I was very fortunate to be a (somewhat terrible) beta reader for The Island. I was also a backer on my gal pal’s awesomesauce kickstarter campaign and will be getting a gorgeous paperback soon.
As always, Usher writes sassy, real characters who tug at heartstrings and make you want more. I’m super excited to share her beautiful new cover today on my blog!
Introducing the brand-spankin’ new cover for The Island, made by Anita over at Race-Point.com.
About the Book
Prince Galian is third in line to the throne, but prefers his place as a resident at the Royal Kylaen Hospital. When his father urges him to join the military to help reclaim their colony, Galian is forced to put aside his oath to Do No Harm and fight a war he does not believe in.
Across the great Madion Sea, Captain Theo Kallistrate dreams of a day when she is no longer bound by conscription to fight for her country’s independence. But when the Kylaens threaten, honor and duty call her to the front lines to fight off the oppressors.
When an air skirmish goes wrong, both Theo and Galian crash on a remote island hundreds of miles from either nation. Grievously injured, Theo must rely on Galian’s medical expertise, and Galian must rely on Theo’s survival skills, to live another day in a harsh and unforgiving terrain.
Can they put aside their differences long enough to survive? Or will the war that brought them to the island tear them apart?
The Island is the first in a new romance trilogy by S. Usher Evans, author of the Razia series and Empath.
I landed with a soft thump on the sandy beach a little ways from my plane, and immediately dropped to my knees, releasing a loud breath. My hands shook and my heart pounded, but I thanked my lucky stars that I was alive and had practiced parachuting out of my plane a few extra times during my training.
Once my pulse returned to normal, I stood and released myself from the parachute straps, leaving the long trail of lines and white parachute laid out on the beach. I approached the wreckage of my plane. Pieces of it lay in a long trail as it had skidded across the sand. I picked up a metal piece that had a bullet hole in it and then tossed it aside.
Besides the nose and engine being smashed to smithereens, the back of the plane was fine. I cracked open the back hatch and pawed through my emergency supplies. I found everythingÑincluding the medical bag Dr. Maitland gave meÑto be intact. Again, I thanked whatever was up there looking out for me. Of all the outcomes that could’ve happened from the battle, crash-landing on an island with my supplies was better than most.
A burning smell reached my nose, and I stepped back, searching my plane for any sign of fire. Then I noticed the black column of smoke rising up from the treetops.
Despite everything, worry knotted in my chest. What had happened to the other pilot? I hadn’t seen another parachute. Was he even still alive? He was my enemy, but still a fellow human being. I couldn’t help but hear Dr. Maitland in my ear.
I don’t have the luxury of differentiating between Kylaen and Raven patients.
Guilt gnawed at me. I looked down at the medical bag and sighed. Dr. Maitland was rightÑI was a doctor first and a warrior second. Shouldering my bag, I stumbled off the sandy beach onto the firmer forest ground.
The trees were tall and thick and everything around me was green. It was late summer, but there was definitely a chill in the air since I was so far north. I was thankful for my extra layer under my jumpsuit.
I walked into a clearing, covering my nose from the smell. One of the two wings had been shorn off in the crash and was the source of the black smoke. The rest of the plane was mashed and mangled some ways away. I saw the pilot in the cockpit through the shattered glass, and his helmeted head hung motionless. I was sure that he was dead. I couldn’t see how anyone could have survived such a crash.
And then he moved.
I woke slowly, the sound of unfamiliar animals coming to me first, followed by a cold breeze. As I tried to move, pain shot up from every corner of my body. I looked up at the blue sky, barely visible through a thick canopy of trees. I smelled leaking fuel, and wondered if my ship would explode or if I’d bleed to death first.
I relaxed into my seat and prepared for the inevitable. Even if the Raven government sent a search party for me (which they wouldn’t), I doubted they’d come in time to save my life. Still, I took some solace in the fact that I killed another son of that mass murdering king.
A noise startled me and I turned my head slowly to find the source.
I couldn’t believe my eyes. The stupid princeling was alive and standing in front of my ship.
Fear and anger gripped at me. How was it possible that I was badly injured and he appeared to be walking just fine? I hated that the last thing I was going to see in this world was Prince Galian standing in a clearing, his pale skin flushed and his eyes sparkling withÉamusement?
I was dying and thisÊguyÊwas laughing at me.
“What’s so funny?” I snarled through my helmet.
“Serves you right.” He was smirking as if he had something to smirk about.
“Shooting me down. Looks like you’re in worse shape than I am, too.”
“Go to hell.”
He laughed again and hoisted himself up onto the broken nose of my plane. I was in too much pain to fight back, and my gun was nowhere to be found.
“Yep,” he observed, with a smirk on his face. Up close, he was every bit as handsome as I’d seen in pictures. “You definitely got what you deserved. Shouldn’t have shot at me.”
“You shouldn’t have invaded my country.”
His eyes widened for a moment and I thought I’d finally done something to wipe that smile off his face. To my supreme annoyance, he tilted his head back and let out a throaty laugh.
“Oh, you are witty,” he said, nodding. “And technically right. But it wasn’t my decision. I was, as they say, just following orders.”
“And I was just following orders when I blew your ass out of the sky.”
“Aren’t we at an impasse then?” He seemed to be enjoying this conversation. He looked down at the side of my ship and read the inscription. “Theo, huh? Well, you must be a pretty high ranking pilot then. I hear the Ravens only allow you to put your name on your ship after you’ve survived plenty of battles.”
I moved out of anger, but the pain in my legs came roaring up my body. “Please let me die in peace,” I asked, unable to look at him.
“Oh, you aren’t going to die today.”
Preorder today for Amazon Kindle, Paperback, and Hardcover.
About the Author
S. Usher Evans is an author, blogger, and witty banter aficionado. Born in Pensacola, Florida, she left the sleepy town behind for the fast-paced world of Washington, D.C.. There, she somehow landed jobs with BBC, Discovery Channel, and National Geographic Television before finally settling into a “real job” as an IT consultant. After a quarter life crisis at age 27, she decided consulting was for the birds and rekindled a childhood passion for writing novels. She sold everything she owned and moved back to Pensacola, where she currently resides with her two dogs, Zoe and Mr. Biscuit.
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