#FridayReads: Aaden BlueStar by @authorGaughan #YA #scifi #bookreview


Aaden Bluestar

 

Title: Aaden BlueStar: The Awakening (Aaden BlueStar series Book 1)

Author: David Gaughan

Genre: Young Adult, Science Fiction

 

Book Blurb:

At fifteen, Aaden Greene is imbued with extraordinary powers after a freak incident. Astounded by his powerful abilities he’s also confused by the terrifying vision of the monstrous apparition that appears before him at the time of his metaphysical awakening. Struggling to blend his ordinary life with visions of other lifetimes in extraterrestrial realms, he discovers his connection with an ET who has come to save our world. What amazes him most is the connection between the charismatic E.T. with whom he has been closely connected throughout the ages and his father, a Senator running for President on an environmental ticket. With each heart-pounding moment, the ensuing battle between the extraterrestrial BlueStar Beings and the formidable entity of Aaden’s earlier vision requires them to join forces to combat that negative energy. With an environmental backlash, the future of Earth and the survival of the human race depend on their success.

 

My Review:

In a flash of lightning, fifteen-year-old Aaden’s life is forever changed. Climbing a tree trying to get a prized baseball, Aaden gets struck by lightning. His friends worry but by some miracle, he’s not dead. Instead, he’s awakened latent powers and scary visions. His powers come in handy at school and home but trying to appear “normal” gets harder and harder.

 

Meanwhile, there’s an extraterrestrial war taking place just north of Earth, somewhere near Mars. A dark force is trying to infiltrate Earth and it’s up to the Bluestar beings to stop it. But they need help to avoid this environmental disaster so they call on Aaden and his family. The future of Earth is in their hands. Can Aaden use his natural abilities and skills to defeat the enemy or is the fate of humanity doomed?

 

I really loved this unique science fiction book. Who knew that lightning could “awaken” alien powers? Aaden and his friends are portrayed realistically yet in modern times. I loved the extraterrestrial dynamics and politics which added to the believability of the plot. Filled with all kinds of action, dramatic tension and meaningful messages, this is a fantastic read! While I found the environmental sub-plot a tad heavy-handed, it made sense considering the rest of the story.

 

I highly recommend this book to ages 12 and up for complexity of the English language as well as situations. Both teens and adults will enjoy this clean science fiction adventure.

 

Favorite Character: Aaden. He’s such a delightful character to read. His witty nature and honest inner thoughts make him come alive off the page. I enjoyed the way he dealt with his school rival (not quite a bully but close). Someone who anyone can relate to and a joy to read.

 

Favorite Quote: “There’s power in numbers,” said Adam. “The more people with the same positive thought, the more powerful the effect.”

 

My Rating:  4.5 stars

 

Buy it now:

Amazon US https://www.amazon.com/Aaden-BlueStar-Awakening-Book-ebook/dp/B00RIMSS6G

Goodreads https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/32141790-aaden-bluestar

 

Author Biography:

Born on the same day and month as Mark Twain, this Sagittarius has always been the explorer, not only in world travel pursuits but also alternative fringe subjects.

 

Having climbed the Great Pyramid of Cheops (and getting arrested doing so), some of his other world experiences included riding camels in the Sahara Desert, white-water rafting at the top of the Ganges river, fire walking on a weekend retreat, hot air ballooning in the Cappadocia Region in Turkey and visiting ashrams in Northern India. Much of David’s overseas travel has been fueled by his keen interest in metaphysical subjects. In his earlier years he witnessed, along with three other people, a sighting of a UFO mother ship and four smaller craft, and that was the catalyst for him to research that subject, also in connection with established world viewpoints and how ancient prophecies might hold the clue to our past and future. Having had close friends and relatives affected by ill health, David’s writing incorporates a wide variety of subjects, from natural healing techniques and alternative living guidelines through to fictional works for both young and older readers, his writing influenced by the rich tapestry of life experiences.

 

Social Media Links:

Twitter http://www.twitter.com/authorGaughan

Goodreads https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/13428937.David_Gaughan

Amazon Author Page https://www.amazon.com/-/e/B001KDZKOM

 

Reviewed by: Mrs. N

The Destiny Series by @Hywela_Lyn Blends #ScienceFiction and #Romance! #RONA #TWRP


THE DESTINY SERIES – Each book is a complete ‘standalone’ novel

 

Starquest

 

Title   STARQUEST (Volume1 in the Destiny Trilogy)

Author   Hywela Lyn

Genre   S.F./Romance

Publisher The Wild  Rose Press

 

Book Blurb 

When Jestine Darnell is rescued from her sabotaged starship by the crew of the Destiny her only objective is to complete her mission and keep her promise to save a world from slavery. Love is the last thing on her mind. However, she has not counted on losing her heart to Kerry Marchant the ship’s second in command, who makes his distrust of her painfully obvious, despite the chemistry between them. The completion of her mission has consequences that neither of them could have foreseen.

 

Enter Dahll Tarron, who becomes involved in a long and dangerous quest to find the Destiny. Fates become intertwined, perils shared, culminating in the realization that sometimes love may be so close that there is a danger it will not be recognized until it is too late…

 

Excerpt

Dahll Tarron, the owner of the Quest, the ship Jess has chartered to find the starship Destiny  has been badly wounded on planet they have been lured to by a false distress signal. They are some distance from the ship and they have to make camp for the night. Jess keeps watch.

 

“Dahll, are you in pain? Shall I give you something for it?”

 

“No, just stay…with…me.” I seated myself beside him, cradling his head in my lap. He looked so pale and vulnerable. I felt he must, in reality, be older than he looked. He certainly had more than his fair share of strength and courage and determination. “It’s going to be all right,” I said softly. “Try to get some rest.”

 

I loosened the fastenings of my long cloak and arranged it so it covered us both. After a while, he grew still, and I sensed he was sleeping again. I tried not to move for fear of disturbing him.

 

I began to grow very tired. It was a few hours before dawn, and I’d had no sleep since the previous evening. I slowly eased my aching limbs into a more comfortable position. As I did so, my eyes caught a flicker of light moving toward the entrance of the shelter.

 

I stiffened, suddenly alert again. Tiny, glowing tongues of flame danced in the darkness, writhing and twisting around themselves like miniature whirlpools of living fire.

 

At first, I thought it was a trick of my eyes, caused by fatigue. After a while I decided it was just marsh gas, but as I watched I became aware that the ‘flames’ were orderly. They moved in groups of threes and fours, gliding in straight lines and then circling to retrace their steps in what seemed to be a methodical fashion, as no Will o’ the Wisp ever did. I began to feel I was in the presence of something malevolent…evil.

 

Then I heard the voices. Strange, unearthly voices, which had nothing to do with flesh and blood.

 

“Take the male,” they hissed, “while he yet lives. Before the life-force within him dies and is of no use to us.”

 

“Wait. The female is stronger,” came another voice. “Stay until she sleeps. Then will be our chance, and we can take them both.”

 

I reached for my blaster, by now fully charged, and fired a steady beam in the direction of the ‘flames.’ When I laid down the gun there was nothing, only the darkness.

 

Had the voices been in my imagination, or was it a dream? But I knew I had not slept. Trying to recall the experience, as I record this, I realise they did not speak in words at all. Yet I had understood, like that time on Niflheim, with Gullin.

 

I’ve always loved the night, the beauty of the darkened, star-filled skies. Here, however, on this forsaken and perilous planet, it is menacing, with the sense of something lurking, lying in wait.

 

Much as I dislike the idea, I have resorted to using a Phidian stimulant to stay awake. For Dahll’s sake as well as my own, I can’t allow myself to sleep until we’re once more on board the Quest.

 

Buy Links

Amazon US –  https://www.amazon.com/Starquest-Destiny-Trilogy-Book-1-ebook/dp/B001GS77RO/

Amazon UK – https://www.amazon.co.uk/Starquest-Destiny-Trilogy-Book-1-ebook/dp/B001GS77RO/

The Wild Rose Press – http://catalog.thewildrosepress.com/all-titles/2177-starquest.html

 

Children of the Mist cover

 

Title   CHILDREN OF THE MIST (Volume 2 in the Destiny Trilogy)

Author   Hywela Lyn

Genre   S.F./Romance

Publisher The Wild Rose Press

 

Book Blurb

 

Two minds united against a common foe. Two hearts afraid to show their love:

Long ago Tamarith fell in love with a man she can never have, and is convinced she will never love another. However, she cannot help but be intrigued by a handsome stranger whose psychic powers exceed even her own.

 

Vidarh seeks only to find his true purpose in life and to win the regard of his father, who eschews his son’s psychic abilities. Thrown together by a common threat to their planet, then torn apart by an evil greater than any they could have imagined, can Vidarh save the lovely Nifl woman who has captivated him, before it is too late?

 

Will Tamarith and Vidarh overcome the deadly enemy who threatens to destroy all they know and love? Will they find the happiness they both seek? Or are they fated to live their lives alone?

 

Excerpt

She kept climbing, losing all track of time.

 

She stopped to rest. She’d had little sleep and not bothered to eat before she left the camp, and hunger and exhaustion took their toll. All at once she sniffed the air. Clouds of bitter-smelling smoke drifted in a haze above her. She turned her head to one side and concentrated on climbing as swiftly as she could without losing her footing.

 

It was almost a shock when at last she reached the rim. She eased herself onto the icy ground, and sat for a few moments to catch her breath. Smoke hung in the air and it was obvious there had recently been a fight with power weapons.

 

Vidarh! Vidarh, are you here?

 

No answer. Nothing but silence. Abandoning caution, she adjusted her flare to full beam and swung around, stretching her arm and illuminating the ground before her. Suddenly she stood rigid. Over to her right, a large black mound, obviously the Salmaran, or what was left of her, lay inert and lifeless, face downward.

 

She looked all around, flashing the light on her wrist, straining her eyes for some sign of Vidarh, while calling to him in her mind. She walked away from the Salmaran woman’s body, and at last spotted Vidarh lying a considerable distance away.

 

His arms were flung out away from his sides, his fingers clenched around the butt of his blaster, his garments half covered in snow. She could detect no life-signs.

 

She ran toward him. Tears spilled down her cheeks and it seemed as if her heart would break.

 

 

Buy Links

Amazon US –  https://www.amazon.com/Children-Mist-Destiny-Trilogy-Book-ebook/dp/B002HMC7VE

Amazon UK – https://www.amazon.co.uk/Children-Mist-Destiny-Trilogy-Book-ebook/dp/B002HMC7VE

The Wild Rose Press http://catalog.thewildrosepress.com/all-titles/2350-children-of-the-mist.html

 

Beloved Enemy

 

Title  BELOVED ENEMY– Volume 3 of The Destiny Trilogy

Shortlisted for the 2017 Romance Novelists Association RoNA Award

Author   Hywela Lyn

Genre   S.F./Romance

Publisher The Wild  Rose Press

 

Book Blurb

Cat Kincaid is obsessed with killing the man she believes is responsible for the torture and death of her sister, but when she eventually catches up with him, survival becomes a greater priority than revenge.

Kerry Marchant, haunted by memories, regret, and self-blame, shields himself from the pain of the past by committing himself totally to the starship, Destiny, of which he is part owner. However, the beautiful, red-haired woman who reminds him of his lost love, and who he suspects is working for a corrupt regime, represents a possible threat not only to the ship, but to his heart.

Marooned on an inhospitable planet, they need to work together to stay alive, fighting not only unknown assailants, but their growing attraction. But how can they learn to trust each other when he has vowed never to get close to a woman again, and she made a solemn pledge to destroy him?

 

EXCERPT

“Wha-at?” Cat flung herself sideways. Her feet slid from under her as something long and black wrapped itself round her leg, writhing and tightening its coils. She hit the ground hard, rolling over to her shoulder, almost deafened by the sound of Kerry’s blaster. The water sprayed up from the river and her throat burned with the acrid smell of blaster emissions and burning flesh. Gravel and pebbles dug into her skin through the fabric of her clothing, as something dragged her toward the edge of the bank. She bit back a cry of horror as she glanced over her shoulder at the thing twining itself around her leg. An icy fear went through her. Snakes—the only creatures she really feared. She aimed her pistol and then realized it was not a serpent that dragged her toward the river, but a long, rubbery tentacle fastened around the tough material of her leggings and boot.

 

Before she could activate the weapon, Kerry let off another barrage of plasma bolts into the river. He leapt toward her and ripped the severed tentacle from her leg. It flapped around on the wet grass. She scrambled to her knees, still slightly winded, and fired at the hideous thing. The foliage around it flared briefly with an eerie green flame, and the tentacle shrivelled into a slimy black mass, emitting a pungent odour and causing her to gag.

 

“It seems I was mistaken about the creature being dead.” Kerry prodded the smouldering mass with his boot and looked across over the water. “It is now.” He leaned down and grasped her wrist to haul her to her feet. “Are you hurt?”

 

“No, I don’t think so.” Her shoulder was sore and probably bruised but she’d live.

 

She tried to control her shivering. The incident affected her more than she wanted to admit. Kerry’s proximity—naked to the waist, his lithe body shining from the water droplets that still clung to his skin, and his legs swathed in tight black leather—did nothing to help. The last thing she wanted was for him to realize how scared she’d been when she thought a snake attacked her.

 

“Thanks. That was close. It would have been a bit ironic if I’d been killed by the same creature I saved you from.”

 

She realized he still grasped her wrist. She tried to move away, but he pulled her back, obliging her to turn to him.

 

“You’re trembling.”

 

“I’m fine.”

 

“No,” he said. “You’re not.” He pulled her closer and his eyes softened, his gaze holding her mesmerized. She opened her mouth to try to speak, but in the same instant, he put his hand under her chin and his lips closed over hers.

 

For a brief moment, she tried to resist but found herself drawn into his kiss as he deepened it, his hand brushing lightly through her hair. For a long moment, time seemed to stand still, and nothing mattered except his lips burning on hers. His tongue teased her own, demanding and insistent, his lips incredibly sensuous, firm, caressing. Through the thin material of her shirt, Cat felt the warmth of his bare chest pressed hard against her breasts. The cold metal of the capsule he obviously did not take off, even to bathe, dug into her skin, but the slight discomfort was nothing compared to the turmoil in her mind.

 

Without any conscious action on her part, her arms slipped around his neck. She traced the damp skin of his shoulders with her fingers and felt the ridges of old scars on his back. Her heart pounded uncomfortably in her chest, and her blood coursed like liquid fire through her veins.

 

Buy Links

Amazon U.S. – https://www.amazon.com/Beloved-Enemy-Destiny-Trilogy-Book-ebook/dp/B01BBCBYCS

Amazon UK – https://www.amazon.co.uk/Beloved-Enemy-Destiny-Trilogy-Book-ebook/dp/B01BBCBYCS

The Wild Rose Press – http://catalog.thewildrosepress.com/all-titles/3770-beloved-enemy.html

 

Hywela Lyn

 

Author Biography

Hywela Lyn lives in a small English village with her husband Dave, although she was born in rural Wales where she spent her childhood and most of her adult life. The rugged Welsh landscapes inspired much of her writing.

 

She is published by The Wild Rose Press and and her latest novel is Beloved Enemy, the third of a Science Fiction Romance Trilogy The Destiny Trilogy. 

 

Although most her writing tends to be futuristic, the worlds she creates are usually untainted by crowded cities and technology, embracing the beauty and wildness of nature. Her characters often have to fight the elements and the terrain itself. Her heroes are strong and courageous, but chivalrous and honourable – and of course, handsome and hunky. Her heroines are also strong and courageous, but still retain their femininity! However difficult the journey, love will always win in the end. She is a member of The Romantic Novelists’ Association (UK) and Chiltern Writers, her local writing group.

 

A keen animal lover, she has two horses, a ‘feral’ stable cat, and a rescued terrier, who manages to twist her round his little paw. When she is not writing, she can usually be found enjoying the outdoors with the horses and dog, reading – or just eating chocolate!

 

Social Media Links

Website: http://www.hywelalyn.co.uk

Blog: http://www.hywelalyn.blogspot.com

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/HywelaLyn

Facebook Author Page: https://www.facebook.com/HywelaLynAuthor/?pnref=lhc

Twitter: https://twitter.com/Hywela_Lyn

Newsletter signup:  http://madmimi.com/signups/196357/join

 

Modified: Lunar Medical Book 1 by Amy J. Hamilton @WriteNaughty #EroticSciFi #SciFi #books


modified-lm-bk-1-2500x1563

 

Title: Modified: Lunar Medical Book 1

Author: Amy J Hamilton

Genre: Erotic Sci Fi

 

Blurb:

Dayton Bracknell, Clueless Guy in Charge, is reluctantly heading up the Alliance’s unfinished medical facility on a moon. Although away from impending war and a virus on the planet, Day is thoroughly not enjoying the responsibility thrust upon him. The scientists are genetically modifying humans into super soldiers. As you do. But that’s OK, he knows how to tweak vending machine settings-it’s pretty much the same thing, surely?

The next intake of volunteers and prisoners are due to arrive for their modifications. Because putting weapons into the hands of convicts is clearly a splendid idea. Not only do the team have to deal with the sudden lack of comms to the planet, there’s the curious side effect of outstanding libido in the successful Candidates. They may rival Day’s own appetites. Unlikely, he thinks, but still possible.

Questions remain-can he keep it together, contain the first unsuccessful set of candidates that have gone rogue, get new soldiers back to the planet and find someone to sleep with?

Modified is a work of erotic fiction and as such contains explicit sexual content with body parts and everything.


Excerpt:

Dayton sat at the technological monstrosity that was his desk. His personal torture of the moment was a private message he’d received from the planet a few days ago. There was an accompanying dull ache in the centre of his chest. He rubbed at it with his hand as if that would help. He swallowed at the lump in his throat. That didn’t help either. For his own peace of mind, he ceased watching the message and forced himself into denial. Procrastination was becoming his hobby of choice. He rubbed his itchy palms against his trouser legs.

Isolated on a structure dug into a moon, Day had a vague idea of the political state of the planet, Enceffia below. Above, below, wherever the hell it was. Despite everything associated with moon living he was safer where he was rather than back on the ground. He tried to push visions of the planet’s virus outbreak and bombings further from his mind. And the endless talk of war. As if the last war wasn’t bad enough.

He muttered incoherently to himself, well aware that this other stress induced habit was escalating. He visualized extremists bombing similar Enceffia based facilities. The human experiments that were being performed on so called volunteers were big global news.

“And now we’re getting the bloody prisoners” he said. The communication had confirmed that they were going through with what Day considered to be the most ill-advised venture yet. Send convicted murderers to the moon to be “treated” in return for reduced sentences. Because that’s going to end well.

He hit replay on an earlier news loop.

“A medical facility in the capital where human experiments took place has been partially destroyed by a bomb in the early hours of this morning. Widely seen as the way forward in developing a vaccine against the DH strains of the so-called Four Horsemen virus, the vaccine was incorporated into genetic enhancements administered to the subjects in the facility. The number of casualties is expected to be high; the bomb hit the habitation area of the facility.” Behind the ever handsome Duncan was pictorial evidence of the carnage.

“The human experiments are taking place at a time where both global agreement and opposition exists. Due to the growing unrest some of the experiments have since been moved to an incomplete moon facility Lunar Medical 1.”

“That’s us” Day muttered. As soon as life support was viable on the moon, the facility it had seen occupation.

“Take care down there Dunc” Day switched off the mid-air screen with the flick of his wrist. He snorted with surprise when the action worked.

 

Buy Links:

Amazon UK https://www.amazon.co.uk/Modified-Lunar-Medical-Book-1-ebook/dp/B01G0SW9ZY/

Amazon US https://www.amazon.com/Modified-Lunar-Medical-Book-1-ebook/dp/B01G0SW9ZY/

 

ajh

 

Author Biography:

Amy J Hamilton feels around 450 years old and is probably mostly sane. When she is not inhabiting her own weird world she lives in the not so tropical SE of England. Amy or AJ to absolutely no-one runs her own tiny ickle business (that’s little for those that don’t speak weird.) Her husband and two kids seem to tolerate her fairly well. The family has a selection of small non humans in enclosures in the house that Amy speaks to on a daily basis. So far they have yet to communicate with her. Except for the bearded dragon, those conversations are legendary.

 

Author Page on Amazon

https://www.amazon.co.uk/Amy-J-Hamilton/e/B01N0ZHDEC/ref=ntt_dp_epwbk_0

 

Blog

http://barkingmaddj.blogspot.co.uk/

 

Goodreads

https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/15275986.Amy_J_Hamilton

 

Twitter

https://twitter.com/WriteNaughty

 

“Quirky, profane, disturbing…” Rarity from the Hollow by @roberteggleton1 #books #scifi


1-rarity-front-cover-web-2

 

Title: Rarity from the Hollow

Author: Robert Eggleton

Genre: Adult Social Science Fiction

Publisher: Dog Horn Publishing

 

Book Blurb:

Lacy Dawn’s father relives the Gulf War, her mother’s teeth are rotting out, and her best friend is murdered by the meanest daddy on Earth. Life in the hollow is hard. She has one advantage — an android was inserted into her life and is working with her to cure her parents. But, he wants something in exchange. It’s up to her to save the Universe. Lacy Dawn doesn’t mind saving the universe, but her family and friends come first.

 

Rarity from the Hollow is adult literary science fiction filled with tragedy, comedy and satire.

 

“The most enjoyable science fiction novel I have read in years.”

Temple Emmet Williams, Author, former editor for Reader’s Digest

 

 

“Quirky, profane, disturbing… In the space between a few lines we go from hardscrabble realism to pure sci-fi/fantasy. It’s quite a trip.”

  • Evelyn Somers, The Missouri Review

 

. “…a hillbilly version of Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy…what I would have thought impossible; taken serious subjects like poverty, ignorance, abuse…tongue-in-cheek humor without trivializing them…profound…a funny book that most sci-fi fans will thoroughly enjoy.” — Awesome Indies (Gold Medal)

 

“…sneaks up you and, before you know it, you are either laughing like crazy or crying in despair, but the one thing you won’t be is unmoved…a brilliant writer.” —Readers’ Favorite (Gold Medal)

 

“Rarity from the Hollow is an original and interesting story of a backwoods girl who saves the Universe in her fashion. Not for the prudish.” —Piers Anthony, New York Times bestselling author

 

“…Good satire is hard to find and science fiction satire is even harder to find.” — The Baryon Review

 

Excerpt:

Chapter 13, “Mom I’d Like to Introduce You to My Fiancé”

Scene Prologue: At this point in the story, Lacy Dawn, the protagonist, is twelve years old. An android named DotCom (his name is a recurring pun throughout the novel) installed a port in her upper spine and has directly downloaded data into her brain for the last several years. His ship is hidden in a cave in the Woods behind the family’s house in the hollow. DotCom was sent to Earth to train and recruit Lacy Dawn to save the universe from an imminent threat, but was recalled due to slow performance. In this scene, DotCom has returned to Earth and Jenny, the mother, meets him for the first time.

 

*****

 

…..… Jenny (the mother) walked up the hill to Roundabend. She called Lacy Dawn’s name every few yards. Her muddy tennis shoes slipped and slid.

I hear her voice. Why won’t she answer me? 

“Sounds like she’s talking to someone,” Jenny said to the Woods.

Nobody responded. The trees weren’t supposed to since Jenny was no longer a child. Her former best friends had made no long-term commitment beyond childhood victimization. They had not agreed to help her deal with domestic violence in adulthood. She hugged the closest tree.

I will always love you guys. 

Jenny quickened her pace, stopped, and listened for human voices. A few yards later, she stopped again.

Now it sounds like she’s behind me instead of in front. 

Jenny looked to the left of the path.

There ain’t no cave Roundabend, but there it is. 

