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Feral Fate

Feral Fate

Book 2 in the Waves of Fate Series

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After surviving the EMP blast that crippled their cruise ship, the exhausted passengers from Rose of the Sea finally reach dry land. But the deserted island has a sinister history, and one wrong step on its sandy shores can mean the difference between life and death.

Feral Fate is Book 2 in the Waves of Fate Series: First Fate, Feral Fate, Final Fate. Buy the complete series in a book bundle and save.

“I thought the first book in the series was amazing. Wow, this second book blew me away. Its so tense and exciting.” ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐Heather Kennedy

“Feral Fate is a little bit of the TV show ‘Lost’ (but not as stupid) with a smidgen of Lord of the Flies with Cast Away mixed in.” ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ Sally

“Talbot's well defined & unique characters become so interesting, the reader gets to know them well, even amid deaths, destruction and chaos. Her extraordinary believable plot and writing style had me shaking in my boots! I was asking myself, could something like this actually happen in the not-too-distant future? I wasn't sure I wanted to know the answer!” ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐Patricia Dixon

“With a soupçon of the Lord of the Flies, where lack of civilising influences and lawlessness causes a breakdown of morality and ethics, which not all will survive, how long can the passengers keep themselves safe from the breakdown of authority and lack of essential supplies? A cleverly-posited 'what if...?' scenario that seems all too plausible in today's dysfunctional world.” ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ Rosemary Kenny

Main Tropes

  • Race against time
  • Disaster/Survival Thriller
  • A world without power


The nightmare is far from over.

After surviving the EMP blast that crippled their cruise ship, the exhausted passengers from Rose of the Sea finally reach dry land. But the deserted island has a sinister history, and one wrong step on its sandy shores can mean the difference between life and death.

Gunner. When Gunner loses his position as leader, he fears the threadbare semblance of order will fray into lawlessness—and nothing will be left to stand in the way of desperate humans.

Gabby. Now also caring for an orphaned child, Gabby is determined to see herself and her tortured family to safety on the mainland. But without her epilepsy medication, her condition is a ticking time bomb—a fatal seizure can strike at any moment.

Zon. Hungry for power, Zon appoints himself as leader of the fracturing group. When a reckless decision leads to a deadly accident, he finds himself at the mercy of the island and those he tried to control.

Tempers are high. Supplies are low. Will the group shatter into chaos? Or will the island’s deadly secrets destroy all they have left?

