Today I am so pleased to welcome J. Alan Veerkamp to Joyfully Jay. J. Alan has come to talk to us about his latest release, The Luxorian Fugitive. He has also brought along a tourwide giveaway. Please join me in giving him a big welcome!
The hooded man tugged at his worn leather cloak as he stepped out of the restroom. He had run his hands through the sanitizer at least four times. Although they looked fine when he turned them over to inspect, he still felt unclean.
Luxoria Spaceport Alpha was a sprawling center of commerce, and he felt dwarfed by it. Travelers marched through the concourse in all directions, performing some chaotic ballet that he didn’t feel a part of. How could you be alone surrounded by so many people?
In spite of his size and strength, he felt very small and uneducated. The whole facility confused him, and it was unwise to ask for help. He needed to keep himself secret. How would he find his way in all of this?
A tall stranger walking over to an unusual kiosk a few meters from where he was sitting caught his attention. The man asked the object for directions, and a map appeared on its surface. He waited for the man to leave and cautiously stepped forward to the kiosk, taking a look around before facing the device.
Leaning forward, he asked his tentative question. “Where would I find the Santa Claus?”
Even though he’d just seen how the device worked, he still gave a start as the surface came to life.
A pretty, yet artificial voice spilled out of the kiosk. “The cargo-class vessel Santa Claus is scheduled to land at bay Alpha Gamma One Four. Boarding of passengers will commence in thirty-two hours and twenty-three minutes.”
Holographic text and a map marked the location. From what he could tell, he was at the starting dot and the pulsating arrow told the direction. A quick scan of the area indicated the graphics matched the basic area he was standing in. This was good. He could follow this.
A few hours went by as he explored the station and found the landing bay for future reference. He attempted to stay quiet and unassuming, a relatively easy thing among the multitudes coming and going. Mere moments before two men in uniforms appeared from around the corner, he ducked into a small shop entrance. They never even noticed him. Even so, he kept looking over his shoulder, expecting to find his security escort, but there was no one there. Before long, he had retraced his steps back to the information kiosk.
“I need supplies. Men’s grooming. Clothing.” He paused for a moment. “And paper. Where can I find real paper?”
“All of these items can be found at Star’s Department Store in the market district.” A map image followed the kiosk’s response, and he committed it to memory.
The shop was easy to find, the storefront larger by far than most he walked past. It took some work and more time than he wanted, but he located the things he was looking for. It was tempting to continue, but he felt leaving the shop and searching out a secluded place to wait would be a better option.
Following another customer, he found an available cashier, a middle-aged woman with a pleasant manner. As he watched, she ran his items over the scanner in the counter and read the total that appeared on her monitor.
“Will you be paying with an ID scan today?” she asked.
A chill ran down his spine at the thought. “No. No ID scan.” He hoped he hadn’t reacted too quickly.
A rush of panic began eating into his chest. He wasn’t sure what he should do next; he had so little experience in this. It would be disastrous if she became suspicious and he attracted attention.
“Wait. I have this.” His hands began to shake as he dug into his bag and pulled out a small card. It was translucent, with filament circuitry running along the surface in elegant patterns.
“A currency card? Of course, we can use that.” Her voice was very helpful and warm, something else he was unaccustomed to. “Do you know how to use it?”
Realizing he was just standing still, he looked around and shook his head no.
“Touch it to here.” She smiled and pulled out a data pad, extending it across the counter for him. Carefully, he touched the card to the pad, and it responded with an electronic chime. She gathered his purchases and handed him the package. His hands wouldn’t stop shaking.
“Are you okay, sweetheart?” He could feel her genuine concern. A vague remembrance of his mother came forward. She might have been like this if she had the chance. “You look a little unraveled.”
He admonished himself for losing his composure. Years of training seemed wasted if his practiced resolve could be fractured by this. He had endured far worse treatment with no visible effects over the years. Find your center. With a deep breath, a stoic calm came over him. It was a facade, but that was necessary. This was not the time to be unnerved.
“I am fine. But thank you for all your help.” He bowed and left the store with a calm step.
Once he was back into the milling crowd, he could feel the edgy discomfort beginning to creep in. Everything around him was so foreign it strained his ability to find his center. He needed a quiet place to wait out the next step in the plan—preferably, someplace with a cup of tea and something to eat. Across the way, he spotted another information kiosk. Feeling more confident, this time he walked right up to the device.
“I need a restaurant that serves Jahrling tea.”
“Checking menus with Jahrling tea… Café Aroma on deck four.” Directions appeared, making the location easy for him to find. The restaurant seemed remote in regard to the rest of the market district. It would be easy to stay in that area until it was time.
Perfect. A nice, secluded place to wait for passenger boarding to begin. Twenty-eight hours and counting.
Trying to escape his tortured past, Sergeant Liam Jacks travels aboard the transport vessel, the Santa Claus, as the security chief alongside his best friend and captain, Marc Danverse. Having survived the Civil War, they shuttle amongst the Proxima Centauri planetary cluster, trying to find some modicum of peace. Something of which Liam is in short supply.
During a stopover on the planet Luxoria, they take on a mysterious passenger. Hadrian Jamison’s history is questionable and his effect on Liam is undeniable. The more they learn, the more questions they have. As they are drawn together, Hadrian’s presence threatens to disrupt the quiet.
When Hadrian’s past catches up to claim him, the ensuing conflict is more than any of them expected.
While spending years more focused on visual arts, J. Alan Veerkamp never let go of his innate passion for storytelling, wanting to write and draw comic books when he grew up. Once he discovered M/M fiction, a whole new world opened filled with possibilities. Why couldn’t you have fantastic and dynamic sexy tales with an M/M cast? He started reading the online tales of authors like, Night Tempest, Rob Colton, and Alicia Nordwell, which only fueled his need to create. Eventually he found GayAuthors.org, and with a little coercive nudge, started sharing his tales with an unexpected level of positive response. The experience and support gave him the courage to cross his fingers and aim for the world of M/M publishing.
Born and raised in Michigan, J. Alan continues to type away, wishing it was practical to use an noisy, old fashioned keyboard that clacks with each strike, if just to annoy his loving partner and spoiled miniature dachshund.
J. Alan has brought a $10 NineStar Press gift card to give away to one lucky reader. Just follow the Rafflecopter link below to enter.
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Welcome, J. Alan, and best wishes on the release of The Luxorian Fugitive; I enjoyed the excerpt and have added the book to my wishlist.