Please say hello to Victoria Sue and
Five Minutes Longer
About the book:
Talon Valdez knew when he transformed into an enhanced human, his life and his dreams were finished. Reviled, mistrusted, and often locked away, the enhanced were viewed as monsters, despised by the public, and never trusted to serve in the military or any law enforcement agency.
Years later he gets a chance to set up a task force of enhanced to serve in the FBI, but with one proviso: each enhanced must partner with a regular human.
Finn Mayer dreamed of joining the FBI from the time he was fourteen and made every possible sacrifice to make it happen, including living with his selfish mother and bullying, homophobic brother and never having a boyfriend. But his undiagnosed dyslexia stopped his aspirations dead in their tracks. His last chance is to partner with Talon, an enhanced with deadly abilities who doesn’t trust regular humans with their secrets and wants Finn to fail.
Four weeks to prove himself to the team. Four weeks for the team to prove itself to the public. And when another group threatens their success—and their lives are at stake—four weeks for them to survive.
Learning how to fire a gun.
I know right? And before you ask what that has to do with writing a book – let me explain. I live in Florida but I’m from England. England doesn’t really do guns. Even our regular police don’t have them. In fact the first time I saw one outside of TV was when I went to the US Embassy in London to get my visa.
Finn, my regular human FBI trainee has never fired a gun in his life. Unless, you’ve held them, smelled them, fired them, it’s hard to describe them… so I went to a gun range for lessons.
I was incredibly lucky with the instructor – not only did he have over twenty years experience training cops, but he had actually trained the FBI as well – which is the basis for my book.
The target area shows my shots. The last thing I had to do was bring the gun back against my shoulder simulating a holster, and when he said so, i had to put two in the chest and one in the head. The second one was two in the head and one in the umm pelvis (!) See no 7 on the target area.
When I'd done the head shots he asked me if I was a secret British spy for MFI (I resisted blowing smoke off the end of the barrel of the gun)
The following is an excerpt of Finn’s first time (shooting a gun – I know what you all were thinking.) Talon and the team have deliberately set up Finn to fail at this. The last thing they want is a regular human partner working in their team of enhanced individuals because of all the secrets they have to keep, but Talon’s experience with Finn so far is making him feel a little guilty…
Talon narrowed his eyes as he heard Gael offering Finn a choice of gun. Gael was subtly intimating he should go with the Sig Sauer P229, knowing full well Finn had slim hands and would be better with the H & K. He was deliberately setting him up to fail, and Talon wasn’t sure how much longer he could watch. Gael never attempted to correct Finn’s shaky stance. Never corrected his grip or his bent elbows. Never warned him the first shot would have the most recoil.
Like last night, how Finn had sought to offer comfort, and how Talon was the one responsible for taking it too far.
Fuck, he couldn’t watch this anymore… not without doing something about it. Talon whirled around and raced out of the door. He clattered down the steps, grabbed a pair of goggles and headphones, and entered the range. The door slammed open just as Finn took his first shot and completely missed.
Gael smirked, especially when Finn nearly dropped the gun because of the pain Talon knew he would have felt in his wrist.
“You lot go get your practice in. I’ll take over.” Talon nearly growled the order.
Gael’s eyebrows shot upward, but he gave a goofy grin. “About time,” he said pointedly, and turned and left with Sawyer, Vance, and Eli to go to the other end of the range.
Talon ignored the guns and looked at Finn. “Come on.” He exited the range, and Finn shuffled after him to the large table. Talon took off his goggles and headphones, and Finn copied him. “Sit,” he ordered. Shit, Finn wasn’t even looking at him. “How many times have you actually fired a gun?” Talon asked bluntly.
Finn looked up with resignation written all over his face. Talon suddenly wanted to see a different look. “Once,” Finn admitted.
Talon opened his mouth to ask where but paused. “Just now?” he said incredulously.
Finn nodded again miserably.
“But how?” Talon asked. “It’s not like it’s difficult to go to a local firing range. You told me you’ve wanted to be a fed for ten years. I can’t believe you’ve never fired a gun before.”
Finn’s throat worked, but then he sagged a little in defeat. “My brother Deke’s best buddy owned the range in town. There was no way I could get lessons there.”
