Category Archives: science fiction

#Sci Fi Series New Release! Counter Strike is here! #eBook #RPBP

New Release!
Book Two in The New Glasgow War Series!
Counter Strike!

With her world in dire straits, Captain Duncan has a desperate plan to even the odds.

Freshly promoted to a new incarnation of the New Glasgow Marines, Rachel Duncan must lead her men in a desperate mission to end the FUP siege on her home world. Her world is in dire straits and she must devise a plan to even the odds before all is lost.


Outnumbered and out gunned, they try to lure in the enemy with thoughts of an easy prize.
Can they force the Union to the bargaining table or will they face the wrath of the largest navy in the known galaxy?


Counter Strike is the second book in the New Glasgow War series.

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Duncan scanned the room. Her team was in position. All were in their light armor and behind cover. To her right was Jenkin’s group. Three men, two with rifles and Gordo the heavy gunner. They stacked up in the corridor.

The lights flashed over the docking door as the enemy ship sealed the bridge between the two ships and flooded the connection tube with atmosphere. Lights changed from a blinking red, to a stable yellow and finally green.

The doors parted on the Q-Ship. Duncan could make out that the legs that were emerging from behind the rising door were unarmored. So far, the intel was correct. They should be able to pull this off.

She sighted down her rifle and as soon as the chests of the FUP navy sailors were visible; she opened fire. Ten shots fired and all four men were on the ground. Jenkin’s had his team sprinting into the airlock across to the enemy ship.

Duncan waved her men forward to join in the assault. As far as she could tell, the enemy didn’t get out a warning before they fell. In a few seconds they had passed the tube and were in the FUP patrol ship. Jenkin’s team headed for the bridge. She was to lead her group to the engine room.

One thing they practiced with was using chalk to mark out their progress. Jenkin’s marked the corridor with an arrow for the direction his team had taken. It conveyed exactly what he did without an electronic transmission the enemy could pick up.

Duncan went the opposite direction from the arrow mark. The ship was a small escort vessel that was being used for inspections. As such, the design was rather straight forward. There was only one deck. The bridge was in the front of the patrol craft with the engine room in the rear. In between were the various crew quarters and functions needed to run the warship.

As they sprinted down the hall, a door opened to the left and an officer stepped out into the corridor. Duncan swung the butt of her rifle up into the forehead of the man and slammed him back into the room he exited. She kept running past towards her objective.

There was a distant booming sound from behind them. That was probably Jenkin’s team breaching the bridge. Ahead was a secure door for the engine room and engineering section. The closed hatch presented a problem. They only had a few seconds to get in before she estimated that the enemy would realize that they were under attack.

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Win a copy of Counter Strike by CN Stoesen.

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In a war torn world, one soldier rises above the ashes to take the fight to the enemy. 



New Glasgow lays in ruins. Sergeant Rachel Duncan leads her under armed platoon against the mechanized iron fist of the Federation union of Planets. Short on men and even less supplies, all they have to do is hold their ground until reinforcements arrive. Will Duncan rise to the occasion or will she crack under the intense pressure of a world under siege?

Out Of The Ashes is the First Book In The New Glasgow War Series.
 
 
 

The rifle lay beside her as her back pushed tight against the shattered wall. She was breathing slowly to control her heart rate. The walker’s metal joints squealed and its feet pounded the broken pavement of the street below.

Counting in her head, she reached zero. With a flick of a finger, moved the rifle’s selector switch to auto. Taking the pistol grip, she raised the weapon to her shoulder and braced it on top of the shattered wall.

The building was an apartment complex in the past. Now, it stood ruined and derelict like most buildings in her city. As she got ready to fire, she noticed the remains of wallpaper still clung to the wall she hid behind. Pastel ducks, bunnies and bears told her that the room she occupied was once a nursery. Now it was a ruin.

The Walker’s thumping feet propelled it closer. There, it was two hundred meters down the street. Standing four stories tall, the Walker’s torso pivoted from side to side looking for danger. Through the holographic site, she could make out the unit markings. This was a command vehicle of the Seventh Union Mechanized Infantry Division. It was probably the battalion commander’s mech based on the antennas protruding from its iron grey head.

The Walker’s sprouted small weapon pods from either side of its head. It was malevolence in motion. Walker’s projected the power of the Union. More so than their navy as these were the sharp end of the Union’s will.

