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Brothers

A Prequel to the Red Dog Conspiracy

by Patricia Loofbourrow

A young man sold into servitude has his loyalties tested in ways he never imagined.

Raised in an orphanage in Dickens, Daniel doesn't know who his parents were, where he comes from, or even his last name. Like all orphans, on his 16th birthday, he's sold to the highest bidder.

Not knowing where he's going, who's bought him, or what they even want with him, Daniel embarks on an adventure he never thought he'd take. He finds love, a family, and a secure future - yet in a split second, makes a decision he ends up regretting the rest of his life.

Brothers begins fifteen years before the Red Dog Conspiracy series.

Warning: Language, smoking, use of alcohol and drugs, attempted suicide by hanging, M/M underage sexuality with consent issues, forced servitude, blood, gun violence, a man being beaten by a horsewhip, murder, discussion of child prostitution, underage M/F sexuality with age gap (female older).

Published:
Publisher: Red Dog Press
Illustrators:
Genres:
Tags:
Tropes: Abandoned Place, Band of Brothers/Sisters, Dystopian Governments, Fish Out of Water, Found Family, Reluctant Hero


Setting: Far future former North America

Languages Available: English

Excerpt:

“Congratulations. They want you.”

“Oh!” Daniel felt so ... surprised ... that he didn’t know what else to say.

You went to the viewing the month you turned sixteen. Everyone did. An old brown-skinned man with round spectacles had come to Daniel’s viewing a few months back and talked to him for some time. That had been it.

From what Daniel was told, some were bought at their viewing; a few left that same day. But he’d also been told that it could take a while to find out whether your buyer wanted you, or if they’d changed their mind.

He figured the man had changed his mind.

Daniel peered at Miz Lisbet sitting behind her desk. He was one of the lucky ones. Yet it meant leaving. “What happens now?”

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Miz Lisbet smiled like she thought he’d lost half the cards in his hand. “You’ll need new clothes for the training in Nitivali. It’s a rush order, so you’ll leave tonight.”

Daniel gaped at her. Tonight? “Yes, mum,” was all he could muster. He felt stunned, unable to move.

She glanced up at him. “You’re dismissed.”

Her voice startled him. “Oh! Yes, mum, sorry, mum.” He bowed and hurried out, carefully closing the door behind him.

He was supposed to go directly to the big room where the boys lived, but he turned beside her door, hands to his face, and leaned his forehead against the wall.

It’s what I always wanted. But it’s so soon.

Daniel didn’t remember anything before the Home. From the women who ran the place and the men who came to fix things or administer beatings, Daniel learned to be sociable, to be observant, to glean any skill or insight he could.

But the other boys were his real family. They were his brothers.

Daniel had realized long before this that even though he’d never seen it, there was more to this world than inside the Home. Some who never got sold never left: they served here until they died.

He wanted more.

I want to live, he thought. I want to do something worthwhile.

COLLAPSE
Reviews:Hope Gerhardstein on Goodreads wrote:

This book gives us background into the lives of Jack and Jonathan Diamond when as preteens they each get their own manservant. Daniel has been bought and trained in the proper duties of a manservant and initially is responsible for both boys. Daniel is only about 5 years older than the boys but has a great deal of responsibility to the Diamond family. He meets Roy Spadros and learns about the war between the 4 families in the 4 different quadrants of bridges. Very good book to help understand that everyone must play the hand that the dealer has dealt them until their cards are returned. Great characters. I felt Daniel’s pain!

Tess on Amazon wrote:

This is a poignant story of love, betrayal, classism, gang violence, organized crime and how servants adapt to survive, sometimes changing the world with their actions. We follow the story of Daniel and wonderfully simply and naïve young orphan with hope for his future. How he grows, falls in love, and feels betrayal as he becomes a young adult in service to one of the top crime families in the City of Bridges. It gives some wonderful background and additional depth to an already fascinating and creative world.


About the Author

Patricia Loofbourrow, MD is a NY Times and USA Today best-selling SFF and non-fiction writer, PC gamer, ornamental food gardener, fiber artist, and wildcrafter who loves power tools, dancing, genetics and anything to do with outer space. She was born in southern California and has lived in Chicago and Tokyo. She currently lives in Oklahoma with her husband and three grown children.