Intro to Chapter One

Chapter One


A wave of utter uselessness scraped through Gunner’s veins as he snapped his gaze from the tiny island beyond the breaking waves, to the expressions of hope plastered on the faces of the remaining survivors sharing the life raft with him.
Sykes and a bunch of able-bodied men were frantically trying to untie the ropes that connected the four pods together, two with supplies and equipment, two crammed full of survivors.
Gunner would be right there helping the men if his hand hadn’t been reduced to a mangled bunch of barbaric stitches at the end of his arm. Instead, as he oversaw the raft preparation, riding yet another wave of nausea, he had to listen to the excited ramblings of the people sharing the pod with him.
They weren’t even on dry soil yet and they were already planning long showers and hot meals and sleeping in a real bed.
The first thing he’d do would be to call his wife. But thinking of her and his daughter was both a blessing and a curse. His heart ached for them. Hell, everything ached for them. His mind shattered into a million pieces as he tried to picture how they were coping after those twin EMP attacks.
They weren’t prepared for an event like that.
Far from it.
They didn’t stockpile food or hide spare equipment in secure places. They didn’t even have a water tank. Adelle was strong. And capable. And incredibly smart. But she had Bella to think of. Their seven-year-old daughter had inherited her mother’s stubborn streak and she could be a handful, especially when she was hungry or tired.
Gunner needed to get home to them. He’d already been away too long.
He studied the island again, desperate to prove his gut instinct wrong.
But his despair sank even deeper. There was absolutely nothing to indicate the island was inhabited. They were likely still thousands of miles from home.
The sun was their enemy, swiftly sinking into the western horizon and stealing light with every second. Minutes were bleeding away.
Finally, they’d untied the ropes. But now they had the greatest challenge of all.
Eight of their strongest survivors—Sykes, Sterling, Ken, Col, Zon, Willis, Quinn, and Jackson—had to row the four pods and their precious cargo of survivors and supplies to that island. It tore him to shreds that he wasn’t one of them.
It’d be damn tough. These things were like floating bricks, built for safety not maneuverability. Especially not over a wave break like the one ahead of them. They did have one stroke of luck though—the incoming tide was on their side. But they had to act fast. Once it turned, they’d have no hope of getting these rafts to shore.
While the people behind him babbled on about T-bone steak with hot chips and a mountain of gravy, he scanned the island through the binoculars, hoping beyond all hope that the dread in his gut was unfounded.
They’d already been through enough.
For fifteen days, while he’d been drifting in and out of consciousness, the rest of them had spent hour after hour cramped in the confined rafts, rationing food and water, nursing seasickness and injuries, and desperately hoping for rescue. Or praying to find dry land.
Now that they had, Gunner was certain their situation wasn’t any better.
He wouldn’t voice it though. He could be wrong.
Hell, he’d been wrong on so many counts it was impossible to trust anything was right. The insecurities that’d plagued him since he was a child were as brutal as ever, slamming ‘what-ifs’ through his brain like a wrecking ball.
What if he’d abandoned ship earlier?
What if they’d successfully pushed Rose of the Sea off that container ship?
What if someone else was in charge?
“Captain. Gunner.”
He turned to the voice. It was Quinn, standing out of the hatch of the nearest pod with a rope looped around his fist.
“Sir, can you catch this?”
Gunner lowered the binoculars to a seat. “Toss it over.”
The rope flew through the air, and he caught it first go.
“Great, now tie it on.”
Gunner shoved the rope through a cleat and tugged it tight.
Shit. I can’t tie it. I need two hands for that.
His gaze snagged on the bloody bandage at the end of his wrist and the urge to scream, ‘I can’t tie the fucking rope,’ burned in his throat.
But he bit it back. For the sake of the people sharing his raft he kept it together.