Talon sat down. He didn’t know where to start. Normally it wouldn’t matter at all, but condensing eight hundred hours of training into four weeks made it impossible. One of the requirements was that the trainee knew the basics, even if Talon personally preferred someone exactly like Finn. No previous experience meant no bad habits to break.
Allowing Finn a week that hopefully meant he might have a shot at getting into Quantico meant Talon was going to have to give him some lessons.
Talon stood and pointed to the light switch on the wall. “Make a triangle with your fingers until you’re framing it completely in your line of sight.”
Finn looked confused but did exactly what Talon said.
“Now close your right eye.”
“Can you still see it?” Talon asked, and Finn nodded. “Good, now close your left eye.” Talon nearly smiled at the look of surprise on Finn’s face when he knew the switch had vanished. “That means your left eye is dominant, but you’re right-handed. We need to know that to help with your stance. “Now,” said Talon. “The most important thing to remember is to always treat a gun like it’s loaded.”
When Talon had answered every single one of Finn’s million questions, he picked up the goggles and ear covers again. He’d covered everything from correct stance to sizing the weapon to fit Finn’s hand. He wanted him to try the .40 and the 9mm so he could judge the recoil for himself. In a perfect world, there was a lot Finn could get to fit his hand better, but he would have to manage with standard department-issue weapons for now.
Finn brightened up considerably when he realized Talon wasn’t about to humiliate him again, and Finn was a veritable treasure-trove of information. He knew everything from the fact that there were over a million concealed-carry permits issued in the state of Florida to the current stats arguing feds shouldn’t be armed anymore. They were never the first responders in any situation, and there was currently a lot of government noise suggesting special armed units similar to SWAT teams.
Whatever Finn was, he wasn’t dumb, and Talon was beginning to understand what Gregory saw in him.
Talon directed Finn to the nearest lane, well out of the way of the others. He let him try the VP first, as it would have the least recoil and he wanted Finn to get comfortable. He corrected Finn’s lose grip and bent elbows and tried very hard to ignore his seeming apparent need to touch Finn to correct his arms, his fingers… even which foot he threw out behind him.
“One of the reasons you shot low last time was adrenaline. Squeeze the trigger slowly. The recoil on the first shot is the worst. Aim for the chest.”
Finn lowered his chin like he’d been shown and pulled the trigger. The hole was bang smack in the target’s center area. Talon chuckled, and he saw Finn visibly relax. They spent another thirty minutes with two different guns, simulating firing from a holster and at different distances. Finn was actually pretty good. He was especially accurate with the head shots, which were the hardest.
“Always go for the spine area in defensive shooting,” Talon encouraged. “Even if you hit an assailant’s heart or jugular, it takes minutes to bleed out, in which time he could have shot a lot more people, including you. Anywhere in the spine area or the hip is going to stop him.”
Finn emptied the last round and placed his gun down exactly as Talon said. He turned triumphantly, and Talon heard clapping behind him.
Gael and Vance stood grinning widely. “You did good, kid,” Gael called out, and Finn blushed.
Talon wanted to groan. Why the fuck did he get so turned on because the guy blushed like a teenage girl?
So, armed and dangerous I wrote the book, and then when I decided to write the sequel I called to book another lesson.
This is a record of the actual conversation:
Florida Firearms Training: Hello?
Me: Hi - I had a two hour lesson a couple of months ago and I want to rebook but I need the same guy. The one who trains law enforcement. The one that knows about the guns for the FBI. He told me I was the only pupil he ever had to remind to stop asking questions because we weren't going to get a chance to actually shoot at anything....I'm writing a book.
***complete silence for around five seconds***
Florida Firearms Training: Oh yeah...I remember you.
Florida will be relieved to know I haven’t been back since!
About the author:
Victoria Sue… Wrote her first book on a dare from her hubby two years ago and he says he has regretted it every day since. Loves writing about gorgeous boys loving each other the best—especially with either a paranormal or a historical twist. Had a try at writing contemporary but failed spectacularly when it grew four legs and a tail. Loves her wolves! Is an English northern lass but is currently serving twenty to life in Florida—unfortunately, she spends more time chained to her computer than on a beach. Loves to hear from her readers and can be found most days lurking on Facebook.
Promotional post. Materials provided by the author.