No Way Home
A Christine Stewart Time Travel Adventure Book 1
by Christy Cooper-Burnett
Genre: Time Travel, SciFi, Historical Fantasy
Piedmont, Oklahoma 1867
I feel the panic inside me rising. Unable to control the fear, I snap at Marcus, “Shut up, I need to figure out what’s wrong!” He stares but offers no reaction, which isn’t surprising. Why should he care? He has no choice— he’ll be staying here. I, on the other hand, should have left by now. I try the transponder a few more times with no luck. It shows no signs of life.
Oh my God, this can’t be happening.
I’m stranded two hundred years in the past with no weapon, no supplies, and a prisoner who’s more likely to abandon me than offer any help.
My breathing is uneven, my heart pounding. I don’t know what to do; there’s no protocol in place for equipment failure. It’s always been a given I’d get back to my present day; I’ve transported prisoners many times in the last ten years with no problem. And I’m a good transporter, I keep my emotions out of the job. Yet here I am, a forty-year-old woman from 2070 Los Angeles in the middle of nowhere in 1867 with a twenty-three-year-old cyber-criminal who thinks of me as the enemy.
And not one idea about how to get home.
I can’t count on my prisoner to be much help. I spent the last day prepping him for his exile here, and I wouldn’t describe him as resourceful.
I pace back and forth for a few minutes trying to calm down, when Marcus announces that he is leaving. I’m not sure if I’d be better off with him here or if I should be relieved he is going, providing one less complication to worry about. I eye the backpack slung over his shoulder. I remember every item in there—I inspected the contents earlier today. He sees me looking at him and stands up straighter, grabbing the shoulder straps of the pack firmly.
I raise my eyebrows and tilt my head. “Please, at least a bottle of water?”
“No way.” Backing away and smiling, he laughs and gives me a weak salute before jogging toward town.
What a little shit he turned out to be.
And just like that, I’m alone.
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A Christine Stewart Time Travel Adventure Book 2
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A Christine Stewart Time Travel Adventure Book 3
Alexandria, Virginia, 1790
I was the first to wake up in 1790. Our group stretched out across the clearing, a hodgepodge of tangled limbs and scattered rucksacks. It was not a pretty picture. We looked exactly like what we were—a band of interlopers who landed here haphazardly and collapsed from exhaustion.
Gray and Adams stirred and sat up within minutes of each other, as did Ethan. We said nothing, just stared at one another wearily. Ethan rose to give me a quick embrace and collected the packs, stacking them in a pile. I got up to help, as Gray and Adams shook the others to wake them. I preferred to let them sleep. I didn’t look forward to their reaction to being here. Linda was petrified and glanced around the clearing. Frank pulled her close, while she buried her face in his shoulder. He spoke to her softly, soothing her.
Adams searched for his pack, making security of the medical provisions his top priority. Our antibiotics were this era’s entire stock of them as of this moment, and that was an unsettling thought. He was intent on protecting them at all costs.
Adams’s wife, Gemma, stirred while he was securing the supplies, and I glanced over to see her sit up with a start. She was dangerously close to hyperventilating. She twisted around frantically, searching for their son, Wyatt, who was still out cold. Her chest heaved as she dragged in air between sobs.
I took a deep breath and moved in that direction so I could calm her before she escalated into a full-blown meltdown. I grabbed her shoulders and pushed her head down between her knees and instructed her to inhale slow, steady breaths. My movement caught Adams’s attention, and I motioned him over to help her.
“Shit,” he said as he jogged to her.
Gray’s wife Kira and their two daughters, Rose and Emory, fought their way back into consciousness. The teenagers cried as their parents soothed them, their earlier excitement over transporting long gone. I felt bad about the bet I made with myself when they were giggling in the jump room, because now they were scared to death.
The commotion woke the rest of the group, and the more experienced agents were calming the civilians. Annabelle’s girls sobbed when they saw others in our group crying. Their cries morphed into high-pitched wails within seconds, and before I could stop it, everything spun out of control. It seemed our immediate future would be more about regret management and not goal achievement, as I had hoped.
Thirty minutes later, we had the group calmed enough to speak to them. Frank stepped up and held his hands up to quiet everyone.
“We have makeshift canvas tents to set up as shelters for the next couple of days. After that, if we want to stay in town at an inn until we build the cabins, we can. But for now, we need to remain here while we acclimate and wrap our heads around where and when we are.”
Ethan joined Frank and continued. “The day after tomorrow, a few of us will go into Alexandria and see about purchasing land and supplies. The sooner we get started, the better. We want to settle in before winter hits. I think me, Gray, Adams, and Christine should go to the city. That leaves Joe, Frank, Annabelle and Michael here at camp to watch things and get us organized.”
No one objected, the civilians were happy to let us take the lead and make the decisions. I took a deep breath and made rounds, ensuring they were calm. The older kids babysat Annabelle’s toddlers as the adults set up the shelters.
