First, Last and Always
In Chaos Station (Chaos Station #1), Zander and Felix are reunited after nine years apart. Zander believes Felix was captured and executed by the enemy in the years long Human-Stin War. Felix believes Zander was swallowed by a black ops program, probably never to surface again. Their reunion, therefore, is a rather profound event and the basis for our story, which spans five books.
That’s not where their story begins, however.
Zander was Felix’s first love. They met when they were eight years old and, after ten years of friendship, Felix confessed his feelings to Zander on the night they were to graduate Shepard Academy (military school). They’d be hopping on different shuttles the next day as each pursued a separate career within the Allied Earth Forces. Why did Felix wait so long? Because first love can be overwhelming and terrifying—and because he was fairly certain his feelings were one sided. He knew Zander loved him as a friend and didn’t think he could expect more. He was wrong. His confession prompted Zander to examine his own feelings, but they had only this one night. So they decided to share just one night—and that was all they had for four years.
(You can read the story of this night in our free short “Graduation”.)
Their careers kept them apart and life tossed new partners into the mix. A girlfriend for Zander. A boyfriend for Felix. A handful of other more casual relationships for each. But though their friendship became strained here and there, Felix never forgot that one night. His glimpse of what might have been.
In the real world, this might have been a tragically missed connection. In the world of Chaos Station, it’s only the beginning of their story. Four years later, they managed to get leave at the same time, in the same corner of the galaxy. Five days together. That the connection between them still lingered was obvious in the first five minutes. By the end of those five days, they’d committed to a relationship and a plan for the future.
(You can read this story too! It’s appropriately called “Reunion”.)
Then the war happened.
The test of a lasting love is not so much what it can withstand. Clinging to something or someone without reason isn’t love. A lasting love is moving through time with someone. Growing with them, changing because of them, and somehow not losing yourself in the process. It’s generally not as exciting as first love, which is why so many romance novels begin with the crush and end with the “I love you”, at which point we step back and assume our couple learns to love each other more deeply.
With the love story of Chaos Station being spread across five books (and a few shorts), we had the chance to show Zander and Felix figuring out their relationship—while dodging criminal cartels, playing hide and seek with the AEF, dabbling in diplomacy and generally doing their part to guarantee a peaceful future for the galaxy.
Every book throws a new challenge their way and they don’t always handle these upsets with intelligence and grace—which is what made this series such a challenge and such a joy to write. At every turn, we asked ourselves, how would Zed react here? Is Felix going to throw another tantrum? How much do they really love one another? Then we squashed and stretched our story around these things because at the end of the day, we wanted to preserve that one important aspect: their love. This meant allowing for the time they’d been apart, and for the extraordinary compromises it can take for two adults to decide to throw their lots together.
With the release of Phase Shift (Chaos Station #5), it’s time for Jenn and I to step back and let Felix and Zed live happily ever after. We’ve got them through the hard stuff and we hope the rest of their story is boring—but not without opportunity for them to discover the deeper love that only comes when you grow with a person. Not apart from them, but every day by their side—accepting the fact one of them snores (covert ops, my ass) and has a collection of bath products that smell suspiciously nice, and the other owns no shirts without holes and often comes to bed covered in loose wires and bits of solder.
Knowing our guys, they’ll be dodging a bullet or two and befriending more odd aliens along the way.
Book five of Chaos Station
Zander and Felix’s relationship has always pushed boundaries—personal and professional alike—but their love and commitment is stronger than ever. So strong that Zander’s ready to ask commitment-shy Felix the question of a lifetime when he’s interrupted. The Chaos is being hacked, and crucial, top secret information about the project that created Zander—and his fellow super soldiers—has been leaked.
Neither man could have expected the enormity of what’s discovered at the end of the data trail: an entire colony of super soldiers run by the very doctor who changed Zander’s life forever. And now she needs them both—Zander to train her new crop of soldiers, and Felix’s new crystalline arm to stabilize their body chemistry.
With help from the unlikeliest of allies, Zander, Felix and the Chaos crew must destroy the project and all its ill-gotten information. But when the team is split up and Felix is MIA after a dangerous run, galactic disaster is a very real possibility…and Zander may have missed his chance to ask for forever.
Jenn and Kelly met in 2009 through a mutual infatuation with a man who wasn’t real. After all but crashing the video game’s forums with daily dissection of their obsession, they started writing together, discovered they really liked writing together and began plotting stories in worlds of their own creation.
The CHAOS STATION series aren’t the first books they’ve written together, and they’re pretty sure they won’t be the last. As long as their so-called smartphones keep making autocorrects that trigger brainstorming sessions, they’ll have enough character ideas and plots to keep them writing for years to come.
Prize: The first four books in the Chaos Station series—Chaos Station, Lonely Shore, Skip Trace and InversionPoint—and a $25 gift card to the online bookseller of your choice.
Signing up for our newsletter gives access to our free Chaos Station story, “Graduation”.
Terms: Rafflecopter runs from 12:01 AM EST 5/2/2016 to 11:59 PM EST 5/8/2016. Giveaway is open internationally. Gift card value is US dollars. Winner will be contacted via email.
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