She walked toward the entrance. The voices grew louder and she looked inside. Lacy Dawn sat on a bright orange recliner. Tears streamed down her face.  Jenny ran to her daughter through a cave that didn’t exit and into a blue light that did.

“All right, you mother f**ker!”

“Mom!” Lacy Dawn yelled. “You didn’t say, ‘It’s me’ like you’re supposed to (a traditional announcement mentioned earlier in the story).”

DotCom (the android) sat naked in a lotus position on the floor in front of the recliner.  Jenny covered Lacy Dawn with her body and glared at him.

“Grrrrr,” emanated from Jenny.  It was a sound similar to the one that Brownie (Lacy Dawn’s dog) made the entire time the food stamp woman was at their house.  It was a sound that filled the atmosphere with hate.  No one moved.  The spaceship’s door slid shut.

“Mommmmmy, I can’t breathe. Get up.”

“You make one move you sonofabitch and I’ll tear your heart out,” Jenny repositioned to take her weight off Lacy Dawn.

Stay between them.

“Mommy, he’s my friend. More than my friend, we’re going to get married when I’m old enough — like when I turn fourteen. He’s my boyfriend — what you call it — my fiancé.”

“You been messin’ with my little girl you pervert!” Jenny readied to pounce.

“MOM!  Take a chill pill! He ain’t been messing with me. He’s a good person, or whatever. Anyway, he’s not a pervert. You need to just calm down and get off me.”

Jenny stood up. DotCom stood up. Jenny’s jaw dropped.

He ain’t got no private parts, not even a little bump.   

“DotCom, I’d like to introduce you to my mommy, Mrs. Jenny Hickman. Mommy, I’d like to introduce you to my fiancé, DotCom.”

Jenny sat down on the recliner. Her face was less than a foot from DotCom’s crotch and she stared straight at it. It was smooth, hairless, and odor free.

“Mrs. Hickman, I apologize for any inconvenience that this misunderstanding has caused. It is very nice to meet you after having heard so much. You arrived earlier than expected. I did not have time to properly prepare and receive. Again, I apologize.”

I will need much more training if I’m ever assigned to a more formal setting than a cave, such as to the United Nations.

“Come on, Mommy. Give him a hug or something.”

Jenny’s left eye twitched.

DotCom put on clothing that Lacy Dawn had bought him at Goodwill. It hung a little loose until he modified his body. Lacy Dawn hugged her mother…

…(scene of Dwayne, the father, overheard by those in the spaceship while talking to himself)… “Besides, the transmitter was part of Daddy’s treatment. There’re a lot of other things that he did to help fix Daddy. DotCom is like a doctor. You can see that Daddy has gotten better every day. And no, there ain’t no transmitter in you. DotCom figured you out like a good doctor and the only things wrong are a lack of opportunity and rotten teeth that poison your body. You don’t need no transmitter. He just gave you a few shots of ego boost. I don’t know what medicine that is, but I trust him. You ain’t complained since the shots started — not even with an upset stomach.”

“He’s a doctor?” Jenny asked.

“What’s your problem anyway?” Lacy Dawn asked. “I know.  You’re prejudiced. You told me that people have much more in common than they do that’s different — even if someone is a different color or religion, or from a different state than us. You told me to try to become friends because sometimes that person may need a good friend. Now, here you are acting like a butt hole about my boyfriend. You’re prejudiced because he’s different than us.”

“Honey, he’s not even a person – that’s about as different as a boyfriend can get,” Jenny said.

“So?”

Mommy’s right. Maybe I need a different argument.

            A fast clicking sound, a blur of motion, and a familiar smell assaulted them.

“What’s that?” Jenny asked.

She moved to protect her daughter from whatever threat loomed. Brownie, who had been granted 27 / 7 access to the ship, bounded over the orange recliner, knocked DotCom to the floor, licked DotCom’s face, and rubbed his head on Jenny’s leg. He then jumped onto the recliner and lay down. His tail wagged throughout. Jenny sat down on the recliner beside Brownie and looked at Lacy Dawn.

“But, you were crying when I first came in. That thing was hurting you.” Jenny shook her finger at DotCom to emphasize a different argument against him.

“Mommy, I’m so happy that I couldn’t help but cry. My man just came home from an out-of-state job. I didn’t talk to him for a whole year. Before he left, he told me that he wasn’t even sure if he’d be able to come home. I still don’t know what happened while he was gone. We ain’t had no chance to talk. All I know is that he’s home and I’m sooooo happy.”

“Your man came home from an out-of-state job?” Jenny patted Brownie on his head, some more and some more….

It’s unusual for a man to promise to come back home and ever be seen again. Brownie likes him and that’s a good sign. Maybe she’s right about him helping Dwayne. Something sure did and it wasn’t me. It is a nice living room. They’ve been together for a while and I ain’t seen a mark on her. That’s unusual too. He ain’t got no private parts and that’s another good thing. Hell, if I get in the middle, she’d just run off with him anyway. Id better play it smart. I don’t want to lose my baby.

“What about his stupid name?” Jenny asked.

“I’ve got a stupid name, too. All the kids at school call me hick because my last name is Hickman.”

“My name was given to me by my manager a very long time ago. It represents a respected tradition — the persistent marketing of that which is not necessarily the most needed. I spam…,” DotCom said.

They both glared at him.

“Dwayne is sure to be home. I don’t want him to worry. Let’s go,” Jenny said.

“Okay, Mommy.”

“I love you, DotCom,” Lacy Dawn stepped out the ship’s door, which had slid open. Brownie and Jenny were right behind her.

“I love you too,” DotCom said.

Lacy Dawn and Jenny held hands and walked down the path toward home. The trees didn’t smile — at least not so Jenny would notice. On the other hand, no living thing obstructed, intruded, or interfered with the rite.

Jenny sang to the Woods, “My little girl’s going to marry a doctor when she grows up, marry a doctor when she grows up, when she grows up.  My little girl’s going to marry a doctor when she grows up, marry a doctor when she grows up, when she grows up….”

 

Buy Links:

Lulu http://www.lulu.com/shop/robert-eggleton/rarity-from-the-hollow/paperback/product-22910478.html

Amazon http://www.amazon.com/Rarity-Hollow-Robert-Eggleton-ebook/dp/B017REIA44

Publisher http://www.doghornpublishing.com/wordpress/books/rarity-from-the-hollow 

 

EggletonR

Author Biography:

Robert Eggleton has served as a children’s advocate in an impoverished state for over forty years. He is best known for his investigative reports about children’s programs, most of which were published by the West Virginia Supreme Court where he worked from 1982 through 1997, and which also included publication of models of serving disadvantaged and homeless children in the community instead of in large institutions, research into foster care drift involving children bouncing from one home to the next — never finding a permanent loving family, and statistical reports on the occurrence and correlates of child abuse and delinquency.

 

Today, he is a recently retired children’s psychotherapist from the mental health center in Charleston, West Virginia, where he specialized in helping victims cope with and overcome physical and sexual abuse, and other mental health concerns. Rarity from the Hollow is his debut novel. Its release followed publication of three short Lacy Dawn Adventures in magazines: Wingspan Quarterly, Beyond Centauri, and Atomjack Science Fiction.

The second edition of Rarity from the Hollow was released on November 3, 2016. Author proceeds have been donated to a child abuse prevention program operated by Children’s Home Society of West Virginia. http://www.childhswv.org/ Robert continues to write fiction with new adventures based on a protagonist that is a composite character of children that he met when delivering group therapy services. The overall theme of his stories remains victimization to empowerment.

 

Social Media Links:

Website http://www.lacydawnadventures.com

Goodreads https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/32993259-rarity-from-the-hollow

Facebook https://www.facebook.com/Lacy-Dawn-Adventures-573354432693864/

Twitter https://twitter.com/roberteggleton1

Google+ https://plus.google.com/b/108662084126982201049/108662084126982201049/posts

LinkedIn https://www.linkedin.com/in/robert-eggleton-909b154b?trk=nav_responsive_tab_profile_pic

Beloved Enemy by @Hywela_Lyn is Fantastic! #bookreview #SFR #TWRP


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Title: Beloved Enemy

Author: Hywela Lyn

Genre: Science Fiction/Adventure/Romance

Publisher: The Wild Rose Press

 

Blurb:

Cat O’Brien is obsessed with killing the man she believes is responsible for the torture and death of her half-sister, but when she eventually catches up with him, survival becomes a greater priority than revenge.

Kerry Marchant, haunted by memories, regret and self-blame, shields himself from the pain of the past by committing himself totally to the starship, Destiny, of which he is part owner. He will do anything to protect her and her crew. However, the beautiful, red haired woman who reminds him of his lost love, and who he suspects is working for a corrupt regime, represents a possible threat not only to the ship, but to his heart.

Marooned on an inhospitable planet, which seems to defy natural laws, the two are forced to work together to stay alive, fighting not only unknown assailants, but their growing attraction to each other. How can they learn to trust each other when he has vowed never to get close to a woman again and she has made a solemn pledge to destroy him?

 

My Review:

This book was an amazingly enjoyable read!  I had no idea that this was the third book of a series.  This was a fantastic stand alone that can be read without having read the first two of the series. I was immediately drawn to Cat (and Shifter) and Kerry.  The characters were so well written that the reader quickly developed a feeling for them.  I loved the twists and turns as they existed on the planet.  A fan of sci fi will just love this book.

 

I found myself lost a bit with the quick scene changes that were hard to understand, at first.  When the big surprise hit and there was a larger presence involved, I was struck by how quickly I found myself looking for Captain Picard and Q.  I am a HUGE fan of that series so this worked for me on many levels.

The action was fast paced and exciting, the growing yet begrudged feelings between Cat and Kerry was really well written.  This is a page turner and hard to put down.  The superb ending was just the icing on the cake and I would love to read the first two and cannot wait to read the 4th installment.  Super highly recommend this book to every fan of science fiction!

 

 

My Rating:  4.5 stars * -.5 for just the hint of loss of originality in places *

 

Buy it now:

Amazon US: https://www.amazon.com/Beloved-Enemy-Hywela-Lyn/dp/1509205349/

Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Beloved-Enemy-Hywela-Lyn/dp/1509205349/

Kobo: https://store.kobobooks.com/en-us/ebook/beloved-enemy-21

Barnes & Noble: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/beloved-enemy-hywela-lyn/1123368339?ean=2940157711405

Publisher: http://catalog.thewildrosepress.com/all-titles/3770-beloved-enemy.html

 

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Author Biography:

Hywela Lyn lives in a small village in England, with her long-suffering husband Dave, although her heart remains in her native rural Wales, which inspired much of her writing.

Although most her writing tends to be futuristic, the worlds she creates are usually untainted by crowded cities and technology, embracing the beauty and wildness of nature. Her  debut novel, a Science Fiction/Adventure romance released by the Wild Rose Press, was followed by a sequel ‘Children Of The Mist’.  A third novel ‘Beloved Enemy’, released in March 2016 continues what has now become a series known as ‘The Destiny Trilogy’.

A keen animal lover, she has two horses, a ‘feral’ stable cat, and a rescued terrier, who manages to twist her round his little paw.  When she is not writing, she can usually be found enjoying the outdoors with the horses and dog – or just  eating chocolate!

She is a member of The Romantic Novelists’ Association (UK) and Chiltern Writers, her local writing group.

 

Social Media Links:

Website: http://www.hywelalyn.com/beloved-enemy

Blog: http://www.hywelalyn.co.uk

Facebook Profile: https://www.facebook.com/HywelaLyn

Facebook Author Page: https://www.facebook.com/HywelaLynAuthor/?pnref=lhc

Twitter https://twitter.com/Hywela_Lyn?lang=en

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/29357947-beloved-enemy?ac=1&from_search=true

 

Reviewed by: Mr. N

New Megiddo Rising: An ‘Apostates’ Novella by @lars_teeney #bookreview #TuesdayBookBlog


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Title: New Megiddo Rising: An ‘Apostates’ Novella

Author: Lars Teeney

Genre: Dystopian, Science Fiction

 

Book Blurb:

At the Dawn of the Texas Republic declaring independence from Mexico, New Megiddo was born. Created by a death cult led by the Reverend Brigham Wainwright, who actively worked to flood the empty, barren land with his American followers; undermining his Mexican overlords.

 

Fast-forward several centuries and America has become New Megiddo, a theocracy run by the Schrubb Administration, where order is kept using the technology of the [Virtue-Net] to feed the Reverend Wilhelm Wainwright’s sermons to the minds of the people. In the slums, the humble beginnings of an insurgency of Apostates take shape. The cruel and clueless policies of the Church of New Megiddo and the ruling Regime push the disenfranchised masses one step closer to all-out rebellion.

 

My Review:

This is a book for someone who wants to be transported to a different world…that all the while eerily reminds the reader of current day.  The ‘America’ in this book is craftily created by the author to set the stage for the multifaceted society that exists.  Several of the characters are intriguing and a reader can be caught up in those characters quickly which shows a skill that is hard to find in many of the books today.  The promise that comes from this prequel novella whets the appetite of the reader and leaves one wanting to read the next part of the story.

 

For me, the necessary detailing of the ruling society drags on and on.  I quickly developed a detestation for the scum who run the ‘church’ society.  I was offended by the leader of the girl’s home who preys on the children he is supposed to be molding.  That pervert needs a good axe in the head.

 

I was bothered by the detail of Ayane being bullied and brutalized by her ‘school mates’ but then, instead of detail of her murdering the ringleader, it was a fade to black and return.  I would prefer less bullying detail and more detail of the bully being brutally murdered.  That is just me.  I absolutely loved the rebels attack on the deacon caravan in LA.  That was the best writing I saw in the novella and re-read it several times.  That alone makes me want to read book two.

 

My Rating:  4 stars

 

Buy it now:

Amazon https://www.amazon.com/New-Megiddo-Rising-Apostates-Novella-ebook/dp/B015DS2FN8

Goodreads https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/26532358-new-megiddo-rising

 

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Author Biography:

Lars Teeney was born in Montana. After going to an art school in San Francisco, racking up insane student loans and working for years as a freelance designer for the start-up culture, he became burnt out. He abandoned the Bay Area for the Pacific North-west, where he could hike and bike to my heart’s content. He has worked for a variety of technology companies and has a keen passion for politics, history, science and art.

 

Social Media Links:

Website http://larsteeney.tumblr.com/

Twitter @lars_teeney

Facebook https://www.facebook.com/larsteeney/

 

Reviewed by: Mr. N

Death is only the beginning of the adventure — The IX by @WestonAndrew #books #scifi


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Title: The IX

Author: Andrew P. Weston

Genre: Science Fiction

Publisher: Perseid Press

 

Book Blurb:

Roman legionaries, far from home, lost in the mists of Caledonia.

 
A US cavalry company, engaged on a special mission, vital to the peace treaty proposed by Presidential candidate Abraham Lincoln.

 
A twenty-first century Special Forces unit, desperate to prevent a nuclear catastrophe.

 
From vastly different backgrounds, these soldiers are united when they are snatched away from Earth at the moment of their passing. Thinking they may have been granted a reprieve, imagine their horror when they discover they have been transported to a failing planet on the far side of the galaxy, where they are given a simple ultimatum. Fight or die. Against all odds, this group of misfits manages to turn the tide against a relentless foe, only to discover the true cost of victory might exact a price they are unwilling to pay.

 
How far would you be willing to go to stay alive?

 
The IX.

 
Sometimes, death is only the beginning of the adventure.

 

 

 

Excerpt:

The domed Hall of Remembrance was vast. Despite its size, the chamber had been cunningly designed to amplify sound. Doctor Ayria Solram’s steps rang out clearly as she walked toward a huge cenotaph-like structure that had been constructed in the exact center of the room, opposite a set of massive windows. Clicking off into the furthest reaches of the auditorium, her footfalls echoed twice about the room before fading.

 

Over fifty pairs of eyes followed her closely. That wasn’t surprising. At forty years of age, Ayria cut an imposing figure. Standing well over six feet tall, she matched the stature of most of the men now staring at her in wide-eyed admiration. Ayria wore her waist length, midnight blue hair in a no-nonsense braid which didn’t hide the fact that her mane was glorious. Curling over her shoulder and across her torso like a well-fed python, it captured attention whenever she moved.

 

Her smooth, softly tanned skin and dark eyes were in stark contrast to the sterile white lab coat she wore. Nevertheless, the overall effect was striking.

 

Indicating the monument with a sweep of her arms, she said, “Now, this should be of particular interest to you. This is called the Reverence.”

 

All faces turned to study the twenty-foot high monolith. Fashioned from a richly veined slab of rock, it appeared to be seamless, and resonated gently from all four sides with a softly pulsing, blue phosphorescence. The top of the structure was formed into a trapezoid, upon which rested a glowing sphere.

 

Aryia pointed to it. “The light you see is not just a power source. It’s also an indicator, intimately linked to the life energies of every living soul currently residing on Arden. Your esoteric signatures were added shortly after you arrived here, and as you can see, the device is glowing with a gentle aquamarine radiance.”

 

Gesturing around the outer edge of the hall, she drew the crowd’s attention to a number of astonishing bas-reliefs which had been cut directly into the fabric of the wall. Stretching from floor to ceiling, each was of a similar size and gave the impression that the open leaves of a gigantic tome had been superimposed onto the rock.

 

A small dais had been erected before each frieze, upon which an artifact or plaque had been positioned, highlighted by a softly humming radiance.

 

“Are those the names of refugees I can see on the pages?” Marcus Brutus asked, astonished by the sheer volume of people who had been taken from their homes.

 

“I’m afraid not,” Ayria replied. “While it is true that the Architect has relocated literally thousands of us over the years, the lists you see here represent our dear brothers and sisters who have fallen to the Horde.”

 

A palpable shock ran through the entire group.

 

“Are you serious?” spluttered James Houston. “But there are . . . thousands. How many names are up there, lady?”

 

“Just Ayria, please. Or Doctor. In answer to your question, the sacrifice of over twenty-one thousand souls has been recorded here. When someone dies, the Reverence registers the missing life force and turns red for an entire day. It also burns their name into a corresponding page.”

 

“Holy God!” Houston  turned to stare at a young cavalry officer standing next to him. Addressing him, Houston whispered, “We’ve got to stick together, Wilson. Just you and me. Watch each other’s backs.”

 

Some of the other men standing close by glared at the pair in disdain.

 

“If I may ask a question, Ayria?” Marcus interjected. “How is it that I, a humble soldier of Rome, can read and understand this writing? I recognize it as a form I have never witnessed before, yet I find myself comprehending its meaning almost instantly.”

 

“That’s due to nanotechnology,” Ayria replied. Walking toward him, she tapped the side of her own head. “Remember, the avatars explained something of the process we use here. Because a great many people are being brought together from across time, the Ardenese had to make sure we understood each other clearly. Even a single language can change radically during the course of many centuries, so they thought it best we were educated in theirs. They were a very advanced people, socially as well technologically. And because they had employed the use of artificial intelligence as a means to educate themselves for a number of decades prior to their fall, they realized the best way to help us was to adapt those tiny little machines for our use. They’re inside our brains right now, teaching us and allowing us to learn new things at a greatly accelerated rate.”

 

Marcus frowned.

 

“Have I confused you?”

 

“No, my lady, not at all. I look bewildered because I can grasp the sense of what you’re saying . . .” He turned to look about him in wonder, “. . . and yet, this is all so very strange to me.”

 

Marcus glanced toward his compatriots and shrugged. Like him, Flavius and their fellow legionnaires were still finding the adjustments difficult to cope with. They were warriors, and unaccustomed to such godlike contrivances.

 

An awkward silence ensued.

 

Seizing the moment, Mac stepped forward. “I take it each engraving represents an actual influx of candidates?”

 

A sea of faces turned to look at him. Until now, Mac and his men had kept themselves apart, content to stand quietly to one side with a group of stoic Native Americans. However, Mac had noticed how each of the lists was arranged. Pointing to the wall, he continued, “There are nine open books along the circumference. One is blank, so that must indicate us, as no one is dead yet. Therefore, the other eight obviously refer to those who have come and gone before us, yes?”

 

“Very astute. Lieutenant Alan McDonald, isn’t it?”

 

 

Buy Links:

Audio

Amazon https://www.amazon.com/IX-Book-1/dp/B01MCZ7XEU/ref=tmm_aud_swatch_0?_encoding=UTF8&qid=1478062836&sr=8-1

Audible http://www.audible.com/pd/Sci-Fi-Fantasy/The-IX-Audiobook/B01MCZ83B8/ref=a_search_c4_1_1_srTtl?qid=1478545349&sr=1-1

 

Digital and Print

Amazon.com: https://www.amazon.com/IX-Book-1-ebook/dp/B00RM54QBA/ref=sr_1_1_twi_kin_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1477728328&sr=8-1&keywords=The+IX

Amazon.co.uk: https://www.amazon.co.uk/IX-Book-1-ebook/dp/B00RM54QBA/ref=sr_1_1_twi_kin_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1477728420&sr=8-1&keywords=the+ix

Barnes and Noble: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/the-ix-andrew-p-weston/1121115575?ean=9780986414008

Walmart: https://www.walmart.com/ip/The-IX/53402841

 

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Author Biography:

Andrew P. Weston is an ex-military ex-police expat from the UK who now lives with a large amount of cats in a medium sized house on a small Greek Island.

 

An astronomy and law graduate, he has the privilege of being a member of the Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America, the British Fantasy Society, the British Science Fiction Association and the International Association of Media Tie-In Writers.

 

When not writing, Andrew devotes some of his spare time to assisting NASA with one of their remote research projects, and writes educational articles for Astronaut.com and Amazing Stories.

 

Social Media Links:

Website: http://www.andrewpweston.com/

 

Publisher: Perseid Press

 

Twitter: https://twitter.com/WestonAndrew

 

Author Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Andrew-P-Weston-Author/102335216581151?ref=hl

 

Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.com/andrewweston/

 

Andrew P. Weston Blog: http://theix.blogspot.gr/

 

The IX Blog: http://theix.blogspot.gr/

 

 

“Maia must trust someone to survive” Shadow Fall by @AudreyGreyBooks #books #scifi #YA


Shadow Fall
Audrey Grey
(Shadow Fall, #1)
Published by: Blaze Publishing
Publication date: November 22nd 2016
Genres: Science Fiction, Young Adult

The asteroid hurtling toward the earth will kill billions.

The Emperor and his Gold Court will be safe in their space station, watching from the stars. The Silvers will be protected underground. But the Bronzes must fight it out at the Shadow Trials for the few remaining spots left on the space station.

When an enigmatic benefactor hands Maia Graystone a spot in the Trials, she won’t just get a chance at salvation for her and her baby brother, Max: She gets to confront the mother who abandoned her in prison, the mad Emperor who murdered her father, and the Gold prince who once loved her. But it’s the dark bastard prince she’s partnered with that will make her question everything, including her own heart. With the asteroid racing closer every day, Maia must trust someone to survive.

The question is who?

Goodreads / Amazon / Barnes & Noble / Kobo / iBooks

You can get your copy now for the special release price of 99 cents, and be sure to meet us at the Facebook Party happening right now!

EXCERPT:

My legs wobble as I step into the now lukewarm water. I sink to the bottom. Tiny bubbles escape my nose as I watch all the ugly remnants from the last seven years leave my body.

Lungs burning, I rise and come face-to-face with Pit Boy.

I glare at him. “You really have to work on the knocking thing.”

Despite the fact that I’m indecent, his attention never falls from my face. I almost wish it would, just to give me a break from the intensity of his focus.

“I only get a few more hours to be the ‘one-eyed freak’ from the pit. Might as well take advantage.” He doesn’t dare crack a smile, so it’s hard to tell if he’s joking or serious.

