Monday, January 13, 2020

Book Feature: We of the Forsaken World by Kiran Bhat #weoftheforsakenworld




WE OF THE FORSAKEN WORLD
By Kiran Bhat
Literary Fiction/Metaphysical Fiction


The Internet has connected – and continues to connect – billions of people around the world, sometimes in surprising ways. In his sprawling new novel, we of the forsaken world, author Kiran Bhat has turned the fact of that once-unimaginable connectivity into a metaphor for life itself.

In we of the forsaken world, Bhat follows the fortunes of 16 people who live in four distinct places on the planet. The gripping stories include those of a man’s journey to the birthplace of his mother, a tourist town destroyed by an industrial spill; a chief’s second son born in a nameless remote tribe, creating a scramble for succession as their jungles are destroyed by loggers; a homeless, one-armed woman living in a sprawling metropolis who sets out to take revenge on the men who trafficked her; and a milkmaid in a small village of shanty shacks connected only by a mud and concrete road who watches the girls she calls friends destroy her reputation.
Like modern communication networks, the stories in, we of the forsaken world connect along subtle lines, dispersing at the moments where another story is about to take place. Each story is a parable unto itself, but the tales also expand to engulf the lives of everyone who lives on planet Earth, at every second, everywhere.

As Bhat notes, his characters “largely live their own lives, deal with their own problems, and exist independently of the fact that they inhabit the same space. This becomes a parable of globalization, but in a literary text.”

Bhat continues:  “I wanted to imagine a globalism, but one that was bottom-to-top, and using globalism to imagine new terrains, for the sake of fiction, for the sake of humanity’s intellectual growth.”

“These are stories that could be directly ripped from our headlines. I think each of these stories is very much its own vignette, and each of these vignettes gives a lot of insight into human nature, as a whole.”

we of the forsaken world takes pride of place next to such notable literary works as David Mitchell’s CLOUD ATLAS, a finalist for the prestigious Man Booker Prize for 2004, and Mohsin Hamid’s EXIT WEST, which was listed by the New York Times as one of its Best Books of 2017.

Bhat’s epic also stands comfortably with the works of contemporary visionaries such as Umberto Eco, Haruki Murakami, and Philip K. Dick.

Barnes & Noble → https://bit.ly/2Lqe9Fi


______________________

TEASER




______________________

EXCERPT

“My people. Now speaks the man destined to make the great cats bow to feet, now speaks the man who will lock eyes with the sun. I have found our new land. Take your canoes and follow me. A new time for our tribe has come.” 

Not a single man found it in himself to raise a weapon, nor did a single wife open her mouth. The eyes of the eternal shone not from the skull but from the eyes of our chief’s first son. We believed that the spirits had bestowed him with our future. He had the eyes of life and death and life once more.

(Bhat, we, of the forsaken world… p. 191)

ABOUT THE AUTHOR




Kiran Bhat was born in Jonesboro, Georgia to parents from villages in Dakshina Kannada, India. An avid world traveler, polyglot, and digital nomad, he has currently traveled to more than 130 countries, lived in 18 different places, and speaks 12 languages. He currently lives in Melbourne, Australia.

Website  → http://iguanabooks.ca/



 





 

Thursday, January 9, 2020

Character Guest Post: Sergeant Jameson Bennett of E.L. Strife's STELLAR FUSION



Today is character guest post day!  We have Sergeant Jameson Bennett of E.L. Strife's new book, STELLAR FUSION, with us today. Welcome, Sergeant Bennett!

Welcome to Earth, 2901, where all humans, no matter of demographics, are equally valued members of society. The Three Hundred Year War, World War Five, nearly destroyed civilization. We crawled from the rubble and toxic land, leaving behind our prejudices, concerned only with survival.

Earth’s continents are no longer divided into countries, only topographical zones. There are no governments or kingdoms ruled by the few. Every vote is equal, every voice heard. There is peace.

But peace has a price.

The Three Hundred Year War created many orphans like those on my team, including myself. It continues to do so as people are exposed to the toxins in our natural resources. We have relocated most of our villages and are rebuilding our cities. But farms need clean acreage we struggle to find. The average lifespan fell in the early years after the war but continues to improve as we find better ways to manage what limited land remains.

Us orphans are taken in as children and trained to be shepherds of Earth’s single force of law: the Universal Protectors. UP is an organization that formed in the ashes of war. It is our duty to protect the people of this healing planet. The instigators of the war do not wish it to end. Their rebel forces, known as the Kronos Clan, must be stopped.

UP protects what is most precious: the life-spark—the beat of a heart.

Our system of discipline is simple. An individual will be punished in a manner relating to how they harm others. If an individual darkens an innocent’s spark—kills another person—then they are executed.

Few escape our Human Cataloging system. Every human is registered at birth and receives a tracking device that relays the location and basic functions of the owner. As expected, some do not agree with the H.Co. procedures, preferring freedom instead of safety and order.

It is human nature to want love, acceptance, and comfort. For some, power is their driving force, like Krage, the leader of Kronos. He’s as bloodthirsty as they come, using women and children as body shields when confronted by us. He likes his crews to poison their bullets. We’ve lost a lot of good soldiers to him.

Shepherds are forbidden from emotion, high levels of adrenaline, friendship. Our Command does not permit us to mate or have families. My comrades are the family I can’t talk about.
The jobs we do require our minds to be focused and unbiased. Command puts us on serum as children. It stunts our ability to feel, keeping us neutral in our opinions and strong in our fight.

I am the only one who resists. 

