Today, we have Grant Baker, L. K. Below’s hero from Hellish Haven on Cocky Confessions. Tell us a bit about yourself.
Hello! I’m Sergeant Grant Baker, of Third Wing in the resistance movement against a corrupt government. I live in Manhattan, New York. I’ve been fighting in the war for eight years, since the government started brainwashing citizens, and I’ve been married to my beautiful wife Eva for almost seven of those years. In Hellish Haven, Eva and I take on the government ourselves when she is captured and brainwashed.
What do you do as sergeant of this resistance?
I lead a small squadron of soldiers. We hold the front line and frequently procure food for Third Wing.
What’s something you’ve done that could have landed you in prison?
Considering I am an enemy of the government, any number of things. I frequently field raiding parties into enemy territory to steal food from government warehouses. I’ve attacked men and women in the line of duty, but I aim to incapacitate brainwashed citizens rather than kill.
How did you meet Eva?
I met her when I was young and stupid not long after the war began. Barely trained, I put myself on the front lines and in danger’s way. I was shot, and Eva was the nurse on scene. I was delirious from the pain and asked her to marry me on the spot. She said yes…but I’m pretty sure that was only to convince me to hold on while I healed. We married for real six months later.
That’s romantic. Did you rely on your physical prowess or your intelligence to win her?
Eva is the smarter of the two of us, I’m not afraid to admit it. I had to rely on brawn and a winning smile to snag her.
What do you believe is your most attractive feature?
*Lifts shirt, pats six pack* This right here.
Dang! How do you keep them guns and six-pack?
Fighting every day against the robots the government sends to annihilate us helps. When not fighting, I train with my squad to keep ourselves sharp. We also traverse large distances on foot when raiding supply warehouses. Vehicles are too confined — not to mention the government monopolizes the gas supply.
What intrigues you most about your wife?
Eva can do anything she puts her mind to. She is smart, strong, and capable…you can see why I pressured her to tie the knot so quickly.
What she do that drives you crazy?
I hate it when she starts babbling in Spanish. You’d think after seven years with her, I’d know more of the language, but… *shakes head* When she speaks so fast, I can’t understand a word. And our son is just as bad.
LOL So I don’t guess you have time for any hobbies?
Fighting ’round the clock to keep my family safe doesn’t leave much room for leisure time. What time I have off, I like to spend with our son, Miguel.
Tell us something no one would believe about you? Large or small.
I carry a good luck charm. No, really. Miguel made it for me. It’s a piece of paper with his handprint in red paint. I carry it everywhere.
If you could change one thing in your life, what would it be?
I wish Eva had never been captured by the government and had her memory wiped. We’ve started anew, but it still hurts that she’ll never remember our first kiss or the day our son was born.
How sad, I’m so sorry. Beyond that what worries you the most?
All I want is for my family to be safe. It’s what drives me on. I’m petrified I’ll someday lose my wife or son, or both. I counter that as best I can by being alert, by doing what I do best. By protecting them.
Well thanks for stopping by Grant. Best of luck to you in your endeavors in the resistance. Thanks for having me. We’ve got a blurb and excerpt for you, too.
Two lives. Two realities. But only one truth.
The Senator reigns all-powerful in a manifested picture-perfect world. No worries. No wars. Only the unspoken threat of oblivion if you step a toe out of line. On the other side of the divide, the rebels face a debilitating war against an invulnerable robotic army. Every day is a struggle to earn back their freedoms. Freedom to feel. Freedom of speech. Freedom of thought.
Sergeant Grant Baker is pivotal to the war effort. But ever since his wife’s abduction, he’s been walking around in as much of a daze as the Senator’s brainwashed citizens. Then Eva reappears—without memories of him or their son. And he’s willing to do anything to keep her. Even if it means jeopardizing the war.
Eva doesn’t know which side to believe. Her predictable life as a single nurse, or the man claiming to be her husband. All she knows is she needs to discover how to end the war, quickly. If she doesn’t choose sides soon, she may lose the man—and the life—she never knew she wanted.
Acting as vanguard for the injured squad, Grant turned a corner and froze. A hulky man carried a limp woman over his shoulder.
Grant automatically reached for his gun. Even if they weren’t yet across the divide, he couldn’t stand idle as a man accosted a woman. Or worse. He aimed the rifle at the criminal. “Set her down nice and easy.”
The man froze. He glanced over one meaty shoulder, his unshaven mouth set in a scowl.
“Set her down, or I’ll shoot.”
A gold tooth flashed as the criminal grinned. He hurled the small woman at Grant and dashed for the slim space between two buildings.
Grant moved without thinking. His gun clattered to the ground as he lunged forward to catch the woman before she split her head open on the sidewalk. He grunted as he caught her with her weight against his bruised forearms. He shot a flickering glance her way. A riot of brown curls obscured her face. He set her gently on the ground.
He dashed for the opening the shady figure had disappeared into, but saw no sight of the man. The delinquent was long gone.
Ashland panted as he jogged to Grant’s side. “What happened?”
If Grant never heard that question again, it would be too soon. He shook his head wearily. “Mugging, I guess.”
“They still have those here? I thought the Senator brought an end to violence.” Ashland drew sarcastic quotes in the air as he spoke.
Grant didn’t bother to answer. He turned to the woman and where his squad was now gathered. A horrified private glanced from the woman to Grant and back again. “What do you want us to do with her…sir?”
If they left her, the Senator’s people might find her and stick her back in the pen with the rest of their brainwashed sheep. Then again, that same goon might double back to continue what he started.
He crossed to the woman and crouched to lift her into his arms. Her tangled hair fell away from her face. He nearly dropped her. “Eva?”
Frantically, he pressed his ear to her chest. Her breathing was shallow, but her heartbeat steady and strong. He clutched her tighter. He couldn’t believe it.
He’d found his wife.
About Hellish Haven:
Title: Hellish Haven
Genre: Dystopian Multicultural Romance
Publisher: Kensington Publishing Corp., Lyrical Press Imprint
Release Date: November 17, 2014
Buy it from
Kensington Books: http://www.kensingtonbooks.com/book.aspx/31107
L.K. Below grew up in a small town in Ontario, Canada, where her only peek into the wide world was through books. She’s been a bookworm ever since she learned to read, and loves any book with characters and worlds she can lose herself in. She wrote Hellish Haven to take one of her favorite classic books, George Orwell’s 1984, into the modern day…or, in this case, near future. She writes as obsessively as she reads and likes to Tweet about both at @LBelowtheauthor.