“Don’t worry. In my heart, that’s exactly who you’ll always be.”

His words remind me that soon we’ll be reconstructed using forbidden nanotech. But it won’t just be our flesh they’ll reengineer. It will be our brains, too.

I don’t foresee my rewiring being too complicated, but Riser needs to upload almost twenty years of false memories. That will be tricky and time-consuming.

And time is the one thing we don’t have.

Riser flicks his gaze to the mirror. He lifts a hand, touches the patch of mottled flesh where his eye should be.

“How did it happen?” I ask.

“Careful, my lady.” His gaze settles on my face. “You’re beginning to sound like you care.”

I roll my eyes. “And I thought I was lacking in conversational skills.”

He focuses his attention on the graffiti sprayed across the mirror.

“It’s written language,” I blurt, even though all I want to do is end the conversation so Pit Boy can leave. His presence unnerves me more than the other Pit Leeches ever could. “It’s how we communicate.”

“I know what it is.” He examines his jagged thumbnail. “I just . . . can’t read it.”

“It’s just stuff about the Chosen. You know, insults.” The populace is finicky. As much as they love watching the Chosen with their petty intrigues and court life, they would be just as happy to see their heads on a pike.

“Chosen?”

Time to explain what you are, Everly, Nicolai’s voice grates inside my head. Riser’s eyes flutter just enough that I know he’s heard Nicolai’s voice too.

You do it, I think, watching Riser’s reaction. But his face remains emotionless; either he’s a good actor or only Nicolai can hear my response.

“The Royalist astronomers discovered the asteroid twenty-one years ago,” I begin. “It’s actually a slow moving planet called an earth-crosser, meaning its orbit and ours intersect every twenty-thousand years. Usually it’s too far away to affect us, but this time it will pass close enough to wreak havoc and make the earth uninhabitable for years.” I stir the water with my big toe. “Before I was born, the Emperor decided that creating a population of genetically superior humans would be a great idea, you know, just in case the Caskets don’t work or the asteroid does more damage than predicted.”

Riser’s hyper-focused gaze bores through me. “You’re one of them?”

“Yes.” I run my hand through the filthy water. “But my father’s a Bronze, so even though my mother comes from a Gold House, the Emperor only allowed them one Chosen instead of the customary twins. So it’s just me . . . not Max.”

“What makes being Chosen so special?”

“I don’t know . . .” I bite my lip, trying to remember everything my parents told me. “My genes are perfect, I guess.”

For some reason, talking about my body makes me remember that I am naked in a room with a boy. As if reading my mind, Riser slowly lets his gaze fall, his expression both curious and unapologetic as he takes me all in, his thoughts cryptic.

“What are you staring at?” I blurt, smashing my breasts beneath my hands. Not like there’s much there to cover. “Haven’t you seen a naked girl before?”

A smile twitches his lips. “Not one that’s genetically flawless.

“It doesn’t work that way! You can’t just look at us and tell. We look like everyone else—”

“No.” Riser shakes his head, a dark swath of hair covering his damaged eye. “You don’t. Whatever you are.”

“You must be happy . . . about our reconstruction, I mean,” I mumble, trying desperately to change the subject. “They’ll fix your eye . . . and . . . and all those horrible scars.”

I freeze as he slides off the counter, unable to look away as he hooks one finger beneath his shirt and lifts.

Scars ravage his anemic body in varying shades of red and silver and white. Some deep and pitted like the craters of a far-away planet, others smooth and neat. One particular nasty scar carves down his shoulder, tunneling across his chest and stomach. A fresh red wound nestles just below his throat.

He carefully touches the long ugly one. “I’m not ashamed for surviving.”

 

Author Bio:

Audrey Grey lives in the charming state of Oklahoma, with her husband, two little people, and four mischievous dogs. You can usually find her hiding out in her office from said little people and dogs, surrounded by books and sipping kombucha while dreaming up wondrous worlds for her characters to live in.

Website / Goodreads / Facebook / Twitter / Instagram

 

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Fight or Die! Bestselling The IX Series by @WestonAndrew #FridayReads #SFF #books


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Title: The IX Series

Author: Andrew P. Weston

Genre: Science Fiction

Publisher: Perseid Press

 

The IX Series – Blurb:

What could unite a Roman Legion and the Caledonian army they are fighting?

 

Or a US Cavalry Company with the Native American tribes arrayed against them?

 

How about a highly trained and motivated Special Forces unit and the terrorists they have been sent to wipe out at all costs?

 

Yes…

 

What could such a diverse and mutually aggressive group possibly have in common?

 

Arden – and the Horde, that’s what!

 

Arden, home to a culture that has existed for thousands of years and which spans dozens of worlds. Regardless, their sophistication cannot prevent calamity at the hands of an unstoppable nemesis. Known only as the Horde, this enemy has proven relentless. They have not only stripped the outer colonies bare, but now threaten the existence of the entire Ardenese way of life.

 

Realizing there is nothing they can do to prevent the inevitable march toward extinction, the Ardenese governing body comes to a drastic decision. They gather together at their capital city, Rhomane, and place their remaining genetic heritage in a vast underground ark, in the care of an advanced AI construct called the Architect. Its mission? To use Rhomane’s dwindling reserves and safeguard their race by reaching out across time and space toward those who might be in a position to help reseed a devastated world at some time in the future.

 

That’s how soldiers from varying eras and vastly different backgrounds find themselves together. Snatched away from Earth at the moment of their passing they are transported to the far side of the galaxy. Thinking they have been granted a reprieve, their relief turns to horror when they discover they face a simple but stark ultimatum:

 

Put aside your former animosities and preconceptions in order to survive. Yes…

 

Fight or die!

 

How does this group of mismatched and antagonistic misfits fare?

 

Do they survive?

 

Find out for yourselves, in The IX Series.

 

Like them, you’ll discover death is only the beginning of an incredible adventure.

 

 

Excerpt:

For as far as his eye could see, the endless tide of rabid hunger continued to advance. They came pouring into the valley from all sides, and the entire basin was soon filled with seething, shrieking monstrosities of every conceivable shape and form. Not one of them stood under two decans in height.

 

Nearing their goal, the leading entities of the Horde howled with malice and leaped forward. Dashing their bodies against the augmented might of the battlements seemed pointless to Sariff, for the attackers achieved nothing but to spend their vitality in a blaze of explosive fury. Yet the utter futility resulting from their lack of imagination did nothing to lessen their frenzy. In spite of their comrades’ fate, wave after wave of them continued throwing themselves to their deaths in wanton abandon. So great did the overwhelming press of shadow and flame become that the repeated detonations of each attacker’s self immolation grew into one prolonged cacophony of light and heat. Despite its density, the entire breadth of the wall thrummed under the weight of the assault.

 

And still they come.

 

Sariff blanched in the face of the onslaught, witnessed here on Arden for the first time.

 

As First Magister of Rhomane City, he seized the opportunity to study the enemy closely, for his would be the deciding vote in a decision that would seal the fate of their people.

 

He shook his head in disbelief, for he could see no respite from the relentless storm threatening to engulf them.

 

Thirty planets overrun in the space of just fifteen months. More than fifty billion souls lost. A history and a culture spanning more than twelve thousand years brought to this. It’s a bitter pill to swallow. And we risk it all on an idea . . .But what choice do we have?

 

Everywhere he looked, Sariff saw only the inevitability of death. Unless, by some miracle, Calen’s gamble paid off. That thought reminded him. I’d better get a move on.

 

So mesmerized was he by the display of savagery below, he almost collided with the duty commander, Sol Beren. Sariff hadn’t heard the soldier’s silent approach, but that was understandable. The veteran warrior was a skilled tracker, renowned for keeping his men on their toes by his sudden, wraithlike appearances at different stations along the wall. Everyone marveled how he could be seen taking the lead at one post only to be spotted minutes later on the other side of the city entirely, without having used the transport pads.

 

His face a mask of determination, Beren studied the conflict before him. A cold and empty gaze reflected the bitter frustrations of a man who had seen too many men die worthless deaths.

Sariff wished there was something he could say to ease the commander’s burden. Instead, all he could ask was: “Will it hold?”

 

Buy Links:

The IX:

Amazon.com: https://www.amazon.com/IX-Book-1-ebook/dp/B00RM54QBA/ref=sr_1_1_twi_kin_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1477728328&sr=8-1&keywords=The+IX

Amazon.co.uk: https://www.amazon.co.uk/IX-Book-1-ebook/dp/B00RM54QBA/ref=sr_1_1_twi_kin_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1477728420&sr=8-1&keywords=the+ix

Barnes and Noble: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/the-ix-andrew-p-weston/1121115575?ean=9780986414008

Walmart: https://www.walmart.com/ip/The-IX/53402841

 

Exordium of Tears:

Amazon.com: http://www.amazon.com/Exordium-Tears-IX-Andrew-Weston/dp/0996428992/ref=sr_1_1_twi_pap_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1458486718&sr=8-1&keywords=exordium+of+tears

Amazon UK: http://www.amazon.co.uk/Exordium-Tears-IX-Book-2-ebook/dp/B01AAFEU6O/ref=sr_1_1_twi_kin_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1458486810&sr=1-1&keywords=exordium+of+tears

Barnes & Noble: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/exordium-of-tears-andrew-p-weston/1123449634?ean=9780996428996

Walmart: https://www.walmart.com/ip/Exordium-of-Tears/53441852

 

andrew-weston-2016

 

Author Biography:

Andrew P. Weston is an international bestselling author from the UK who now lives on the beautiful Greek island of Kos with his wife, Annette, and their growing family of rescue cats. An astronomy and law graduate, he has the privilege of being a member of the Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America, the British Fantasy Society, the British Science Fiction Association and the International Association of Media Tie-In Writers.

 

When not writing, Andrew devotes some of his spare time to assisting NASA with one of their remote research projects, and writes educational articles for Astronaut.com and Amazing Stories.

 

Social Media Links:

Website : http://www.andrewpweston.com/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/WestonAndrew

Author Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Andrew-P-Weston-Author/102335216581151?ref=hl

Pinterest: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Andrew-P-Weston-Author/102335216581151?ref=hl

Andrew P. Weston Blog: http://theix.blogspot.gr/

The IX Blog: http://theix.blogspot.gr/

 

 

 

Keeping Things Balanced: A Writing Guest Post by @WestonAndrew + a Birthday Top 10 #amwriting


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For those of you who tune in regularly to N. N. Light Author Promotions, you’ll be aware that one of my previous guest posts related to World Building. Entitled – Keeping Things Real, it highlighted my approach to the process of constructing an imaginary framework in which to set an adventure. I likened that process to preparing and cutting a rough diamond. Starting with an overview of the world I’m going to create, I begin to work from the outside in on its various facets: Where it’s situated; who its inhabitants are; what’s their history; what level of technology do they posses, and so forth and so on.

Having already covered that, this time around I thought I’d expand on Keeping Things Real, by introducing you to the next stage of my world building process:
“Keeping things balanced.”

What do I mean? People who have enjoyed The IX have often commented on the rich descriptive prose it contains. I say, “thank you” for that, because I put a lot of work into creating a visual image that the reader can connect to. I think that’s especially important when you come down to the flora and fauna of the world in which your story is set, especially if – as in The IX – your heroes and protagonists are flitting about, here and there, on one adventure or another.

So, how did I manage to keep things balanced for The IX?

That’s easy. I created visual templates to work from. The reason? Something I learned in the military. “Prior preparation and planning prevents poor performance.” Such an approach ensured I never strayed from what I originally set out to portray. For example, say hello to an early idea of what Arden – the home planet where The IX is set – should look like:

arden-template

In creating a visual reference, I give myself a template to work from. In this case – a once beautiful world that thrived under a red sun. Now recovering from the ravages of a long and bitter war, it is only just reclaiming the majesty it once had. This, and other images and sketches, helped me transpose my initial ideas into the places you read about. My aim? To ensure there was sufficient detail so that you could envision yourself there. Let me highlight what I mean.

If you’ve read The IX, you’ll no doubt remember that various members of the Ninth journeyed through the lavender grasslands of the Sengennon Strait; lost themselves in the purple-green woodlands of the Tar’e-esh forests; basked in the majesty of the Garnet Mountains. Did you ever conjure those places in your mind’s eye? Did they look anything like this?

sengennonstrait-copy

tareesh-2-copy

garnet-copy

These are the preliminary references I used as a benchmark from which to create the full reality of Arden. (Now, don’t be fooled into thinking I only had these odd few pictures). As I hinted, I built up an extensive library of such images so that the places, the people and the technology you read about – and the ships – all contain the details you would expect in a factual reality.

Of course, when you incorporate so many elements you have to keep things to a realistic scale.

For example, I have all these pretty pictures of the places mentioned in The IX, but, just how far is it from Rhomane to the Starport, or to the Tar’e-esh Forest? How close is the astrometrics lab to the Starport itself?

As a writer, you need to know such details so that the events you describe within your narrative have that ring of authenticity. Fans will know Lieutenant Mac McDonald led a military expedition to the Starport to recover drones left there in storage. Some of his compatriots provided long-range cover from the astrometrics complex on top of Boleni Heights. Marcus Brutus headed an expeditionary force to the Shilette Abyss, a journey that took his pioneers through the Tare-esh Forest.

What were the distances involved? Over what terrain? Some used futuristic hover craft, others used horses. How long did their respective journeys take? How do you keep a track on timescales?

Have a look at the maps I devised to help me keep things in perspective.

ixtemprhomanemap-copy

ixtemprhomaneshilette-copy

Even though they’re basic, I know some of you might think…“Wow! That’s a lot of detail before you even put pen to paper.” Well, I agree. It is. But remember the analogy of a rough diamond I used earlier? This amount of attention pays divides as you write the story itself. It cuts and polishes your gem of an adventure and – as I’ve said before – adds those touches here and there that can make the narrative sparkle.

And when you get a professional to back that up? (Take a look at the map included within the front section of The IX. Devised from my sketches by cover designer, Roy Mauritsen, it adds that element of shininess that makes you think of my head).

ixtemprhomaneprofessional

You see, my ethic goes a little bit like this: My job is to give you – the reader – a place that you can escape to and lose yourself in. The easier it is for you to relate to the characters and visualize the world in which the story is set, then the deeper your connection, and the further your journey will take you. The further you go, the more you’ll appreciate what The IX is all about. And we’re both happy.

If you value your readers, you’ll be prepared to put the work in so that their fantasies seem so real, it’s almost as if they come true through the pages of your book. 🙂

**********

andrew-weston-2016

My name is Andrew P. Weston – though I’ve been called a lot worse by my wife when I’ve dared to say the forbidden words all women hate to hear…“No, you can’t have that.”

(Light blue touch paper and run…)

As an author, I make things up all the time. So I thought it might be a nice idea to use this “Top Ten” post to find out a little more about the real me – warts and all.

Oh really?

Yes. And we’re going to do this in a rather novel way.

What do I mean? Well, November 12th (today) is my birthday, making me a Scorpio, allegedly, one of the most mysterious signs in the zodiac. A great deal seems to be said about people born under this star sign, as exemplified by an advert my wife, Annette, spotted on a media site earlier this week.

scorpio-t-shirt

As you can see, the t-shirt is covered by quite a few astrologically based statements associated to Scorpios. But, are these statements true, or are they myth?

Let’s find out, shall we, by taking a little look at ten categories, working from the top down…

(And bearing in mind, I have to keep this rated PG –13) NO – you won’t be forced into listening to me lie about my feats of Olympian sexual athleticism.
Now, if we were talking about Greek comedy, I’m your man 😉

Has incredibly high standards

It’s true. I do have incredibly high standards. And it’s not just because I served in specialist roles within the military and police. It’s just the way I am. The thing is, it’s not one-sided either. While I do my best not to expect the impossible from people around me, I do demand those standards from myself – all the time. Which can be a real pain if things need to be done in a rush…because, you’ve guessed it…they still have to be perfect. (Bummer).

Great Kisser

As long as it’s not a certain part of other people’s anatomy…? Maybe.

(I never suck up to anybody, you see)

But if you want an honest answer, you’ll have to ask my wife. (Though everyone does comment on how happy she always looks.) I haven’t the heart to tell them that’s down to constant medication. Ah, the rigors of living with a Scorpio.

Fun fact: The Greek custom is to kiss people when greeting them and saying goodbye. I simply don’t do that. Kissing is for my wife…and my wife only.
(She’d only hunt them down anyway, and you’d never see them again. Then there’d be police, and questions, and…)

Kills haters with success and breaks them with a smile

My goodness this one is spot on. And as an author, I’ve very glad I’m a Scorpio. I’m in a position now where I’m starting to get noticed. That’s very rewarding, but it does attract the “haters”, those who want to elicit a reaction by writing / leaving inflammatory comments in things like reviews.

My advice? Never, ever respond to them openly. Let your continuing application to your craft and your motivation to improve provide the impetus to silence such scoundrels with the success that will come. Then, one day, somewhere far down the line when you’re terribly rich and famous, you can smile in secret behind the smoked glass windows of your limo and not give a fig about them at all.

Human Lie Detector

Most definitely. And here’s the weird thing, I can taste the mood of a room as soon as I walk in. I think it has something to do with one of the other categories we’ll discuss – being observant – as well as some form heightened perceptions. But it’s always been there, and it’s something I’ve always been able to do.

Imagine the fun I had in the police. As a detective, you attend all sorts of classes on human behavior and psychology. There are myriad “tells” that come in clusters that help you spot when a person is being economical with the truth.
And when you arm a Scorpio with such skills…? (Are they quite mad?)

Another fun fact: I sometimes play a little game when my wife and I go to parties. Spot the Walter – Walter Mitty – those charming characters who couldn’t be honest if their lives depended on it and are always out to impress with exaggerations and complete fabrication.

(Not that I do this all the time, of course, but it certainly helps liven the more tedious evenings up).

Introvert – but can socialize like an extrovert

This is spookily true with a capital spoo.

When many of my friends first got to know me, they never realized I’m an introvert. But that’s down to the way I can flip a switch in my head if I “feel” in the mood, or the circumstances are right.

Remember those police courses I mentioned? Like everyone else, I always thought there were introverts and extroverts. Full stop.

It turns out; there are introverted introverts; extroverted introverts; introverted extroverts; and extroverted extroverts…and all sorts of sub-categories in-between.
I’m an extroverted introvert. When I walk into a room of people I don’t know, you wouldn’t actually realize I was there. I’ll blend into the background and flit from shadow to shadow as if I don’t exist. But, if I meet someone I click with? Lights – camera – action! Cast of Annie, eat your hearts out. (Minus the ridiculously curly ginger hair of course)…

Observant

Yup! As with the lie detector category, it’s one of those things I have always had a knack for. And again, my previous occupations helped enhance that skill and turn it into something rather exceptional.

In the military, in particular, you had to notice all sorts of little details that other people tend to overlook. And thank goodness, for it kept me alive on a number of occasions.

You can imagine how this helped as a police officer too. I served in a crime management & intelligence bureau for a number of years where it was essential to spot patterns that others had missed. Interesting work and sooo satisfying, bringing baddies who thought they’d gotten away with it, to justice.

Want a fun fact: Although life gets quieter, you never lose the knack. I have to be very patient, especially at this time of year leading up to Christmas when I pretend I’m not paying attention to Annette’s unsubtle HINTS about certain items of clothing, jewelry, DVDs, or the music she likes. Hee hee.

It really does take a lot of discipline, as her little face sometimes screws up in frustration, thinking her suggestions have gone over my head…

(But the look on her face when she opens her presents and realizes I was paying attention all along? Priceless) All together now, aaaah.

Very good sense of humor

True, true, true, true, true! My humor is so intergalactically broad you could fly starships along it. The trouble is, it’s often gotten me into trouble too. My working environment didn’t help in this regard. Serving in the military and police force hones your humor. You have to be thick-skinned, broad-shouldered, trigger-fast and snappy just to survive. But, oh boy is it worth it. I’d love to expand, but this is PG-13.

Private – occasional loner

It’s like someone has been following me around. True again.

My wife and I have lived in Kos, one of the smaller Greek islands in the Dodecanese, for eight years now. We have a small circle of friends, both Greek and British. While most know all there is to know about Annette, very few are aware of the exact nature of my previous occupations, the places I’ve been, or the things I’ve done. Many people here don’t even realize I write books now, or that they’ve been international #1 bestsellers. (True).

I mix when I want to, and don’t feel the overwhelming need to regularly attend coffee mornings just to be sociable. I’m not being rude or standoffish, I just like to keep myself and my business to myself…which makes it a bit difficult doing things like this, eh?

Still, I can hide behind my screen. It has sandbags and barbed wire and a trench. And laser cannons. Why would I want to come out?

Fun fact: When we meet new people, they often complain that we end up talking about “them” all the time and they haven’t had the chance to find out anything about us.
(Just the way I like it).

Wants to be the best at everything

Myth. Though I can see the misconception.

I think it relates back to the #1 item about the standards expected of me. Ever since I was little, I was pushed to succeed. From the age of 4, I attended swimming training every morning before school. That bled over into other sports. By the time I joined the military, I’d represented my school, college and county (I think the American equivalent is a “state”) at rugby, swimming, athletics and various martial arts. I’d also been selected for international trials at two of those disciplines.
It was the same academically. I have a voracious thirst for knowledge and could read before I attended school. Add to that a sticky mind, and it was little wonder I managed to eat my way through various scientific curriculums, my chief subjects being mathematics, physics, astronomy – and in later life – criminal law.
To be honest, I don’t think its wanting to be the best so much, as wanting to do my best. If I start a project, be it learning a new language or picking up a new skill, I never give anything less than 100 %. As a child, teenager, young adult and now – apprentice doddery old fart – I’ve never been any other way (You can probably see that from the preparation and detail I devote to my stories).
While I appreciate some might think such an outlook adds a lot of needless pressure to life, I look on it as being normal.

Hell, I’m nearly 56, but I still train every day and teach martial arts on top of all the other stuff I do. Life’s for living. I’ll rest when I’m dead.

Question: The pulsating vein I have on the side of my head…Is that normal or down to the excessive amounts of medication I imbibe?

Protective of the ones I love

So true it hurts.

Not to be nasty, you understand, but you do not want to make my wife or children feel threatened. You just don’t…Not ever. Think about what I used to do. I would gladly serve prison time to even a debt if the magnitude was serious enough…That’s all I’ll say. The end. Goodbye.

So, there you go. A little look at the truth behind astrological myth. I can honestly say I’ve never paid much attention to things like astrology. I’m too levelheaded. However, having realized how accurate this picture is, I might just change my mind J

Until the next time you visit my asylum, do take care…

ix-audiobooklarge

Title: The IX

Author: Andrew P Weston

Genre: Science Fiction

Publisher: Perseid Press

Book Blurb:
The IX:

Roman legionaries, far from home, lost in the mists of Caledonia.

A US cavalry company, engaged on a special mission, vital to the peace treaty proposed by Presidential candidate Abraham Lincoln.

A twenty-first century Special Forces unit, desperate to prevent a nuclear catastrophe.

From vastly different backgrounds, these soldiers are united when they are snatched away from Earth at the moment of their passing. Thinking they may have been granted a reprieve, imagine their horror when they discover they have been transported to a failing planet on the far side of the galaxy, where they are given a simple ultimatum. Fight or die. Against all odds, this group of misfits manages to turn the tide against a relentless foe, only to discover the true cost of victory might exact a price they are unwilling to pay.

How far would you be willing to go to stay alive?

The IX.

Sometimes, death is only the beginning of the adventure.

Excerpt:

Ephraim entered another cipher into the console before him. All three main wall screens skipped channels to present a series of starkly different vistas. A palpable shock ran through the entire gathering. Several people gasped out loud.

