Saturday, June 11, 2011

Please welcome Rochelle Weber

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Jake Johnsrud saved Annie Peterson’s life. Now slaves on that God-forsaken rock, the Moon, how will they survive?

Interview with Jake Johnsrud

Um, I’m Jake Johnsrud (pronounced John-shrewd) and I snuck in here with Annie. She’s showing me how to send burst messages.

Q: What's your story/back story? Why would someone come up with a story about YOU?

Jake: I suppose it’s because I’m a first-waver here at Moon Base Alpha. I’m not special in anyway. I’m not handsome—I have a lantern jaw and my ears are too big. I grew up in Castle Rock, Wisconsin. It’s a tiny village outside of Fennimore, nestled in the hills. We were in that part of Wisconsin where the Mississippi veers west, so we were about 35 miles north of Dubuque. But I worked in marketing in Chicago—until Freezeland ditched the Constitution. I HAD to go to the rally.

So, I get to DC and this beautiful girl is there with her husband and I’m thinking what a lucky guy he is, when suddenly she’s on the ground, holding his head in her lap and there’s a smoking hole in it from a laser gun. People are panicking and trying to run so I throw myself on top of her. We both get arrested and I figure I’ll never see her again. Now I’m on the Moon and she’s here. She still loves him, but maybe if I give her time… She wants to keep it on a just-friends level for now so that’s how it is.

Q: What are some of your good traits?
Jake: I’m a hard worker and I have a good sense of humor.

Q: What are some of your bad qualities?
Jake: Even though polyamory is allowed now, I could see that Paul and Annie were a mono couple, yet I fell in love with Annie the first time I laid eyes on her.

Q: One of the most important of the day: What's it like to kiss your heroine?
Jake: I’ve never kissed Annie or signed up for her conjugal cube or anything like that. She’s still grieving for Paul. But, I’m hoping the day’ll come…

Q: That’s all the questions we have for you tonight, Jake. Thank you for speaking to us.

Jake: Yeah. Glad to do it. And if you can find Annie’s baby and let her know he’s alive and okay, that’d help a lot. Oh—and don’t let Freezeland catch you. Annie’s right. You’ll be lucky to land here ‘cause he’s got an itchy trigger finger and a whole Army at his command.

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The future is a dangerous place for dreamers and idealists.
When a dictator takes over the United States, Annie Peterson attends a protest in Washington, DC, with her husband Paul. US troops fire into the crowd killing him, and Jake Johnsrud, a virtual stranger, risks his life to save hers. They are among the survivors who are sentenced to slavery on the Moon for their “crimes”—Jake as a miner; Annie as a sex slave.
Jake fights increasing feelings of anger and jealousy as Annie struggles to perform her job, while she resists her increasing attraction to him. Along with their fellow inmates, they fight to survive on the lunar "rock" that is their prison.

Moon Showers
August 2052
Moon Base Alpha
Lunar Coordinates: 19° North; 29° East

[During what we on Earth call the Persied Meteor shower, a rock has breached the living quarters, killing two men and forcing the base to move inside Mt. Aragaeus sooner than planned. While technically on the Moon the debris of the comet’s tail would be considered asteroids, from Annie’s point of view, they’re still meteors. And, OK, I made the same mistake.]