Sweat rolled out from under her dusty balaclava and into her eyes. She tried to blink them clear as movement could attract unwanted attention. Waiting was always the hardest part. Engage too soon and you risked the rounds not being able to penetrate. Too late and they may not arm in time and would bounce off of the mech’s armor.

There. She pulled the trigger and unleashed on the walker. With the mech a bare fifty meters from her position, the inferno rounds ate deeply into the armored skin. The first four shots were right on target. They impacted on the cockpit view screen and armor in the head of the beast. The remaining eight rounds walked to the left across the head and into the right weapons pod. Using the recoil to push her over, she fell on her back beside the wall she used for cover.

The weapons pod pulsed with light that brightened the ruin she hid within. She could only feel the deafening explosion. Her ear buds she wore under the balaclava protected her hearing from loud noises but amplified the quiet ones. Blast waves rolled over the building and knocked loose more bricks, dust and debris into the room. Covering her head with her arms, she kept her face from being torn by falling brick and shrapnel.

With her head turned towards the center of her position, she locked eyes with a blue cloth rabbit. The well-worn toy was dust covered. Another reminder of what the Union has done to her home, her people and her planet. She reached out and picked up the toy. The face and ears were threadbare from the attentions of a child now long gone from this ruin. She thought of her own family, her little sister Janice in particular. Janice was only eight when she joined the militia. It was only a year later when the bombs fell on her city and Sergeant Rachel Duncan’s only remaining family was the militia.

Join CN Stoesen and get the prequel to this series free! Subscribe Today!

 

2017 Kindle Book Review Awards Semi-Finalist

I Was, Am, Will Be Alice has made it through to the 2017 Kindle Book Review Award Semi-Finals.  Keep reading for a very special offer at the bottom of this post.

2017 Kindle Book Review Award Semi-Finalist

Winner of the 2015 A Woman’s Write Competition

When Alice Carroll is in grade three she narrowly escapes losing her life in a school shooting. All she remembers is the woman comforting her in the moments before the gunshot, and that one second she was there, the next she wasn’t.

It’s bad enough coming to terms with surviving while others, including her favourite teacher, didn’t, let alone dealing with the fact that she might wink out of existence at any time.

Alice spends the next few years seeing specialists about her Post Traumatic Stress as a result of VD–Voldemort Day–but it’s not until she has a nightmare about The Day That Shall Not Be Mentioned, disappears from her bed, is found by police,  and taken home to meet her four-year-old self that she realizes she’s been time travelling.

Alice is unsure if her getting unstuck in time should be considered an ability or a liability, until she disappears right in front of her high school at dismissal time, the busiest time of day. Worried that someone may find out about her problem before long, Alice enlists her best friend (and maybe boyfriend), Pete, to help her try to control her shifting through time with limited success. She’s just about ready to give up when the shooter is caught. Alice resolves to take control of her time travelling in order to go back to That Day, stop the shooting, and figure out the identity of the stranger who’d shielded Alice’s body with her own.

To celebrate, the eBook of I Was, Am, Will Be Alice is on sale for $0.99! Get your copy wherever eBooks are sold

THE NEXUS AND OTHER STORIES is a Science Fiction Sensation!

The Nexus

by Elise Abram

Aliens, ghosts, clones, zombies, vampires, nightmares come to life, teleportation…

There are more things in heaven and earth than modern man will ever know or understand.

The Nexus

They say be careful what you wish for. Meet Josef Schliemann, noted expert in pseudo-archaeology who sponsors a dig beneath a historic church in downtown Toronto. Said to have been built on a tract of land sacred to prehistoric Indigenous peoples living in the area, the secrets of the site have been lost to time. Will Josef survive when he finds the object of his desires?

A Morgan by Any Other Name

In a future where cloning has been perfected–sort of–Rachel, a Morgan model, should have the world at her feet, but she’s not happy. What is the one thing a teenage clone desires?

At the Mere Thought Of

What happens when your worst nightmare comes true? Businessman Crane is about to find out.

The Circle of Life

Bob wakes up the night after attending a wild rave to find he’s not himself. He wakes up, buried alive and hungry…for flesh!

One book, thirteen stories.

In The Nexus and Other Stories, science fiction author Elise Abram explores the myths of the modern world. 

Buy The Nexus and Other Stories.

 

 

 

 

 

The Forgotten Origins Trilogy Sale!

For a limited time, you can have the box set for under a dollar!
July 15th – 22nd
 
 


  
An alien plague. A sixteen-year-old girl. A fight to save the world.