Command doesn’t know that my body requires a higher dose. Rio, the serum’s creator, is my Instructor and guiding shepherd. He keeps secrets for me so I may do what must be done. I am Command’s most effective guard. I am also the oldest recruit on record, signing on at seventeen.

My father was a member of the Shepherds United, the predecessor to UP. He died when I was young. My mother and little brother passed soon after in a house fire—a fire I ran through, chasing their cries for an hour without acquiring a single burn.

At eight, I knew I was different.

Not all of Earth is as wonderful as our impartial system makes it seem. I knew the locals would still find me different, so I ran, let them think I was dead like my family. Years, I was homeless. I begged, stole, fought in knock-pits, and lied to survive. All of my team grew up in similarly rough situations.

Sergeant Steven Cutter is our most calm and controlled team member. He entered the program at just five years old.

I know some of you have heard of mysterious occurrences around the planet: fire-eaters, rock-crawlers, people whose skin has taken on metallic or other inhuman tints, those who learn dozens of languages in a short time, and the increasing incidents of clairvoyance and rumored telepathy. I assure you, Universal Protectors are looking into these things. My Command has expressed their current belief is that they are mutations caused by the toxins in our resources. I disagree, but it is not my place to speak on that matter. I’m a Team Leader, not a member of Command.

We’re more concerned with the massive structure which appeared in Earth’s orbit only moments ago.  I’m receiving word it has unleashed hundreds of smaller vessels—and pillars like sky-scrapers that are landing on the planet.

They’re burrowing into the surface!

The ships are capturing people!

We have to return to base and gear up! Thank you all for attending! I recommend you hurry home, get comfy, and pick up a copy of Stellar Fusion to find out more about our new world and the threat unfolding in our galaxy.

Josie, rack up! I need you and Panton on the transport guns. Tanner and Cutter, find us a route back that avoids these alien vessels. We can’t draw attention to ourselves until Command approves us to engage!

Control has requested all available forces on Home Station. Stick to the shadows! Cloak the ship! We have minutes to pack before we punch out of Ocean Base Thirty-three. Let’s move!

Inside the book


Title: STELLAR FUSION
Author: E.L. Strife
Publisher: Independent
Pages: 330
Genre: Scifi/Fantasy

This isn’t the first invasion. This time, they’re taking everything… and everyone.

Earth, still patching itself together from the 300 Years War, is severely unprepared and outnumbered when the invasion hits. Their only hope is a small team of soldiers on a suicide mission to infiltrate the mothership and relay critical defense information home.

The last survivor of the first encounter can’t explain why she knows what she does. Sergeant Nakio Atana is the Universal Protectors’ elite assassin and holds within a spark of unimaginable power. But a daring escape from an enemy ship knocked the first fifteen years of her life into darkness, leaving her with only inexplicable apathy and technical knowledge beyond Earth’s evolution.

What she is can change their future.

Sergeant Bennett must guard her with his life.

Together, Atana and Bennett lead the team in hopes her knowledge, and his crew’s skills, will render them a soft spot in the alien armor. What they find when they reach the mothership is entirely unexpected. The truth they uncover will challenge the code they live by and their concepts of the power within.

PRAISE:
“Stellar Fusion is the work of a new aspiring writer with a penchant for exploring possibilities of future life for humankind. Good versus evil, loyalty, truth, integrity, and the power of strength, love, and hope are all masterfully interwoven into this inaugural novel by E.L. Strife. With the age-old theme of making the world a better place, Strife casts her characters in the spotlight as they embrace survival on the planet. Stellar Fusion offers readers an opportunity to look to the future and reflect on what is most important to ensure the happiness, success, and survival of the human race.”
-Amazon Customer

“Great book. Would recommend it to anyone who enjoys fast-paced sci-fi action with moments that slow to profoundly grab your heart and draw you into the characters’ lives. Looking forward to reading book 2 when it’s released.”
-Amazon Customer

Order Your Copy

Amazon → https://amzn.to/2PfzdPQ

meet the author


Adopted by two educators, Strife developed a deep love for learning new things. In 2012, she graduated from Oregon State University with two Bachelor’s Degrees in Public Health and Human Sciences: Interior Design and Exercise Sport Science. Her past wears fatigues, suits, and fitness gear, sprinkled with mascara and lace.
“I like to question everything, figure out how things work, and do tasks myself. Experiencing new things is fun but also helps with writing raw and genuine stories. And I’m always trying to push my comfort zones.”

Strife likes the rumble of her project car’s 350-ci V8. She enjoys the rush of snowboarding and riding ATVs on the dunes. But nothing brings her more solace than camping in the mountains where the stars are their brightest.
Strife enjoys connecting with readers and welcomes all feedback and questions.

website & Social Links

Website  → www.elstrife.com

Twitter  → http://twitter.com/ElysiaLStrife

Facebook  http://www.facebook.comauthorelstrife


Wednesday, January 8, 2020

Book Feature: Failure To Protect by Pamela Samuels Young

Title: Failure To Protect
Author: Pamela Samuels Young
Publisher: Goldman House Publishing
Pages: 414
Genre: Mystery/Legal Thriller


When the classroom is no longer a safe space for her child, the outraged mother of a bullied nine-year-old is determined to seek justice for her daughter. An ambitious school principal, however, is far more concerned about protecting her career than getting to the truth. She flat out denies any knowledge of the bullying and prefers to sweep everything under the rug. But just how low will she go?

