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 Garrett, a modern day cowboy, lives a life of isolation, the choice he made when he learned he would eventually become paralyzed from a military back injury. He would not live as a hopeless cripple, dependent on anyone else to take care of him. He would, when the time came, take his own life. 

  That decision did not change when he was attacked by something out of this world, saved by what he considered a hallucination, and wakes up on a Thornn research vessel, as he quips, in a galaxy far, far away. He believes it is all some crazy dream or he has slipped into a fantasy world to avoid facing the execution of his final decision.

  Try as he might to stay detached he can't help being drawn into the lives of the people and creatures there to the point he becomes a target. That's when all hell breaks loose.

Excerpts

#1

  He floated. There were sounds, soft and hushed, singing and soft whistles. Nothing disturbed him until the light came on.

  "You can understand me?"

  Garrett blinked against the bright blue light. He thought he was waking up in a hospital, and a nurse was talking to him. "The light is too bright," he murmured weakly.

  A hand moved to shadow his face. His eyes followed up a white shrouded arm to blue-violet eyes.    "You can understand me?" she asked again.

  He understood what she said but nothing else. A patch of bright, blue light covered his body. There was only darkness beyond it and her.

  "I must question you," she told him. "Were you upon your beast of burden when you were attacked?"

  She spoke English, and Garrett stared. Her words didn't move with her mouth. It was as though he were watching a dubbed movie.

  He answered in a weak whisper, confused and in shock. "I thought he was a man at first, not some kind of animal,"

  "The Karoz is a male humanoid of a primitive race," she told him crisply. "Were you upon your--?"

  "Humanoid?" His characteristic sardonic smile twisted his lips even as weak as he was. "If I'm not delirious, I've got to be crazy."

  "Delirium is from fever of which you have none. However, your vessel of life is weak. The time of questions must be short. Were you upon your beast of burden when you were attacked?"

  The question seemed important though Garrett couldn't understand why any question, either in dream or craziness, would be. "No," he said and closed his eyes. "I was on the ground when that ape thing came at us. Boss…" His eyes popped back open. "Is Boss suffering?"

  "Boss is your beast of burden?"

  "Yes, is he suffering?" He struggled to get up, but the only thing he could move was his head.

  "No, and do not exert yourself."

  He gave up, too dazed then to panic. "I could hear him screaming, but I couldn't move. Can't move…must have hit my head…damn I'm tired."

  "You are weak."

  Garrett gave her a slight smile and told her faintly, "Lady, if any of this was real, I'd be dying or dead."

  "You are not dead," she informed him dispassionately, "but you will die without treatment. With treatment, you will live, but you cannot return. Do you choose treatment?"

  "Sure," he told her with a crooked grin. There was no treatment for a four-inch hole through the chest.

  She dropped her hand, and the light hit him in the eyes. He squeezed them shut in reflex and opened them in small slits, just enough to watch. She moved away and became no more than a light shadow in the darkness of the room. A larger shadow loomed in front of her. Its height so exceeded hers that the top of her head barely reached its chest.

  "I do not believe, Midradina," said a soft male voice, "that he comprehended the significance of your last question."

#2

  Freet pulled the door shut and pressed a fingertip to Garrett's lips for silence. It pushed Garrett's head back against the smooth, cold surface. With forced bravado, Garrett raised his arms over his head to unfold the mask. While he fought claustrophobia, he pushed Freet's finger back far enough to slip the mask under, then returned Freet's finger. The narrow-eyed look Freet gave him helped fight down the growing sense of being suffocated.

  "Think down," Freet ordered.

  Elevator, Garrett assumed and thought down. The floor disappeared from under him. He grabbed frantically, as any normal human being would who suddenly found himself standing on air. His right hand found a hold cut into the smooth wall. It took that long for him to realize he wasn't falling. He had dropped until his arm was fully extended, but the weight of his body hanging from his arm was next to nothing. He floated in a tube.

  Freet looked up from several feet below him and drifted slowly further away.

  With his heart still doing ninety miles an hour and panting for air, Garrett let go of his handhold. Down, he thought, down slowly, please. Whatever kind of gravity device controlled the tube obeyed him. Once he realized he was in control, he rather enjoyed the ride. The next time, he promised himself, he would. He wouldn't have his heart in his throat from an unwarned introduction to it, and he wouldn't knock his mask off in a mad scramble to catch something. Fortunately, the mask was waiting for him at the bottom.

  "Cute," he gasped as he snatched the blue scrap from Freet's hand, one word being all he could manage until he sucked oxygen through the mask into his single functioning lung.

