Tuesday, 17 July 2018

The Seeds of Dissolution




William C. Tracy is a North Carolina native and a lifelong fan of science fiction and fantasy. He has a master’s in mechanical engineering, and has both designed and operated heavy construction machinery. He has also trained in Wado-Ryu karate since 2003, and runs his own dojo. He is an avid video and board gamer, a reader, and of course, a writer.


In his spare time, he wrangles three cats. He and his wife enjoy putting their pets in cute little costumes and making them cosplay for the annual Christmas card.

You can visit him at williamctracy.com.




On a bright August day, the sun disappears.

Sam van Oen barely escapes freezing to death in his house, as his watch stops and fire ceases to burn. He is pulled into the Nether—a nexus between ten diverse alien cultures—where he meets two maji who can control the musical foundation of the universe. While coping with anxiety attacks prompted by his new surroundings, Sam must learn to hear and change the Symphony, and thus reality, in order to discover what happened to his home.

Sam is surrounded by aliens, both strange and familiar. Soon, he meets sister and brother twins, also new to the Nether, who support him during his anxiety attacks. Sam finds he is attracted to both of them, and does not want to choose.

But more freezing voids like the one that started his journey are appearing, and Sam’s chances of getting back are fading. The Assembly of Species is threatening to dissolve and the maji are being attacked by those they protect, while rumors grow of an ancient, shape-changing species of assassins, returning to wage war.

The Dissolution is coming.




Snippet:

Sam was reading when the sun dimmed.
As he looked up from his book, he caught the sky outside his window shading into twilight. Overhead, the light blinked off, then on and the music playing on his laptop—Beethoven’s 7th—croaked a discordant jumble of notes before the screen went black. A breath of cold air left goosebumps on his arms.
“What the—” Sam pushed up from the chair as the overhead light faded again. His breath caught in his throat, like he had swallowed a lump of ice. His room was not large, made smaller by the piles of boxes making up his collection, and now shadows rose between stacks of waist-high containers. He wormed through them in the dim light, heart racing. Was this really happening, or was he having an attack? Why now? It took two tries to pick up his grandfather’s pocket watch from where it rested on an end table beside his bed. His hands shook, and the thump of his heartbeat nearly overpowered the rhythmic ticking transmitted through his palm. He focused on the mechanical beat—let it inform his body with the regular beat of time.
Calm down. Stillness evaded him, left him unsteady. Everything is going dark in the middle of the day. At least the watch was working. He made sure to keep it wound, and kept it safe in his room.
While watching the darkened sky, his other hand fingered the lid of a small shoebox. His collection of boxes contained grass clippings, shells, sand, and other things, bought by friends and customers of his aunt. They reminded him of favorite sights and smells. However, the shoebox contained things more precious than the rest: half a belt, stiff from water damage, and the heel of a woman’s left shoe, sheared off cleanly.
No. Can’t think of them now. They’re gone, and I can’t change it. He shivered at another gust of cold air. His room felt like late January instead of August. He eyed the window, but the thought of opening it—letting in the places he didn’t know—made his hands sweat. His hand left the box, moving to the windowpane. He hissed and shook his fingers. The window was colder than the house, which meant outside must be too. He breathed out and raised his watch to his ear, listening to the steady beat.
Is this all in my head? He hadn’t heard a transformer blow, and there was no storm. It was so quiet his rough breathing was like a train. He rubbed his arms, and a quick touch on his laptop’s case nearly numbed his finger. His cellphone was powered down and wouldn’t restart.
Aunt Martha will know what to do. Get to safety. Sam weaved through the precise stacks of boxes, trembling. She would be in her sewing shop. Sam wiped sweaty hands on his shorts before pulling a coat from the closet and socks from a drawer. He dropped his watch in a pocket of the coat, but kept one hand on it. If the power outage kept up, he couldn’t log in for his shift in technical support. What will they think? Will they fire me? He couldn’t get his ethics essay done either, and he had to email it in by tomorrow night for the ethical theories class at his online community college.
The chill air in the hall made him regret the shorts, but he shrugged his coat on, then leaned against the wall, pulling his socks on carefully. If the seams were going the wrong way, they’d just distract him, and there was too much going on already. He closed his eyes. Don’t shut down. Keep moving.
The dark wood-paneled hallway was cold even through his socks, and Sam made a detour to the front door to get his sneakers, adjusting his feet in them, making sure the laces were the same length. It took two tries with his shaking hands. The dark was deepening outside, and by the time he got to the other end of the house, he was using his sense of touch more than sight to navigate.
He met Aunt Martha coming from the small one-room addition that served as her workshop. She held a flickering beeswax candle in her hand. It’s not just in my head.