When the mother’s two hard-charging female attorneys enter the picture, they face more than an uphill battle. As the case enters the courtroom, the women fight hard to expose the truth. But will a massive coverup hinder their quest for justice?



Excerpt

Chapter 1
 "Please, Uncle Dre, let me stay home with you today. Can you homeschool me? Please!"
 Dre stroked his goatee and laughed. "Unfortunately, I'm not smart enough to homeschool you or anybody else."
 "I'm serious," Bailey pleaded, her face twisted in terror. "Please don't make me go!"
 As his Jeep inched along behind the long line of cars dropping off kids in front of Parker Elementary School, Dre peered over his shoulder at the cute little girl sitting in his back seat. Bailey's stress level was way too high. She'd had a few run-ins with a bully at her old school, but he assumed the transfer to Parker had fixed everything.
 "What's going on? Why don't you want to go to school?"
 Bailey hugged her book bag to her chest as if it were a life raft. "I just don't."
 "C'mon, talk to me. Is somebody bothering you here too?"
 After a long beat, Bailey slowly bobbed her head.
 Dre had purposely used the word bothering, not bullying. He was tired of hearing all the hoopla about bullies. Kids getting picked on was nothing new. It happened in his day and would keep happening until the end of time.
 Truth be told, today's kids were too damn soft. People turned backflips to protect them from the realities of life. Like everybody getting a freakin' trophy just for participating. That was the stupidest crap he'd ever heard. Sometimes life is hard. Kids need to know that sooner rather than later.
 "Please don't tell my mom," Bailey begged, her brown eyes glassy with tears. "She'll fuss at me for not standing up for myself."
 Dre reached back and gave Bailey's foot a playful squeeze. "No, she won't. But you do have to start standing up for yourself. If somebody's being mean to you, you have my permission to be mean right back."
 He wasn't condoning violence, but if another kid started some mess, the only way to show 'em you weren't no punk was to clap back twice as hard. Most bullies were wimps. Once you got in their face, they backed off. That's what he'd taught his son to do and, to his knowledge, Little Dre had never had a problem. He would teach Bailey to do the same.
 "You don't get it," Bailey huffed, her shoulders drooping. "That won't help."
 They were almost at the drop-off point, when Dre steered his Jeep out of the line of cars and made a hasty U-turn in the middle of the street.
 Bailey's upper body sprang forward. "We're going home?"
 "Nope." Dre pulled to a stop along the curb. "I'm walking you inside. I want you to show me who's messing with you."
 Bailey slumped back against the seat, her lips protruding into a pout. "That'll just make it worse."
 Turning off the engine, Dre hopped out and jogged around to open the back door. "Let's go."
 He took Bailey's hand as they stepped into the crosswalk. The closer they got to the school doors, the slower Bailey walked. By the time they reached the entrance, Dre felt like he was tugging a sixty-pound bag of potatoes.
 "Please, Uncle Dre," Bailey whispered, glancing all around. "Please don't make me go!" Her tiny hand clutched two of his fingers.
 Dre led Bailey off to the side, squatted until they were at eye level, and caressed her shoulders.
 "I don't know what's going on, but there's no reason for you to be this stressed out about going to school. If somebody's messing with you, I need to know about it. What's the kid's name?"
 Bailey hung her head as a tear slid down her right cheek. For a second, Dre thought she was about to come clean.
 "It doesn't matter," she mumbled, hoisting her book bag higher on her shoulder.
 "Yes, it—"
 Bailey jerked away from him and dashed inside the school.
 He was about to go after her when a woman stepped in front of him, blocking his path.
 "May I help you, sir?"
 The woman's chin jutted forward like an accusing finger pointing him out in a lineup. "And you are?"
 "I'm Bailey's"—he paused—"uh, I'm Bailey's godfather." He'd started to introduce himself as her uncle to make himself sound more legit but changed his mind.
 "Your name?" Her tone conveyed all the warmth of an icicle.
 "Andre Thomas."
 Dre pegged the woman to be in her early forties. Her thick, black hair fell a couple of inches below her ears in a blunt cut that matched her funky disposition. Her sleeveless, form-fitting, red dress hugged every inch of her curvy frame. Actually, she was kinda hot. Kerry Washington’s classy style with Cookie Lyon's bad attitude.
 "Bailey's mother didn't tell us someone else would be bringing her to school today."
 She looked him up and down like he was some pedophile on the prowl for a new victim.
 Dre couldn't seem to pull his eyes away. Despite an innate seductiveness, the woman still managed to carry herself with the spit-shine polish of a CEO. If professionalism had a smell, she would reek.
 "Erika had an early meeting in Irvine and asked me to drop her off."
 Dre ran a hand over his shaved head. Rarely did anybody—especially a female—make him feel this degree of uneasiness. "I'm sorry. I didn't get your name."
 "I'm the principal. Darcella Freeman."
 He should've guessed. A sister with a little power.
"I'll be dropping Bailey off and picking her up from time to time," Dre said, anxious for the chick to move out of his way so he could go after Bailey. "Erika got a big promotion. Her job's a lot more demanding now."
 "Is that right?"
 "Yep, that's right." What's up with this chick?
 "Please ask Bailey’s mother to email the office authorizing you to pick her up from school."
 Dre nodded. "Will do."
 He still wanted to go inside, but the woman stayed put like a queen guarding the gates of her castle.
 Without saying goodbye, Dre pivoted and headed back across the street. As he opened the door to his Jeep, he made a mental note to have a talk with Erika. She'd been thrilled about getting Bailey into Parker Elementary because of its stellar reputation. But the place might not be any better for Bailey than her old school.
 Dre also couldn't shake the feeling that something wasn't quite right. And not just with Bailey.
 