The Forgotten Origins Trilogy is a fast-paced young adult sci-fi story, centered around sixteen-year-old Alex. What starts as a rare meteor shower ends up unleashing a viral plague that changes everything. Led into the mountains of the Pacific Northwest by cryptic clues left from her deceased father, Alex discovers that the past is not what she learned in school. When the human race balances on the brink of extinction, the fate of the world rests on the truth being exposed. To unravel the ancient secrets, Alex must rely on her friends, family and few allies. The Forgotten Origins is an epic saga, drawing the reader into a fascinating, frightening world where the unfolding drama will keep you riveted until the last page is turned.

The Forgotten Origins crosses many genres including science fiction, dystopian, fantasy, and supernatural. It is also a clean read! (PG-13)

 [The series has a combined 78 reviews with a 4.6 average rating!]
 

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
About the Author:
 
Author Tara Ellis lives in a small, rural town in Washington State, set in the beautiful Pacific Northwest. She enjoys the quiet lifestyle with her husband, two teenage kids and several dogs. Tara was a firefighter/EMT, and worked in the medical field for many years, before committing herself to writing young adult and middle grade novels full-time. 

She grew up on sci-fi, was a devoted Star Trek and Battlestar Galactica fan, and has since found a love for conspiracy theories. This background, combined with a wild imagination has led to The Forgotten Origins Trilogy. The first book in the series, Infected, was a finalist in the IAN 2015 Book of the Year Awards, was awarded Honorable Mention in the 2015 Reader’s Favorite Book Awards, named ‘Indie Book of the Day in Oct, 2014’ and voted as ‘Top 50 Indie Books of 2014’. (readfreely.com)

Her on-going middle grade mystery series, The Samantha Wolf Mysteries, has hit the best seller status on Amazon in the children’s detective story genre several times, and continues to grow in popularity. The engaging, fun stories herald back to the days of Nancy Drew and Trixie Beldon, and several readers have commented that the series is of the same caliber. These are clean reads that are suitable for the whole family to read together, and are also part of the Kindle Unlimited program.
 
Join Tara’s newsletter to be notified of all new releases and sales events! Newsletter
 
Find her on facebook at: Facebook
twitter: Twitter
 
Visit her author page on Amazon to find all her books!:  Amazon page
 
 

If you like “Outlander”…

enigma of longevityIn The Enigma of Her Longevity, Dr. Kevina (Kevy) Paul longs for something more in her life. Her daughter has died from cancer, and her relationship with her husband has grown lackluster. When she leaves her husband, she visits the local police station to leave behind an ominous message: I am okay. Do not try to find me. Kevy, a leading Canadian authority in aviation, travels to the Middle East to help escape her life, and find new meaning when she’s enlisted to stop an impending digital terrorist attack.

Moe Vyas creates a futuristic world that isn’t hard to imagine, given the state of technology today. The scenery he describes is incredibly detailed, as if we were listening to a play-by-play of Vyas, standing there and describing it in real time. The scenario in the book is realistic, as well. It’s not hard to imagine the world being threatened by a cyber-terrorist who uses existing technology—such as ATMs—to spread a computer virus with potentially catastrophic results.

The only disappointment for me, was that Vyas doesn’t explore the actual enigma behind Kevy’s longevity, as the title promises. There is mention at the start of the book that she has lived a long life, which is revisited at the end, but there is no satisfying explanation as to why.

Vyas’s story is told through the frame of a reporter investigating Kevy who is a unique individual, aside from the fact that she lives to the ripe old age of 137. The frame plot is interesting, and adequately sets the stage for the rest of the story, which is told in flashbacks. Vyas’s structure is best suited for a series, similar in sentiment to Outlander, rather than as a standalone book. If his intention is to revisit Dr. Kevina Paul in order to document another outstanding chapter in the life of this remarkable woman with his next book, then I have no complaints.

Mamabear gives this book

four-bears

Note: I was gifted an eCopy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

Contact Us – Flash Forward meets 24

contact us cover macyImagine everyone in the world sneezing simultaneously, followed by a brief, yet excruciating bout of pain. Then, within 24 hours, most of the world’s population dies in their sleep. And if that weren’t enough, the survivors are contacted by an alien in the guise of Walter Cronkite and given What would you do? Contact Us documents the lives of some of the survivors–top advisor to the president Charli Keller, long since retired and presumed dead former agent Jake Corby, among them–as they strive to discover the cause and meaning of the sneeze, pain, and culling, in order to save the human race.

