uniform’s jacket and held it out.
Deion took it looked at it for a moment before taking it. He unfolded the paper and had to study it for a minute before realizing that it was a map of Valley Forge and the surrounding areas. Is this for real? he thought.
Darrel pointed to a specific part of the map. “Go this way, make a right here and then a left here, and you’ll be on the path to the train station.”
Isaac nodded encouragingly.
Deion looked at the three cadets in front of him suspiciously. “You’re just letting me walk out of here?”
“If you’re unhappy, Cadet Carter, we shouldn’t stop you from going home,” Evan answered.
Finally, Deion nodded. “Thank you.”
“You’re welcome,” Darrel said. “Have a good trip.”
Deion clutched the map and turned to leave the barracks. He was outside before he realized just how dark it was. He held up the map and read it as best he could. Then he took off down the path in front of him. He made a right turn, then a left. He was pretty far down the path before he realized that he was nowhere near the train station.
Deion turned and looked behind him. Then he stopped walking and looked all around. It’s really dark out, he realized, and his heart rate increased. Strange noises squawked all around him. Is that some funny insect? I never hear that stuff at home. Much as Deion tried to quash his next thought, it rose in his mind anyway. I’m scared.
He swallowed and continued walking. The train station has to be up here somewhere. It wasn’t a long walk when me and Mom came- either for the tour or a few days ago.
After a few more minutes of walking, however, Deion had to admit that he was lost. He clenched his teeth as tears welled up in his eyes. Then he turned around and began walking back the way he had come.
The way back felt longer than the way out, and Deion became increasingly worried. I’m never going to make it, he thought. Not home, and not back to the barracks, either. He stopped walking entirely when he saw a group of older cadets up ahead of him. Now I’m really going to get into trouble.
He stayed as silent as possible and still the cadets in front of him turned in his direction. Surprise bolted through Deion as he recognized Isaiah Cooper, the cadet that had led him and Yvonne on their tour of Valley Forge a few months earlier.
“Cadet Carter, what are you doing out of the barracks so late, and why are you out of uniform?” Isaiah asked.
Deion hung his head as shame made his nose tingle. “I was trying to get home, sir.”
“Well, you’re a long way from the train station,” Isaiah said. He nodded at the piece of paper that Deion was still clutching. “Is that a map?”
“Yes, sir. How did you know?”
Isaiah jerked his head towards another part of the campus. “Come on.”
“Where are we going?” Deion asked as they started walking.
“To talk to someone that I think can help you out.”
“How did you know this was a map?”
Isaiah smiled. “It’s one of Darrel and Isaac’s little jokes. They give one of those to each new cadet that tries to leave their barracks early on. It doesn’t lead anywhere- all of the cadets they give it to just get lost.”
Deion’s cheeks grew warm. He folded up the map and put it in his ruck. Then he and Isaiah were walked into the building in front of them. Down the hall, a tall man with a shaved head and piercing blue eyes was coming towards them. He too was in uniform, one with a lot of decorations across the chest.
“Commandant, may we have a minute with you?” Isaiah asked.
Commandant? Deion thought. His heart rate doubled as he recognized the man he had only seen in photographs until now- Colonel Vincent Crawford, Jr., Retired, the Commandant of Valley Forge Military Academy.
Crap, Deion thought. I’m really in trouble now.
Buy Links (including Goodreads and BookBub):
Amazon US https://www.amazon.com/Silent-Evil-Vanguard-Warrior-Trilogy-ebook/dp/B0BVTMSJB4
Amazon CA https://amzn.to/3MzkexM
What makes your featured book a must-read?
This is the exciting sequel to The Fledgling’s Inferno. More warriors have received the MH1 gene, and the havoc is growing.
Enter to win a $20 Amazon gift card:
Open Internationally. You must have a valid Amazon US or Amazon Canada account to win.
Runs May 23 – May 31, 2023.
Winner will be drawn on June 1, 2023.
Tamar’s first novel is The Last Battle, about a veteran of the Iraq and Afghanistan Wars. She has also written extensively about the Romanovs: her recent novel, Tales of the Romanov Empire, has won numerous awards, and her alternate history series (Triumph of a Tsar, Through the Fire and The Imperial Spy) took first place in the Chanticleer International Book Awards for Series. Tamar’s short story collection, The Lonely Spirit, is an Indie Brag Medallion winner and won first place in the Chanticleer International Book Awards for Short Story Collections and Novellas. Many of her individual short stories have been published in literary journals.
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