Federation Day!

How about a super sneak peek excerpt from the final PHANTOM CORPS novel, CAPTIVATED?

Copyright 2012, Lauren Dane
All Rights Reserved, The Berkley Publishing Group
Releasing May 2012

Weary to his bones, Julian rolled from the bed it seemed like he’d only just fallen into. People had come in. Vincenz’s voice was clear.

But his normally calm, metered tone had sharpened. Odd.

Pulling on pants, Julian moved toward the talking, pausing to button and zip at the doorway. Across the large space, Vincenz stood, holding an apparently unconscious woman as he argued with two soldiers, one a med-tech. The woman’s hands were bandaged and her clothes, obviously borrowed, swallowed her body.

“I said no. I promised her I’d stay with her. She’s going to be right here.” Vincenz forced his way past two Federation soldiers and into a room just off the main comm and command center of the house.

“She needs to be debriefed. We can take her to a med center where she’ll get real help. We need to know what she knows.” The soldier spread his hands, totally reasonable.

But the look on Vincenz’s face was not. He was so fierce, Julian stepped forward to intercede. To offer his force to make whatever Vincenz wanted happen.

“What’s going on?”

Vincenz put her down carefully and turned back to Julian. “This is Hannah. They kept her in a lab for nearly a standard year in almost total isolation. She’s . . . she’s fragile. And deathly afraid of doctors right now. I’m sure you can understand that.” Vincenz turned his attention back to the med-tech.

“We can keep her under at least while we check her over. Operative Cuomo, she’s clearly malnourished and emotionally unstable. You’re not equipped to handle that.”

Vincenz got in the med-tech’s physical space and used it to push him back. “I told you not to approach! It’s your own fault and now she’s injured and her emotional state worse. You can examine her here. Now. I’m not leaving the room either.”

“Are you saying I’d hurt her?” The soldier’s features broadcast just what he thought of that accusation.

Vincenz batted it away just as angrily. “No. I’m saying I’m not going to let you make it worse. I made a promise to her and I don’t break my promises. I’m staying because she wants it that way, not because I think you’d molest her in some way.”

With a glare, the soldier took up his medical bag and got to work. Vincenz moved to the doorway, watching, his side touching Julian’s.

“Hey.” Julian wanted to kiss Vincenz just then. But they were on duty. But after . . . when the soldiers left, then he’d get that kiss and more.

Vincenz gave him a smile and Julian forgot some of his troubles. “I’m glad you’re here. When did you get back?”

“Daybreak.” And then he’d sat in the shower, hoping he could wash it all away. The water had gone cold and he still couldn’t get the stench out of his nostrils. “What happened?” He tipped his chin toward the woman on the bed.

“Andrei and Piper are on their way to the Center. Kenner . . . her brother Kenner is dead. He was killed on the roof of the lab where I found Hannah.”

Both men looked toward the woman on the bed and the soldier who’d slid her shirt open, carefully using his diagnostics on her. “A year?”

Vincenz nodded. “When I found her she was in a corner, rocking. Not quite filthy, but it was clear she had to make due with wet cloths. Though, that she took the care to try to stay clean speaks to how strong she is. She wouldn’t let go of me, but even in the middle of a firefight she held it together. She’s a survivor.”

Julian looked at the curve of her cheeks. Pretty. Too thin, but with some time to recuperate, she’d be better. He hoped. Then again, he wasn’t sure there was such a thing as recuperation anymore.
“What happened to her hands?”

Vincenz huffed a sigh. “I told them to back off, but they persisted. They wanted to interview her right there at the portal station. Gods. She was holding on to me and then sort of wrapped her hands up in the straps of my pack. They pulled at her. She screamed.” His voice broke. “She screamed and screamed and screamed as they pulled at her. I kept telling them to stop. Finally they used a sedative and before she went under she looked at me like I’d done it to her. Her hands were bloody from where she’d tried to hang on.” He scrubbed his hands over his face and Julian heard the ache in his voice.

Today’s prize is a signed copy of MESMERIZED! The winner will be chosen from the comments to this post. What books are you most looking forward to in 2012?

28 comments to “Federation Day!”

  1. Lindsey E
    December 28th, 2011 at 6:12 am · Link

    The next Alien book from Gina Koch Alien Diplomacy, and books from Grace Burrowes Lady Maggie’s Secret Scandel, Nalini Singh Tangled Need, Mari Carr with Jayne Rylon Southern Comfort and Vivian Arend Rocky Mountain Haven. Moira Rogers has books coming up as well. Every month has new books and new authors to look forward to.

  2. mariann
    December 28th, 2011 at 6:28 am · Link

    I’m looking forward to fatal flaw, colters promise,
    Captivated, sway, whispers in the dark, Sullivan series
    By Bella Andre, pure bliss, siren in bloom, and many more.
    Lol 😀

  3. Marc
    December 28th, 2011 at 7:29 am · Link

    I am looking forward to Lothaire by Cole. Fair Game by Briggs. Chaos Burning. About that Night by James. Bear Meets Girl by Laurenston. Lover Reborn by Ward. Taking a Shot by Burton. Wild Cat by Ashley. Lots of my favorite author have books coming out in 2012. Can’t wait.

  4. Christine
    December 28th, 2011 at 7:52 am · Link

    Celebrity Death by JD Robb Bear meets Girl Shelly Laurenston Captivated,Chaos Burning, Copper Beach by Jayne Krentz, The Angel Book by Nalini Singh just to name a few

  5. Rachel Riddles
    December 28th, 2011 at 8:05 am · Link

    I’m looking forward to JR Wards Lover Reborn, Jaci Burton Taking a Shot, anything by you : ) Shayla Black Mine to Hold and anything Maya Banks!!