An hour later the tents were pitched, and we were ready to organize camp. I caught Michael’s eye, and he smiled. He seemed to take this in stride, but a surge of guilt ran through me anyway. It was the right decision to come here, but I could not help but feel apprehensive that I talked my son into going two hundred eighty-two years to the past to call home.
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Can you, for those who don’t know you already, tell us something about yourself and how you became an author?
I grew up reading everything I could get my hands on. My mother and grandmother were avid readers, and my grandmother was also an editor. Despite my lifelong love of books, I didn’t consider writing until I was in my late 50’s. I had a dream about a woman trapped in the past and in my dream, I was typing the story on my grandmother’s old typewriter. The dream stayed with me into the following day, and I mentioned it to my son. He thought it sounded like a great story and suggested I write a book based on the plot. I had never considered writing, but with his encouragement I started to put together an outline. I wrote on my lunch hours at work, and on weekends. When I had a story put together, I knew I should have a professional editor give it a once over. My friends were eager to read it, and I wanted to have the best version of it to give them. The editor I used was a former acquisitions editor for a publisher and told me it ticked all the boxes, and in her previous position she would have picked up my story. She encouraged me to send it out to small presses who accepted unsolicited manuscripts. No one was more surprised than me when I received four offers for the book. I eventually signed with a small publisher in Texas, Black Rose Writing. I have since published two more books in the series with them and just signed a contract for the first book in a new series, due out next September.
When did you first consider yourself a writer?
When I signed my first contract with Black Rose Writing. It was a surreal moment for me, and one that will stay with me forever. It was the best feeling in the world to know that my book was entertaining enough for a publisher to take a chance on with an unknown author.
Which of your novels can you imagine being made into a movie?
Since my books are part of a trilogy with the same characters, all of them! After three books with these characters, I feel I know them so well, I can imagine all of them translating to the screen.
Can you tell us a little bit about the characters in No Way Home, Finding Home and Escaping Home?
The protagonist, Christine Stewart was the most crucial for me. She is a regular, forty-something woman just doing her job when extraordinary circumstances turn her world upside down. She is somewhat anti-social by nature, so having to make connections to stay alive goes against every cell in her being. But she knows in order to get home and see her son again, she will do whatever it takes. By the end of No Way Home, she has evolved. It remains a daily struggle for her, but she tries to make a change for the better. She found a best friend for the first time since she was a young girl and learns to put someone else first. Christine has a need to try to save everyone, but in the final installment of the series, Escaping Home, she comes full circle and gets her happy ending. Just not in a way she ever expected.
What can we expect form you in the future?
I’ve just signed a contract for a new book which will be out next September. It is another time travel series, packed with adventure and action. Without giving away too much, here is a little teaser.
They always say, “Be careful what you wish for.”
I wish I had been careful.
I could’ve easily sold my time travel technology for billons and walked away. Instead, I chose to take the elite on vacations deep into the past, to a time and place of their choice.
But when a big-time motion picture company hired me, I sold my soul.
What was supposed to be a few days in the nineteenth century with two of Hollywood’s biggest celebrities goes horribly awry. Now America’s hottest starlet is dead, and Jack the Ripper is on the loose in modern-day America.
And it’s all my fault.
I was foolish enough to let the most ruthless serial killer in history slip out of the past. Am I smart enough to send him packing?
Is there a writer whose brain you would love to pick for advice? Who would that be and why?
Actually, Tom McCaffrey, the best-selling author of The Claire Trilogy (The Wise Ass, An Alien Appeal, Kissing My Ass Goodbye) is a dear friend of mine. I have access to his brain and pick it often. Not only is he a very talented writer, but he is one of the funniest people I know, and an all-around good guy. Every writer needs a “Tom”.
Christy Cooper-Burnett is an award-winning author based in California with a degree in Administration of Justice. After retiring early from the new home construction industry, she now divides her time between northern and southern California.
She has one grown son who inspired her to write her award-winning debut novel, No Way Home. She began her writing career later in life, but once she started she couldn't stop. Her work focuses on creating relatable stories and characters that transcend genres and encourage readers to imagine what they would do if thrown into the unique, imaginative situations her protagonists end up in.
Christy's debut novel, No Way Home, was the recipient of the 2020 California Author Project award in the Adult Fiction category, the 2020 PenCraft Award in the Science Fiction category, a 2021 Literary Titan Gold Medal Award and a finalist position in the 2021 International Book Awards, Science Fiction category. Her second novel, Finding Home released June 17, 2021, and early praise has already garnered several five-star reviews and her second Literary Titan Gold Medal Award. The third book in the Christine Stewart Time Travel Adventure series, Escaping Home, is an Indies Today recommended read and is set to launch on November 18, 2021.
You can learn more about Christy, subscribe to her mailing list for news and book deals or contact
her at www.christycooperburnett.com.
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