Book & Author Details:
Life on Base: Quantico Cave by Tom & Nancy Wise
Published by: Koehler Books
Publication date: December 23rd 2015
Genres: Contemporary, Young Adult
For Stephen, his life on base is much the same as most other children’s. The difference is in the details. Look both ways before crossing a tank path and be sure to check if the spent bullet casings you find in the long-abandoned trenches are actually empty. Sports stop at the sound of the evening trumpet call as he and his friends stand at attention while the flag is retired. Quantico Cave is a story of friendship and competition, and when Stephen meets up with a friend he once knew at a previous home station, the contest hits a whole new level that places everyone at risk.
(An excerpt from the chase)
Stephen walked along the cracked sidewalk, lost in thought, kicking at the loose chips as he wandered slowly towards Will’s housing unit.
“Stephen, hey,” he heard Rick shout from across the street. “Come here.”
“Hey, Rick.” Stephen looked over. Rick was seated on an old bike, one foot propped on a pedal, the butt of his BB gun planted on the seat, the muzzle pointed toward the sky.
“Come here.” It was a command.
“Can’t.” Stephen shook his head. “I gotta get over to Will’s.” Rick leveled the muzzle and sighted down the barrel toward Stephen.
“Hey, don’t.” Stephen raised his hands as if under arrest as Rick popped off a couple of rounds. “Don’t.” He winced as the shots smacked his shirt and bounced off. Ha, he’d short pumped the rifle. Stephen smiled uneasily. What was all this about?
“Get over here.” Rick bared his teeth in a cold smile and began to pump the charging handle on his rifle again. He pumped and pumped, overcharging it to get more velocity in the BB’s.
Crap, they were going to sting. “You jerk.” Stephen backed away.
“Jerk? I’m a jerk?”
Stephen bolted as Rick leveled the BB gun in his direction. He heard the pop, pop of the gun and quickly changed direction. He can’t run me down on the grass. He veered right and raced between the housing units. “Oh, crap.” As he emerged from between the houses, he caught a glimpse of Rick rounding the corner, his head down and butt in the air, pumping the pedals
as hard as he could.
“I’m coming, Stevey,” Rick shouted as Stephen charged ahead, crossing the street as Rick buzzed past his heels and slammed on the brakes, wrenched the bike around in a tight, sliding arc and raised the rifle to fire a couple rounds that ricocheted off the side of the house.
Tom and Nancy Wise are award-winning authors. Their first novel, The Borealis Genome, is the grand- prize winner of the Chanticleer Book Reviews Dante Rossetti 2013 Award for YA Novels and 2014 Cygnus Award Lab Lit Category. Thomas grew up in a military family moving from base to base as the child of a Marine, living the life of an officer’s brat in times of war while Nancy was raised the youngest child of a WWII veteran. When not working together on their novels, Tom teaches at University and authors articles on project management topics and nonfiction books published by Gower Publishing in the UK.