Fran Sparapani showed up at Annie’s desk the next day.
“How can I help you?” Annie asked.
“We still need to move the rest of the plants,” Fran said.
“Okay. I’ll get a work party together and they can take you over there.”
Annie began to worry when it got late. She wondered why the work party was taking so long. They were approaching the comet’s tail and the group was still in the dome.
Annie tried to call them and order them to come back. “Hydroponics, come in, please,” She waited several seconds and then tried again. “Hydroponics, come in please.” The Captain stood nervously at her side. After the third try, Annie shook her head. “They aren’t answering.” She sounded worried.
“They probably removed their helmets,” the Captain replied. “That comet’s almost back. Someone has to go over there and tell those people they need to get in here where it’s safe.”
“I’ll go,” Jake offered, walking into her office in full p-suit with his helmet under his arm. “I was just coming in here to ask about them.”
Annie followed him down the wide access tunnel to the main airlock. Just before he cycled through, he gave Annie a kiss. She smiled wanly as the door closed and the lock cycled, and watched him as he loped across the plain and cycled into the farm dome, determined to wait by the airlock until he brought the group safely back to the tunnel.
The rock that broke through the dome was not large as rocks go, but with no atmosphere to slow them down or burn them up, the meteors hit the Moon with the full force of their acceleration through space. The people in the dome did not have a chance. Annie watched in horror, as the plume of air and humidity vented from the foot-wide hole into the vacuum of space, not knowing whether Jake was okay. What if the meteor had exploded and shrapnel had pierced his p-suit?
“Not again!” she railed at God. “Every time I fall in love with a man you take him away from me!” She had said it out loud. Yes. She knew now that she was in love with Jake. And now it may well be too late.
Crystal came up beside her and put an arm around her.
“What’s wrong?” she asked.
“A rock hit the dome,” Annie sobbed. “I saw the air whoosh out.”
“Who’s over there?” Crystal asked.
“Jake,” Annie replied. “And Fran and her work detail.”
The Captain came up behind her, as well.
“What happened?” he asked.
“A rock breached the farm,” Crystal replied, as Annie sobbed in her arms.
“He could be fine,” the Captain said. “I’m sure he kept his helmet on. Let’s go back to the office and try to raise him.”
They picked their way back to the make-shift office, and the Captain, himself, activated the communicator.
“Base to Johnsrud,” the Captain called. “Jake, come in!”
There was nothing but static.
“It could be his radio,” Captain Andrews told Annie. She sat numbly, nodding.
“How soon can we send someone out to check on them?” she asked.
“Not until we pass through the comet’s tail,” the Captain replied. “Then we’ll send out a party to bring them back.”
Annie left the office, and returned to the main airlock. She would stand there all night, if she had to. Jake had to come home safely. He just had to.
There was a moon quake. Annie didn’t see the rock that caused the new crater, but she saw the boulders exploding from it until one landed silently on their mountain, collapsing the entrance to their cave. Everyone felt that impact, too. Things might weigh less up here, but they had the same mass. Annie flinched and sobbed anew. They were trapped inside the cave. The airlock was deep enough inside that it was intact. But Jake was out there—beyond the rubble. And Annie didn’t know whether he was dead or alive.

136 Words 3rd Person

Rochelle Weber is a Navy veteran and holds a BA in Communications from Columbia College in Chicago with an emphasis on creative writing. Her non-fiction article, “Bulimia,” was featured in Hair Trigger 9 & 10, the acclaimed Columbia College student anthology. Her first novel, Rock Bound, is available now at Create Space, Amazon, Smashwords and The sequel, Rock Crazy will be released by MuseItUp Publishing in October, 2011. She edits the Marketing for Romance Writers Newsletter. Rochelle lives in Volo, Ilinois, with her elder daughter and granddaughter. Her younger daughter lives in Paris, Illinois, and has a son and two daughters. Three cats, a dog and a rabbit allow the humans space in their home.



Rochelle Weber--Author, Editor said...

Thanks, Cassie:

Couldn't get online this a.m. Having probs with internet software. Grrr... Anyway, posted it everywhere so we should have some traffic now.

More thanks,

Cassie Exline said...

Welcome! I'm spreading the word as well.

Willsin Rowe said...

That's a nice creative post. Jake's a very readable character, too. And in the excerpt, I liked that facts were delivered as part of the story, rather than as a heavy info-dump. Lovely work.

Janice said...

Great excerpt. Sounds like a great read.


Cassie Exline said...

Rochelle does have a way of catching our attention. Certainly makes me want to know more about Jake. Thanks for stopping by, Willsin.

Cassie Exline said...

Janice, so glad you stopped by. Another must read to add to our list.

Savannah Chase said...

Rochelle fantastic interview....I enjoyed reading it..

Cassie Exline said...

Rochelle put a great spin on it. Thanks for visiting, Savannah. Always nice to see you.

Savannah Chase said...

What a great interview with Jake...Sounds interesting...