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Monday, 16 July 2018

Awaken - Shadows of a Forgotten Past



Marcia was born and raised in Argentina during the military regime which ended with the loss of many young lives in the invasion of the Falkland Islands. Amidst the devastating effects of military government and war, reading and writing became a passion which expanded and transported her imagination with the possibility of a brighter future.

At the age of eighteen, she moved to the United States, where she studied English and started her own family. She soon discovered that the love she has for her husband and children would naturally unfold towards her European roots, leading her to become a genealogist and family historian. A decade of searching, compiling, and learning the stories of thousands of people has instilled in her a profound gratitude for the strong ties that can be achieved in families through personal sacrifice.

So it is that through fiction, Awaken explores and exposes the characteristics of true love and loyalty in times of fear, war, and finally, death. But perhaps the most captivating element in the story is the battle within the souls of the main characters as they search to know who they really are and how they are connected.

~ Facebook



Could there exist a love powerful enough to overcome the grave?

Hard times during the Great Depression force nineteen-year-old Florence to leave her service at the monastery and seek employment. Fate brings her to work for a wealthy recluse, General Alexander Sterling. Despite many daunting events and a meddling housekeeper with dark secrets of her own, Florence and the General find themselves falling deeply in love.

What she doesn’t know is that General Sterling has left his native country escaping a painful past, one he yearns to forget. Destiny won’t allow it as he meets Florence, whose resemblance to his deceased wife is unbearable. Could Florence actually be the same woman who still owns his heart and haunts his dreams?

When their blossoming romance is shattered by an explosive truth, a mysterious stranger gives her an opportunity to go back in time to unlock the secret to her existence. Florence must strive to return to the present time to save their relationship from the imminent
 danger that awaits them.



Snippet:

“Florence, since the first day I saw you at Oak’s Place, my life has completely changed. Everything that I believed and accepted as true has been uprooted by your presence.” Alex’s countenance revealed another layer of himself, a depth of feeling I hadn’t seen before. 

“There are many things I don’t understand, things that hurt so deep that I almost convinced myself I was insane.” Alex arose and extended his hand to bring me to my feet. Holding both of my hands in his, his gaze found mine. 

“I wanted to stay away from you, but I couldn’t. I didn’t want to hurt you, but I did. Today when you said that you’d leave and never come back if I asked you to, I realized that I could never ask that of you. Even though it would be better for you, I’m much too selfish. I’d die if I did.” 





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Saturday, 14 July 2018

Queen Mary's Daughter





Emily-Jane Hills Orford is an award-winning author of several books, including Gerlinda (CFA 2016) which received an Honorable Mention in the 2016 Readers’ Favorite Book Awards, To Be a Duke (CFA 2014) which was named Finalist and Silver Medalist in the 2015 Next Generation Indie Book Awards and received an Honorable Mention in the 2015 Readers’ Favorite Book Awards. She writes about the extra-ordinary in life and her books, short stories, and articles are receiving considerable attention. For more information on the author, check out her website at: http://emilyjanebooks.ca


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Website ~ Twitter ~ Blog ~





There are so many possibilities that affect the course of history. One change, one small item overlooked, can make a world of difference, not only in a person's life, but in the history and well-being of an entire nation. And then there are those multiple scenarios of what if? 

What if King James VI of Scotland didn't succeed in amalgamating Scotland with England? What if there had been another heir to the throne of Scotland? One who would secure its independence? Would Scotland have remained free and independent and a nation of its own well into the twenty-first century? And would Scotland, this independent version, make its own decision to join the European Union when its southern neighbor was choosing to pull away?


"Queen Mary's Daughter" presents another plausible timeline, one that incorporates both historical fact and fiction with the endless possibilities of time travel.