The first monitor showed the rim of a burnished orange-red sun emerging from behind the bulk of a majestic disc. The star’s corona burned brightly, casting a warm scarlet glow through the upper reaches of the atmosphere of the world below it. The planet itself appeared etched in liquid flame around its edges, while the majority of its mass was cast in mystery and shadow.

The middle display revealed a similar scene but from a different perspective, this one being positioned above the terminator of sunrise and sunset. To the left of the picture, cotton-candy clouds swirled through a sea of sapphire-blue radiance. The crystal lens of the expanse was infused with vaporous trails of soul-wrenching tranquility. On the right, darkness dominated. Ebbing reluctantly under the relentless advance of dawn, it gradually surrendered its secrets. Noctilucent particles manifested themselves amongst the gloom, followed closely by the tallest mountain summits. Like beacons, they revealed tantalizing glimpses of the glory to come.

The final screen faced out into a Jovian sea of purple-blue grandeur. An ocean of midnight silk upon which the luminescence of a billion astral sprites had been cast in random abandon. Each pinprick blazed coldly with an unadulterated purity that struck the hearts and minds of the gathered assembly with the force of a sledgehammer.

Captivated, Ephraim became lost in the moment. Somewhere out there, a lifetime away, our real home sails serenely through the heavens . . . How ignorant we were of the dangers that exist, just a cosmic stone’s-throw away.

“Are these satellites able to show us Arden in greater detail?” Marcus asked. “What is the term you use? Can they . . . zoom in and remain clear?”

“They can indeed, my friend. For example . . . .”

Ephraim presented them with a vision of remarkable scope. A solitary peak pierced the night. Protruding toward the sunlight like a symbol of hope, its alpine cap strained to free itself from the twilight mists congealing about its slopes in a miasma of serpentine possessiveness.

The image wavered, and a closer view of that same pinnacle resolved itself. Now, the cobalt-blue frown of a granite leviathan stood forth in pristine clarity, peeking out from hoarfrost-covered brows. A snowy crown adorned the apex, and where the rock face greeted the dawn, it glittered cruelly, burning as if the entire edifice were ablaze within a skein of ice and flames.

Above the slopes on one side, a huge bird of prey stretched its wings and soared amid the very epitome of serenity sublime made manifest.

Everyone leaned forward. Ephraim chose that moment to switch satellites.

A contrasting swathe of undulating greens and blues made everyone start. The picture flickered and intensified. The panorama scrolled across verdant forests, swaying grasslands, and undulating plains. The luxuriant fertility of the temperate zones faded as the scanners moved on, toward the equatorial region.

The gaping chasm of the Shilette Abyss hove into view. Once there, Ephraim manipulated the controls to skim east. Less than a minute later, he held position above a point where the two sides of the canyon seemed to bulge toward each other. Changing resolution, he smoothly zoomed in to present a live-time image of the mining site from less than two hundred feet up. People could clearly be seen, walking to and fro about their business.

Marcus suppressed a laugh.

Several others cheered.

Mohammed and Saul stared at each other, the implications of this latest development written clearly across their faces.

“These places you’re showing us appear remarkably bounteous and free of infestation,” Saul commented. “Do you think this confirms our latest suspicions? That something here in the city appears to be the Horde’s target, and they’ve congregated in one location to get it?”

“Hazarding a guess? I’d say that was highly likely. But we can discuss that at tomorrow’s briefing. By then, we’ll have uploaded the specs of the rotational frequencies that Mac and his team use. Combining them to the already existing filters the satellites employ will give us an accurate assessment of exactly where on the planet our enemy is congregating. Be in no doubt — the addition of the Satcom-net will provide us with a huge tactical advantage we never dreamed of.”

“Such as?”

Ephraim scanned through the contents of his personal screen again. Then he glanced back at Brent and Asa. Each of them was privy to the information it contained, and both were grinning like maniacs.

Buy Links:

Now available in Audio:

Amazon https://www.amazon.com/IX-Book-1/dp/B01MCZ7XEU/ref=tmm_aud_swatch_0?_encoding=UTF8&qid=1478062836&sr=8-1

Audible http://www.audible.com/pd/Sci-Fi-Fantasy/The-IX-Audiobook/B01MCZ83B8/ref=a_search_c4_1_1_srTtl?qid=1478545349&sr=1-1

E-book and Print:

Amazon US https://www.amazon.com/IX-Book-1-ebook/dp/B00RM54QBA

Amazon UK https://www.amazon.co.uk/IX-Book-1-ebook/dp/B00RM54QBA

Nook http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/the-ix-andrew-p-weston/1121115575?type=eBook

B&N Paperback http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/the-ix-andrew-p-weston/1121115575

Author Biography:

Andrew P. Weston is an ex-military ex-police expat from the UK who now lives with a large amount of cats in a medium sized house on a small Greek Island.

An astronomy and law graduate, he has the privilege of being a member of the Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America, the British Fantasy Society, the British Science Fiction Association and the International Association of Media Tie-In Writers.

When not writing, Andrew devotes some of his spare time to assisting NASA with one of their remote research projects, and writes educational articles for Astronaut.com and Amazing Stories.

Social Media Links:

Website: http://www.andrewpweston.com/

Publisher: Perseid Press

Twitter: https://twitter.com/WestonAndrew

Author Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Andrew-P-Weston-Author/102335216581151?ref=hl

Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.com/andrewweston/

Andrew P. Weston Blog: http://theix.blogspot.gr/

The IX Blog: http://theix.blogspot.gr/

 

 

Listen to the International Bestseller The IX by @WestonAndrew #ScienceFiction #Audible


ix-audiobooklarge

 

Title: The IX Audiobook

Author: Andrew P Weston

Genre: Science Fiction

Publisher: Perseid Press

 

Book Blurb:

Roman legionaries, far from home, lost in the mists of Caledonia.

A US cavalry company, engaged on a special mission, vital to the peace treaty proposed by Presidential candidate Abraham Lincoln.

A twenty-first century Special Forces unit, desperate to prevent a nuclear catastrophe.

From vastly different backgrounds, these soldiers are united when they are snatched away from Earth at the moment of their passing. Thinking they may have been granted a reprieve, imagine their horror when they discover they have been transported to a failing planet on the far side of the galaxy, where they are given a simple ultimatum. Fight or die. Against all odds, this group of misfits manages to turn the tide against a relentless foe, only to discover the true cost of victory might exact a price they are unwilling to pay.

How far would you be willing to go to stay alive?

The IX.

Sometimes, death is only the beginning of the adventure.

 

Giveaway:

To celebrate the audio release of International Bestseller The IX, Andrew Weston and Perseid Press have generously provided “read for free” Audible codes to the first five people who comment below. This is a $24.95 USD value.  Hurry, this is a first come, first serve promotion. N. N. Light will contact the winners via email.

 

Downloading Your Free The IX on Audible Instructions:

Go to my book’s page on Audible.com: http://www.audible.com/pd/Sci-Fi-Fantasy/The-IX-Audiobook/B01MCZ83B8/ref=a_search_c4_1_1_srTtl?qid=1478545349&sr=1-1

Add the audiobook to your cart.

Create a new Audible.com account or log in.

Enter the promo code and click “Redeem” on the cart page.

To change the price from full price to $0.00, click the box next to “1 Credit” and click the “update” button to apply the credit to your purchase.

Complete checkout, and start listening to the free copy of the book.

 

Excerpt:

“A good point,” Marcus acknowledged. “But therein lies the wisdom of strategy. Our mission is of the utmost importance. It is vital we locate and secure the site in which the mineral deposits are thought to be located. But remember, because the city has been isolated for so long, we won’t know until we get there how accurate the archives are. Also, the actual Abyss itself and this forest are totally alien to us. They have to be checked out first. We also need to carry the supplies and utensils necessary to quickly establish a base of operations if things turn out favorably. Commander Cameron faced a conundrum. How could he move so much equipment over such a long distance without the need for machines which are needed elsewhere and which might draw our enemy’s attention?”

 

Gesturing between them, Marcus emphasized, “That’s where we come in. Cavalry and legionnaires. Although we can’t hope to match the speed and grace of a highly sophisticated hover craft, we are nevertheless skilled at transporting large consignments over long distances at a speed unmatched by our contemporaries. And we can do so secretly. Additionally, the defensive measures we now have at our command will protect us, and allow us to set up a considerable series of fortifications from the outset. Just wait until you see what my men can build in a matter of hours. By the time the shuttle runs do begin, they’ll have the luxury of berthing overnight within a city of fabricated domiciles.”

 

“I’m looking forward to that.” Wilson smiled. “I watched your men drilling a few times back in Rhomane, and it was very impressive. The guys couldn’t believe how quickly you worked. To see it for real will be —”

 

Both men were disturbed by an outrider galloping full tilt toward them. The rest of the dozing company became instantly alert and began scanning the shadows.

 

Throwing up a hasty salute, the soldier reined in and addressed Marcus. “Sir, the forest ends abruptly, about a mile ahead. It . . . It’s . . .”

 

“Spit it out, man.”

 

“Sir. It’s awesome, come and see.”

 

Signaling for the immediate group to follow, Marcus put his heels to Starblaze’s flanks and spurred his horse forward. A few minutes later, he reached several other sentries who were waiting to one side of the road. The highway veered away sharply to the southwest, so Marcus was surprised to be led off the tarmac and into the gloom.

 

An eldritch veil thick with antiquity closed about them. Specimens that looked like a cross between beech and cedar, oak and elm, ash and spruce, each endowed with massive boles, filed off into the distance. Stately monarchs of a forest that seemed to suddenly hold its breath in anticipation. Threading his way between iron trunks and cable-like roots, Marcus wondered what secrets this brooding edifice must contain, and if it would ever be possible to find your way out if a person became disoriented.

 

You don’t realize how dense this place is until you leave the safety of the main thoroughfare. I’ll have to order markers placed to ensure our more inexperienced travelers don’t go getting themselves lost. And I’ll restrict hunting too, at least until we’re more familiar with the area. Goodness knows how much further it goes.

 

He needn’t have worried. After five more minutes of painfully slow travel, the swathe drew back and shafts of rose-gold brilliance punctuated the canopy in one place after another.

 

Everyone relaxed as they sensed a change ahead.

 

Even so, when the party broke free from dappled shade and rode into the harsh glare of direct sunshine, everyone was taken completely by surprise.

 

Mars preserve us!

 

Shocked, Marcus could only stare. I can see why my sentry was rendered speechless.

 

A shattered plain rolled away on both sides, providing a severe counterpoint to the undulating barrier of the forest’s perimeter. The compact, ruddy surface of the plateau shimmered in the heat of the midday sun. As the mounted group moved out onto the shelf, their movements caused swirls of scarlet dust to dance into the air.

 

Shading his eyes, Marcus tried to make sense of what he was seeing.

 

The ground was littered with pock-marks, each of which contained a smattering of gold and red rocks. A foul-smelling steam issued from a number of fissures and scalloped clefts. Wherever the vapors concentrated together, the soil was stained by a copper-colored residue.

 

Marcus could make out the shimmering white line of a bridge, about five miles away, obviously accommodating the continued course of the main highway. Closer to him, a smoother, rectangular area stood out in stark contrast to their cratered surroundings.

 

Hmm. Obviously a parking area for vehicles.

 

As intriguing as these distractions were, however, they paled under the imposing presence of the leviathan before them.

 

A huge canyon, over seventeen miles across and eight deep, gouged its way across the plane of their sight. Marcus knew from his mission briefing that the company now stood at one of the narrowest points of the Shilette Abyss. The gulf itself stretched away for over a thousand leagues, east and west; and for most of its length, the other side was so far away it would be impossible to see.

 

He marveled as to how the Ardenese had contrived to construct anything to cross such a gaping chasm, for the cliffs of the valley were an unstable maze of razor-sharp edges and unforgiving rocks that could give way without warning.

 

There, not three hundred yards in front of them, sat the real surprise. The bluff plunged away to form a huge cleft, a monster fissure over seventy feet wide which appeared to have been hacked into the earth to form a V-shaped crevice.

 

Cantering forward, the excited explorers discovered a tiered series of shelves, corresponding to levels of strata, leading down the cliff wall.

 

 

Buy Links:

Amazon https://www.amazon.com/IX-Book-1/dp/B01MCZ7XEU/ref=tmm_aud_swatch_0?_encoding=UTF8&qid=1478062836&sr=8-1

Audible http://www.audible.com/pd/Sci-Fi-Fantasy/The-IX-Audiobook/B01MCZ83B8/ref=a_search_c4_1_1_srTtl?qid=1478545349&sr=1-1

 

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Author Biography:

Andrew P. Weston is an ex-military ex-police expat from the UK who now lives with a large amount of cats in a medium sized house on a small Greek Island.

An astronomy and law graduate, he has the privilege of being a member of the Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America, the British Fantasy Society, the British Science Fiction Association and the International Association of Media Tie-In Writers.

When not writing, Andrew devotes some of his spare time to assisting NASA with one of their remote research projects, and writes educational articles for Astronaut.com and Amazing Stories.

 

Social Media Links:

Website: http://www.andrewpweston.com/

 

Publisher: Perseid Press

 

Twitter: https://twitter.com/WestonAndrew

 

Author Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Andrew-P-Weston-Author/102335216581151?ref=hl

 

Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.com/andrewweston/

 

Andrew P. Weston Blog: http://theix.blogspot.gr/

 

The IX Blog: http://theix.blogspot.gr/

 

 

Give Me Chaos (The Wolfegang Series #5) by @JillianAshe #YA #books #coverreveal


Beloved Enemy by @Hywela_Lyn #ScienceFiction #Romance #POTLReads


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Title: BELOVED ENEMY

Author: Hywela Lyn

Genre: Science Fiction/Adventure/Romance

Publisher: The Wild Rose Press

 

Blurb:

Cat O’Brien is obsessed with killing the man she believes is responsible for the torture and death of her half-sister, but when she eventually catches up with him, survival becomes a greater priority than revenge.

Kerry Marchant, haunted by memories, regret and self-blame, shields himself from the pain of the past by committing himself totally to the starship, Destiny, of which he is part owner. He will do anything to protect her and her crew. However, the beautiful, red haired woman who reminds him of his lost love, and who he suspects is working for a corrupt regime, represents a possible threat not only to the ship, but to his heart.

Marooned on an inhospitable planet, which seems to defy natural laws, the two are forced to work together to stay alive, fighting not only unknown assailants, but their growing attraction to each other. How can they learn to trust each other when he has vowed never to get close to a woman again and she has made a solemn pledge to destroy him?

 

Giveaway:

Enter to win an e-copy of Starquest and $5 Gift Card

a Rafflecopter giveaway

 

Excerpt: 
“What about our ‘friends’?” He turned his head and looked in the direction of the rocks where the assailants of a few minutes before let loose the last salvo of blaster fire.

She put the tri-dee-viewer to her eyes again and scanned the area. “There’s no sign of life over there. They must all be dead or badly injured. They’d have shot at us again if they were still capable.”

“Unless they are waiting for us to show ourselves, so they can pick us off more easily,” Kerry said.

He made as if to stand, and in an instant, she drew her pistol.

“Like I said before, no sudden moves. Get up—slowly.”

“So you are making me a prisoner?”

“Not exactly, but I’m not stupid enough to take any risks.”

He rose to his feet, his gaze not leaving her gunhand. Several inches taller than her, broad shouldered and slim, he presented a commanding figure. His expression froze as his gaze homed in on the insignia on her breast pocket, his eyes like chips of blue ice.

“You work for the Union.”

“I work for myself.”

“Then why are you wearing the insignia of the Global Union of Earth and Allied Planets?”

“I have a license to requisition any enemy ship trespassing in the sectors of space over which they hold dominion.”

“A licensed pirate in the pay of the Global Union,” Kerry’s eyes showed outright contempt. She almost preferred the icy coolness.

“I prefer to think of myself as a freelancer—doing a service.”

His expression did not change, although he did change tack. “You could have left me to die—or just shot me. Why didn’t you?”

“Call it a personality flaw. I don’t like abandoning someone who’s wounded even to save my own skin. And I don’t kill in cold blood. If I have to shoot someone, I’d rather they were facing me with their eyes open.” Even if I did swear to leave their dead body for the Union to use in their hideous experiments. Keep it casual. Don’t let him guess what’s really in your mind.

To her amazement, he smiled the most devastating smile she’d ever seen, made even more remarkable because he didn’t look as if he did it very often.

“My own philosophy as it happens.” His eyes narrowed. “It seems almost a pity we are on opposite sides.”

“Opposite sides?” How much did he guess?

   “I have no love for the Alliance. That puts us on opposite sides, even if you are a pirate.”

She gave him her most withering look. “Fine. And just because I decided to save your neck, don’t get any ideas. We don’t have to like each other.”

 

Buy Links:

Amazon US: https://www.amazon.com/Beloved-Enemy-Hywela-Lyn/dp/1509205349/

Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Beloved-Enemy-Hywela-Lyn/dp/1509205349/

Kobo: https://store.kobobooks.com/en-us/ebook/beloved-enemy-21

Barnes & Noble: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/beloved-enemy-hywela-lyn/1123368339?ean=2940157711405

Publisher: http://catalog.thewildrosepress.com/all-titles/3770-beloved-enemy.html

 

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Author Biography:

Hywela Lyn lives in a small village in England, with her long-suffering husband Dave, although her heart remains in her native rural Wales, which inspired much of her writing.

Although most her writing tends to be futuristic, the worlds she creates are usually untainted by crowded cities and technology, embracing the beauty and wildness of nature. Her  debut novel, a Science Fiction/Adventure romance released by the Wild Rose Press, was followed by a sequel ‘Children Of The Mist’.  A third novel ‘Beloved Enemy’, released in March 2016 continues what has now become a series known as ‘The Destiny Trilogy’.

A keen animal lover, she has two horses, a ‘feral’ stable cat, and a rescued terrier, who manages to twist her round his little paw.  When she is not writing, she can usually be found enjoying the outdoors with the horses and dog – or just  eating chocolate!

She is a member of The Romantic Novelists’ Association (UK) and Chiltern Writers, her local writing group.

 

Social Media Links:

Website: http://www.hywelalyn.com/beloved-enemy

Blog: http://www.hywelalyn.co.uk

Facebook Profile: https://www.facebook.com/HywelaLyn

Facebook Author Page: https://www.facebook.com/HywelaLynAuthor/?pnref=lhc

Twitter https://twitter.com/Hywela_Lyn?lang=en

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/29357947-beloved-enemy?ac=1&from_search=true

 

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We’re celebrating books and authors all October on the POTL Blog. Follow #POTLReads on Twitter to not miss our recommendations and to offer your own! Spread the Word!

 

Trapped on Talonque by Best-Selling Author @vscotttheauthor #scifi #romance #SFR #books


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Trapped on Talonque

By Veronica Scott

Science Fiction Romance

The story:

Will an alien sleeping beauty awaken to save him, or destroy everyone around her?

When a Sectors Special Forces soldier and his team crash land on an alien planet, they’re taken captive and given a challenge–win at the violent ball game of sapiche and live. Lose, and they die, sending a mysterious, alien beauty to an even uglier fate. To survive, these soldiers must win the game and find a way to free the dangerous prisoner from her locked chamber.

Nate Reilly and his team are in deep trouble. Prisoners on a backward alien planet, they’re brought before an alien ‘goddess’, sleeping in her high tech seclusion. Nate is astonished when she awakes and establishes a psychic link with him. But her news is not good–he and his men must win a brutal challenge set by their captors, or they will die. She’ll give her aid, but in the end their courage and strength must win the contest.

Bithia sleeps in her chamber, as she has for thousands of years, since her own people unaccountably left her there. Viewed as a goddess by her captors, she must hide her ancient secrets to survive. But only the bravest of men may free her. Can she use her psychic powers to keep Nate and his men alive long enough to help her escape, or will her only hope of freedom die with them?

The Excerpt:

He stood on the edge of a high-tech chamber out of place on a primitive world such as this one. Ringing the room were strange displays, blinking lights, roving green beams, unknown instruments. The sophistication of the technology was well beyond anything the Sectors had achieved, let alone the dwellers of this planet. Nate spared only a second to glance at these wonders. His attention was caught and held by what occupied the center of a large alcove directly across the room.

The cubicle was lined in shiny metallic material and from the floor rose a graceful pedestal of the same material, topped with a thin platform at waist level. Neatly arranged on a layer of dark purple padding lay a woman, apparently asleep. She certainly wasn’t from this planet, nor any world known to Nate. This mysterious female had ivory skin with the palest of lavender undertones in her cheeks.

“I’ll be moon-damned.” Thom’s attention was riveted on the sleeper as well. “An Ancient Observer?”

“Can’t be—no one’s ever found actual remains,” Haranda said from the other side. “Although this room certainly suggests a high level of technology, it’s not AO. Another sophisticated, highly advanced forerunner civilization. The galaxy is a big place after all.” Roused from his state of funk, he studied the walls, apparently more interested in the devices and displays than in the woman. “I minored in AO studies at the Academy.”

“I don’t think she’s a well-preserved corpse.” Nate couldn’t take his gaze from her, not even to watch what their captors were doing now. He took himself sharply to task for the lapse. What if we’ve been brought here as a sacrifice? He had to be mentally prepared to fight, not gawk at a pretty girl. But the next moment he found himself studying her again, unable to keep himself from indulging in another view.

The woman was tall, probably his equal in height, definitely humanoid. She lay pillowed on her own hair, a thick, sweeping fall of glorious blue mixed with amethyst purple, set here and there with twinkling jewels. From his location across the room, he couldn’t see whether she was breathing, yet he had a definite sense of a living presence.

Her clothing was a simple, silvery white and lavender sheath, like finely woven metallic thread had been spun to make the dress. Thin jeweled straps held the garment at her shoulders. The finely pleated fabric clung to her curves sensuously. She lay on her back, arms stretched out a little on each side, her graceful, six-fingered hands spread open on the cushion. She wore no jewelry save for an elaborate bracelet on her left wrist, studded with colorful stones whose facets caught and amplified the lights in the main room.

Grimacing, the woman arched her spine as if in pain, moving her head on the pillow restlessly.

“What the—” Nate swiveled his head and saw the noble flipping small jeweled medallions set into one of the wall panels.

Apparently remaining unconscious, the woman struggled to raise her hands from the bedding, her face contorted. A harsh chiming emanated from the walls, as if warning against whatever procedure he’d initiated. Undeterred despite a second sirenlike sound joining the cacophony, the noble finished his task with a satisfied grunt. The black-clad priestesses seemed to want him to stop, one going so far as to touch his sleeve before being impatiently shaken off.

The lavender-clad lady cowered at the far wall, covering her ears and crouching pathetically.

Nate’s head suddenly filled with fire, and then icy cold replaced the heat, a piercing pain shooting through his entire nervous system from the top of his brain, along his spine and out to peripheral nerve endings. He fell to his knees, dragging the other three prisoners with him, exclaiming curses in their surprise. Barely hanging on to consciousness, Nate fought the alternating hot and cold waves and the associated pain in his head. Dazzling streaks and multicolored pinwheels obscured his vision, staying even though he screwed his eyes tightly shut.

“Sicondame sliquon…” came a deep, female voice from all around them.

Nate raised his head, eyes tearing, staring at the woman on the table. Is that her voice? How can she sound so calm under apparent torture?

The alarms and klaxons abruptly shut off. Nate’s ears rang with the aftereffects of the discordant noises.

Hands on his hips, the noble nodded and made a declaration to the priestesses in a tone conveying satisfaction.

Nate shook his head again as the guards impatiently yanked him to his feet. The soldiers tugged at him and the other three prisoners, indicating their time in the chamber of the sleeping lady was at an end. He twisted to catch one last glimpse of her in the gradually fading light.