ABOUT THE AUTHOR


Award-winning author and attorney Pamela Samuels Young writes mysteries that matter. Dubbed “John Grisham with a sister’s twist” by one reviewer, Pamela’s fast-paced novels often tackle important social issues.

Her most recent legal thriller, Failure to Protect, takes on the bullying epidemic and its devastating aftermath. Pamela won the prestigious NAACP Image Award for Outstanding Fiction for her thriller Anybody’s Daughter, which provides a realistic look inside the world of child sex trafficking. Her courtroom drama Abuse of Discretion centers around a troubling teen sexting case. #Anybody’s Daughter and #Abuse of Discretion are young adult editions of the two books. A young adult version of Failure to Protect goes on sale in December 2019.

Pamela also writes dangerously sassy romantic suspense under the pen name Sassy Sinclair. Her first foray into the romance genre, Unlawful Desires (2017), was awarded Best Erotic Romance by Romance Slam Jam. Her second book, Unlawful Seduction (2018), was honored as a finalist in Romance Writers of America/Passionate Ink’s Passionate Plume contest in the Best Contemporary Erotica category.

The prolific writer is a frequent speaker on the topics of sex trafficking, bullying, online safety, fiction writing, self-empowerment, and pursuing your passion. To invite Pamela to your book club meeting or to read excerpts of her books, visit www.pamelasamuelsyoung.com and www.sassysinclair.com .

website & Social links



 

Tuesday, January 7, 2020

Interview with Time Travel Thriller Author Dr. Richard

Dr. Richard has been involved in the field of Photonics for over 30 years. He received his BA in physics (honors) from the University of California Fullerton. He was in a full scholarship PhD program in physics at the University of California Irvine and a PhD program in philosophy at Claremont Graduate School. Dr. Richard completed his two dissertations (involving human interpretations of laser and electro-optical images) while under top secret clearance. He also has an advanced placement teaching credential, an advanced certification (from the University of Wisconsin) in laser and optical design; and other advanced certifications in fiber optics, computer programming, technology business development, financial products, dance, anatomy and physiology.

WEBSITE → https://www.tetrastatum.com

FACEBOOK → https://www.facebook.com/istarsfx




Title: TETRASTATUM
Author: Dr. Richard & Tim Smith
Publisher: Epigraph Publishing
Pages: 300
Genre: Time Travel Thriller
In their debut novel TETRASTATUM, authors Dr. Richard and Tim Smith combine heady concepts about the universe with a thrilling science fiction story about the search for a new kind of time travel. The result is a stunning mixture of dense cosmology and old-fashioned storytelling that will appeal to a wide readership, from science professionals to lay fans of science fiction.
“Dr. Richard” and “Tim Smith” are the pseudonyms of Dr. Richard Connor and Marcus Rodriguez, respectively.
TETRASTATUM (‘the fourth state’) is the culmination of my 30 years working in the field of photonics,” Dr. Richard says. “I am an avid reader of sci-fi, and I wanted to create a new type of work that is both educational and entertaining in the genre. TETRASTATUM gives the reader a unique understanding of the existing laws of physics and extends them to provoke further thought from novice readers as well as advanced experts in the field.”
Kirkus Reviews notes that “authors Dr. Richard and Smith … tell their cerebral story with a heady mix of dense theory and absurdist humor.”
The Independent Review of Books declares:  “TETRASTATUM is like nothing you have ever read before. This is an impressive work of science fiction …”
The San Francisco Book Review adds that, “These recurring themes of characterization and distortion feed into the concern that is being voiced over the current state of our political climate…The layering of these themes is ultimately what gives TETRASTATUM a relevance that will keep readers turning pages and asking questions.”
“The book ultimately explains how human perceptions alter the future and puts forth a model based on quantum physics to explain ‘reality’,” Dr. Richard continues.  He calls science fiction “the perfect genre to explore socio-political ideas within the context of futuristic technologies and scientific theories.”
Dr. Richard and Smith are currently working with Norith Soth on adapting TETRASTATUM into a screenplay. Mr. Soth has penned work for Justin Lin (“Fast and Furious”), Stephen Chin (“War Dogs”), and Norman Reedus (“The Walking Dead”).

order your copy below


 





Q: Welcome! Can you tell us a little bit about your writing background – how you got started, etc.?

I have been writing advanced technology concepts for the general public and professionals for 30 years. I have great success at creating new mind sets for people to grow emotionally, and behaviorally.

Q: What fact about yourself that would really surprise people? 

I have significant skills in hard science, but a great deal of success in stage performance and relating to the general public and the scientific community at large.

Q: How do you define success in regards to writing and publishing books? 

I have had many success in all areas of the general public and hard technology product developers to stimulate them to find creative new way to view reality. 

Q: Can you tell us about your new book? What’s it about and why did you write it? 

Tetrastatum, is a completely new way to view image time travel. We all have control to do this kind of time travel. There are existing technologies to do this: VR, dream work, etc. 

Q: When you are not writing, how do you relax? 

I am professional ball room dancer which feeds into my creative process in general. 

Q: Please tell us why we should read your book? 

If someone wants to find new meaning, via simple to understand, advanced technology concepts they can find new meaning to reality

Q: What kind of advice would you give other authors just getting their feet wet?

Think, at a deep level, of how you will change their view of reality.







