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Announcement: Ringed Love, by Elizabeth Noble

Ringed LoveQSFer Elizabeth Noble has a new sci fi book out:

New Colorado Protectorate fell with the assassination of Chancellor Clarke. Afterwards, like many others, Todd and Nick Ruger left the land of their birth and made a home up north in Yellowknife. Though they have to say a sad farewell to friends and loved ones, they are taken in with open arms and in turn offer shelter to others.

They must still contend with angry ghosts, Windigos, and water spirits, but through it all, their love and devotion for each other never falters. Nick is awarded a degree in veterinary medicine and trains students from Yellowknife, while Todd becomes the town sheriff and takes on new sentry apprentices of his own. They remain steadfast in their duty as sentries as well, leaving a legacy meant to protect and defend those who need it the most.

Sentries Book Six


Fifty-three years after the surrender of New Colorado Protectorate

NICK LEANED back, wiping his thinning bangs back from his forehead with his clean hand, and shook blood from his other hand. Pulling the glove off, he muttered, “I’m too damn old for this crap.” He waved at one of the students, a girl of about twenty. “Mabel, you’re up. Get gloved in, pick a partner, and save this cow.”

Grabbing the side of the stall, Nick hoisted himself to his feet, stifling a groan as he did so. Damn arthritis. He couldn’t stay in one position for too long or crouch on the ground anymore, but he could still throw a knife with deadly accuracy.

He washed his hands off in the bucket before turning and watching two of his five students use the running water of the barn trough to scrub their hands clean. Nick nodded to one of the remaining three. “There are more gloves in the travel kit. Get them ready for Mabel and Rick.”

Pacing around the calving stall more to ease the kinks in his joints than anything else, Nick dipped his head from side to side and swung his arms a bit. He looked over the students. Their faces reflected emotions from slight tension to horror at what they were about to do.

“The calf is dead,” he said flatly. “The cow will die also if we don’t get the dead calf out of her. Farmers depend on their herds. We depend on the farmers to feed us. That means sometimes putting your feelings aside and doing what needs to be done for the greater good.” Nick looked around as he lectured. Of the dozen or so girls and boys who had begun training with him a few years ago, these five were all that were left.

Over half a century ago, he had been similarly taught and had promised to carry on the tradition of training others to take his place when the time came. In another year these remaining students would travel farther north to Yellowknife City near the Great Slave Lake and sit for exams. If they passed they’d become the next generation to provide medical care for humans and animals alike in Yellowknife Protectorate.

Right now they had more pressing issues. Getting a dead calf from a live cow was at the top of that list.

Mabel pulled the gloves up beyond her elbows and nodded to Rick. He held a tray of instruments and tools. Mabel selected what she needed and began the procedure. When she turned a little green as she pulled the first of the calf’s legs free, she said, “Maybe tell us about when my mother came back?”

Nick’s students had gotten into the habit of also getting him to recount the history of their city, Elk’s Ridge, in Yellowknife Protectorate. “After we came back here, I found out your grandmother, Amelia, had taken your mother and uncle and moved away. I always suspected Todd issued some threat against her for having turned me in to Victor Raleigh. He was Vice Chancellor of New Colorado Protectorate at the time. The scumbag was on a mission to use the psychic slaves to further his cause and bring about the end of the war in favor of West Caldera.” Nick stopped and moved to a different spot behind the cow. “Let’s get some fluids started on her. She’s not fussing much. Show me what antibiotics we need.”

Two of the students began getting an IV set up for the cow while debating which medications should be used. The remaining student held up the bottle of medicine they decided was best. Nick smiled and nodded.

“So back to Karen. She was just three or four when Amelia took her and Kieran and moved away. Her grandmother, Millie, told me they had family in the east somewhere, I think. Thirty years later she showed up, taking pot shots at me.” Nick shrugged. “Couldn’t really blame her, I guess. I would’ve been pissed off too. She was a victim, just like me.” He sighed. “We were both victims because of the choices Karen’s mother made.”

“Did she shoot you, Dr. Ruger?” one of the boys asked.

Nick snorted. “Sentries don’t live into their fifties without good instincts and reflexes.” He tapped his temple. “I got enough of a warning and ducked in time. Fortunately I was able to disarm her before she could do much more damage.”

“I bet Sheriff Ruger tossed her in jail fast,” Rick said.

Nick laughed. “I thought he was going to wrap the barrel of the rifle around her neck. Needless to say he was a bit pissy about the whole thing.” He stopped and helped pull one of the calf’s legs free, placing it in a tarp at the side of the stall. “I’d always thought he’d made some threat against Amelia, and that was when I found out he actually had threatened to kill her.”

“I can’t believe the oh-so impeccable and respectable Sheriff Ruger did that!” one of the other girls chimed in. Despite Todd having been retired for nearly a decade, everyone in the city still called him Sheriff.

“Yeah, he was a bit wilder back then.”

Nick and the students stopped talking while they completed the task at hand. Eventually the remains of the dead calf were cleared away for proper disposal. The stall was cleaned and the cow offered food and water, which she refused.

“Hopefully she’ll start eating by tomorrow morning,” Nick said. He and his students settled outside in the barn aisle. “We’ll hang around and keep an eye on her for a bit.”

“What was it like when all the people started moving north?” Mabel asked.

Nick closed his eyes for a minute, then drew a deep breath. He sat on a crate and leaned against a door frame. “It was a mess. Of course the worst part was getting out of New Colorado Protectorate, and not just for us.”

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Author Bio

Elizabeth Noble started telling stories before she actually knew how to write, and her family was very happy when she learned to put words on a page. Those words turned into books and fanfiction that turned into a genuine love of M/M romance fiction. Being able to share her works with Dreamspinner is really a dream come true. She has a real love for a good mystery complete with murder and twisty plots as well as all things sci-fi, futuristic, and supernatural and a bit of an unnatural interest in a super-volcano in Wyoming.

Elizabeth has three grown children and is now happily owned by an adorable mixed breed canine princess and her sidekick, tabby cat. She lives in her native northeast Ohio, the perfect place for gardening and winter and summer sports (go Tribe and Cavs!) and stargazing all year long. When she’s not writing she’s working as a veterinary nurse, so don’t be surprised to see her men with a pet or three who are a very big part of their lives.

Elizabeth received several amateur writing awards. Since being published two of her novels have received honorable mentions in the Rainbow Awards. Her novel Jewel Cave was a runner up in the 2015 Rainbow awards in the Gay Mystery/Thriller category.


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