She opened her eyes, looked directly at him, and in his head he heard two words.

I’m sorry.

 

Buy Links:

Amazon    Apple iBooks     Kobo    Barnes & Noble     All Romance eBooks

 

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Author Biography:

Amazon Best Selling Science Fiction & Paranormal Romance author and “SciFi Encounters” columnist for the USA Today Happily Ever After blog, Veronica grew up in a house with a library as its heart. Dad loved science fiction, Mom loved ancient history and Veronica thought there needed to be more romance in everything. When she ran out of books to read, she started writing her own stories.

Three time winner of the SFR Galaxy Award, as well as a National Excellence in Romance Fiction Award, Veronica is also the proud recipient of a NASA Exceptional Service Medal relating to her former day job, not her romances! She recently was honored to read the part of Star Trek Crew Member in the official audiobook production of Harlan Ellison’s “City On the Edge of Forever.”

 

Social Media Links:

Blog: https://veronicascott.wordpress.com/

Twitter:  https://twitter.com/vscotttheauthor

Facebook:  https://www.facebook.com/pages/Veronica-Scott/177217415659637?ref=hl

 

 

Dealing With Aliens? @maaarmstrang Offers Assistance #books #PerseidPress #fiction


Top 10 Things to Remember When Dealing With Aliens

-They really hate the smell of Aqua Net hairspray or anything with chlorofluorocarbons.

-Wolfhounds can smell an alien a mile away. Travel with wolfhounds.

-How to recognize Grays: They almost always wear big hats to cover their tiny ears. Female Grays don’t like to alter their ear flaps. They’re really weird that way: they think those vestigial flaps are the sexiest thing. For all I know, that’s how they screw. Go figure. Aliens are really strange.

-Another way to recognize Grays: They have short, stumpy legs and can’t stand Earth’s higher gravity. They have to wear special prosthetics to make their legs longer, with servo motors to turn their legs and hips. If you hear the sound of little motors, they’re probably Grays.

-When you get sucked up into a Gray mother ship, just the ride up the glitter tube can screw up your brain chemistry. The Grays don’t quite understand human anatomy and as a result have really messed up some people.

-If you think you might get abducted by aliens, carry KY Jelly. The Grays don’t have to offer you lubricants if they do an anal probe, but if you bring your own, they have to let you use it.

-One bonus to being abducted by Grays: you get great teeth. They smear this stuff on your enamel that’s better than fluoride.

-Grays have totally messed up modern fashion, like pant suits. There’s no other way to explain modern fashion, unless you buy into the idea that it’s a conspiracy by misogynists to humiliate women.

-Also, Grays have screwed up modern art.

-Grays hate religion. If you want to scare away a Gray, invoke the name of Jesus, Allah, Buddha, the Goddess — anything.

 

truckstop_EBOOK

 

Title: Truck Stop Earth

Author:  Michael A. Armstrong

Genre: Science Fiction & Fantasy, Aliens, UFO

Publisher: Perseid Press

 

Book Blurb:

The mother of all alien bases. The big one, the megabase, the center of the Alien Occupation Government, the headquarters, the brain, the nerve center, the absolute pinpoint big base, right there, right in the hills above Della. Forget Roswell. Forget Machu Picchu. Forget Stonehenge and Tikal and all those alleged alien bases, abandoned every one of them. This was the big one, right now, the source of all my troubles, the world’s troubles, the whole solar system’s troubles. Right there.

 

Out there across the valley, shining across it like a beacon, was a big flat mountain. “Oly’s Mountain” I later heard it called, or Table Top, some said. I could feel it, feel the humming and the disruption of the ether right down to my bones. I didn’t even have to take out my little pocket detector that’s disguised as a Swiss Army knife. I knew, I just knew. And my butt chip burned like an exploded capsule of sulfuric acid. God damn, right there in the mountain — not on it, in it.

 

Book Trailer:

 

Excerpt:

The guys in the black jumpsuits wanted to give me a ride.

I was walking along the side of the road six miles out of Beaver Creek, real peaceful like, digging the wildflowers and the beer cans and the little shreds of filter fabric sticking out of the edges, when I turned at the sound of a car coming from down the road. Not even thinking, I stuck my thumb out, but before I had a chance to pull it back in, the white Jeep Cherokee stopped. At first I thought they were camo dudes, like the ones who patrol around Area 51 at Groom Lake. Man, I hate those rent-a-grunts, but I guess they made it personal after that little incident when I blew their cover and listed their names and home addresses on the Web. ’Nother story.

I didn’t even have to look at their plates — Alaska blue ’n’ gold NRG lettered plates, and in Alaska they only go up to the J’s — to know who they were: AOGs, Agents of the Grays, Alien Occupation Government. They looked like batfags, Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms goons, right down to the thin Kevlar vests. Two of ’em, though, in the slick black jumpsuits.

“Need a ride, son?” asked the guy in the passenger’s side as he rolled down the window. Tinted windows, thick windows: armored, I knew.

“Just hiking, sir,” I said. Old habit from when I was in Delta Force. Any guy calls you “son,” you call them “sir.” I’d of saluted, but when Delta kicked me upstairs on special assignment as a deep cover agent in the Foreign Service, I swore off saluting. With my dreadlocks tucked up into my baseball cap, and the hair buzzed on the side of my head, that guy might of thought I was military with a high and tight, in civvies.

“We can give you a ride up to the border, son,” the guy went on.

“Only a couple of miles. I’ll walk the rest of the way.”

Then they got out. Right then I knew they were Grays because they had the mirrored sunglasses and the jerky legs. The Grays on bottom duty get face surgery so they look normal — real noses, mouths, and ears — but the big triangular eyes are hard to fake. Takes a lot of bone surgery, so most of them just wear big sunglasses. And the Grays have long torsos but stumpy legs, kind of like that Frog painter Hangin’ Too Loose Lowtrec, so to look human, they walk on these like stilts. Our high gravity really messes them up, though, so they never get good at it. You learn these things when you become an enemy of the bigheads like me.

The driver was a wymmin, I mean, I knew the type, feminazis: big broad shoulders and almost no boobs, and fat hips. She had short hair just over her ear flaps and long bangs. Female Grays don’t like to alter their ear flaps. They’re really weird that way: they think those vestigial flaps are the sexiest thing. For all I know, that’s how they screw. Go figure. Aliens are really strange.

So the wymmin Gray got out, same klutzy walk, and they both gimped over to me, looking real tall, but I knew I could kick their legs out from under them. ’Course, iffen I did that, they’d blast me to cinders, but it’s nice to know I had the option to damage them before I died. They leaned up against that white Jeep Cherokee with the funny windows, hooking their thumbs in their belts. Those Grays watch too many of our Western movies, if you ask me. Someone ought to tell them, or at least turn ‘em on to some Mel Gibson thrillers so they can learn a new attitude . . .

“You’re kind of out here in the middle of nowhere,” the wymmin says. She had one of those squeaky high voices their females have. It always flips me out. You see a big momma like that, and then she has this high voice.

“Yes ma’am,” I said. “I’m used to walking.”

“So we’ll give you a ride to the border,” she said. “Across the border, make it easy on you. Into Tok. You must be going that way.”

“Might take a right at Tositna and go up to Chicken,” I said. “Do some gold mining.”

“Yeah.” The guy scratched his balls, in that sympathetic gesture guys make to each other, sort of like saying, Balls, what a pain, huh? Only I knew he was re-adjusting the servos on his stilts.

“So you sure you don’t want a lift?” The wymmin Gray glared at me through her glasses. I knew she was scanning me. Hell, I knew they had me pegged already. They’d put a chip in my butt after my first abduction near Cedar Key (see Chapter 16), so they could track me like that, you bet.

“Don’t wanna trouble you,” I said.

“No trouble,” the guy said.

“Still . . . “ I stared off into the distance, thinking of Hannah. I figured if they were scanning me, they’d pick up the increase in blood pressure and the little woody I was working up. “I’m sort of hoping for a ride with this babe I met in Beaver Creek.” I grinned, and the guy Gray grinned back, showing me his stumpy little tongue.

“Gotcha,” he said, winking and making a little gun with his fingers and shooting it at me. Really. They ought to watch some old Bond movies if they wanted some better clichés.

“Dude,” I said.

The wymmin nodded and the guy nodded and they got back in the white Cherokee and drove over the hill and probably to one of their shuttle crafts. A few minutes later, the Coasties who had given me a ride 500 miles down the road picked me up again.

When the Coasties dropped me off just before the border, I saw the black helicopters.

Welcome to Alaska, I thought. Now go home.

 

Buy Links:

Goodreads https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/30650517-truck-stop-earth

 

Amazon US https://www.amazon.com/dp/B01HN3JAJS

 

Barnes and Noble http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/truck-stop-earth-michael-a-armstrong/1123961595?ean=9780997531008

 

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Author Biography:

Michael Armstrong was born in Virginia in 1956, grew up in Tampa, Florida, and moved to Anchorage, Alaska in 1979. He has lived in Homer, Alaska, since 1994. He attended the Clarion Science Fiction Writers Workshop and received a bachelor of arts from New College of Florida and a master of fine arts in creative writing from the University of Alaska Anchorage. His first novel is After the Zap. Michael’s short fiction has been published in Asimov’s, The Magazine of Science Fiction, Fiction Quarterly, and various anthologies, including Not of Woman Born, a Philip K. Dick award nominee, and several Heroes In Hell anthologies. His other novels include Agviq, The Hidden War, and Bridge Over Hell, part of the Perseid Press Heroes in Hell universe.

 

Michael has taught creative writing composition, and dog mushing. He is a reporter and photographer for the Homer News. He and his wife, Jenny Stroyeck, live in small house they built themselves on Diamond Ridge above Homer, which they share with an incredibly adorable labradoodle.

 

Social Media Links:

Facebook https://www.facebook.com/michael.a.armstrong.writer/

Twitter https://twitter.com/maaarmstrang

Goodreads https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/4100550.Michael_A_Armstrong

Publisher http://www.theperseidpress.com/

 

Think You Know Alaska? Author @maaarmstrang Reveals 10 Interesting Facts #books #scifi


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Top 10 Things People Don’t Know about Alaska:

  • They are two kinds of people in Alaska, RATs, or rational thinking straights, and GETs, the genuinely, truly strange. It’s not as easy to tell the difference as you think.
  • Alaska is really one big institution — not a prison, and more like a university — that draws people who are the toxic scum of normalcy, a great clot of pressure that has been allowed to escape.
  • If you want to be anonymous in Alaska, drive a Subaru.
  • Everything weird and unusual and strange that happens in Alaska has a rational, logical explanation. And an irrational one.
  • As Ellis Paul said, “Sometimes you gotta go to the end of the earth just to turn yourself around.” Alaska is the end of the earth — or, at least, one end of the earth, like Key West — and there are a lot of cul de sacs.
  • If you see windows covered in aluminum foil in Alaska, that’s not some tinfoil hat trick to keep out mind altering radio waves. It’s because in the summer it stays light for a long time and that’s how some people keep their bedrooms dark.
  • A third of the population of Alaska has been here less than five years.
  • Alaska is really, really big. If you laid a map to scale of Alaska over the Lower 48 states, Alaska would span a distance from Jacksonville, Fla., to San Francisco, Calif. The distance in air miles from Juneau to Barrow is the same as from Orlando to New York City, or 1,100 miles. The area of Alaska is about the same as the Eastern Seaboard from Maine to Florida and West to Tennessee.
  • Another quote, from a bumper sticker by Ginger VanWagoner: “We’re here because we’re not all there.”
  • In Alaska, if you’ve bathed in the past week and wear a clean pair of jeans, you’re considered to be dressed up.

 

truckstop_EBOOK

 

Title: Truck Stop Earth

Author:  Michael A. Armstrong

Genre: Science Fiction & Fantasy, Aliens, UFO

Publisher: Perseid Press

 

Book Blurb:

The mother of all alien bases. The big one, the megabase, the center of the Alien Occupation Government, the headquarters, the brain, the nerve center, the absolute pinpoint big base, right there, right in the hills above Della. Forget Roswell. Forget Machu Picchu. Forget Stonehenge and Tikal and all those alleged alien bases, abandoned every one of them. This was the big one, right now, the source of all my troubles, the world’s troubles, the whole solar system’s troubles. Right there.

 

Out there across the valley, shining across it like a beacon, was a big flat mountain. “Oly’s Mountain” I later heard it called, or Table Top, some said. I could feel it, feel the humming and the disruption of the ether right down to my bones. I didn’t even have to take out my little pocket detector that’s disguised as a Swiss Army knife. I knew, I just knew. And my butt chip burned like an exploded capsule of sulfuric acid. God damn, right there in the mountain — not on it, in it.

 

Book Trailer:

 

Excerpt:

The guys in the black jumpsuits wanted to give me a ride.

I was walking along the side of the road six miles out of Beaver Creek, real peaceful like, digging the wildflowers and the beer cans and the little shreds of filter fabric sticking out of the edges, when I turned at the sound of a car coming from down the road. Not even thinking, I stuck my thumb out, but before I had a chance to pull it back in, the white Jeep Cherokee stopped. At first I thought they were camo dudes, like the ones who patrol around Area 51 at Groom Lake. Man, I hate those rent-a-grunts, but I guess they made it personal after that little incident when I blew their cover and listed their names and home addresses on the Web. ’Nother story.

I didn’t even have to look at their plates — Alaska blue ’n’ gold NRG lettered plates, and in Alaska they only go up to the J’s — to know who they were: AOGs, Agents of the Grays , Alien Occupation Government. They looked like batfags, Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms goons, right down to the thin   Kevlar vests. Two of ’em, though, in the slick black jumpsuits.

“Need a ride, son?” asked the guy in the passenger’s side as he rolled down the window. Tinted windows, thick windows: armored, I knew.

“Just hiking, sir,” I said. Old habit from when I was in Delta Force. Any guy calls you “son,” you call them “sir.” I’d of saluted, but when Delta kicked me upstairs on special assignment as a deep cover agent in the Foreign Service, I swore off saluting. With my dreadlocks tucked up into my baseball cap, and the hair buzzed on the side of my head, that guy might of thought I was military with a high and tight, in civvies.

“We can give you a ride up to the border, son,” the guy went on.

“Only a couple of miles. I’ll walk the rest of the way.”

Then they got out. Right then I knew they were Grays because they had the mirrored sunglasses and the jerky legs. The Grays on bottom duty get face surgery so they look normal — real noses, mouths, and ears — but the big triangular eyes are hard to fake. Takes a lot of bone surgery, so most of them just wear big sunglasses. And the Grays have long torsos but stumpy legs, kind of like that Frog painter Hangin’ Too Loose Lowtrec, so to look human, they walk on these like stilts. Our high gravity really messes them up, though, so they never get good at it. You learn these things when you become an enemy of the bigheads like me.

The driver was a wymmin, I mean, I knew the type, feminazis: big broad shoulders and almost no boobs, and fat hips. She had short hair just over her ear flaps and long bangs. Female Grays don’t like to alter their ear flaps. They’re really weird that way: they think those vestigial flaps are the sexiest thing. For all I know, that’s how they screw. Go figure. Aliens are really strange.

So the wymmin Gray got out, same klutzy walk, and they both gimped over to me, looking real tall, but I knew I could kick their legs out from under them. ’Course, iffen I did that, they’d blast me to cinders, but it’s nice to know I had the option to damage them before I died. They leaned up against that white Jeep Cherokee with the funny windows, hooking their thumbs in their belts. Those Grays watch too many of our Western movies, if you ask me. Someone ought to tell them, or at least turn ‘em on to some Mel Gibson thrillers so they can learn a new attitude . . .

“You’re kind of out here in the middle of nowhere,” the wymmin says. She had one of those squeaky high voices their females have. It always flips me out. You see a big momma like that, and then she has this high voice.

“Yes ma’am,” I said. “I’m used to walking.”

“So we’ll give you a ride to the border,” she said. “Across the border, make it easy on you. Into Tok. You must be going that way.”

“Might take a right at Tositna and go up to Chicken,” I said. “Do some gold mining.”

“Yeah.” The guy scratched his balls, in that sympathetic gesture guys make to each other, sort of like saying, Balls, what a pain, huh? Only I knew he was re-adjusting the servos on his stilts.

“So you sure you don’t want a lift?” The wymmin Gray glared at me through her glasses. I knew she was scanning me. Hell, I knew they had me pegged already. They’d put a chip in my butt after my first abduction near Cedar Key (see Chapter 16), so they could track me like that, you bet.

“Don’t wanna trouble you,” I said.

“No trouble,” the guy said.

“Still . . . “ I stared off into the distance, thinking of Hannah. I figured if they were scanning me, they’d pick up the increase in blood pressure and the little woody I was working up. “I’m sort of hoping for a ride with this babe I met in Beaver Creek.” I grinned, and the guy Gray grinned back, showing me his stumpy little tongue.

“Gotcha,” he said, winking and making a little gun with his fingers and shooting it at me. Really. They ought to watch some old Bond movies if they wanted some better clichés.

“Dude,” I said.

The wymmin nodded and the guy nodded and they got back in the white Cherokee and drove over the hill and probably to one of their shuttle crafts. A few minutes later, the Coasties who had given me a ride 500 miles down the road picked me up again.

When the Coasties dropped me off just before the border, I saw the black helicopters.

Welcome to Alaska, I thought. Now go home.

 

Buy Links:

Goodreads https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/30650517-truck-stop-earth

 

Amazon US https://www.amazon.com/dp/B01HN3JAJS

 

Barnes and Noble http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/truck-stop-earth-michael-a-armstrong/1123961595?ean=9780997531008

 

Michael and Leia bw

 

Author Biography:

Michael Armstrong was born in Virginia in 1956, grew up in Tampa, Florida, and moved to Anchorage, Alaska in 1979. He has lived in Homer, Alaska, since 1994. He attended the Clarion Science Fiction Writers Workshop and received a bachelor of arts from New College of Florida and a master of fine arts in creative writing from the University of Alaska Anchorage. His first novel is After the Zap. Michael’s short fiction has been published in Asimov’s, The Magazine of Science Fiction, Fiction Quarterly, and various anthologies, including Not of Woman Born, a Philip K. Dick award nominee, and several Heroes In Hell anthologies. His other novels include Agviq, The Hidden War, and Bridge Over Hell, part of the Perseid Press Heroes in Hell universe.

 

Michael has taught creative writing composition, and dog mushing. He is a reporter and photographer for the Homer News. He and his wife, Jenny Stroyeck, live in small house they built themselves on Diamond Ridge above Homer, which they share with an incredibly adorable labradoodle.

 

Social Media Links:

Facebook https://www.facebook.com/michael.a.armstrong.writer/

Twitter https://twitter.com/maaarmstrang

Goodreads https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/4100550.Michael_A_Armstrong

Publisher http://www.theperseidpress.com/

 

Brainwalker by Robyn Mundell & Stephan Lacast #YA #Scifi @YABoundToursPR


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Brainwalker

by Robyn Mundell & Stephan Lacast

Genre: YA Scifi/Fantasy

Release Date: October 1st 2016

Dualmind Publishing

 

Summary from Goodreads:

Fourteen year-old Bernard is full of out of the box ideas—ideas that nobody appreciates. Not his ultra-rational father, not his classmates, and definitely not his teacher, who’s fed up waiting for Bernard’s overdue science project. You’d think with a hotshot quantum physicist for a dad, the assignment would be easy as “pi”, but with his relationship with his father on rocky ground, Bernard is under more pressure than a helium atom.

And Bernard’s impulse control flies out the window when he’s stressed. So instead of turning in his project, he moons the class and gets suspended. Now his dad’s got no choice but to bring him to his work. At the Atom Smasher. It’s the chance of a lifetime for Bernard, who knows smashing atoms at the speed of light can—theoretically—make wormholes. How about that for the most mind-bending science project ever? But when he sneaks into the particle accelerator and someone hits the power button, Bernard ends up in the last place he’d ever want to be.

Inside his father’s brain.

And it’s nothing like the spongy grey mass Bernard studied at school. It’s a galaxy, infinite and alive. Like, people live there. A mysterious civilization on the brink of extinction, as unaware of their host as he is of them. But there’s zero time to process this. Bernard’s about to be caught up in an epic war between the two sides of his dad’s brain over their most precious resource:

Mental Energy.

With his father’s life at stake, Bernard must go up against the tyrannical left side of his father’s brain to save the dying, creative right side. But how the heck is he supposed to do that when he’s just a hopelessly right-brained kid himself?

 

Add to Goodreads

 

Advance Praise:

“This story is full of high-stakes adventure, and it often excels in its imaginative and allegorical exploration
of real-world issues” — Kirkus Reviews 

“The characters and the setting of this book are truly unique and very diverse, the plot is filled with fiction mixed with real brain concepts and puts everything into perspective from both fiction and reality” — Gabrielle Messier

“Definitely an approach to teenage urban fantasy that I’ve never seen before. I found myself quite enamored with Bernard and all his geeky questions and theories… Underneath all the neurology, it’s really a story about connection and love and fighting for what’s important.” — Kristen Canady

“‘Brainwalker’ is a great scientific fiction and that offers the readers a fantastic experience of the scientific adventure with the beautifully written words, the well laid out plots, and lifelike characters in the story.” — Yichen Tu

“Story starts and ends with the MOON! All will have to take a read to find out what I am talking about. This is a great Teen read revolving around young minds faced with the challenges of life.”  Linda Babbs

 

 

Book Trailer:


About the Authors:

robyn mundell

 

Robyn Mundell is an award winning playwright. A graduate of New York University, she performed in dozens of plays in New York and was part of David Mamet’s Atlantic Theater Company. She studied with such theater legends as Uta Hagen, Lee Strasberg, and Stella Adler.

Robyn wrote and performed in several of her own plays including Pieces of O and Traveling Bowls of Soup, produced by Pulitzer-prize winner Beth Henley. Traveling Bowls of Soup opened at the Met theater to rave reviews and received several Drama-Logue awards. Robyn has since been selling original screenplays and TV pilots to major film companies and networks. She is the daughter of Canadian Nobel laureate Robert A. Mundell, and is married to actor-playwright Raymond J. Barry. Together, they have four children.

 

stephan lacast

 

French-Born Stephan Lacast likes to think of himself as a geek, which depending on your  dictionary means either “knowledgeable about computers”, or “boring social misfit.” At the age of twelve his idea of fun was building computers and programming, and by fifteen he was a contributor to a computer magazine. A graduate of Paris-Dauphine University, he holds a Bachelor in Economics, a Master in Business Administration, and a Master of Advanced Studies in Information Systems.

After teaching at Dauphine University, Stephan went on to work as a consultant and engineer for one of the top ten Information Technology services companies in Europe, before deciding to leave Paris and move to the United States.

 

http://brainwalker.net/

 

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Cover & Trailer Reveal Organized by:

YA Bound Book Tours

 

Best-Selling Author @WestonAndrew Reveals His Top 10 Memories #scifi #PerseidPress


Hi, my name is Andrew Weston. I’m an author living in a cupboard under the stairs…? Sorry, the darn medication must be off again.  Truthfully? I like to spend my time fishing for dreams among the stars. I haven’t caught anything yet, so perhaps it’s time to change my bait?