Friday, December 27, 2019

Character Guest Post: Emily Murnane of Richard Robbins' PANICLES



Today is character guest post day!Emily Murnane of Richard Robbins' new book, PANICLES, with us today. Welcome, Emily!

 
I just don’t understand how people view living things. Whether they be plants, animals, or family and friends. We are not just items to be used up and discarded, we are miracles, which should be tended to, and allowed to grow to our full potential, live our lives on our own, and to fulfill our own destinies, whatever they may be. And I’m going to do something about it.
I’ve got this degree in Plant Biology, so I want to use that somehow. I’ve come up with a new idea for a business, which I hope will work. I’m going to open a nursery. It’ll specialize in rare and unusual flowering plants, some of which I’ll develop myself. But... besides selling plants like everyone else, I’ll also provide services for weddings and other catered events.
 For example when people plan events, like weddings, they order flower-based centerpieces. They’re beautiful, for sure, but expensive, and when the event is over, the flowers are thrown away in the garbage. That seems so wasteful to me. Rather than using flowers, which are discarded after one use, I can take flowering plants, each one in their own little decorated pot, and make centerpieces out of them. I can take eight or ten small, potted, flowering plants, however many seats there are at a table, decorate the pots with custom printed wrappers in whatever manner they’d like, including pictures of the bride and groom, the wedding invitation—really anything on them—and stack them together in a way that creates a single centerpiece that rivals or beats any cut flowers. And for less money. Then, at the end of the night, the centerpieces are dismantled into their component pots, and each person at the table gets to take home a plant with a decorative pot, and they can put it on their window sill, or plant it in their garden, and enjoy it for years, or even a lifetime of pleasure and memories.
I just don’t get it. They keep those flowering plants in commercial nurseries, lined up in rows like prisoners, and subject them to artificial light and chemicals. Then, as soon as they flower, those flowers are cut off and sold. Yes, they’re beautiful, but they get dressed up like tarts, to display their beauty for a week or so, until they inevitably die and are discarded and forgotten, only to be replaced by the next new batch, beginning the cycle all over again. Why would anybody do that, when the flowers could have stayed on the plant and lived their natural life cycle happily, without bothering anybody? Let their life cycle be their choice, not some selfish stranger’s. When their cycle runs its natural course, they can produce new flowers, their cousins—peaceful, natural, and beautiful.
It reminds me of Panicles. A Panicle is a type of plant which generally grows on short hills. All the flower clusters come off the main branch. Some clusters have only one flower, some have many, but each one is attached to the main branch. And when the flower dies, the main branch remains, and grows stronger. It keeps growing for generations, like a family. It just lives its natural course, on its own, happily. As should we.




Inside the book

Title: PANICLES
Author: Richard Robbins
Publisher: Evolved Publishing
Pages: 281
Genre: Literary Fiction

Is it better to take the risk and pursue the glory of fame and fortune, or to live a simpler, more grounded life?

“Richard Robbins has presented a cast of interesting characters, and each one is fully explored. The plot engages the reader from the first page to the last. The writing style is fast-paced and flows smoothly. Author Richard Robbins has penned a captivating novel in Panicles. A fascinating read!” ~ Readers’ Favorite Book Reviews, Deborah Lloyd (5 STARS)

Follow the fates of two families, one wealthy and powerful, the other blue collar, from a chance meeting at a Florida poolside, to the highest levels of politics and power. This sweeping saga of love, war, money, and power leaves each family weighing their duty to their family versus service to their country.

It all leads to a fateful choice—a sacrifice—which could change the course of history.
EVOLVED PUBLISHING PRESENTS a contemporary literary exploration of two very different families, with their ties to politics, power and influence, and to each other. [DRM-Free]
Panicles will make you think, make you cry, make you laugh and smile and keep you reading until the very end.” ~ Readers’ Favorite Book Reviews, Trudi LoPreto (5 STARS)

Panicles is a novel that invites reflection with its subtle and significant meaning... Connections, effects, and a great storyline make Panicles a remarkable novel from many points of view.” ~ Readers’ Favorite Book Reviews, Astrid Iustulin (5 STARS)

Books by Richard Robbins:

  • Love, Loss, and Lagniappe
  • Panicles
  • The Tormenting Beauty of Empathy (Coming 2020)

Amazon → https://amzn.to/37wyWjR

 Barnes & Noble → https://bit.ly/2qGgPax


meet the author

Richard’s first novel, the award winning Love, Loss, and Lagniappe was inspired by actual events in his life, and utilizes his Medical and Business School background to explore the journey of self-
discovery after heartbreaking loss, while revealing the scientific basis for the meaning of life (You’ll have to read it to find out!)

Panicles, explores the price of fame and fortune through the eyes of two families, one wealthy and powerful, the other blue collar, from a chance meeting at a Florida poolside, to the highest levels of politics and power. This sweeping saga of love, war, money, and power leaves each family weighing their duty to their family versus service to their country.It all leads to a fateful choice—a sacrifice—which could change the course of history.

Richard lives in New York City and New Orleans with his love and inspiration, Lisa, my wife of thirty years (and counting), near their beloved grown children.

Website → www.Robbinsbooks.com

Facebook →  https://www.facebook.com/richard.robbins.7737


Monday, December 16, 2019

Character Guest Post: Nikki Durrance of Kathy Holmes' Deja Vu at the Blue Diamond Saloon



Today is character guest post day!  We have Nikki Durrance of Kathy Holmes' new book, Deja Vu at the Blue Diamond Saloon, with us today. Welcome, Nikki!