Contact us was a quick and entertaining read. Part Flash Forward, part 24, the plot–absurd though it was at times–kept propelling me forward. Charli is a strong, female character who takes the lead in the investigation. Jake is far too driven by his emotions, but learns to rein them in when necessary. Cronkite the Alien is a weird character, who, for all of his peculiarities, had me thinking more like Nixon on Futurama than not, but the caricature works; people trusted the real Walter Cronkite–it’s not a stretch to imagine a shape-shifting alien who chooses to look like him in order to gain a similar trust with the people of Earth. Or is it?

Though Al Macy’s story is farcical at times (not usually my cup of tea), I enjoyed the story. The characters–the human ones, at least–are smart and relatable. Even though the population of Earth suffers a culling, the aftermath isn’t necessarily dystopic. Sure they’re at the whim of a psychotic alien, but they’ve been given the blueprints to all of these useless inventions, and now their resources will go further, and the environment will replenish itself, besides.

Contact Us is a contemporary sci-fi that discusses modern themes and offers a horrific solution to our woes. It does what all good fiction must , which is to help us shed light on the shortcomings of our modern world.

Mamabear give this book:

four-bears

Note: I was gifted an eCopy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

The Omen Operation

omen operation tour BANNERfirst concept omen operation

Omen Operation
by Taylor Brooke
Release Date: January 26th 2016
Limitless Publishing

Summary:

After an epidemic spreads through the country, Brooklyn Harper’s high school years come to an abrupt end.

Implanted in a rural camp, Brooklyn and her friends are cut off from their families and the outside world. Each day is filled with combat training to assure their safety against the crazed, belligerent, and deadly— those infected with a mysterious virus.

If the world couldn’t get any crazier, a letter ups the insanity…

After being assured day after day that the world outside their little camp had been compromised, Brooklyn’s cabin-mate, Dawson Winters, finds a letter that turns everything they’d known upside down. There is a world outside the trees that surrounds their camp, and the virus they all feared seems non-existent.

Determined to see it herself, Brooklyn plots with others to attempt an escape…

On the outside, Brooklyn finds the world is as normal as ever. But when they are attacked in the city, they dispose of their attackers far more efficiently than any normal human.. Is there more to Brooklyn and her friends then just being highly trained?

As their exploration continues, the group is faced with impossible feats. Betrayal, love, death, and a powerful sense ofcamaraderie lead Brooklyn and her friends to fight for their life, their freedom, and most of all, each other.

Buy Omen Operation on Amazon.

Add to Goodreads

omenopteaser2

About the Author:

taylor brooke

Taylor Brooke is the author of the upcoming sci-fi adventure trilogy The Isolation Series. She started out as a freelance makeup artist, and quickly discovered her love of elves, zombies, mermaids, kaiju, and monsters of all kinds. After receiving eight professional certifications in special effects makeup, working on countless projects, and fleshing out a multitude of fantastical creatures, she turned her imagination back to her one true love- books. Taylor has had a knack for writing since she was a little girl, and received recognition for her skills throughout grade school and junior college. When she’s not nestled in a blanket typing away on her laptop, she can be found haunting the local bookstore with a cup of steaming hot tea in her hands, scanning the shelves for new reads, or hiking one of the many mountains that surround her home in Oregon.

Author Links:

Website │ Goodreads │ Twitter |

GIVEAWAY:

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Believably Dystopic

rp_autumninthecityofangelscover-220x300.jpgWhen 17 year old Autumn finds herself alone in Los Angeles after a global pandemic, she does her best to survive. On a foray into the city, she is taken in by The Front, a group whose focus is power and repopulation. Autumn escapes and is saved by Grey, who disappears shortly thereafter. She returns to her condo where she discovers Ben and his seven year old sister, Rissi. The three of them set up house in Autumn’s penthouse and grow to become a family, but waning supplies forces Autumn out into the dangerous streets of Los Angeles in search of Grey. Due to the air of mystery surrounding him and the kindness he showed her, Grey has become all Autumn can think of lately. And she thinks she knows just how to find him, based on the directions he left her just before he disappeared.