Anyhow, as some of my readers will be aware, before turning my hand to writing, I experienced life’s rich tapestry as a specialist in the military, and later, as a police officer in a number of varied roles. Looking back over the years, I thought it might be fun to reveal my “Top Ten Memories” (Or, at least, those recollections I’m willing to share – hee hee).
They’re not necessarily in order, as I tried to group them together into little themes, but such experiences made me the person I am now, and in a strange way, have influenced my writing. See what you think…

 

  1. The birth of my first child: (Or indeed, all of my children, come to that). A tremendous experience that no father should miss…especially when you’re allowed to assist. A privilege I enjoyed for each of my little gems.
  2. Delivering a child: And it wasn’t one of my own! I’d only been in the police for several years and after serving in a city environment, moved to a rural station covering hundreds of square miles of forest. That’s when I came across a young couple who had broken down while driving to hospital for their first baby. Back seat of a car – no problem! (To be honest, mother did all the work – father did most of the sweating and pacing up and down, and I merely pretended it was just another day at work). And do you know what; they didn’t name the baby after me?
    (Just as well, it was a teeny-tiny girl). All together now, aaaaaah!
  3. Getting arrested: Seriously. As I progressed through my career, I worked undercover on a number of occasions. During a sting where I’d been placed among a gang of druggie thieves, a number of officers from out of area were brought in to assist in rounding up the dregs of society. They took one look at me and decided I was one of the most unsavory individuals they’d ever seen, and I was the first one they jumped on. Those fur-lined cuffs really pinched. Ah – happy times.
  4. Throwing myself out of a perfectly good airplane: Not too much to say here as so many other guys in the military have done a similar thing. But the sense of freedom you get on the hill…ah, there’s nothing like it.
  5. Getting shot: Staying on a military theme. Top tip: not recommended. And while I appreciate the fact you have to expect it when you join the military – and especially in the kind of role in which I served – it’s a bit of a bummer when it actually happens to you for the first time. (A true “protruding bottom lip moment” if ever there was one).
  6. Discovering I am immune/resistant to the euphoria opiates are supposed to instill: What can I say? I’m one of those quirks of nature. Following a serious injury – mentioned above – and later episodes in my life, I have been hospitalized on a number of occasions. Try what they might…morphine, codeine, tramadol, fentanyl, doctors could find a lot to help. I didn’t get high; it barely reduced the pain; and really, all I took away from the experience was constipation, itchy rashes and bathmat tongue. (No wonder I ended up working undercover on certain departments, eh?)
  7. My mom, the drug cultivator: See how this continues a pharmaceutical theme? While I was serving in the police, I’d pop home to Birmingham, in the UK, to see how my parents were from time to time. On one occasion, my wife and I arrived late on a Friday evening, and after a meal, went to bed.
    So you better understand the setting, you should know my mom owned an antique restoration business and used to live above the premises itself. While this meant she had no front garden – as that was given over to customer parking – she had a rear courtyard, in which she used to grow plants and cuttings she’d collect while out on countryside walks.
    So, there I am, Saturday morning, bright and early. I take a cup of tea out into the rear courtyard, sit down, and as I’m raising the cup to my lips, come face to face with one of the healthiest cannabis plants I’ve ever seen.
    What the flip-flop?
    Managing to swallow a mouthful of tea without choking, I put my mug on the floor, lean forward and actually pinch myself. It can’t be? Yes it is. NO! It can’t be?
    I examine it for the umpteenth time, and eventually accept the inevitable truth.
    ..you little par-tay minx!
    So, then I’m thinking…how they hell do I slip this into the conversation naturally?
    Anyway, about half an hour later, mom gets up; makes her own tea; dawdles out into the yard, whereupon I join her on the bench and compliment her on her green fingers and say how nice the makeshift garden is looking. I point at one or two shrubs and bushes, and ask her a little bit about them, and gradually work my way toward exhibit ‘A’.
    “So, when did you get that particular plant over there?”

“Oh that?” she says, “I was out walking Ben – the dog – up Haldon Woods. He ran off into the undergrowth, and when I went to find him, I spotted a whole load of them in a glade. I liked the shape of the leaves so took a cutting to bring home.”

“You liked the look of the leaves, eh?” I say, wondering where this will go.

“Yes,” mom replies, “I was hoping they’d have flowered by now so I could see what color the petals are.”

I start laughing. She asks me what’s so funny, so I explain, “Well, you’re gonna be out of luck. By now, the leaves would normally be drying and ready for rolling.”

“Eh?” And I’m glad to see she appears genuinely puzzled.
“Mom…how can I put this? People don’t normally grow these for their pretty flowers. They’re more interested in smoking the leaves?”

“Eh?” she mumbles again.

“That’s a cannabis bush.”

“A what?”

“Cannabis. Weed. Ganja. An honest-to-God, do not pass go, do not collect two hundred pounds and go directly to jail, cannabis bush.”

“Don’t be so ****ing stupid,” she spluttered, “It can’t be drugs. They were growing wild in the middle of the forest.”

(I know…sigh)

“In a glade, off the beaten track, right?”

“Yes,” she replies indignantly, “so there’s nothing suspicious about them.”

….How I wish you could have listened in on the conversation….
Long story short? I quickly put her right about the tricks of the trade many drug dealers employ to grow their wares, and ensured the drugs were properly disposed of. (And no sitting round in circles and inhaling deeply was involved)

  1. Climbing my first mountain: See? I’m still talking about getting high…the connections abound in this top ten 🙂

monte-rosa-02
1983 – Monta Rosa, Switzerland

A truly exhilarating experience and something that gave me the climbing bug.

  1. Getting naked when I shouldn’t: Intrigued? Well, I had to attend hospital for a follow-up surgery for one of my injuries – this one, to my left shoulder.
    Those of you who have also been in a similar position know the score. You go into a little waiting cubicle. You’re told to take off your clothes, place them in a locker, and put on the items laid out for you on a chair. (In this case, hospital slippers and robe) Somewhat Spartan, but what can I say. The NHS is struggling.
    When the operating team was ready, a nurse came to get me, and escorted me through to the preparation room.
    I walk in there – everyone’s busy preparing for the op – and as they go about their business, one of the surgical staff says, over their shoulder, “Just take off you robe and wait over there.”

I thought…hello? But then I reasoned, well, they obviously know what they’re doing, and they’ve seen it all before.
So I took off my robe and stood there like a peacock, proud and defiant…until one of the nurses turns round, spots I’m naked, and let’s out a yelp of surprise… “Oh my God, where’s your gown?” (You know – the paper-thin tie-up pinafores that shows your butt to the world)

Bemused, I replied, “What gown?”

“The gown in the changing cubicle.”
“There wasn’t any gown in the changing cubicle,” I tried to explain, by now, strategically gesticulating so as to hide my morning glory, “I was told to take off my clothes and put on the stuff placed out on the chair.” Pointing desperately, I made sure to emphasize, “That’s the slippers on my feet and that robe draped over the counter…” Then I added the punchline…”I thought it a bit strange you’d want me to be naked for a shoulder operation?” Ta-dah!

We laughed.
They got me a gown.
We laughed again.
Then they put me out, and I’m sure, talked about it and laughed even more while I was unconscious. Sigh – good times.

  1. Getting set up on a blind date: Some of you might know the score. Friends phone you up out of the blue and invite you out. You turn up. Several other couples are also “mysteriously” in attendance, along with a cunningly arrange single lady whose been fooled by the lies they’ve told about you. Ha!
    Well, I’m actually very glad that happened, as that’s how I met my wife.

And here we are on our wedding day…

DSCF0681
See, all you romantics out there…Blind dates can work 😉

 

(Apologies for the state of the photo – but it’s reproduced from an actual picture)

 

So, there you go. A Top Ten that’s a little bit different. But, when you think about it, it’s still “author related” as it’s often said – Write What You Know.
Having experienced quite a few things most people never get to see and do – and having had a great deal of fun along the way – I can dip into those various episodes and “relive them” through the pages of my work. When you’re able to add those little details of what a certain episode feels like, sounds like, tastes like, the transformation it creates to your interpretation of the fictional environment adds that depth of perspective that plucks your scene from the page and places it where it belongs: alive and kicking, within the imagination of your reader.

 

IXExordiumLARGE

 

Perhaps you’ve spotted that as you read The IX Series or Heroes in Hell? I do hope so, as it makes the effort I put into my work all the more worthwhile.

 

Anyway, that’s it for now. Next time? My top ten tips regarding personal grooming and the washing of shaved heads. See you then.

Andrew Weston

 

Author Biography:

Andrew P. Weston is Royal Marine and Police veteran from the UK who now lives on the beautiful Greek island of Kos with his wife, Annette, and their growing family of rescue cats.

An astronomy and law graduate, he is the creator of the international number one bestsellers, The IX, and Hell Bound, (A novel forming part of Janet Morris’ critically acclaimed Heroes in Hell shared universe). Andrew also has the privilege of being a member of the Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America, the British Fantasy Society and the International Association of Media Tie-In Writers.

When not writing, Andrew devotes some of his spare time to assisting NASA with two of their remote research projects, and writes educational articles for http://Astronaut.com  and Amazing Stories.

 

Social Media Links:

Website: http://www.andrewpweston.com/

 

Publisher: Perseid Press

 

Twitter: https://twitter.com/WestonAndrew

 

Author Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Andrew-P-Weston-Author/102335216581151?ref=hl

 

Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.com/andrewweston/

 

Andrew P. Weston Blog: http://theix.blogspot.gr/

 

The IX Blog: http://theix.blogspot.gr/

#ReleaseDay – Truck Stop Earth by @maaarmstrang + @Perseid_Press #DarkHumor #books


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Title: Truck Stop Earth

Author:  Michael A. Armstrong

Genre: Science Fiction & Fantasy, Aliens, Dark Humor

Publisher: Perseid Press

Release Date: August 1, 2016

 

truckstop_EBOOK

 

Book Blurb:

The mother of all alien bases. The big one, the megabase, the center of the Alien Occupation Government, the headquarters, the brain, the nerve center, the absolute pinpoint big base, right there, right in the hills above Della. Forget Roswell. Forget Machu Picchu. Forget Stonehenge and Tikal and all those alleged alien bases, abandoned every one of them. This was the big one, right now, the source of all my troubles, the world’s troubles, the whole solar system’s troubles. Right there.

 

Out there across the valley, shining across it like a beacon, was a big flat mountain. “Oly’s Mountain” I later heard it called, or Table Top, some said. I could feel it, feel the humming and the disruption of the ether right down to my bones. I didn’t even have to take out my little pocket detector that’s disguised as a Swiss Army knife. I knew, I just knew. And my butt chip burned like an exploded capsule of sulfuric acid. God damn, right there in the mountain — not on it, in it.

 

Book Trailer:

 

Excerpt:

I left the lovey-doveys out there on the edge of the light and walked back toward the big bonfire. Barry and his marimba group, Gogogoi, had dragged their instruments down to the beach and set up there on a little flat spot. The marimbas looked kinda like xylophones, except later Barry told me that would be like so uncool to say, since marimbas were far more ancient than piddly-ass tin instruments. “We’re talking Mother Africa,” he’d say, which was kinda funny, since everyone in Gogogoi was like whiter than milk, definitely sans tans.

 

See, they had like these smaller instruments, three sopranos and two tenors, all with wooden keys and on stands, except for Dan the guy from MentalHeal, who played a low soprano that he could sit behind on account of his MS. The marimbas had big pipes, plastic, really, with holes in the sides covered with pieces of cellophane so they made this like buzzing sound.

 

Behind the smaller marimbas were the big machines, the engine room, Barry called them, a baritone and a bass, and the bass like so big and tall you had to stand on a bench to play it. They hustled and humped the marimbas out, got them set up. Dan sat on his bench at the soprano at the back, and then Barry stepped up to one of two sopranos perpendicular to Dan’s, the lead soprano, with Grace, the logger chick receptionist, across from him, her hair still perfectly shellacked in place. Boots, the receptionist at MentalHeal, was on one of the tenors, only it took me a while to recognize her, cuz she didn’t have those little granny glasses or that neat and tidy brown bob haircut with bangs. No, it was all frizzed out and spiked, and she wore this wild paisley T-shirt that was really tight. Boots had great boobs, nice firm muscles, and damn she looked hot.

 

Roz from the ’Stead was on the other tenor, her purple buzz-cut hair spiked out, too, and she had these cool flouncy pants and sort of a white and purple tie-dyed shirt that looked like it had amoebas on it.

 

Ren was up there behind the baritone, looking almost too clean cut for the group, although, well, with his shirt off he had some incredible tatts, and they didn’t look clean cut at all.

 

And up there on bass, her long silver-and-black braids all redone into about twenty little braids, was Carol, the bike lady I’d seen on the Spit the first day, her bike propped up against a log not far from the marimbas. Carol kinda moved back and forth on the bench, her hands clutching these big ass mallets, just itching to do something.

 

Gogogoi didn’t like cough for attention or announce a song or anything; they just laid into it. Roz started first with a couple of quick notes: ba-da bomp-ba bomp ba-bomp bomp ba-bomp, one round, then Carol came in, her arms flying high as she hit the same notes on the bass. Ren followed up, one round, two rounds, with a counterpoint, sorta filling in the spaces.

 

The other tenor, Grace, and the three sopranos followed up singing, no words, just a basic, “Heyyy,” two more rounds until I thought they were going to run out of breath, and then they all came in with a basic pattern: bom-bom bomp-bomp, bom-bomp bom-bomp, two more rounds of that, and then when the band had been playing together and got really tight, Barry just let loose.

 

I could feel this like energy lift us up out there, and if we had been sitting down, we stood up, and if we had been standing up, we started shifting back and forth and then damned if by the time Barry’s mallets weren’t running up and down those keys, his hands whirling so fast they were a blur, we were all bouncing and swaying and leaping back and forth. I mean, you couldn’t sit down, you couldn’t stand still.

 

Carol was like this whirl of energy, her movements straight and pure and right on, the notes just booming, those big resonators booming, and the little flaps of cellophane humming. No, not humming — singing. I swore the instruments started to talk, I mean, not voices inside my head talking, but talking, communicating and saying, I don’t know, words.

 

Only not words I knew. African words, maybe, Shona words, like where the marimba came from in Zimbabwe, I don’t know, foreign words. I knew the words, though, that was the weird thing. I’d heard the words, could hear them in my head as I danced and flew about, trying to remember why they seemed so familiar.

 

And it struck me. That sound? It was the sound of the universe when the aliens first dumped me on the side of the road there in Florida. It was the hum of the frogs, the hum of the crickets, the roaring of mosquitoes. It was the voice of the planet, Truck Stop Earth, how the world sung to you if you listened.

 

It was what kept me sane, kept me alive, kept me going when the Grays first did their nasty on me. I heard the voice of my home singing to me way back when, I heard it every night when the civilized world shut up for a moment, I heard it in the surf and sea and the wind whenever I bothered to open my mind to it, and I heard it in those marimbas.

 

All the other voices went away, all the doubts, all the worries, all the fears, all the pain and anger and hurt. OK, it didn’t go away; it just laid down low like the sea after a storm, went quiet and didn’t say anything. That song became something else, more than a song, and not only did I feel it, everyone felt it.

 

We fell into it. Gogogoi played like they were not musicians but instruments themselves, like the song was in the wood and the mallets and their bodies, and all they had to do was let it free. Dan played with force and purpose, his ravaged, weak body somehow empowered. Sweat poured off everyone, and though it seemed like the song would go on forever, eventually it ended, as all songs do, even though the sound kept resonating within.

 

And then they went into another song, and another, one song flowing into the other, different tune, different melody, different arrangements and different musicians at different instruments, until finally like a good storm we were all played out, danced out, sung out, and we just had to come up for air and breathe.

 

But the song itself wasn’t over. It just kept going and going, even though we couldn’t hear it.

 

Exclusive Excerpt at Black Gate:

https://www.blackgate.com/black-gate-online-fiction-an-excerpt-from-truck-stop-earth/

 

Buy Links:

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Amazon US https://www.amazon.com/dp/B01HN3JAJS

 

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Michael and Leia bw

 

Author Biography:

Michael Armstrong was born in Virginia in 1956, grew up in Tampa, Florida, and moved to Anchorage, Alaska in 1979. He has lived in Homer, Alaska, since 1994. He attended the Clarion Science Fiction Writers Workshop and received a bachelor of arts from New College of Florida and a master of fine arts in creative writing from the University of Alaska Anchorage. His first novel is After the Zap. Michael’s short fiction has been published in Asimov’s, The Magazine of Science Fiction, Fiction Quarterly, and various anthologies, including Not of Woman Born, a Philip K. Dick award nominee, and several Heroes In Hell anthologies. His other novels include Agviq, The Hidden War, and Bridge Over Hell, part of the Perseid Press Heroes in Hell universe.

 

Michael has taught creative writing composition, and dog mushing. He is a reporter and photographer for the Homer News. He and his wife, Jenny Stroyeck, live in small house they built themselves on Diamond Ridge above Homer, which they share with an incredibly adorable labradoodle.

 

Social Media Links:

Facebook https://www.facebook.com/michael.a.armstrong.writer/

Twitter https://twitter.com/maaarmstrang

Goodreads https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/4100550.Michael_A_Armstrong

Publisher http://www.theperseidpress.com/

 

Extended 18+ Excerpt of Truck Stop Earth from @Perseid_Press #sciencefiction


 truckstop_EBOOK

 

Title: Truck Stop Earth

Author:  Michael A. Armstrong

Genre: Science Fiction, Aliens, Black Humor

Publisher: Perseid Press

Release Date: August 1, 2016

 

Book Blurb:

The mother of all alien bases. The big one, the megabase, the center of the Alien Occupation Government, the headquarters, the brain, the nerve center, the absolute pinpoint big base, right there, right in the hills above Della. Forget Roswell. Forget Machu Picchu. Forget Stonehenge and Tikal and all those alleged alien bases, abandoned every one of them. This was the big one, right now, the source of all my troubles, the world’s troubles, the whole solar system’s troubles. Right there.

 

Out there across the valley, shining across it like a beacon, was a big flat mountain. “Oly’s Mountain” I later heard it called, or Table Top, some said. I could feel it, feel the humming and the disruption of the ether right down to my bones. I didn’t even have to take out my little pocket detector that’s disguised as a Swiss Army knife. I knew, I just knew. And my butt chip burned like an exploded capsule of sulfuric acid. God damn, right there in the mountain — not on it, in it.

 

Book Trailer:

 

Extended 18+ Excerpt:

Note from Mrs. N: This excerpt contains adult language (read swearing), drug use and adult situations.

 

“New blood!” Barry exclaimed when he saw us. “New students!”

 

“New students?” I asked. I could see maybe Sarah as the perpetual college type, workin’ on the ten-year plan, only I had clearly gone beyond the university gig. “Where do you get off on that?”

 

Barry pointed to a neatly lettered banner hanging from the high ceiling. “The Cosmic Rational University of Della,” he said: “C-R-U-D. You mean you haven’t heard of Operation Train Whistle? The Della Conspiracy?”

 

I wanted to ask if that was another name for the Gray Conspiracy, only I hadn’t quite sussed out Barry and didn’t risk betraying all. “Do tell,” I said.

 

Barry grinned, and I could see him slip into a standard rap. You know that look? It’s where someone has told a story often enough to have the bones laid down, not often enough to wear it out, and frequent enough they can lay down a few new riffs.

 

“I’m out of here,” said one of the TFBs, a guy named Nick. “I’ve heard this rap before.”

 

“Me too,” said Rory, a woman with this dark brown braid going like all the way to the ground. “But you’ll love Operation Train Whistle, kids. Nice to meet you.”

 

“Likewise,” I said. “Operation Train Whistle?”

 

“Operation Train Whistle,” Barry said. “Where do I begin? OK, start with a question. How did you two find Della?”

 

“Smart-ass answer?” I asked.

 

“‘I turned right at Devil’s Pass’ has been used,” Barry said.

 

“OK. Honest answer. A mental health professional in Anchorage told me to,” I said.

 

“We get that a lot,” Barry said. “Sarah?”

 

“I saw a Zapata ad at the Student Union at my college.”

 

“That would be the HARD WORK CRUMMY WAGES GOOD SEX LOTSA DRUGS poster?” He grinned.

 

“Something like that.”

 

“Yeah, it’s some of my best work. Old, but a classic.” Barry settled back and grinned. “Freddy, Roz, how’d you get here?”

 

“Third generation Alaskan,” Freddy said. “That gonna screw up your theory?”

 

“Bear with me,” Barry said. “Roz, tell ’em how you got here.”

 

“Sisters of Providence transferred me up after I got my MSW. Then, uh, well, the order and I parted ways.”

 

“So what’s your point?” I asked.

 

“You were recruited. You didn’t just arrive here of your own free will. Someone suggested you come here. Someone planted the idea in your head, however subtle. Now, why Alaska?”

 

“You have to go to Alaska to get to Della,” Sarah said.

 

“Right. But didn’t going to Alaska lure you to Della?”

 

“Sure.”

 

“And how did the idea of Alaska get planted in your head?”

 

Sarah shrugged. “Jack London stories. Nature documentaries. Iditarod specials. Oh, and I read this novel once about blimps and nuclear pirates in the People’s Republic of Alaska.”

 

“Same here,” I said. “I mean, Alaska’s Alaska. It kinda has its own rep.”

 

“We call it a self-replicating mythos, one that regenerates its own energy. Sort of a perpetual mythmaking machine. It doesn’t need new propaganda to maintain the meme. The meme is pretty much damn near immortal. Take this big idea and let it rip.”

 

“Sure,” Sarah said. “I see that. And it sucked us in?”

 

“On its own. Operation Train Whistle, though, has agents. ‘Conductors,’ is what they’re called.”

 

“This is like its own operation?” I asked.

 

“To a point. You have this meme and then you want people to populate the myth, only the myth is more than a myth: it’s an institution.”

 

“An institution . . .” I could see Sarah begin to get skeptical.

 

“An institution,” Barry said. “A social system with its own infrastructure, its own bureaucracy, its own recruiting agency that exists for a specific social purpose. That’s an institution: churches, prisons, insane asylums, and universities. Alaska is a university.”

 

“It has a university?” Sarah looked confused.

 

“No, it is a university.” Barry raised a finger. “We’ll need some serious drugs to explicate this point.” He took out a tightly rolled doobie from one of like a zillion pockets on his vest and passed it under his nose. “Ah, Matanuska Thunder Fuck. You can’t beat 10,000 years of glacial loess.”

 

He lit the joint, inhaled on it until the end glowed like a comet, then passed it to me. As a rule I didn’t do dope on account of the effects it has on my meds, but I could see this might be necessary for the sake of intellectual discourse. I took a puff and handed it to Sarah, who inhaled that puppy like it was giving her CPR.

 

“I continue: Why did you come to Alaska?” Barry said. “I mean, why the hell would anyone come to a place fifteen-hundred miles from the nearest state, above the fiftieth parallel, in a land that’s either colder than the twat of a Plutonian ice maiden, windier than a category five hurricane, or damper than a baby’s diaper?”

 

“Because it’s someplace else,” I said.

 

“Right. And it’s not where everything else is,” Sarah added. “Like you have all this space and you can get away from all that other shit.”

 

“Bingo. Sort of a refuge.”

 

“Yeah. Sort of.”

 

“Only, not everyone needs that, and not everyone needs it for forever, but some do, and they stay for a dozen years, maybe only a few, maybe a lifetime. The thing is, no matter how you arrive, no matter how you get recruited, you are recruited. You belong here, someone else wants you here, and you can’t leave until you graduate.”

 

“You mean there’s this grand deliberateness to it? Alaska, coming to Alaska — it’s intentional?” I asked.

 

“Needed and necessary to the functioning of normal society, which” — Barry sucked on the joint as it came back to him for the third time — “Alaska for fucking sure ain’t.” He pointed at both of us. “You, Jimmo and you, Sarah, by virtue of being here, now, in this place, are here because somewhere someone has determined you should be here. You think it’s accidental. No, you are threats to human civilization, the toxic scum of normalcy, a great clot of pressure that has been allowed to escape. Operation Train Whistle has seen to it that you have been allowed to escape to here.”

