Wednesday, July 05, 2017
Jake Johnsrud of Rock Bound by @ RochelleWeber #SciFiRomance, #PoliticalSuspense, #MFRWAuthor
Before I welcome Jake Johnsrud (pronounced John-shrewd) to my blog, I’d like to say a few words. It’s a coincidence that I happened to choose the week that included Independence Day to feature myself on my blog. But, considering the state our country’s in, it’s quite appropriate that the week of my blog happens to be the week of our national birthday celebration.
I wrote Rock Bound over ten years ago, when we had a man residing in the White House who was not elected by the American people, was elected by the Electoral College amidst a flurry of confusion created by “iffy” votes that were probably tampered with in a key state where his brother just happened to be the Governor. The person in the White House was perceived as weak and ineffectual until a terrorist attack plunged us into war. And even then, there was speculation about his ties to the siblings of the man behind the attack. Furthermore, this man seemed to care nothing for women’s rights or climate change. I feared the worst—that this man would manage to set aside the Twenty-Second Amendment of our Constitution and set himself up as a dictator.
Little did I know an even worse evil would come along such a short time later and plunge our country into a chaos hate crimes, rampant bigotry, and homegrown terrorist attacks. A man of whose election legitimacy again, is contested, and who doesn’t seem to think the Constitution means much or applies to him or his decisions. I don’t just fear for the future; I no longer feel safe.
In May, a passenger on an Amtrak train shot the conductor. He had no problem getting aboard the train with a gun. Two weeks later when I used Amtrak to get to my granddaughter’s high school graduation, I expected to find metal detectors at the entrances to Chicago’s Union Station—one of the busiest stations in the country, and the station from which the train with the gunman had originated two weeks earlier. There were none. There were security guards walking around, and one dog we had to walk past as we boarded our train. But there were a lot of people in the building. Not only were there people who looked like travelers carrying luggage, but the food court was full of people having lunch who appeared to work in the area. Any of those briefcases, suitcases, backpacks, tote bags, or purses could have contained a device that could have done plenty of damage to the station’s infrastructure and the people in the area. I don’t know about anyone else, but I did not feel safe or protected by any means.
So, thanks for listening to my rant. And now, I’d like you to meet Jake Johnsrud, of Moon Colony Alpha.
RW: What’s your story? Why would someone come up with a story about you?
JJ: 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 thirty-five miles north of Dubuque, Iowa. 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.
RW: Where do you live?
JJ: I’m a miner at Moon Base Alpha. I sleep in a compartment with four other guys in the Barracks Dome, eat and relax in the Rec Room in the Main Dome, and work inside Mt. Aragaeus. Once we get enough space carved out, we can ditch the domes and move inside the caves we create.
RW: What are some of your good traits?
JJ: I’m a hard worker and I have a good sense of humor.
RW: What are some of your bad qualities?
JJ: 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.
RW: One of the most important of the day: What's it like to kiss your heroine?
JJ: I’ve never kissed Annie or signed up for her conjugal cube or anything like that. She’s still grieving for Paul. I’m hoping the day’ll come…
RW: Bubble baths or steamy showers? Ocean or mountains? Puppies or kittens? Chocolate or caramel?
JJ: Hot steamy showers or bubble baths?—We don’t have enough water up here to take full showers. And bubble baths are something we can only dream about.
Oceans or mountains?—I can look up at the Earth and see the oceans. I remember glancing out of the bus window on Lake Shore Drive on my way to work and looking at Lake Michigan. We have rounded mountains up here, but with no atmosphere, there’s no snow, so they’re kind of boring. But all I can do is remember the oceans, and the feeling of water…
Puppies or kittens?—Like Annie, I love pretty much all animals. One of the sailors who works on the nuclear power plant smuggled a cat up here, and he didn’t know she was pregnant, so we have kittens, and they’re cute. But we have to watch out for them in the pressure locks. We don’t want them getting spaced accidentally.
Chocolate or Caramel?—We don’t grow any of that stuff here yet. But if we did, I could think of some interesting things to do with chocolate sauce once Annie gets over Paul.
RW: If money were not an object, where would you most like to live?
JJ: I’d want to live wherever Annie was. If money were no object, I know she’d find a way to go home and look for her son.
RW: Party life or quiet dinner for two?
JJ: There’s no privacy up here at all. We eat our rations at trestle tables, and we sleep five people to a room. Even the Conjugal Cubes’re practically in the middle of the Main Dome. Everyone can see you going into them and coming out. Not that I’ve ever spent time in a cube with Annie (or anyone else, either.)
RW: Those are all the questions I have for you. Thank you for speaking to me.
JJ: Yeah. Glad to do it. And if you can find Annie’s baby and let her know he’s alive, 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.
Meet Rochelle Weber
Rochelle Weber holds a BA in Writing from Columbia College in Chicago. Her sci-fi romance novels Rock Bound and Rock Crazy as well as her contemporary romance, The Thin Person Inside are available in both e-book and print at MuseItUp Publishing, Inc. and Amazon.With over twenty years of experience, Ms. Weber currently edits on a freelance basis and publishes the Marketing for Romance Writers Newsletter, winner of the 2013 & 2015 Preditors & Editors Readers’ Polls for Best Writers’ Resource.
Battling bi-polar disorder she quips, “You haven’t lived until you’ve been the only woman on the locked ward at the VA.” She lost over a hundred pounds and kept it off three years. She has two married daughters, 7 assorted grandkids, and one great granddaughter, and lives in Round Lake Beach, Illinois with Acey, a cat who walks all over her.