Kirby Howell’s Autumn in the City of Angels was a great read. Howell expertly sets the scene of a believably dystopic Los Angeles. And while Autumn contains many of the plot lines familiar to this genre– a mysterious boy with whom the protagonist can’t help but fall in love; two camps, one good, one evil; most of the world destroyed by a super-virus–there is one plot twist that I didn’t foresee (and which I won’t divulge here) that makes it different from the rest. Autumn in the City of Angels is more than a simple tale of surviours in a post-apocalyptic world. The sci-fi elements are there if you look closely enough. These elements serve to throw a wrench into Autumn and Grey’s sweet love story and hooks the reader further in as the novel races toward the end.

I’ll admit I was thrown for a loop when the big sci-fi element was spelled out for me. When I went back to write this review, I realized that was because I wasn’t reading closely enough. Howell drops hints that I’d missed throughout. Simple things like Autumn’s loss of time that are credited to her injuries, have a much deeper meaning, so watch out for them when you read. And though my first impulse was to stop reading at the point of the reveal, I’m glad I didn’t. My one true complaint is that the book ends too abruptly, and without resolution, probably to leave the reader wanting more for the next book in the series. I’m one of those few people out there who don’t particularly like binge reading series, and would have preferred more of a plot resolution as a result. If you enjoy reading series, however, then you won’t be disappointed. Howell’s intention, to leave the reader wanting more, is bang on.

If you enjoy dystopic sci-fi and paranormal, romance book series, you are in for a treat in  Autumn in the City of Angels.

Mamabear gives this book:

four-bears

Note: I was gifted an eCopy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

Excerpt from Robert Eggleton’s RARITY FROM THE HOLLOW

Today’s feature author is Robert Eggleton. Robert joins us with an excerpt from his novel, Rarity from the Hollow.

Synopsis:

rarity from the holloLacy Dawn is a true daughter of Appalachia, and then some. She lives in a hollow with her worn-out mom, her Iraq War disabled dad, and her mutt, Brownie, a dog who’s very skilled at laying fiber optic cable. Lacy Dawn’s android boyfriend has come to the hollow with a mission. His equipment includes infomercial videos of Earth’s earliest proto-humans from millennia ago. He was sent by the Manager of the Mall on planet Shptiludrp (Shop ’till You Drop): he must recruit Lacy Dawn to save the Universe in exchange for the designation of Earth as a planet which is eligible for continued existence within a universal economic structure that exploits underdeveloped planets for their mineral content. Lacy Dawn’s magic helps her to save the universe, Earth, and most importantly, her own family.

At first, this story seems sooooo serious, until…

Then, through the darkness, or perhaps because of it, laugh-out-loud comedy erupts to move the plot toward an outrageous closing scene.

Saving an entire universe is a big job for anybody. It takes more than just magic. Lacy Dawn needs a team, and a very strong sense of humour. First, she motivates the android into helping her fix her family by putting her foot down and flat out telling him that she won’t save the universe unless he helps her first. The android agrees to the terms. After Lacy Dawn’s father is cured of his mental health problems and stops being so mean to Lacy Dawn and her mom, Lacy Dawn next arranges for her to mother get her rotten teeth replaced, pass her GED, and to get a driver’s license. The mother feels so much better about herself that she also joins the team. By this time, the android has fallen so deeply in love with Lacy Dawn that she has him wrapped around her little finger. Add a pot head neighbour who sells marijuana and has a strong sense for business transactions, Brownie, a dog who proves to have tremendous empathy for the most vile occupants of any planet, and Faith, the ghost of Lacy Dawn’s best friend who was murdered by her own father, and the team is ready to embark on a very weird, off-world adventure. Of course, in preparation, Lacy Dawn has studied for hours to learn about sociology, math, economics, psychology, languages, culture and every other school subject that has a title — her brain gets so filled up with knowledge directly downloaded from a universal database that she increasingly needs the perspectives of others on her team to sort it all out. Working together, the team figures out how a few greedy capitalists have made such a mess of the entire universe, and how to prevent its destruction without intentionally killing one single being.

You’ve heard this line before: “Due to the mature nature of…” Seriously though, Rarity from the Hollow is a children’s story. For adults. The content includes serious social commentary and satire. There are graphic scenes in the first chapters before Lacy Dawn’s family is fixed. If you can’t handle watching South Park on TV, or if you are under eighteen and your parents would object if you do, or if you are very straight-laced and conservative about frank presentations, maybe you should pass on this story. Otherwise, as award winning author, Darrell Bain, said, “You will enjoy the ride with Lacy Dawn, her family and friends, but don’t expect the ride to be without a few bumps, and enough food to last you a long time.”