 

“Only we don’t know it,” Sarah said.

 

“Now you do. Better still, the professors, the administrators, all the grunts and drones who operate the university, the CRUD, they don’t know it, either. Only those of us who have been truly enlightened understand the whole purpose.”

 

“It’s not a prison, though?”

 

“Not a prison. Not a loony bin. Not a hospital, either. None of those things. It’s a university. Think about it.”

 

I could see Barry had turned a corner here in his exegesis, had gone into new territory. Should I pull him back? Nah. I had gotten too stoned to do anything other than let him rip.

 

“Think about it! A university is the perfect utopia. You have a course laid out for you — a course of instruction, things you have to do before you can graduate. Maybe you decide you like the university, The University, and so you get an advanced degree and stay in it to teach. You might graduate but you never leave. As the great cosmic genius Fredrick Pohl put it, ‘life is one learning experience after another, and what you get for a diploma is, you die.’”

 

“But some people can leave the CRUD?” Sarah asked.

 

“All the time!” Barry smiled. “They come up here, get jobs, raise families, get careers, and maybe leave. Some are born here, like Freddy. Imagine that, right into the university, students for life! They can get out and go to real universities and maybe never come back. Others get to leave, except they always pine for Alaska so badly they either come back — and leave and come back and leave and come back — or they recruit for Alaska. That’s almost just as good.”

 

“And the whole purpose?”

 

“To keep all those people from fucking up the rest of the world. It’s kind of like Operation Wet Rubber Nipple. You know that one?”

 

I looked blankly at Sarah and shook my head.

 

“Wet Rubber Nipple was this college in the 1960s “—  — College” (and then and there he told me the name, but like I say, I forget things, which is good, because otherwise I couldn’t write about this and I’d have to be killed). “Actually, a program to recruit students in the 1960s. All these really bright, potentially dangerous radicals got lured to a small liberal arts college in Florida where they had their every demand met. Drugs? No problem? Sex? All you want. You could study anything, do anything, and the whole point was to keep those crazies from actually getting involved in campus politics where they could seriously undermine the normal functioning of American society. It only lasted until after Kent State, and then the big foundation that funded it pulled the plug. Some of those students wound up here, of course. Thing is, that was for a few years. Alaska: Alaska is for life.”

 

“But you can graduate.”

 

“Maybe. You can die,” Barry said.

 

Sarah stared at him, ran a hand through that stiff red hair, and burst out laughing, an insane, stoned laugh that grew until the very walls trembled.

 

“That’s the biggest pile of horseshit I’ve ever heard,” she said.

 

Barry smiled. “Exactly.” He looked at me.

 

I just grinned back. Got to thinking about it, and I understood. If the CRUD was real, if there really were administrators directing the thing, people who knew the actual truth about the true function of Alaska, then they also knew about the Grays, knew about the Alien Occupation Government, in fact, had to be the Alien Occupation Government, since the whole idea so neatly fit their general plan.

 

Truck Stop Alaska? Hah. Escape Valve Alaska, Campus Alaska, Camp Concentration Alaska. Thing was, it was so damn perfect — that to save the Earth you had to destroy Alaska, destroy Della and turn it into a normal, boring little town. I wasn’t sure I wanted to do that.

 

I kinda like Della. Damn, there had to be a better way.

 

 

Buy Links:

Goodreads https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/30650517-truck-stop-earth

 

Amazon US https://www.amazon.com/dp/B01HN3JAJS

 

Barnes and Noble http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/truck-stop-earth-michael-a-armstrong/1123961595?ean=9780997531008

 

 

Kobo https://store.kobobooks.com/en-us/ebook/truck-stop-earth-1

 

Michael and Leia bw

 

Author Biography:

Michael Armstrong was born in Virginia in 1956, grew up in Tampa, Florida, and moved to Anchorage, Alaska in 1979. He has lived in Homer, Alaska, since 1994. He attended the Clarion Science Fiction Writers Workshop and received a bachelor of arts from New College of Florida and a master of fine arts in creative writing from the University of Alaska Anchorage. His first novel is After the Zap. Michael’s short fiction has been published in Asimov’s, The Magazine of Science Fiction, Fiction Quarterly, and various anthologies, including Not of Woman Born, a Philip K. Dick award nominee, and several Heroes In Hell anthologies. His other novels include Agviq, The Hidden War, and Bridge Over Hell, part of the Perseid Press Heroes in Hell universe.

 

Michael has taught creative writing composition, and dog mushing. He is a reporter and photographer for the Homer News. He and his wife, Jenny Stroyeck, live in small house they built themselves on Diamond Ridge above Homer, which they share with an incredibly adorable labradoodle.

 

Social Media Links:

Facebook https://www.facebook.com/michael.a.armstrong.writer/

Twitter https://twitter.com/maaarmstrang

Goodreads https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/4100550.Michael_A_Armstrong

Publisher http://www.theperseidpress.com/

 

Personal Interview with Jimmo from Truck Stop Earth @Perseid_Press #darkhumor #UFO #SFF


banner-ad_TSE_1

 

I’m not gonna give you all the ins and outs of old Jimmo’s life. I’ve sat in too many cracked plastic chairs before nosy-butt social workers doing that. You want deep psychological analysis of James Ignatius Malachi Obadiah Osborne’s life? Let me give you the name of my current shrink. I think Penelope has it on a thumb drive somewhere.

But in a nut shell — joke! — I’m just your average ex-vet wandering traveler who has been sucked up into a Gray mothership and been given the classic intimate biological examination. I’ve seen it all and been there, from Key West, Fla., to the ass-end of the road here in Della, Alaska. I like long walks on the beach, Norwegian aquavit, Irish wolfhounds, tough women (preferably redheads), and people who won’t give ya bullshit. Oh, and the smell of White Shoulders and AquaNet hairspray, but only because AquaNet has been proven to deter aliens. I don’t know why. You think Jimmo has all the answers?

 

What is your idea of perfect happiness?

You know that moment when you’ve had one too many beers and your bladder is bursting and you take a nice, long pee? Remember that little tickle of pleasure you get? That’s about as close as it comes to perfect happiness. Too strange?

OK, how about this. You take on some huge challenge, like fighting a kick-ass wildfire that’s roaring down at you and it’s just you and your crew, a few Pulaskis, and maybe a DC-3 dropping retardant. Everything else doesn’t exist. It’s just this moment and something you have to do or you die, that’s what it is. And you don’t die. You stop the fire or come out alive in a firefight or maybe kick cancer’s butt. That’s perfect happiness, because you thought you might die and you didn’t.

But also, having close and intimate sex with someone who understands you and you understand them, and you satisfy each other almost perfectly, yeah, that’s not bad, either.

 

What is your greatest fear?

When you’ve looked into the Big Black of death and come out the other end, there is no fear. But the idea that the Alien Occupation Government might eventually take over this planet, and the Grays would use us for whatever evil they have in mind, that scares me. It should scare you, too, oh dear reader, if only you knew the truth.

 

What is your current state of mind?

Highly under the influence of very effective psychoactive drugs. OK, not really. I realized long ago all I got was sexy pharmaceuticals that no one really knew how they worked, but they did. My current state of mind is bliss.

 

What do you consider your greatest achievement?

You should read my co-author’s account of that in Truck Stop Earth. Basically, we kicked alien butt and sent those asshole Grays screaming. We won a big battle. I’m hoping we win the war.

 

How would you like to die?

Quick and painless. Once you get past the pain and into the Big Black, there’s not much else. If I can’t die fighting, I’d be OK dying loving.

 

What is your motto?

Life is what happens when really good psychoactive drugs quit working.

 

truckstop_EBOOK

 

Title: Truck Stop Earth

Author:  Michael A. Armstrong

Genre: Dark Humor, Aliens, Science Fiction

Publisher: Perseid Press

Release Date: August 1, 2016 (E-book available at Amazon and Barnes & Noble now)

 

Book Blurb:

The mother of all alien bases. The big one, the megabase, the center of the Alien Occupation Government, the headquarters, the brain, the nerve center, the absolute pinpoint big base, right there, right in the hills above Della. Forget Roswell. Forget Machu Picchu. Forget Stonehenge and Tikal and all those alleged alien bases, abandoned every one of them. This was the big one, right now, the source of all my troubles, the world’s troubles, the whole solar system’s troubles. Right there.

 

Out there across the valley, shining across it like a beacon, was a big flat mountain. “Oly’s Mountain” I later heard it called, or Table Top, some said. I could feel it, feel the humming and the disruption of the ether right down to my bones. I didn’t even have to take out my little pocket detector that’s disguised as a Swiss Army knife. I knew, I just knew. And my butt chip burned like an exploded capsule of sulfuric acid. God damn, right there in the mountain — not on it, in it.

 

Book Trailer:

 

Extended Excerpt:

We hauled butt up East Road and might have had to pass a few trucks at the speed Samm put the crew-cab to, except that everyone else was hauling butt, too: cops, fire trucks, volunteer firefighters. It was as if that fire were a big drain hole and we were rubber duckies getting sucked down into the tub, that’s how it pulled all of us to the fire. The smoke got thicker the closer we got, a nice stiff breeze out of the north whupping upon us, the day breeze. As we got closer, I began to think that maybe I should be going the other direction. Had no choice, though. I was in that damn truck.

We scarfed down our burgers as we trucked out there, Samm eating one-handed and driving with the other hand, a sort of frightening sight. I understood, though. It might be a while until we ate again. Soon enough we got to the logging camp. Samm didn’t even close his door or yank out the keys to the truck — in fact, he left it running. The only thing he did was turn it around so it faced out, toward the road. I understood. That was our lifeboat.

“Grace, you take Freddy and Jimmo,” Samm shouted. “Work on keeping the fire from jumping the road.”

“And if it jumps the road?” she asked.

“That won’t happen. Hold the line,” Samm said.

“Hold the line,” Grace mumbled. “Right.” She pointed at me and Freddy. “Freddy, you’ve got a red card. Jimmo, grab a chainsaw and a Pulaski and do what Freddy tells you. Come with me.” Grace had picked up a Pulaski, this ax-like thing that was also a pick, and we rushed up to the road side of that big clearing.

Someone had started up one of those feller-bunchers and slowly — it’s not like they moved all that fast anyway — moved toward a line of dead trees up the road. Thick smoke rolled downhill toward us, but in all the smoke I couldn’t see any flames. Maybe that was good, maybe that was bad, I just fucking didn’t know.

“Might as well attack that line of trees,” Grace said, pointing across the road from the camp. A standing clump of red, almost needleless trees lined the road across the way. It seemed kind of stupid, a logging camp surrounded by a dead forest. Later, Samm told me that it was a land dispute, this land owned by someone from Outside who hadn’t seen the land in twenty years and didn’t understand that the whole fucking forest had died and the trees had to come down. This was war. You did what you did to stop the fire and to hell with property rights.

The little forest narrowed down into a V as it came to the road. Grace explained that I should break up the grass and other ground flammables on either side of the V as she and Freddy felled trees. They began lopping off trees so they fell uphill, into the fire and a big slash pile. Even though the trees had died, they still had branches and witches’ brooms and shit that could catch fire. A lot of the dead trees had punky middles, which made them harder to burn. If you could fell ’em the middle wouldn’t catch fire and it would slow the burn down. Mainly, Grace explained in all the chaos, in a calm voice that made me listen closer, “Mainly we don’t want a crown fire, where the tops burn.” A crown fire was like a whole new level of shit.

With all the smoke and the heat I couldn’t tell if we fought back the fire or just wasted a lot of good burger fuel for nothing. I’d cut trenches in the dry underbrush, exposing dirt, so that if the fire burned out of the slash piles we made it wouldn’t go further. Grace said we were making a back burn, creating our own little Dresden there so that the big Tokyo of a fire wouldn’t have anything else to burn. You understand? Of course not, you assholes don’t know history. Dresden was like this quaint little city the Allies firebombed in Double-Ya-Double-Ya Two, and Tokyo another example of 20th Century martial urban renewal.

Get into the flow of something like that, where you’re not quite sure you’ll live but hope to fuck you don’t die, and after a while, time is nothing. Time doesn’t slow down, it doesn’t stop, it just no longer becomes a marker by which the universe gets measured. It isn’t when it once was. What mattered to me was the dirt I exposed, the flames that didn’t cross the road, and the fire that burned itself out.

You just fought. My uncle who was in the war said that once: You just fought. First came chaos and then an organization of chaos and then chaos became your local reality, and you understood it. It developed its own rules and everything and quit being chaos. I focused entirely on one task, one general series of movements: lift Pulaski, dig into ground, turn over dirt, lift Pulaski again, repeat as necessary.

Eventually, though, this new reality came into being, a new form of chaos which I realized with a start was the way the world had been some time ago. The smoke seemed thinner, the heat less. Between Grace and Freddy and that guy on the feller buncher (which I still thought was a rocket launcher), the forest in front of us turned into a big bonfire, controlled and orderly and consuming itself and not more forest. I saw around me that other workers scrambled with wet rugs or sheets stamping out fires from falling ashes that had fallen on the wind. Other than that, the fire had not crossed the road.

“We held the line,” Grace said, but with a tone of voice that said she didn’t believe it.

“Held the line,” Freddy said.

“Did it,” I said.

“Did it. Damn it, we did it!” Grace raised her chainsaw in triumph.

“Shoulda done it faster,” Kyle said from behind us. “It almost got away from us. It got one of the fuel trucks.”

Grace glared at him, bandana long ago fallen away, but her hair still in perfect shape, only with so much smoke and ash that it looked like a black helmet. “We held the line, Kyle.”

“I really need you to listen to me closer, Grace,” Kyle said. “I’m only offering criticism for your own good.”

“Oh, fuck —”

She didn’t get the next words out. Freddy shoved her aside and they both rolled toward me, almost knocking me down. I stepped aside and let them fall, then looked up to see why Freddy had tackled Grace. The guy with the feller buncher held a burning tree in the claws of his machine. Smoke obscured his vision and he couldn’t quite see where he was going. The machine stopped and the guy let down that log, branches still on it, the crown roaring.

We later figured out that he must have seen a tree on our side of the road that caught fire, just one tree, and in our complacency we missed it. He didn’t, though. Guy saved the day, he did, and what did it matter what happened next?

He dropped the tree. Just like I’ll always remember that shred of metal whirling at me when the Zapata cannery blew up, I’ll remember that tree falling. It came down, right on an open part of the airstrip, which was what the feller-buncher dude was aiming for, a nice open spot. All would have been well and this story might have turned out different, if not that the tree in its falling, a branch of the tree in its falling, nicked Kyle.

“I need you to step aside,” I wanted to say, but couldn’t. I’ll feel a little guilty forever after that I didn’t.

The tree came down. The branch nicked Kyle. The tip was sharp. As it fell, it knocked off his helmet, and sliced right through his left ear, your basic Van Gogh chop job. Kyle reached up with his left hand, held it to his ear, and then looked down at a glob of blood in his palm. He didn’t scream, I’ll give him credit for that, but he did look mildly uncomfortable.

When Kyle’s helmet came off, this amazing pouf of silver-blond hair sprung straight up, kind of a Disco Do, just whisping over his ears and falling boyishly over Kyle’s forehead — over his squinty little eyes. But then a spark or a little flame from the burning tree hit his hair, and kawoosh, it went up like a cotton ball soaked in rubbing alcohol, and inside of two seconds, Kyle went totally bald, nothing more than ashes on his scalp.

He rolled forward, over and over like you got taught in grade school to put out a fire if for some chance, hey, a burning tree fell on top of you and lit your precious little Disco ’Do on fire. Kyle slapped at his head and his ears, or what was left of the left one. His right leg stuck out kinda funny, and for a moment I thought it was broken. It was broken, I swear. Kyle reached down and twisted and turned it, then stood up.

His right ear dangled by a little thread of cartilage, only it didn’t bleed. At least, I thought his right ear had been ripped off, too. Kyle turned away from us for a second, did something to the side of his head, and turned back. He did this kind of dancing jig thing, took a deep breath, and smiled.

“Kyle, man, your ear got ripped off,” Samm said. “Are you OK?”

He reached up, felt for the bloody patch, reached down to the ground and picked up something that looked like a shriveled up mushroom. Kyle smeared that thing against the stump of his left ear, then smiled.

“What ear?” he asked.

Samm looked at Kyle, over at us, back at Kyle. He started to say something, then shook his head.

“Good as new,” Grace said.

Ayup, I thought.

Except he put the ear back on backwards.

 

 

Buy Links:

Goodreads https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/30650517-truck-stop-earth

 

Amazon US https://www.amazon.com/dp/B01HN3JAJS

 

Barnes and Noble http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/truck-stop-earth-michael-a-armstrong/1123961595?ean=9780997531008

 

Kobo https://store.kobobooks.com/en-us/ebook/truck-stop-earth-1

 

Michael and Leia bw

 

Author Biography:

Michael Armstrong was born in Virginia in 1956, grew up in Tampa, Florida, and moved to Anchorage, Alaska in 1979. He has lived in Homer, Alaska, since 1994. He attended the Clarion Science Fiction Writers Workshop and received a bachelor of arts from New College of Florida and a master of fine arts in creative writing from the University of Alaska Anchorage. His first novel is After the Zap. Michael’s short fiction has been published in Asimov’s, The Magazine of Science Fiction, Fiction Quarterly, and various anthologies, including Not of Woman Born, a Philip K. Dick award nominee, and several Heroes In Hell anthologies. His other novels include Agviq, The Hidden War, and Bridge Over Hell, part of the Perseid Press Heroes in Hell universe.

 

Michael has taught creative writing composition, and dog mushing. He is a reporter and photographer for the Homer News. He and his wife, Jenny Stroyeck, live in small house they built themselves on Diamond Ridge above Homer, which they share with an incredibly adorable labradoodle.

 

Social Media Links:

Facebook https://www.facebook.com/michael.a.armstrong.writer/

Twitter https://twitter.com/maaarmstrang

Goodreads https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/4100550.Michael_A_Armstrong

Publisher http://www.theperseidpress.com/

Truck Stop Earth New #Excerpt + Jim Morris #BookReview @Perseid_Press #books #UFO


 truckstop_EBOOK

 

Title: Truck Stop Earth

Author:  Michael A. Armstrong

Genre: Science Fiction & Fantasy, Aliens, UFO

Publisher: Perseid Press

Release Date: August 1, 2016

 

Book Blurb:

The mother of all alien bases. The big one, the megabase, the center of the Alien Occupation Government, the headquarters, the brain, the nerve center, the absolute pinpoint big base, right there, right in the hills above Della. Forget Roswell. Forget Machu Picchu. Forget Stonehenge and Tikal and all those alleged alien bases, abandoned every one of them. This was the big one, right now, the source of all my troubles, the world’s troubles, the whole solar system’s troubles. Right there.

 

Out there across the valley, shining across it like a beacon, was a big flat mountain. “Oly’s Mountain” I later heard it called, or Table Top, some said. I could feel it, feel the humming and the disruption of the ether right down to my bones. I didn’t even have to take out my little pocket detector that’s disguised as a Swiss Army knife. I knew, I just knew. And my butt chip burned like an exploded capsule of sulfuric acid. God damn, right there in the mountain — not on it, in it.

 

Book Trailer:

 

Excerpt:

The guy was really skinny, now that I looked at him, with long arms and long legs, only a short little torso. His arm seemed to bend where arms usually didn’t bend, high up toward the shoulder, so his lower arms flopped around like eels. He had a pointed chin covered with a thick red beard, only the hair sticking out of his floppy black pile beret was coal black streaked with gray.  Either the hair covered his ears or he didn’t have ears. He had long narrow feet and wore purple tennis shoes. I walked lightly on the sand, my usual stealth walk that an old Indian had taught me, but even then, at five yards the guy swiveled his face around to look at me. The way he moved his head, and that he could turn his head 135 degrees, clinched it for me.

 

Yup, he was a Gray all right.

 

OK, plus my butt chip seared like a hot poker. I can spot aliens easily, or spot people who look like aliens easily. The thing is, after nearly 500 years of occupation, people look more and more like the aliens, or maybe the aliens look more and more like us. It’s not that we interbreed or anything — that would be like a platypus breeding with a duck — but that over time the aliens have corrupted our body memes and we’ve corrupted theirs.

 

“Rat Hole’s closed to camping,” he said to me as I came up to him.

 

“Got a chit,” I said. I showed him the little piece of stamped metal.

 

“‘Kay.” He had that little click some of the aliens have, not quite a lisp, just a click. “I’m Tom. I run the Rat Hole.”

 

“Name?” Tom asked me. I gave him my cover name, and that’s all he cared about. No address or city or any of that shit. Maybe Tom knew I’d lie or maybe it didn’t matter to him. He handed me a flimsy, a sheet of paper his tablet spat out.

 

I took the flimsy and saw that Tom even used the alien font they like so much, the funny one that makes all our Roman letters slanted backwards, and puts serifs on some letters and not on others. That really pissed me off. You’d think that an alien occupation government that had secretly controlled the world for half a millennium would at least be coy. Assholes.

 

“Read it,” Tom said, “Them’s the rules. Break any rule and you’re out on your butt. Understand?”

 

I nodded. The only rule that really mattered was “Don’t get caught.”

 

“Say it.”

 

I squinted at that. That meant he was recording and didn’t want to waste the storage space on recording a nod. “I understand.”

 

“Cool.” He pointed his finger at me in that stupid little cocked gun gesture. Shit, I really hate that. Aliens are like pit bulls gnawing on a good bone: once they find something they like, they stick with it. Tom waved at the camping area, logs and stuff around it and maybe a few spots left. “Camp anywhere inside the logs and don’t rip up any vegetation.”

 

“Cool,” I said, and pointed my finger back at him, same gesture. I even put a little click at the end. He turned his head at that, smiled that pointy-toothed grin the long Grays have, and walked away.

 

So, I thought. Already a day in Della and I’d found my first alien.

 

I couldn’t wait to toast the fucker.

 

Amazon Review:

“The most important thing to know about this book is that it’s fun. It is, in fact the most fun I’ve had reading a book in a long time. Other books have perhaps explored more profound emotions but if you want to spend a few hours alternating between a grin, a rolling chuckle, and laughing out loud you probably won’t do better with anything contemporary.

 

What we have here is the memoir of a screaming nutjob, as told to author Michael A. Armstrong. The nutjob in question, James Ignatius Malachi Obediah Osborn is a multiple alien abductee, fierce fighter in the Resistance movement against the Alien Occupying Government. He can spot ‘em among the general population, because he knows their disguise tricks. Or maybe he’s just nuts, hard to say.

 

That’s where a lot of the tension in the story comes from. Some of what he believes is pretty convincing. Some of it just seems loony tunes.

 

After a scary encounter with the grays in Florida Jimmo heads for Alaska where the adventure continues. Aside from maybe being nuts Jimmo is a pretty competent fellow who can find work and do it well, fighting fires while fending off alien attacks.

 

He purports to be a spec ops veteran of Desert Storm, although while others were defeating Saddam he was further out in the desert, hunting grays with Delta Force. Thing is, he still talks the talk right. The guy has definitely been somewhere and done something.

 

Another thing this books does well is present the society of adventurous spirits who have absconded to Alaska as the last frontier where you can get a decent latte. A more brave and gaudy collection of tatted, pierced and bizarrely coifed expats can hardly be imagined. And, to paraphrase Ronnie Hawkins, Jimmo gets more trim than Frank Sinatra.