 
The Art of People-Watching

When you feel like somebody is watching, it’s good to be able to watch them back. I’ve honed my people-watching skills starting with that night at the Petrossian Bar at Bellagio in Las Vegas. There I was perched on my author’s shoulder, sipping my mini Martini while she sipped hers, and I began to notice a suspicious blind man at the bar. I whispered the details in my author’s ear and now I’m starring in Déjà vu at the Blue Diamond Saloon.

But back to the Petrossian Bar for a peek into that scene:

A man held his cigarette between his forefinger and middle finger with his elbow bent, sending the smoke vertically into the air vent in the ceiling. Like a man who had been practicing the art of smoking his entire life, he moved with panache and ease. The cocktail waitress placed his cup and container of steamy liquid in front of him, and he expertly placed his tea bag and poured the liquid into the cup. He glanced at the ceiling and danced to the drumming of the piano, beating out the rhythm with his head.

A tall woman with coppery-colored hair trailing down to her waist, wearing a shimmering silver dress reserved for special occasions, approached him and asked him to dance. He stood up, took her arm, and twirled her in a circle, and then with his hand on her waist, the two glided onto the dance floor, never revealing that they were blind.

But something wasn’t quite right with that scenario, and it was more than the fact that two blind people were behaving as if they were sighted. And then I realized what I had seen. Surreptitiously, he had slipped something in her handbag that matched the dress and had attached to the back of the dress so that it looked like a flap or back pocket. But as the song ended, the two parted, and she swung the now visible bag over to her front side, and she left without seemingly saying a word to him. The cocktail waitress approached our table and placed a drink in front of me and said, “A French Martini—from the gentleman over there.” She pointed to where the blind man sat but he was no longer there.

It’s got your imagination going wild, doesn’t it?


Inside the book

Title: Deja Vu at the Blue Diamond Saloon
Author: Kathy Holmes
Publisher: Screamie Birds Studios
Pages: 249
Genre: Psychological Suspense

Nikki Durrance escaped the worst nightmare of her life when she fled Las Vegas for San Francisco, leaving her abusive husband Jeff behind at the Blue Diamond Saloon. Rebuilding her life in San Francisco with the help of her closest friend Sally, Nikki draws the line with one thing: men. But when she accompanies Sally on a business trip back in Las Vegas, Nikki meets Dr. Mike Fischer, a sexy and desirable pediatrician also from San Francisco.

After a whirlwind courtship followed by a proposal, Nikki panics and jumps on the nearest cruise ship to Mexico. Realizing she must face her fears rather than run from them, she returns home and accepts Mike’s proposal. Life picks up even more speed with Mike’s plans and Nikki panics once again, imagining that everything Mike does mirrors her ex-husband Jeff. Attempting to sort out what’s real and what’s not, Nikki begins to question everything, including her sanity when everything with Mike feels like déjà vu.

Amazon → https://amzn.to/32vYGZV

 Barnes & Noble → https://bit.ly/33yNop4

meet the author


Kathy Holmes grew up in Southern California near Disneyland and the beach with a book in one hand and a transistor radio in the other. She began writing stories about family and wrote her first song with a childhood friend. They called themselves the “Screamie Birds.”

Books have always spurred her love for travel, especially to places she’s read about, and location is often a character in her books.

After an exciting career in Silicon Valley, she is now combining her love for both books and music at Screamie Birds Studios. You can find out more about her books and music at http://www.kathyholmes.net.

Website: http://www.kathyholmes.net

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

Book Feature: Edge of Death by Joni Parker

Title: Edge of Death, Book Two of the Admiralty Archives 
Author: Joni Parker 
Publisher: Village Green Press LLC 
Pages: 452 
Genre: Urban Fantasy

In this second installment of The Admiralty Archives, the warrior Lady Alexin, the Keeper of the Keys for the Elf realm of Eledon, finds herself exiled to the harsh world of near-future London. Rendered little more than a political pawn by the Elfin Council of Elders to avoid a war with the Rock Elves, she has little choice but to struggle to find her way in this strange new land. Taken under the protection of kindly mentors, Vice Admiral Malcolm Teller of the British Royal Navy and his wife, Alex brings all her skills to the fore as she uncovers a series of deadly plots.

Murder is on everyone's mind as an underground White Supremacist organization takes aim at Admiral Teller while two wizards, resurrected from death, must kill Alex in order to survive. To make matters worse, the Rock Elves dispatch a hundred assassins from Eledon with their sole mission to bring Lady Alexin to the very… Edge of Death.

Pick up your copy at Amazon → https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07X43MSQG

  Excerpt:

Chapter 1: Edge of Death

Alex had never felt so alone in her entire life. She stared blankly out the window of the limousine she shared with Admiral Teller and his staff. Her eyes focused on her reflection as a tear escaped down her cheek. She swiped it away. It wasn’t that she didn’t feel grateful for their help and support, but her heart ached—she wanted to go home…to Eledon…to her Elf grandparents…to her job as the Keeper of the Keys…not to London.
Alex’s mortal father had died when she was four and she’d been raised by mortals until she turned fifteen. She thought she’d have a better understanding of life here on Earth, but she didn’t. She even missed the snooty Council of Elders and the grumpy Chamber Elf. Helping those mortals had been the worst decision she’d ever made. Over seven hundred sailors on five ships had been stranded in Eledon and she’d returned them safely. She brushed away another tear and looked around. Good, no one’s looking at me. She turned back to the window.