That’s what he’d been doing ever since he’d plunged that knife into his father’s belly all those years ago—keeping it together.
“Hold it there, sir. I’m coming over.”
Gunner wrapped his only hand around the rope, and as he clutched it and Quinn pulled his life raft over, Gunner’s thoughts tumbled back to his mother. She was serving twenty-five years in jail for a crime he’d committed.
But she’d made Gunner promise to never admit that he’d been the one who’d stabbed his father. It was the only promise Gunner wished he’d never kept. She’d begged him to let her take the blame. She’d done it to save him.
She was still wasting away in LA’s Century Regional Detention Facility, and with the power out, it would be pure hell. Who would save her?
She’ll die in there if I don’t get home soon. A blaze of acid raced through his stomach.
Maybe she already had.
“How you doing, Captain?” Quinn slapped him on the shoulder, launching Gunner back from the brutal rabbit hole he’d tumbled into.
Gunner attempted a smile. “I’m okay.”
“Of course you are. Come sunset we’ll be drinking cocktails and stuffing food down our throats till our bellies burst.” Quinn’s beaming smile was completely out of sync with Gunner’s crippling thoughts.
His reference to a bursting belly had Gunner’s memory slamming right back to his father’s bloody body with the knife buried in his gut. The kitchen knife had gone in so easily. Pure rage had powered Gunner’s thrust.
A rage that he’d never experienced before, nor after that attack. But as he glanced again at the tiny island and realized that he was no closer to his family, that simmering rage ramped up to boiling.
“Afternoon, sir.” Cloe popped up next to Quinn. Her face was a replica of nearly everyone in the rafts—gaunt, grubby, and grim. But also, touched with a hint of excitement.
“Hello, Cloe. How are you?”
“I’m great now. Can’t wait to get my feet on dry land.”
He nodded. It sure would be nice. The last time they’d walked on land was when they’d docked in Hawaii. That already seemed like months ago.
“Permission to come on board, sir. I’ve got the job of rowing your raft into shore.”
“Permission granted.” Gunner eased back so Quinn could climb into his raft.
Quinn bobbed down to view the passengers. “How you all doing?”
The upbeat answers confirmed everyone’s excitement.
“Right. Sit back and hang on. It could get a bit rough. But don’t worry. We’ll be strolling along dry sand in no time.”
Quinn returned to Gunner’s side. “Captain, I’m sorry, but I have to ask you to take your seat.” He lowered his eyes, clearly embarrassed to be giving Gunner orders.
Nodding, Gunner squatted and shuffled backward onto his delegated seat. Opposite him was Madeline. The tiny acrobatic dancer and Sterling had gone through hell on the ship. Gunner’s guilt over that was yet another brick in his belly. He’d been told people were trapped in the elevator, yet he’d done nothing to save them.
He’d let them down.
He’d let hundreds of people down.
Madeline, Sterling, and Sally’s rescue at the very end had been nothing short of a miracle.
They needed another miracle now.
A second man joined Quinn at the hatch and ducked down to peer into the raft. It was one of the twins. Gunner still couldn’t tell Col and Ken apart. He glanced at Gunner and then scanned the other sixteen people spaced out evenly on the raft’s seats. “You guys ready?”
Gunner nodded along with everyone else.
The twin stood again and positioned himself opposite Quinn so both of them could lean out the hatch to row.
“Hey, Sykes, ready when you are.”
“Roger that.” Sykes’ voice was loaded with confidence.
Gunner was lucky to have a man like Sykes in his crew. Sykes was assertive, intelligent, creative, and loyal. They were all lucky to have him. Sykes was a born leader. Gunner worked damn hard, but he never deserved to be in charge.
Through the porthole, Gunner had a clear view of Sykes in action. His orders were firm—he was in control. “Jackson and I will go first,” Sykes called out. “Watch what we do. Understand?”
“Yes, sir,” Quinn hollered. “Good luck.”
This was it.
They’d already lost too many lives to the ocean.
Gunner closed his eyes and prayed they weren’t about to add any more. 