 

Warning: if you have a problem with people who unabashedly talk nasty, well, maybe you should read Jane Austen instead.” – Jim Morris, Vine Voice

 

Buy Links:

Goodreads https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/30650517-truck-stop-earth

 

Amazon US https://www.amazon.com/dp/B01HN3JAJS

 

Barnes and Noble http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/truck-stop-earth-michael-a-armstrong/1123961595?ean=9780997531008

 

Kobo https://store.kobobooks.com/en-us/ebook/truck-stop-earth-1

 

Michael and Leia bw

 

Author Biography:

Michael Armstrong was born in Virginia in 1956, grew up in Tampa, Florida, and moved to Anchorage, Alaska in 1979. He has lived in Homer, Alaska, since 1994. He attended the Clarion Science Fiction Writers Workshop and received a bachelor of arts from New College of Florida and a master of fine arts in creative writing from the University of Alaska Anchorage. His first novel is After the Zap. Michael’s short fiction has been published in Asimov’s, The Magazine of Science Fiction, Fiction Quarterly, and various anthologies, including Not of Woman Born, a Philip K. Dick award nominee, and several Heroes In Hell anthologies. His other novels include Agviq, The Hidden War, and Bridge Over Hell, part of the Perseid Press Heroes in Hell universe.

 

Michael has taught creative writing composition, and dog mushing. He is a reporter and photographer for the Homer News. He and his wife, Jenny Stroyeck, live in small house they built themselves on Diamond Ridge above Homer, which they share with an incredibly adorable labradoodle.

 

Social Media Links:

Facebook https://www.facebook.com/michael.a.armstrong.writer/

Twitter https://twitter.com/maaarmstrang

Goodreads https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/4100550.Michael_A_Armstrong

Publisher http://www.theperseidpress.com/

Meet @maaarmstrang, the Author Behind Truck Stop Earth #books #scifi #writing


I’m so excited because today it’s our great pleasure to have Michael A. Armstrong on the blog. He’s the genius behind the upcoming novel, Truck Stop Earth, published by Perseid Press. Even though he’s extremely busy, he managed a few moment to sit down for an interview. I loved getting to know him better and I know you will, too. So, please give Michael a warm welcome. Take it away, Michael:

 

What is your writing process?

I think about what I’m writing as much as the actual fingers-to-keyboard writing. My novels are like icebergs: there’s a lot floating underneath that you don’t see beyond the written word. I’m constantly thinking about my current book or short story — sometimes, many books or short stories. When I start a novel I get a big fat journal and start making notes, some random, some focused. I have sections titled “setting” or “characters,” but I also have sections like “stuff that needs to happen.” I keep checking back to my journal constantly.

 

Truck Stop Earth took about five years to write. I worked on it in drib and drabs between my day job as a reporter at the Homer News. I finished the book during a residency with the Escape to Create program through the Seaside Institute. I stayed in a condo at Watercolor, a development near Seaside, Fla. Every morning I’d get up, have breakfast, and read the paper. About 9 a.m. I’d start writing, taking short coffee breaks and work until lunch. After lunch I would take a beach walk. Any problems or issues that came up in my novel I would puzzle out on the walk. Sometimes I just let my mind wander, not thinking about the book, which in a way also is thinking about the book. After my afternoon walk, I’d dive back into writing, writing until dinner. I put in a regular day, about six to eight hours of focused writing. In three weeks I wrote 20,000 words and finished the novel. In a perfect world, that would be my writing process. Write, walk on the beach, write.

 

How important are names to you in your books? Do you choose the names based on liking the way it sounds or the meaning?

I don’t puzzle over names too much. I like odd and unusual names, or variations of normal names. Names should not get in the way of knowing and identifying characters.  One trick I’ve always used is to make the sounds of character names different. There will only be one character whose name starts with “L,” for example, or not an Ike if there also is a Mike.

 

In After the Zap, though, I paid more attention to names than usual. In the post-nuke world I created, an electromagnetic pulse fried people’s brains. Most lost the ability to read and lost the concept of naming. They knew a word would identify who they were, but they didn’t understand why some words would be names and not others. My main character, Holmes Weatherby III, went around naming people. He understood that pieces of plastic or paper on them indicated their name, but he didn’t understand the concept of identification. Thus when he named a woman, she had a card for a vacuum cleaner salesperson on her, and so she became “Electrolux,” or “Lucy.”

 

Have you always liked to write?

Yes. The idea of contemplating the world through writing came to me at an early age. I had a grandmother, Anne Hughes Jander, who wrote, and she loved to tell stories to her grandchildren. That inspired my own wonky and weird imagination. I remember at the age of 10 in fourth grade being given the challenge of using that week’s spelling words in a story. My teacher, Gloria Parrino, read the stories aloud, so I got that little ego boost that sustains writers. I pretty much knew by age 15 that I would be a writer.

 

What are you working on now? What is your next project?

I have a short story, Asystole, that I’m finishing up. I’m troubled by the end and can’t quite figure that one out. I’m also working on a novel, Borderers, that involves Scottish Borderers made immortal in an arcane and very science-fictional way. The immortals get into a feud with each other and things get very nasty.

 

Do you have a favorite spot to write? What is it?

When we built our little 16-foot-by-20-cabin here in Homer on Diamond Ridge, I wrote in a corner of the cabin. Then I built a little 8-foot-by-12-foot office and wrote there. When we added on and expanded our cabin into a house with bedrooms and such, my wife and I each got an office. She has her art studio and I have my writing office. My writing desk has a little window that looks out on a meadow and forest and, if I squint, a hint of the Kenai Mountains beyond. I keep the curtain closed, though, so I don’t get distracted.

 

 

What secret talents do you have?

I’m a finder. If things get lost, I sometimes find them. I had a roommate who constantly lost his car keys. He’d fumble around for a few minutes, and then I would go over to a couch or shelf or wherever and hand him his keys. I just knew where he’d left them. I walk the beaches frequently here in Homer and have found many strange and unusual things like glass floats, cell phones, marine radios and cremated remains (still sealed in a box).

 

Do you have any scars? What are they from?

I have the usual assortment of faded scars from childhood injuries. The scariest scar is on my left chest, just above my heart, from where three years ago I got a pacemaker implanted. I got the pacemaker after passing out four times in one morning on Memorial Day 2013. It turned out I had vaso vagal syncope, a condition that causes you to pass out when the vagal nerve gets stimulated, like when I kept throwing up. I also have sick sinus syndrome and bradycardia. When I pass out, my heart rate drops very, very low, and then my blood pressure. All these things came together in a bizarre medical crisis. The fourth time I passed out, I flat lined and I went into systole for 53 seconds. In effect, I died. I like to say I went into the Big Black. All turned out well. After a medevac flight from my home in Homer, Alaska, to an Anchorage hospital, I got a pacemaker. It keeps my heart rate from falling below 50 beats per minute — and not dying.

 

What were you like as a child? Your favorite toy?

I’m the youngest child and the only boy with three older sisters. I was sick a lot. I also read like crazy. I had and still have a vivid imagination. I was that strange little kid who lived down the street that no one really understood. I got along well with other kids, though. They called me Professor.

 

My favorite toy was LEGOs. A German cousin gave me a starter kit. LEGO in the 1960s when I was growing up didn’t mean assembling something from a box that came in pieces and had a plan. You got all these random pieces and you built stuff on your own. I used to build tiny little starships.

 

What do you dream? Do you have any recurring dreams/nightmares?

I dream a lot about dead people. I have a recurring dream where I’m in the house I lived in Tampa, Fla. My dad is there, though he’s been dead since 1982. Other people are in the house, like family of the woman my dad married two months before he died. Sometimes I will see dead people in my dreams and I know they’re dead and they know they’re dead, but it’s as if they’re still alive. In one dream I saw my Uncle Warren, who has been dead since 1991, and I could touch and hug him. “But you’re dead,” I told him, and he said, “Well, I know that. So?”

 

Where is one place you want to visit that you haven’t been before?

I have this tradition. When I turn a big decade, like 50, I go someplace foreign I’ve always wanted to visit. At 50, I went to Scotland. This year at 60, I went to Paris. When I was a boy I had an uncle who encouraged his nieces and nephews to study abroad in some place they spoke a foreign language. Uncle Owen would match up to $100 whatever we saved that year. At one point there was talk of colonies on the moon and how that might happen soon. I told Uncle Owen I wanted to study on the moon. So maybe when I turned 90 or 100, if I live that long, I can celebrate my birthday on the moon. I want to go to the moon. Antarctica would do as a second-best.

 

truckstop_EBOOK

 

Title: Truck Stop Earth

Author:  Michael A. Armstrong

Genre: Science Fiction & Fantasy, Aliens, UFO

Publisher: Perseid Press

Release Date: August 1, 2016

 

Book Blurb:

The mother of all alien bases. The big one, the megabase, the center of the Alien Occupation Government, the headquarters, the brain, the nerve center, the absolute pinpoint big base, right there, right in the hills above Della. Forget Roswell. Forget Machu Picchu. Forget Stonehenge and Tikal and all those alleged alien bases, abandoned every one of them. This was the big one, right now, the source of all my troubles, the world’s troubles, the whole solar system’s troubles. Right there.

 

Out there across the valley, shining across it like a beacon, was a big flat mountain. “Oly’s Mountain” I later heard it called, or Table Top, some said. I could feel it, feel the humming and the disruption of the ether right down to my bones. I didn’t even have to take out my little pocket detector that’s disguised as a Swiss Army knife. I knew, I just knew. And my butt chip burned like an exploded capsule of sulfuric acid. God damn, right there in the mountain — not on it, in it.

 

Book Trailer:

 

Excerpt:

I heard kind of a humming up ahead, and I looked up and saw this weird green beam like a big cylinder of light rising up above me.

 

Standing in front of me was this Gray. I didn’t know of it as a Gray, of course, not then, but I’d seen pictures, because of that guy’s book he wrote about twenty years ago. Big snake head, big eyes, puny little body, pallid icky skin with that talcum powder dust like it had walked through an ash tray, and, of course, that silly gee-gaw infested ray gun Grays like to carry to impress people, but that looked so suck ass silly you had to laugh rather than be intimidated.

 

I’d heard stories, of course, and knew what was going to happen. Well, two things. Either the Gray would just shoot me outright, turn me into randomly reassembled atoms, or I would get sucked up into the mother ship. I looked up again at that beam of light, saw it slide along toward me, and then it sucked the Gray up, and it went zipping above along. I closed my eyes, not wanting to see the beam hit me, but I felt it, oh yeah, I felt it.

 

Actually, it felt kind of cool once I relaxed and enjoyed it. That first second scared the shit out of me, though. You know how it feels to jump off a high tower into the water, where you just keep falling and falling? The first second of being sucked into an alien tractor beam feels like that. The following second, or the next moment after the beam pulls you up and you leave the ground, once you’re in the beam, it’s way cool.

 

So I rose up in the beam, and it didn’t feel like I was flying, didn’t feel like I was falling. I just felt like I was standing on a big wad of jello, and then once the ride was over, there I was inside a big huge room. I stood there, not so much scared to move as figuring when you’d just got sucked up by an alien mother ship, and a Gray stood there with a strange weapon, silly or not, calm and reasoned introspection and a hesitancy to make any sudden moves might be a good idea.

 

“Welcome on board,” the alien then said with a man’s voice — actually, it sounded like Jimmy Carter, because of that recording on Pioneer 10, before they started expanding their vocal repertoire. “We’re just glad to have y’all visit us.”

 

Then I looked over and saw this incredibly gorgeous woman, I mean, a flat-out, gorgeous, tanned blonde, totally naked and with her hair spreading out in all directions like she was in the middle of a hurricane. Very Cosmopolitan. If she was alien, those fuckers had done a damn good job of faking a human, and if she was human, well, she either was incredibly lucky in the big genetic beauty contest or had one hell of a plastic surgeon.

 

“Don’t believe a word they say,” she said. “They’re just out to butt fuck you. And they’ll probably want us to have sex.”

 

“I can live with that,” I said. “I mean, the butt fucking,” I quickly added, because I didn’t want to come on too strong.

 

She laughed at that and walked toward me, her hair still whipping around her face, except when she got close to me I couldn’t feel a breeze. Her hand slid down the sides of my body, down my arms, my waist, and to my biking shorts. With a swift tug she yanked down my pants, raised an eyebrow when she saw I didn’t wear underpants, raised another eyebrow when she saw my Clinton big and throbbing and ready to tutor an intern, and then whipped me around.

 

“Close your eyes and think of England,” she said.

 

Buy Links:

Goodreads https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/30650517-truck-stop-earth

 

Amazon US https://www.amazon.com/dp/B01HN3JAJS

 

Barnes and Noble http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/truck-stop-earth-michael-a-armstrong/1123961595?ean=9780997531008

 

Kobo https://store.kobobooks.com/en-us/ebook/truck-stop-earth-1

 

Michael and Leia bw

 

Author Biography:

Michael Armstrong was born in Virginia in 1956, grew up in Tampa, Florida, and moved to Anchorage, Alaska in 1979. He has lived in Homer, Alaska, since 1994. He attended the Clarion Science Fiction Writers Workshop and received a bachelor of arts from New College of Florida and a master of fine arts in creative writing from the University of Alaska Anchorage. His first novel is After the Zap. Michael’s short fiction has been published in Asimov’s, The Magazine of Science Fiction, Fiction Quarterly, and various anthologies, including Not of Woman Born, a Philip K. Dick award nominee, and several Heroes In Hell anthologies. His other novels include Agviq, The Hidden War, and Bridge Over Hell, part of the Perseid Press Heroes in Hell universe.

 

Michael has taught creative writing composition, and dog mushing. He is a reporter and photographer for the Homer News. He and his wife, Jenny Stroyeck, live in small house they built themselves on Diamond Ridge above Homer, which they share with an incredibly adorable labradoodle.

 

Social Media Links:

Facebook https://www.facebook.com/michael.a.armstrong.writer/

Twitter https://twitter.com/maaarmstrang

Goodreads https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/4100550.Michael_A_Armstrong

Publisher http://www.theperseidpress.com/

#TuesdayBookBlog – Truck Stop Earth by @maaarmstrang #bookreview #eroticscifi


truckstop_EBOOK

 

Title: Truck Stop Earth

Author:  Michael A. Armstrong

Genre: Science Fiction, UFO, Black Humor

Publisher: Perseid Press

Release Date: August 1, 2016

 

Book Blurb:

The mother of all alien bases. The big one, the megabase, the center of the Alien Occupation Government, the headquarters, the brain, the nerve center, the absolute pinpoint big base, right there, right in the hills above Della. Forget Roswell. Forget Machu Picchu. Forget Stonehenge and Tikal and all those alleged alien bases, abandoned every one of them. This was the big one, right now, the source of all my troubles, the world’s troubles, the whole solar system’s troubles. Right there.

 

Out there across the valley, shining across it like a beacon, was a big flat mountain. “Oly’s Mountain” I later heard it called, or Table Top, some said. I could feel it, feel the humming and the disruption of the ether right down to my bones. I didn’t even have to take out my little pocket detector that’s disguised as a Swiss Army knife. I knew, I just knew. And my butt chip burned like an exploded capsule of sulfuric acid. God damn, right there in the mountain — not on it, in it.

 

Book Trailer:

 

My Review:

The X-Files meets Penthouse Forum.  That is the simple definition of a rollicking good time sci fi book.

 

I know for a fact that the first line here has already had one person put it on their ‘to buy’ list.

 

Not really a book about battling aliens – it is the story of Jimmo as he spends a lot of time talking about his experiences with aliens while he has sex with many different women, often in great detail!  Salacious, somewhat foul mouthed but hey, you can’t have more than a half a dozen graphic sex scenes without the odd naughty word.

 

I found the book captivating and an easy, fun read.  A very, very, very adult kind of Hitchhiker’s Guide to an Alien Conspiracy.  Never seen one like this before!

 

If there had been a tad more alien butt kicking I would have gone the max but it’s a fun, irreverent, raunchy read.  I recommend it to anyone 18 and over who likes a bit of smexy sauce with their sci fi.

 

My Rating:  4.5 stars

 

Buy it now:

Goodreads https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/30650517-truck-stop-earth

 

Amazon US https://www.amazon.com/dp/B01HN3JAJS

 

Barnes and Noble http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/truck-stop-earth-michael-a-armstrong/1123961595?ean=9780997531008

 

Kobo https://store.kobobooks.com/en-us/ebook/truck-stop-earth-1

 

Michael and Leia bw

 

Author Biography:

Michael Armstrong was born in Virginia in 1956, grew up in Tampa, Florida, and moved to Anchorage, Alaska in 1979. He has lived in Homer, Alaska, since 1994. He attended the Clarion Science Fiction Writers Workshop and received a bachelor of arts from New College of Florida and a master of fine arts in creative writing from the University of Alaska Anchorage. His first novel is After the Zap. Michael’s short fiction has been published in Asimov’s, The Magazine of Science Fiction, Fiction Quarterly, and various anthologies, including Not of Woman Born, a Philip K. Dick award nominee, and several Heroes In Hell anthologies. His other novels include Agviq, The Hidden War, and Bridge Over Hell, part of the Perseid Press Heroes in Hell universe.

 

Michael has taught creative writing composition, and dog mushing. He is a reporter and photographer for the Homer News. He and his wife, Jenny Stroyeck, live in small house they built themselves on Diamond Ridge above Homer, which they share with an incredibly adorable labradoodle.

 

Social Media Links:

Facebook https://www.facebook.com/michael.a.armstrong.writer/

Twitter https://twitter.com/maaarmstrang

Goodreads https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/4100550.Michael_A_Armstrong

Publisher http://www.theperseidpress.com/

 

Reviewed by: Mr. N

Writing for Shared Universes: Guest Post by @WestonAndrew #amwriting #books #SFF


hellboundLARGE

 

As some of my readers will be aware, as well as being the creator of the IX Series (The IXExordium of TearsPrelude to Sorrow – TBR) I also devised the rather dark and devilishly intense character of Daemon Grim.

 

Now, this guy is none other than the Grim Reaper himself, Satan’s chief bounty hunter and go-to guy in times of trouble, and you get to read about his trials and tribulations in the #1 international bestseller, Hell Bound, and the sequel due toward the end of this year through Perseid Press, Hell Hounds.

 

The thing is, there’s more to the Reaper than first meets the eye, as his exploits form part of Janet Morris’ critically acclaimed Heroes in Hell shared universe.

HIH

 

Don’t know what Heroes in Hell is all about?
Heroes in Hell is a series of shared world fantasy books, within the genre Bangsian fantasy, created and edited by Janet Morris and written by her, Chris Morris, C. J. Cherryh and others. The first 12 books in the series were published by Baen Books between 1986 and 1989. The series was resurrected in 2011 by Janet Morris with the thirteenth book and eighth anthology in the series, Lawyers in Hell, followed by four more anthologies and two novels between 2012 and 2015.
Of note is the fact the stories from the series include one Hugo Award winner and two Nebula nominees.

 

The shared world premise of Heroes in Hell (also called The Damned Saga) is that all the dead wind up together in Hell, a devilishly wicked arena where anything and everything can go wrong in the relentless pursuit of their various ends.

 

Here’s the list of recent releases since 2011:

Lawyers in Hell
Rogues in Hell
Bridge over Hell
Dreamers in Hell
Poets in Hell
Doctors in Hell
Hell Bound

 

So, why would I want to contribute to a shared universe? The answer is simple– For the challenge.

 

Think about it. With the IX Series, I can basically do whatever I want. I can have as many protagonists and antagonists as I see fit. Run them through hoops. Put them here, there, everywhere and make them fit just about any situation I care to conjure up. On the other hand, when it comes to writing for Heroes in Hell, I can’t do that.

 

A shared universe is governed by its own fundamental forces. It has its own rules, as to where and when its sets. Principles govern it subjects regarding their interaction with each other and the realms they live in. Simply put, there are limitations on what you can and cannot do, especially if your story includes characters ‘owned’ by another contributor.

 

Daemon Grim, for example, is leader of the Hell Hounds, (a select cadre of damned hunters) and the Inquisitors (Satan’s special interrogators). Because these individuals are of ‘my’ devising, I have a pretty long leash on what I am allowed to do with them – as long as I stay within the guidelines governing the Rules of Hell.

 

However, Grim and his cabal regularly interact with other notables, such as the Undertaker, the Kigali, and the Sibitti. These particular creatures ‘belong’ to other authors so I have to follow an adopted procedure.

 

First, I need permission to use them in my own stories. Second, I have to agree not to involve them in anything that can change their nature or cause permanent repercussions. And finally, I have to ensure they ‘stay in character’ when they interrelate with others.

 

For example, in Hell Hounds, there’s a scene where Grim faces off against the Sibitti. As personified weapons of the plague god Erra, the Sibitti have a distinct way of fighting. So I need to ensure I stay true to their modus operandi.

 

Do you see the challenge in this? I can’t simply think up a fight scene – my specialty – and go with my natural flow. I have to adopt the specific current those characters I’m borrowing adopt when in battle, and ensure I reflect that appropriately.

 

This is particularly apparent in the yearly themed compilations Heroes in Hell is famous for. Look at the list of recent releases from 2011, and you’ll see topics as diverse as lawyers and dreamers to poets and rogues. Grim, for example, was introduced in the 2015 Doctors in Hell anthology. The next selected theme – due for release in Fall 2016, is Pirates in Hell, a calling completely at odds to that of a doctor, as I’m sure you’ll agree. Do you see the variety this affords?

 

But you might think…hang on, doesn’t that make the larger books you write a little disjointed? Well, it could, if I didn’t keep a careful balance. Let me explain:

 

When Janet invited me to write for Heroes in Hell, we came up with the idea of leapfrogging the novels with the anthologies to keep things tight and integrate Grim more fully into the universe. So, Hell Bound follows on immediately after the action in Doctors. The forthcoming Pirates short story – Pieces of Hate – carries on Grim’s adventures three months after the events in Hell Bound. In turn, Pirates will lead into Hell Hounds, and so on and so forth. Do you see the forethought and planning this involves?
You might wonder, why on earth do I put myself through it?

 

That’s easy. I want to improve.

 

As writers, we owe it to ourselves and our readers to become the best we can be. Now, I’m a disciplined and focused person. I work hard to develop and nurture my own distinct “voice” which I hope is apparent in my work. The trouble is, when we rely solely on our own preferences, we can sometimes limit the extent to which we can mature.

 

I like contributing to the shared universe because the various themes touch on topics I wouldn’t normally consider. Doing so accelerates my learning curve and broadens my skills and experience. In the end, it’s you – the reader – that benefits.

 

Intrigued?

 

Well, if you want to find out more about the diversity of writing for a shared universe, check out some of the latest releases in Heroes in Hell. Some great writers contribute to every edition, and their various styles ensure there’s always something in the anthologies for everyone.

 

Website: http://www.andrewpweston.com/

Perseid Press: http://www.theperseidpress.com/

 

Andrew Weston

 

Author Biography:

Andrew P. Weston is Royal Marine and Police veteran from the UK who now lives on the beautiful Greek island of Kos with his wife, Annette, and their growing family of rescue cats.

An astronomy and law graduate, he is the creator of the international number one bestsellers, The IX, and Hell Bound, (A novel forming part of Janet Morris’ critically acclaimed Heroes in Hell shared universe). Andrew also has the privilege of being a member of the Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America, the British Fantasy Society and the International Association of Media Tie-In Writers.

When not writing, Andrew devotes some of his spare time to assisting NASA with two of their remote research projects, and writes educational articles for http://Astronaut.com  and Amazing Stories.

 

Social Media Links:

Website: http://www.andrewpweston.com/

 

Publisher: Perseid Press

 

Twitter: https://twitter.com/WestonAndrew

 

Author Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Andrew-P-Weston-Author/102335216581151?ref=hl

 

Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.com/andrewweston/

 

Andrew P. Weston Blog: http://theix.blogspot.gr/

 

The IX Blog: http://theix.blogspot.gr/