  6. CrystalGB
    December 28th, 2011 at 8:37 am · Link

    I am looking forward to Sway, JR Ward’s Lover Reborn, Thea Harrison’s next Elder Races book and Nalini Singh’s next books.

  7. Kris M.
    December 28th, 2011 at 8:39 am · Link

    Anything by you (cannot wait for Captivated), Taking a Shot by Jaci Burton, anything by Nalini Singh and Maya Banks KGI series.

  8. Regina Ross
    December 28th, 2011 at 9:46 am · Link

    i cant wait to read Sway =)


  9. Myra N
    December 28th, 2011 at 10:11 am · Link

    Captivated & Chaos Burning 😉
    Kresley Coles’ Lothaire
    Cynthia Eden’s Shadows Stand
    JD Robb’s Celebrity In Death
    Gena Showalter’s Darkest Seduction
    JR Ward’s Lover Reborn
    Shelley Laurenston’s Bear Meets Girl
    Darynda Jones’ Third Grave Dead Ahead
    Thea Harrison’s Oracle’s Moon
    Jaci Burton’s Taking A Shot & Playing To Win
    Courtney Allison Moulton’s Wings of the Wicked

  10. Alaina
    December 28th, 2011 at 10:16 am · Link

    thats a toughie… shelly laurenstons Bear Meets Girl..Patricia Briggs’ Fair Game.. Thea Harrisons ORacles Moon.. CC Hunters third book… those are some of the big ones for me.. ohh and some new Jennifer Estep and Ilona Andrews!!

  11. Linda
    December 28th, 2011 at 11:49 am · Link

    Books that I am taking forward to:
    Captivated, Chaos Burning, Tart, Laid Open (love Erin, Todd and Ben)
    Taking a Shot, Playing to Win (J Burton)
    Lover Reborn (JR Ward)
    Angels’ Flight, Tangle of Need, Archangel’s Storm (N Singh)
    Darker After Midnight (L Adrian)

  12. JenM
    December 28th, 2011 at 12:47 pm · Link

    Loved that excerpt. I try not to keep track of when new books are coming, because I hate waiting, but the two books that I want above all others are Fair Game by Patricia Briggs and Gun Metal Magic by Ilona Andrews.

  13. RebeLovesBooks
    December 28th, 2011 at 12:53 pm · Link

    I can’t wait for Patricia Briggs’ Fair Game! I love Anna and Charles – such a great couple!

  14. elaing8
    December 28th, 2011 at 1:21 pm · Link

    All of your books that are coming out 🙂
    Jaci Burton’s Taking a Shot
    Maya Banks Sweet Addiction

    great excerpt.Love that cover 😀

  15. Diane
    December 28th, 2011 at 1:59 pm · Link

    Jayne Ann Krentz has a new release the day before my birthday in January. That’s how far I’ve gotten in the new year.

  16. Viki S.
    December 28th, 2011 at 2:09 pm · Link

    I can’t wait for Jeaniene Frost’s ONCE BURNED. Vla’s story is going to be SO good!

  17. azteclady
    December 28th, 2011 at 2:22 pm · Link

    You want a list? Oh lord…

    Can it be a partial list, pretty please?

    Your Captivated, hands down.

    Shiloh Walker’s The Departed, If You See Her, If You Know Her.

    Meljean Brook’s third Iron Seas novel (Riveted, I believe?)

    Ann Aguirre’s Outpost (sometime in the Fall)

    The next two books in Nora Roberts’ Boonsboro Inn trilogy, her single title release, and the two In Death releases.

    There are more but my brain is blanking out and I don’t want to go around looking for them.

  18. Emily L.
    December 28th, 2011 at 3:21 pm · Link

    I’m really looking out for two books coming out next week, Pamela Clare’s redone Untamed and Maya Banks newest KGI book Whispers in the Dark 😛

  19. MEL
    December 28th, 2011 at 3:35 pm · Link

    Taking a Shot, Sway, Colter’s Promise..

  20. Michelle AB
    December 28th, 2011 at 6:14 pm · Link

    Here’s my list of 2012 books…LOL:
    Wild Cat by Jennifer Ashley
    Gunmetal Magic by Ilona Andrews
    Third Grave Dead Ahead by Darynda Jones
    Enraptured by Elisabeth Naughton
    Chaos Burning by You Dear
    Celebrity in Death by J.D. Robb

    Thank you for the snippet. I have put this series on my wish list.

  21. Pamk
    December 28th, 2011 at 7:11 pm · Link

    Bear meets girl
    fair game
    Tangled need
    and many not coming tomind right now.

  22. Hailey
    December 28th, 2011 at 7:12 pm · Link

    Maya Banks KGI series! I can’t wait to finish it!

  23. monikarw
    December 29th, 2011 at 12:03 am · Link

    KGI Novels by Maya Banks. Destiny & Karma by Carly Phillips. Nightfire by Lisa Marie Rice.

  24. Diane Mc.
    December 29th, 2011 at 10:03 am · Link

    To list just one book would be impossible. There is a bunch so each month I make a list.

  25. Carinne
    December 29th, 2011 at 2:48 pm · Link

    I’m looking forward to this one, and the start of the Brown Siblings spinoff!

  26. Spav
    December 29th, 2011 at 5:45 pm · Link

    I’m looking forward to Gunmetal Magic by Ilona Andrews, Tangle of Need by Nalini Singh & Fair Game by Patricia Briggs.

  27. Diane Sallans
    December 29th, 2011 at 9:12 pm · Link

    I Loved ‘Heart of Darkness’ so I’m really looking forward to ‘Chaos Burning’. Tho I’m working my way thru the rest of your books too.

  28. Melissa Lamb
    December 29th, 2011 at 11:37 pm · Link

    J R ward’s “Lover Reborn” and Laura Wright’s “Eternal Captive”.