Chapter 2

“Row! Quickly, or we’ll fuckin’ miss it.” Zon dug the paddle into the water and pulled long and hard.
Willis was on the other side of the hatch, doing the same.
Zon couldn’t believe Sykes had paired him with the fat security guard. Last time he’d spoken to him, Zon had wanted to kill the fucker. Now they was tryin’ to work together to save everyone’s asses.
“Pull! Harder!”
The life raft curled up the wave. And up. But they were too slow. At the top of the swell, it tumbled backward. Everythin’ went flying—everyone inside the raft . . . their supplies.
Equipment clanged. Chicks screamed.
“Fuckin’ hell,” Zon yelled. “We missed it again.”
Zon tried to ignore the sounds of stuff tossing about. It had better not be his stash, especially his grog. That shit was expensive.
Each time they tried to catch a wave into shore, the fuckin’ ocean would suck ’em right back out again. The other rafts had done no better.
Zon was thinkin’ they were fucked.
There was barely any sunlight left and he was getting sick of this shit. If it wasn’t for all his cash, poker chips, and other stuff in the raft, he woulda swam to shore and saved his-self.
“Okay, this is it,” Sykes yelled across to them and all the other men standing in the rafts. “This is the one.”
Zon glanced over his shoulder. A wave curled toward ’em. It was bigger than the last twenty or so. Sykes was right—if this one didn’t get ’em onto that beach, then they really were fucked.
“Now! Go!” Sykes bellowed.
Zon and Willis drove their paddles into the water. Over and over, Zon pulled the weight of the raft toward the shore. The wave curled up beneath ’em. They caught the swell. But this time, instead a tippin’ over the top, the fuckin’ raft rode the wave like a hippo in a surfin’ competition.
It slammed onto the sand, just ’bout tossing him overboard, and he jumped off. Willis kinda fell out and belly-flopped onto the sand.
They grabbed the ropes, holding it in position. “Get out. Get out,” Willis yelled.
People scrambled from the raft, takin’ their sweet time too.
“Can you hold the raft, Zon?” Willis’ left eye was bright red and looked like it was bleedin’. He musta copped a whack in the head. Hopefully it hurt.
“Yeah, I got this.”
“Okay good. I’ll go help the others.” Willis waddled off, racing into the knee-deep water to the next raft that’d reached the shore about twenty feet away.
As the men sprinted from one raft to the next, dragging ’em onto the sand, savin’ everyone, Zon stayed right where he was. Actin’ all cool and calm as he helped people outta the raft. But really, he just wanted ’em out, so he could check on his stuff.
When Jessie popped her head through the hatch, his heart did some kinda weird burp. When she reached for his hand and their palms connected, he just about fell over.
“We made it, Zon.” She squeezed her fingers around his and curled her tongue over her lips, real slow-like.
Fuck me. She wants me to kiss her.
He leaned in. Everything around him disappeared—the cheering people. The crashing waves. The kid with the afro running up the beach like a dickhead. It was just him and Jessie, sharing a moment. Her lips were right there. Her eyes latched onto his.
“Thank Christ! It’s a miracle.” Her fat dad clutched her shoulders. “Land. Glorious land.”
Jessie turned to her father, giggling. “Very funny, Dad.”
Zon didn’t think it was funny.
Albert placed his hand on Zon’s back. “We’d never be here if it weren’t for you, Zon. You’re a real hero. You know that, don’t you?”
I’m forgiven? Zon had no idea what to say. All of ’em had been calling him a hero since he saved Captain Dickhead.
Go figure. Chop off someone’s hand and they think you’re king shit.
As soon as all four rafts had been hauled onto the beach and tied to the nearest palm trees, people started racing around doin’ stuff.
The lot of ‘em were freakin’ out ’cause the sun was going down. Like that was different. They’d been pretty much in the dark since the shit hit the fan on the cruise ship.
First thing they did was get a fire going. Nearly everyone started runnin’ into the bushes and dragging logs and stuff down to the beach. Zon liked the idea of a bonfire, so he joined in. Each time he came near Jessie she smiled at him.
The fourth time, she even giggled. Maybe she had the same idea he did. ’Cause if she did, then the two of ’em would be sitting around that fire later, watchin’ the flames ’til the sun came up.
Or even better, once everyone else fell asleep, they could sneak into the bushes, and he could show her what a real hero he was.
Once the fire was the size of his pickup truck back home, people started makin’ their own areas to get through the night. The banana-shaped moon popped up, givin’ ’em extra light. That was when Gunner and Sykes went for a walk along the beach.
They were gone for a while, but when they returned, they took off again in the other direction. Zon had no idea what they was looking for. Nor did he care. His first priority was getting his stuff outta the raft and stashin’ it in the bushes somewhere.
After Sykes and a few of the other crew handed out their nightly rations, people started drifting off to sleep. Soon there was just nine of ’em left sitting around the bonfire. Jessie was one of ’em.
Zon was trying to figure out how he could get in beside her when she stood, dusted off her pants, and walked right at him.
“Heya.” She flopped next to him on the log he’d pulled to the fire to sit on. “How’s the big hero going?” She swayed toward him and crossed her legs, so her knee touched his thigh.
Zon just about burst into pieces. A pulse of heat shot through his body and his groin throbbed to life.
The glow from the fire made it feel like them two was the only ones on the whole fuckin’ beach. He turned to Jessie and the flames flickered in her dark eyes when she smiled at him. Maybe she was thinkin’ what he was thinkin’.
That wasn’t really possible. ’Cause he was thinkin’ that he’d wanna take Jessie into his raft and get stuck into some of his fancy grog. But she didn’t know about his stash. What’d be even better than that though, would be once he’d showed her all his stuff and they were all pissy, he’d like to get stuck into her.
Zon had been pretty lucky lately. But maybe being shipwrecked on an island could turn out to be the luckiest moment of his life.

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