An unusual sound caught her attention and she gazed out the sunroof of the black limousine. It was a helicopter. Or a chopper. A helo—whatever they called it. Alex leaned her head back and sighed. What was it doing here? It wasn’t part of the motorcade. Over the past few weeks, she’d seen a lot of them flying in and out of Portsmouth’s Royal Naval Base in southern England. The Royal Marines had told her about them. This one hovered way too close. The pilots smiled and waved at her, so she waved back. Friendly, she thought, at first. But why were they wearing sunglasses on a cloudy day? Her instincts told her something wasn’t right. Who were these men? Assassins? Why were they waving at me? The hairs on the back of her neck rose as she thought of the worst-case scenario. The helo was going to attack them.
She nudged Leftenant Nelson of the British Royal Navy—the red-haired, fair-skinned man raised his chin, but his eyes remained fixed on the screen of his mobile. He played a video game to pass the time.
            “Wait.” The young officer pushed the buttons with his thumbs and stared intensely at the small screen. The car crashed and the game ended. “Damn it!” He shook his fist and gritted his teeth. “I can’t get past this level. What in the bloody hell do you want?” He pulled his ear buds out and turned sharply; his eyes narrowed—his anger still prevailing.
            “Sorry, but why is that helicopter flying so low?” Alex pointed up. She had learned one thing about the mortal world—it could be dangerous here.
            “It’s just a traffic helicopter, looking for accidents on the highway.”
            “So why are those men wearing sunglasses? It’s cloudy out.”
            “They’re pilots—they think it makes them look cool.” He waved his hand dismissively and went back to his game.
            “Good.” Alex felt relieved. Her instincts were wrong. No need to worry. This was normal. Since that night she was supposed to return home to Eledon, but couldn’t, she wasn’t quite sure what was normal and what wasn’t here in the mortal world. She relived the scene, repeating in her head on an endless loop and clenched her jaw. Lord Fissure of the Rock Elves had threatened to kill her grandfather if she tried to return home—and the sneer on his face told her that he’d won.
Sitting across from her was Vice Admiral Sir Malcolm Teller. He was a kind man, but he was a mortal…and a target. She’d already foiled three assassination attempts on him. He was targeted by a white supremacist group called the 23rd Infantry, just because he was a black man. It didn’t make sense to her. Over the past few weeks, he’d also become her mentor and benefactor and promised to help her find a way home. But how? He didn’t know anything about the Elf world. Were there more entry points somewhere? Even she didn’t know—she was stranded. No, exiled.
Next to him on a laptop computer was Captain Jonas, a brilliant naval officer and the Admiral’s chief of staff, who always looked at her with suspicion. Was there any way to convince him I wasn’t a scout for an alien invasion? She doubted it. He was a stubborn man.
Over the past few weeks, the Admiral had taken charge of the return of the sailors, the ships, and the civilians who’d been stranded in Eledon, while she’d made friends with Captain Shauna O’Leary, Royal Marines. Alex worked out with the Marines on a daily basis and learned a lot about the mortal world from them. This morning, however, she was notified the Admiral had completed his task and would be leaving for London in an hour. She would have liked more time—she barely had a chance to say farewell to Shauna. But she packed quickly and got to the limousine before anyone else.
Alex had no clue what to do next, but she felt an urgent need to get back to Eledon to protect her grandfather from those Rock Elves, especially Lord Fissure. Until she figured out how, the Admiral had offered to let her stay with him and his wife. Without any other option, she agreed.
Her best hope of getting home was to find Ecstasy, the wizard. He’d brought her to the mortal world in the first place, but even Detective Inspector Tyler of Scotland Yard couldn’t find him. So, how could she?