  He didn't want to show Freet any more weakness than was necessary, but at that moment, he couldn't help it. To keep himself from collapsing, Garrett braced his buttocks against the wall and locked his knees in place.

  "Translator," Freet told him.

  Garrett shook his head. His fingernails on his right hand, the one with the undamaged blood supply, had a blue tinge to them.

  "Lose translator?"

  Garrett glared at him. He hadn't lost it. He had forgotten it the same as he had the mask. Freet had to know that, just as he had to know the state he'd been in when he shot out of those quarters.

  "You know, Chief," he panted, "I'm beginning to wonder if a monster sense of humor doesn't lurk behind those steely eyes of yours."

  "Talk less, breathe more." He pointed to the tube they had come out of. "Others no know. Better no say."

  "Secrets, secrets," he muttered. He pushed away from the wall. His breathing was still a little heavy, but his nails had turned pink again.

#3

  He half-turned to walk away when a movement caught his eye. He threw his left arm up to block the arm and knife that came at him. From there Garrett gripped the thumb around the knife with his right and twisted.

  The man's head was narrow at the top with small eyes and nose and enlarged at the bottom with a huge mouth. The last offered a convenient target for Garrett's fury. He'd never seen the pear-faced man before, which made the attack even more maddening.

  "Want me, sucker?" he asked as the man quailed at the pain from the twisted thumb. "Come on!" Despite his weakness, a jab with his left hand split the man's lip. "Come on!" Blood trickled from the man's nose from a second jab.

  Terrified, pear-face let go of the knife and screamed, "The Freet. Was not for you. The Freet, it was for the Freet."

  Garrett shoved him away, confused, not sure if he believed him, but still furious. He warned coldly, "Better make damned sure when you go after someone, it's not someone close to me."

  The man nodded vigorously and dropped to a bench cradling his hand. Not one of the others had moved, for or against Garrett. Freet hadn't moved, for or against him either, but they all watched him.

  "That goes for all of you," Garrett snapped. He walked to the door and turned to face them. "And don't think I'm going to learn three hundred different sets of quirks. You can learn mine. I look at a man when I talk to him, I look at anyone walking towards me, front or back, and I speak when I damned well want to. Any of you want to take offense at what I do and how, we'll settle it when these come off."

  He knew Freet followed before he reached the second turn. It wasn't because he heard Freet. He was high on adrenalin, his sixth sense sharpened. He felt him.

  "Turn left," Freet ordered from several feet behind.

  Garrett turned without asking where they were going. He had the translator with no intentions of giving it to Freet to be cross-examined again, no matter how many walls Freet backed him into.

  "Hunt be short."

  "I'm not going on any hunt with you, even if I felt like it." Garrett didn't feel like it. His back and legs hurt, but he changed his mind about the translator. He had a few things to say.

  Freet walked towards the back wall of the new room they entered. Garrett followed holding out the translator. In one step he went from bare, gray walls to a pink world. There was no longer any sense in telling Freet he wouldn't go on the hunt. He shoved the translator back into his pocket, more than a little amazed over the transition to an alien world, though he refused to show it.

  He might have enjoyed his first visit to a strange planet if he hadn't been so mad. He just couldn't appreciate the uniqueness of a world colored in the spectrum of pinks, ranging from almost red to a pale shade with just a slight tinge of color. He poked absently at a pretty, little pink flower that tried to eat his finger and swore when another, with yellowish, pink-colored petals and a purple stem, left welts on his arm.

Reviews

Lucille

4.0 out of 5 stars Aliens With Hearts

Reviewed in the United States on September 28, 2007

Looking Glass Portal is a refreshing Sci-Fi story with less violence than those on television. A moving story of a father separated from his daughter and wife because his back problem is fatal and will eventually paralyze him; of a daughter who spent most all of her time trying to find her father only to be attacked by a rapist and taken on board an alien spacecraft. The reunion is satisfying AND aboard that alien spacecraft. Ever wonder if there was another experience with aliens that beat those offered by people who claim to be caught up and brought back? Ms. Larriane Wills shows us what good CAN happen in a like situation. Read this book. You won't be disappointed.


Mary 

5.0 out of 5 stars WHAT HAPPENS WHEN ALIENS ABDUCT A COWBOY...

Garrett,a cowboy abducted from Earth, struggles to unravel what's happening while trying to survive encounters with the other dangerous and diverse inhabitants of his new space-faring prison/home. But what are his mysterious captors really looking for?

I very much enjoyed reading this book. The writing was clean and the visuals wonderful. Ms. Wills' characters, be they human or...not, were interesting and when the book ended I missed them all.

So if you're looking for a nice escape from this world's worth of trouble,check this one out and see how Garrett handles things



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