Phoenix Rising: Bitterhold by Hunter Trammell

Long and Short Reviews welcomes Hunter Trammell whose debut novel Phoenix Rising: Bitterhold, the first in a planned science fiction adventure series, was recently released. Enter the Rafflecopter at the end of the post for a chance to win a signed copy of the book.

In the future, Earth’s civilization has spread across the stars and now humans and aliens peacefully coexist under the rule of the Eglar Empire as it spreads relentlessly across the universe. Crime is almost unheard of and to many the Empire is a Godsend. But for an enlightened few it is different. While the media distorts the facts, the universe is on the verge of destruction as the Elgar’s get closer to the Aisle of Dominion, an ancient fable that tells of immeasurable power to whomever beholds it. An attack on an Eglar Militia base forces Decklan Brady, a grieving father of one of the casualties, to embark on a quest for retribution. But as he investigates he discovers that there is more to it than he was led to believe. Falling foul of the law, Decklan ends up as a prisoner in Bitterhold, a cryogenic reformation colony onboard the Starship Arcadia. There, he befriends Wesley Rhead, the former leader and founder of a militia group known as Phoenix. Together, the two devise a plan to escape and rekindle the fire of a broken dream. But can Phoenix really bring justice to the oppressed and restore peace throughout the stars? And can Decklan expose the harsh truth of what happens within the Eglar Empire?

Enjoy an Excerpt:

The central elevator creaks as it makes its approach to the third floor. The metal doors scratch the ground as they retract revealing the inside of the cab. Decklan stands alone, propped up against the back of the elevator staring at the ground. His hair hangs freely, covering his face from anyone who may peer inside. He takes his first step out of the elevator and heads towards his room. He was assigned cell number 528, which is on the farthest back wall of the floor. He places his foot through the barrier, feeling relieved that he had found the right room.

The room is cold. Sheets and spare uniforms are folded in the wall cubby aside his bed. His mattress is stiff, stained, and worn from having gone through decades of different inmates resting atop of it. He lies down on his mattress, the stuffing crinkles and pops as he finds a comfortable position to relax. He stares above at the scratched ceiling while taking a deep breath, cherishing the luxury of alone time. His roommate’s things were still folded and compartmentalized; he had not yet visited his bunk.

A small wooden cigar box sits in one of the wall cubbies. Decklan reaches over to grab the box to inspect what may be inside. He flips the top open and grabs a small pile of photographs. The top one in the stack is a little wallet-sized picture that houses the memory of Decklan and his wife. His face clean shaven, hair trimmed to a nice comb-over, smile so infectious it could jump off the picture and contaminate anyone who stares. His wife is beautiful. His arms are wrapped around her shoulders, her brown hair hanging softly over his hand. Her eyes are stricken with love. Decklan smiles as he travels back to that moment, but it is soon corrupted by the regret that runs through his veins as he notices a note scribed onto the back of the photo:

Located these pictures in your belongings, thought you might appreciate a reminder of what your actions have amounted to. Now they are all nothing more than a glossy ink filled memory that you will never be able to replicate. Enjoy your stay, Decklan Brady.

– Warden Stroud.

Decklan places the picture along with a few others in the pocket of his jumpsuit, keeping them close to his heart. He stares once again at the scratches on the ceiling above him, finding parallel to his own feelings. His emotions claw at the surface but are nothing more than a reminder of the man he failed to become.

About the Author: I love to create, that is what I love most about writing. I have the freedom to shape the world how I see fit. I can create characters that defy the social norms and emerge victoriously while bringing strange worlds to life for the audience to explore. I wanted to write a novel to prove to myself that I held the cards and could do what I set my mind too. My personal goal had turned into more than just “I did it,” it spawned a hobby and something that I hope to be lucky enough to do for a living one day.

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Buy the book at Amazon.

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