Sunday, November 25, 2007

Excerpt from
Rebel Nation
by Christopher Stires
McKenna Alexander watched, stunned, powerless, as the CS marshal hustled her handcuffed attorney from the judge's chamber.
“Damnation,” the judge growled. He pressed a handful of yellow tissues to his bleeding nose and tilted his head back. “Give me a moment, people.”
As McKenna sat with the others in the office, she counted the crimson periods dotting the judge’s crisp white shirt. Four. No, five. Blood had also dripped onto the judge’s striped bow tie. Oh, God. She had been confident that the charges against her would be dismissed; absolute in her vindication. Had been. Until one minute ago. Now, however, the only question left unanswered was – how much jail time would she receive before she was run out of the country?
“Excuse me,” the judge said, rising awkwardly from his black-leather chair. He edged his head further back and pinched the nostrils harder. Then he walked into the office bathroom. The dark walnut door remained open.
From the hall corridor, a second marshal stepped inside.
All in the chamber were quiet.
McKenna twisted the delicate gold chain on her wrist. She should have accepted the NBC anchor job. Landry had offered the network position twice. He had flattered her unmercifully with the proposals each time. Not only, he’d said in his coarse Texas drawl, would she be the first female anchor on any of the television networks in the South but, at thirty-four, she would also be the youngest. The ratings for the network evening news were up and, even the suits in New York, credited her with the increase. The latest viewer surveys showed that people liked and, more importantly, trusted her. Plus, she had proven herself time and time again with the hard news stories and interviews she delivered.
She’d noted that Landry had tactfully avoided the disasters she had been involved with. He also didn’t mention all the mail the network had received when he first brought her to Richmond four years ago. It was bad enough, most of the letters and e-mail read, that the network was owned by Yankees. They could live with that since they had to but they definitely didn’t want some blonde Yankee bitch telling them the news each night. If it hadn’t been for Cullen’s encouragement, she didn’t know whether or not she would have survived the first year.
She said no to the anchor position. Both times. She told Landry she loved Richmond, she had made her home here after all, and the city on the James River was the Confederate nation’s capitol, and this was where national policy and agenda were decided, but Richmond was not the entire Confederacy and she enjoyed living out of a duffel bag and not knowing in which of the thirteen states she would be each week. On Monday she could be in Tennessee and by Friday in the Carolinas and the following Tuesday in New Mexico. She would miss the road and the adventure. And she hated the idea of being locked behind a desk introducing other reporters who would be doing the assignments she wanted.
This morning that decision was moot.
The Confederate Attorney General had decided that she did not want McKenna covering any news stories. Even events like the cotton harvest in the Texas Panhandle and fishing conditions in the Louisiana Bayou were too much for her. She wanted McKenna a vague memory.
But McKenna would not go gently. Not for the Attorney General, not for anyone.
from the 5-Star reviews at Amazon:

"Awesome read! Great details and world building! ... If you've ever even toyed with the idea of reading alternate history, this book is for you!"
"...delivers from the very beginning ... a thumping good read."
"...held my interest until the very last page... a good mystery."
"Just when I thought the theme of the South winning the Civil War had been done to death this author proves me wrong."
"...compelling book. From its first page..."

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