Buy Rarity from the Hollow on Amazon, and from Dog Horn Publishing.

Excerpt from Rarity from the Hollow, chapter 13: “Mom I’d Like to Introduce You to My Fiancé”

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.”

 

 

About Robert:

roberteggleton

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 and its release followed the publication of three short Lacy Dawn Adventures in magazines: Wingspan Quarterly, Beyond Centauri, and Atomjack Science Fiction. Author proceeds have been donated to a child abuse prevention program operated by Children’s Home Society of West Virginia. Robert continues to write fiction with new adventures based on a protagonist that is a composite character of children he met when delivering group therapy services. The overall theme of his stories remains victimization to empowerment.

Learn more about Robert Eggleton and his work at: 

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Interview with Kirby Howell

Britbear’s Book Reviews welcomes Kirby Howell to today’s author spotlight with an author interview.

autumninthecityofangelscoverFrom Goodreads:

What would you do if you lived through the apocalypse? The real fight to survive comes after everyone else is gone.

A plague of epic proportion sweeps the globe, leaving less than one percent of the world’s population immune. Among the living is Autumn Winters, the teenage daughter of a famous actress. When Autumn’s parents don’t come home and the city is overtaken by a dangerous faction, she goes into hiding with a small group of underground survivors. They’re led by a mysterious young man who harbors an unearthly secret, and with whom Autumn feels a deep connection.

Autumn in the City of Angels is the first novel in a series, followed by Autumn in the Dark Meadows and Autumn in the City of Lights.

Buy Autumn in the City of Angels and Autumn in the Dark Meadows at Amazon.

You are my first set of co-writers writing under a single pen-name. What’s your writing process like?

Open communication is the key when you have two people.  We like to joke that we have to be “on the same page” figuratively, but definitely not literally!

We usually spend a few weeks breaking the story, and after we’ve got a hold on the characters and the story we want to tell, we write an outline together, and try to make sure any tricky areas are well fleshed out.  Other areas are left thinner to allow for the individual writer’s creative process.  Then we divvy out sections.  Though we’re the best of friends, we have very different personalities, so usually the parts that are calling to one of us to write isn’t calling to the other, so we’ve never had a problem dividing up the scenes to write.  (Dana usually takes the scenes with heavy dialogue or politically driven scenes.  Jessica enjoys writing romantic stuff, or the scenes with lots of internal thinking.)  So we go away and write our sections, and then once we’re feeling good about what we have, we swap!  Then we make notes and trade back.  This allows the first person to take one more stab at their scenes before the other person begins their rewrites… which is the next phase.  After we’ve both taken passes on each other’s work and cleaned up any errors we find, we start a beta process, and get notes from a host of readers.  From there, we divvy up again, and the re-write/swapping process starts all over!

So basically we end up reading and re-writing each other a lot.  But we have constant open communication during this process so that there aren’t any hurt feelings, and so that we’re both comfortable with any changes in the next phase.  It’s a dance that breaks up most partnerships, but we both firmly believe that having each person’s input on every page makes the work stronger…and we’ve been writing this way together for 16 years.

The synergy between you sounds amazing. I read that both of you have degrees in Film and Scriptwriting. Why did you make the transition to writing fiction novels?

Most screenwriters are born of frustrated novelists, so there’s a lot of crossover between these worlds.  The creative process, while not the medium, is also the same.

We’d always had the pipe dream of becoming novelists in the backs of our mind, but for several years, we were focused on the more immediate goal of TV writing.  Then, during the recession, when over half of Hollywood was out of work, we found ourselves with more time than usual to write.  We’d had an idea that felt too big to be a pilot script or a feature script.  Jessica suggested we try our hand at prose, and from that the first Autumn novel was born.

I’ve often thought of marketing my novels as a screenplay to get the story out there, but never given it a try. Which of the two forms of writing do you enjoy most and why?

We enjoy both in their own ways.  With scripts, you get the supreme pleasure of watching other artists interpret your ideas… actors, directors, editors, etc… but with a novel, it’s very different.  It’s a direct conduit to your audience.  So everything has to come from you and “live on the page” as they say.  There won’t be actors coming in to bring words to life or editors to help pacing, etc… That’s intimidating, knowing that it all rests on your shoulders, but it’s also very rewarding when you feel like you’ve done your job.  So for now, we’d probably have to pick the novel world.

Let’s talk a bit about your novels. What is your inspiration behind your Autumn Winters series?