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 Paul, her husband and soul mate. US troops fire into the crowd killing Paul. Jake Johnsrud, a virtual stranger, risks his life to save Annie’s. They are among the survivors who are sentenced to slavery on the Moon for their “crimes.”
Jake is forced to mine, while Annie is sentenced as a doxy to "service" the men. 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.
Massacre at the Mall
The protesters pushed against each other, trying to hold their signs up high above the crowd. The smell of sweat hung in the muggy July air, as Paul, Annie, and Crystal struggled to find a place to spread their blankets near the Lincoln Memorial. The passion of the crowd’s chant rang across the Mall.
“Restore the Constitution! Restore free elections!”
The Mall was so crowded they could barely breathe. Paul went in search of drinks and was gone over an hour. The first speaker mounted the podium.
“Can you believe they’re charging five credits a bottle for water and seven for pop?” he asked, as he handed the women their drinks.
“Now don’t you wish we’d brought the cooler from the car?” Annie asked.
“I know, and you’ll never let me live it down,” Paul lamented. His warm, brown eyes smiled at her.
“Well, if water’s five credits, how much’ll a sandwich be?” Crystal asked.
“I already checked. Burgers’re fifteen credits and fries’re another five,” Paul replied, as he settled on the blanket between the two women.
“It’s a seller’s market. They’ll charge all the traffic will bear,” said a man sitting on the grass next to them.
“I’m Jake Johnsrud.” The man’s bright blue eyes twinkled momentarily when his gaze met Annie’s.
Annie smiled at him. “This is my husband, Paul, our friend Crystal Petrie, and I’m Annie Peterson. Why don’t you join us on our blanket?”
“Thanks,” he said.
“Nice to meet you, Jake,” Annie replied. “Scrunch over there, Honey.” She patted the blanket next to her as she moved closer to Paul in the middle to make room for the tall, raw-boned man.
“Well, the price of pop isn’t our only worry,” Paul said. “There are troops surrounding the Mall. I think we can pretty much count on being arrested.”
“Then we’ll all be arrested together, just like my great-grandparents in Chicago.” Annie linked her arm through Paul’s and sang slightly off key, “If you’ve been to jail for justice, let me shake your hand.”
Folk songs by the group Peter, Paul, and Mary had been staples in the Swanson household when she was growing up. Her great-grandmother had sung her to sleep with “Puff the Magic Dragon” and had sung along in the car as she listened to the group’s re-mastered files. And now, a century later, the music had been rediscovered. By the end of the day, it would be banned.
They stood up to listen to the speakers.
Annie followed Crystal’s gaze to the soldiers. She didn’t believe what she saw, and tried to process the sight of them raising their weapons. Crystal dropped her sign and yelled, “The bastards’re firing on us!”
Paul’s head lolled forward, the charred hole still smoking, and Annie fell to the ground trying to cradle him. She sobbed, crying “No! No! No!” Crystal’s arms were around her, as she sat on the ground, clutching her dead husband. People were trying to run but there was nowhere to go. Annie felt Jake fall atop her and Crystal. Oh, my God! He’s dead, too!
“Stay still,” he said. “We’re liable to get trampled.”
Annie felt the weight lift all too soon, as Jake was roughly pulled to his feet by a soldier, who separated him from the women. They handcuffed Annie with a plastic tie-up, and dragged her away from Paul’s body toward an Army truck.
“Nooooooooooo!” she screamed. “Paul!”
They threw her in back of the truck, and Crystal landed next to her. She scooted closer to Annie.
“Cry it out, Sweetie,” Crystal said. Annie leaned her head on the other woman’s shoulder and sobbed.
Contact Me At:
Author Blog: http://rochelleweber.blogspot.com
Facebook Author Page: https://www.facebook.com/Rochelle.Weber.Author?ref=hl
Amazon Author Page: http://amazon.com/author/rochelleweber
Create Space Buy Link: https://www.createspace.com/3559316
You’ll notice we always include the publisher’s buy link. That’s because authors usually receive 40-50% of the net proceeds from the publisher. Editors and cover artists usually receive about 5%. When you buy a book from Amazon, Barnes & Noble or another third-party vendor, they take a hefty cut and the author, editors and cover artists receive their cuts from what is left. So, if a book costs $5.99 at E-Book Publisher.com and you buy from there, the author will receive about $2.40-$2.99. If you buy the book at Amazon, the author will receive about $1.70-$2.10.
Download the file from the publisher onto your computer as you would any other file. I’ve created a folder for books on my computer, with subfolders by source (Marketing for Romance Writers, Net Galley, Authors who find me on Kindle lists, etc.). That way, if there’s a glitch with your Kindle, the books are on your computer. Some publishers send books in all digital formats. If my Kindle breaks and my kids buy me a Nook, I won’t have to replace all of my books. If you have a Kindle and your hubby has a Nook, you won’t have to buy separate copies, so buying directly from the publisher can save you money.
Moving the file from your computer to your e-reader is as easy as transferring any file from your computer to a USB flash drive. Plug the larger USB end of your e-reader charging chord into a USB port on your computer and simply move the file from the folder into which you’ve downloaded the book to Documents/Books directory on your e-reader. You can move the file by highlighting it and dragging it to the documents directory in you Kindle you want to move it to. Or right click on it, and then left click copy or move. Or hit Control/C for copy, Control/X for cut, and Control/V for paste.
Your author will be happy you did when he/she sees his/her royalty statement.
Thanks for visiting.