*          *          *

Leftenant Nelson tapped her arm. “Hey, Alex. I didn’t mean to snap at you like that. You didn’t know about the traffic helo. Sorry.”
            “It’s all right. Sorry, I bothered you.” Alex wasn’t really sorry, but thought it was the polite thing to say. He’d always been pleasant to her. The chopper rose higher over the vehicle, pacing the limo’s speed on the highway. Its body was made of glass and metal with pods on either side. Alex stared at it curiously and went back to her thoughts.
            Without warning, the limo veered off the main highway and exited onto a two-lane country road. Alex grabbed hold of a handle to her left and sat up straight, alert for trouble. Her eyes widened and her pulse quickened as her head swiveled around, looking for the source of the problem.
            “What’s going on, Jonas?” Admiral Teller dropped the newspaper onto his lap and looked over to the Captain.
            “I’ll find out, Admiral.” He pressed a button near his head. “Petty Officer Thomas, where are we going?”
“Following the security car in front, Captain. It’ll take us around an accident ahead.” 
Captain Jonas glanced at the traffic on the highway. It wasn’t slowing down and his phone didn’t have any reported accidents. “Thomas, there aren’t any accidents reported. Call the security car and get them back on the highway. We have an appointment at the Ministry this morning.”
“Yes, Captain.”
Yet, the limo continued along the empty country road.
Thomas reported back. “Captain, no reply from the security car.”
The Captain grew alarmed; this wasn’t supposed to happen. He checked his phone again, still no accidents. He craned his neck to look at the traffic, flowing smoothly on the highway.
The sound of the chopper drew closer. Alex looked out the sunroof—the pilots grinned. This time, not in a friendly way. Alarm bells went off in her head.
“I thought the chopper was supposed to watch traffic on the highway.” Alex looked to Nelson, who was also peering out the sunroof; his jaw tight and his eyes focused on the chopper.
“I don’t like this.” Captain Jonas pressed the button. “Thomas, get us out of here!” His eyes narrowed.
“I can’t, sir. We’re boxed in.”
“Leftenant, send out a distress message immediately!”
Nelson’s thumbs flew over the screen of his mobile phone, sending out a text message.
Alex felt helpless and she could tell the men didn’t know what to do either. She turned in her seat to see the driver’s face in the rearview mirror. His eyes were so wide she could see white around his pupils as he clutched the steering wheel.
Captain Jonas slammed his laptop shut and pushed the intercom. “Thomas, take evasive action. Turn left up ahead.” He turned to his right. “Fasten your seat belt, Admiral. Leftenant, call for help again.”
The Admiral put on his seatbelt and Alex tightened hers. The Leftenant sent out another message over his phone. Thomas slammed on the brakes and turned the limo to the left. The long vehicle barely made the sharp turn and skidded sideways before it straightened. Then he stepped on the gas. All at once, he jammed on the brakes and nearly ran into the chopper as it hovered low over the road.
Alex broke into a sweat. How are we going to get out of this? She looked to the Admiral, who looked at the Captain. No one had any answers.
“Turn right!” The Captain pointed to a smaller road.
Thomas quickly turned the limo down a road which became a dirt path leading into a pasture where black and white cows munched on grass. The limo broke through a barbed wire fence and drove into the field. Alex gripped the handle as she bounced in the seat. Oh, my stars!
“Damn it! Turn around! Get us out of here!” The Captain’s eyes grew large as the chopper followed behind. “Did you send the message, Nelson?” He pulled the Admiral away from the window as Nelson frantically texted another distress message.
“Jonas, this car is armored. We’re safer in here than out there.” The Admiral pointed out the window.
“Thomas, get us out of here!” Jonas waved his hand forward.
“I can’t, sir! I’ve lost control!” The steering wheel spun wildly under his hands as the limo fishtailed across the grass.
Alex rocked to the right as the chopper’s nose tilted down. “It’s aiming at us!” She pointed out the back window. The Marines had told her about helos, firing rockets and shooting guns, but that was in a war zone, not in the English countryside.
Two white streams of churning smoke fired from the pods on the chopper, exploding just behind the vehicle, kicking up mounds of dirt, and lifting the rear end. Gunfire strafed the back window, shattering the glass but remaining intact.
Alex covered her face as the limo sped through the field, barely missing a cow. Seconds later, the limo ran into a stone wall and came to an abrupt stop. The airbags deployed and everyone sat stunned for a few seconds.
“The chopper’s coming around for another crack at us, Captain.” Leftenant Nelson grabbed the door handle. “Let’s get out of here!” He scrambled out the door, followed by the rest, jumping behind a stone wall in front of a stand of trees.
Just as they ducked behind the wall, the chopper sent two more rockets at the car, which exploded at the rear. Then it opened fire with machine guns. In spite of the armor plating and bulletproof glass, the limo was severely damaged—it hissed and steamed.
Alex hunkered down next to Nelson as bullets pounded against the wall. She’d never felt anything so powerful and wondered if the wall was strong enough to protect them. It brought back memories of when she’d been shot, but somehow, she didn’t remember it this way. Her recent training with the Marines had involved simulated bullets; this wasn’t the same. Her panic rose. She couldn’t move. Her breathing grew shallow; sweat dripped off her face. She felt if she was on the edge of death, about to go over. The men were just as scared as she was.
Her courage was buoyed by a short lull in the action; she peeked around the wall and saw the chopper back up to maneuver for another round. I have to do something.
“Is there a weak point on the chopper?” Alex asked.
“The rotor on top.” The Captain pointed up.
As the chopper flew forward, Alex aimed the palms of her hands at the rotor. “Break!” she shouted. An intense beam of blue light shot from her hands, knocking the rotor off. The blades struck the ground, sending dirt and shrapnel in all directions while the cabin tumbled across the field and exploded.
“What in the bloody hell was that?” Captain Jonas stared at her—his eyes wide.
“My blue light.” She grinned at him.
“My God!” The Captain glared at her. “Don’t do that again!”
Why was he so surprised? The Captain had seen her use it before when she’d healed some people. She pressed her lips together in frustration.
“Wicked.” Nelson glanced at her and nodded, raising an eyebrow.
Wow, that’s weird. He can raise one eyebrow at a time. At least, Alex thought it was unusual. She’d never seen…
“Stay down!” Captain Jonas pushed the Admiral’s head behind the wall as he detected movement to the left. The two fake security vehicles had arrived on scene. Out of one car, two men in black ran at them on the left—they were scouts, leading the attack.
“Men on the left.” She nodded to Leftenant Nelson.
“More on the right.” The Leftenant grimaced. “We’re screwed.”
“I’ll use my blue light again.” Alex was about to raise her hands.
“No!” The Captain glared at her. “Don’t use that thing. It’s unnatural.”
“So are guns. We can’t just sit here and do nothing.” Then, she had another idea.



Fantasy novels are Joni Parker’s writing passion. Thus far, she’s written two complete series:“The Seaward Isle Saga,” a trilogy, and “The Chronicles of Eledon,” the award-winning four-book series. Her latest series, “The Admiralty Archives,” began with the publication of her book, “Curse of the Sea” and continues with the second book in that series, “Edge of Death.” Her work extends beyond novels into short stories and blog articles. Joni’s retired from military and federal government service and devotes her time to writing. She currently resides in Tucson, Arizona.

Website → http://www.joni-parker.com
Twitter → https://twitter.com/ParkerJoni
Facebook → https://www.facebook.com/AuthorJoniParker