That’s a tricky question.  The seed of the idea came from one of Jessica’s dreams.  But the inspiration for what it became?  We’re not sure there’s a simple answer to that.  Maybe it had to do with all of the media in our lives, be it novels we’ve read, and movies and TV shows that we’d consumed that informed what kind of stories we wanted to tell.  Or maybe it was something within us the entire time, influenced by our close friends and family around us and our experiences as close friends for the past decade and a half.

Twitter describes the Autumn Winters series as YA Sci Fi Romance. What draws you to these genres?

We’ve always liked a bit of the fantastical, be it sci fi or fantasy.  Dana grew up reading as much as she could get her hands on in that genre.  Jessica enjoyed the fantasy genre when she was younger, but got the sci fi bug in college when she met Dana.  And we realized that writing within this genre was just more fun for us!

As far as Young Adult goes… we genuinely love writing for teens.  It was an important time for us as young readers, and we love the fact that there’s even more YA out there now and that it isn’t perceived as “nerdy” the way it was when we were teens.  And if there’s anything we can do to contribute to that, we’re all in!  We also love trying to sneak in some real science, or classic book recommendations in our novels in the hopes that they might spark an interest in our readers in other areas that we feel passionate about.

And finally, why romance?  Why not!  We love mixing genres, and the heightened emotions derived from a romance plot only helps readers connect with what they’re reading.  And, besides, a little romance is fun to read!

Your Amazon bio says you work in television. Describe what you do in the television industry.

Well, between us both, we’ve held a lot of jobs on a number of different projects over the years, some you may have heard of and others you probably wouldn’t have!  They say that long term employment in Hollywood is 6 months (for one project).  As projects wrap, you move on to the next gig.  So you tend to rack up quite a list of projects the longer you stay in the business.  Instead of listing all the shows individually, how about we tell you where we began and where we are now?

Dana started out as a writers’ assistant on Desperate Housewives and Jessica used to work in casting for The Biggest Loser.  Currently, Dana’s a producer on a show for Discovery ID and Jessica is an accountant for various TV shows.

How did you decide which excerpts to share on your web page?

Ah!  Finally an easy question!  We just put the first chapter of each book up.  Easy peasy.

Who are your favourite authors and what attracts you to their work?

And now we’re back to the hard questions!  This list could be endless.  We’re both confessed book nerds and could happily spend months reading.  But if we HAD to pick favorites, we suppose it’d be the following.

Douglas Adams: One of Dana’s all-time favorites.  She’s read every word the man has ever written.  His satire about the world around us is both amazingly insightful and absolutely hysterical.  He was her father’s favorite author, and over the years, it became something they shared.  It doesn’t get better than Douglas Adams.

Laura Ingalls Wilder: Jessica’s first memory of loving books involves Little House in the Big Woods and summer thunderstorms in Virginia.  Her mom would read to her and her sister to distract them from being frightened of the thunder.  She’s reread the entire Little House series probably once a year since then.

Jane Austen: Another of Dana’s all-time favorites.  Her stories endure the test of time.  It’s been proven time and again with modern adaptations of Pride & Prejudice, Emma, etc…  The themes of personal freedom vs. restriction, what a woman’s place is within society, and women being true to themselves have always resonated with her.

Steven King: Jessica’s husband finally got her to read The Stand, which she’d been curious about for years, but hadn’t ever wanted to read because it was in the horror genre and “Jessica hates horror.”  She listened to The Stand as an audiobook over the course of a month on her hour-long commute to work and fell in love.  The characters, the extreme situations, and the fantastical elements lured her in and made her a fan instantly.  She followed it up with 11/22/63, which immediately replaced The Stand as her favorite reading experience ever.

Great choices!

What’s next on your writing agenda?

We’re NEARLY done with the last book in The Autumn Series and are getting ready to throw ourselves into our next YA project: The Wayfarer, which is a story about a teenage girl running away from a bad foster situation.  She stumbles through a hidden and magical passage and finds herself in a new and strange land.  It’s Alice in Wonderland meets The Wizard of Oz.

Is there anything else you’d like to share with the world about your writing and your books?

We LOVE working with schools and libraries to promote reading and literacy.  If there are any teachers and/or librarians out there who’d like us to do a virtual Skype visit to talk about writing, our books, etc… don’t hesitate to reach out!  Contact us via email!  us@kirbyhowell.com

Here’s where you can read more about Kirby Howell and their (?) books:

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About Kirby Howell