Snippet:

As the wind picked up, blowing her deep red, unruly curls helter-skelter over her face, Mary Elizabeth’s eyes focused on her hands. She stretched out the left hand, revealing the old ring that sat on her baby finger. It was a tiny ring and it only fit on the one finger. At the same time Gran bestowed the heirloom gift on her granddaughter, she had shared her story of the ring, at least as much as she was willing to share. The ring had been in the family for generations and only the firstborn daughter of the firstborn daughter (and so on and so on) could wear it. The ring was her connection to a past she wasn’t sure she believed in, a past that had been shared from one generation to the next. Or was there more? Was there a story her grandmother never managed to share?
What would she find at Loch Leven Castle? The clues had to be there. But the boy said it was mostly ruins, crumbled walls and tumbled stones, except for the tower. Queen Mary’s tower. What could she possibly unearth to collaborate Gran’s story? And she only had two weeks to do it. She couldn’t afford more time away from work. Even though it was a poorly paid entry level job, she didn’t want to risk losing it.
A glow emanated from the ring on her outstretched hand. She felt a warmth spread up her arms. The wind picked up, violently tossing her hair in every direction, swishing her coat ends like laundry hanging loosely on a clothesline. She faced into the wind, allowing its vicious impact to draw her forward. She took a step, then another, until she felt the cold wet of the lapping waves of the loch splash over her feet. The water was cold; it jolted her back to reality. What was she doing walking into the loch? What was the strong pulse pulling her forward? She allowed her eyes to glance out across the loch, now almost obliterated by the darkened storm that raged all around her.
“Miss.” She heard a voice from behind her as the power continued to drag her into the loch. “Miss!” A hand gripped her arm, yanking her back toward the dry shore. “Miss!” The hands tightened their hold as she tried to pull away, tried to return to the loch. A scream pierced the air. She didn’t know where the scream originated. It sounded like it came from across the water.
It also sounded like it came from deep within herself.
Another scream and everything went black.





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Friday, 13 July 2018

Courage (The Legacy Chronicles #1)





Lauren H Salisbury was an English teacher for sixteen years with an MA in Education. She is now a writer who dabbles with tutoring and lives with her husband and a room full of books in Yorkshire, England. 

She likes to spend winters abroad, following the sunshine and becoming the seasonal envy of her friends. When she’s not writing, she can be found spending time with family, reading, walking, crafting, or cooking. Courage is her debut novel.



Can one woman evade an alien empire to save her son's life?

Gilla and Elias have the perfect life—or as perfect as life can be for slaves living deep in the Esarelian Empire. Elias wants freedom for his precious wife and daughter, and the rest of their people, and he is willing to fight to get it. Pregnant with her second child, Gilla only wants a happy, healthy family who share a strong faith in the God of Old Earth and to get through her workload each day. 


When the Esarelians decide to teach their rebellious slaves a lesson they will never forget, Gilla’s entire life is turned upside down. She must trust that God has a plan to protect her new-born son, and have the courage to follow it, choosing the strangest of allies in an effort to ensure his survival.


Courage is a science fiction retelling of the Biblical story of Moses’s birth. It has strong, quirky characters, strange alien worlds, and a gripping plot with a twist on the original.

The next book in this Series is available in September! Find out more about that book HERE!


Snippets:

Fear consumed her, tearing her heart from her chest with its force, but she looked at her son and forged on. Breathing heavily through the terror, she kept putting one foot in front of the other for his sake.
(Gilla during the culling)

Years of intense heavy labour and his need to protect his family fuelled his rage and tightened his aim. It would have worked if he’d been fighting humans.
(Elias during the Selection)


This time he was unable to stop his finger from slowly rubbing the thin line that ran across the side of his neck. He would keep the scar until the last human had suffered beyond endurance and been exterminated.

(Nishaf, one of the Ra’hon’s advisors)





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Thursday, 12 July 2018

Sons of the Sphinx



I’m a retired high school English teacher. A devourer of books growing up, my profession introduced me to writings and authors from times long past. 

Through my studies and teaching, I fell in love with the Ancient and Medieval Worlds. 

Now, I hope to inspire young readers and those Young-at-Heart to read more through my Tales and Legends for Reluctant Readers set in these worlds.





 If they fail...

She could die over 3300 years from home!


Tackle the elements & evil of Ancient Egypt...
A history-changing battle & Time Travel Thriller...


Fifteen-year-old Rosa doesn't see dead people...
She hears them & talks to them.

When she agrees to help King Tut's ghost find his lost queen & clear his family's name, she doesn't count on falling for him.

She & Tut must also outwit an evil pharaoh determined to stop them...
Even if it means one of them must die.

Get it today and see who triumphs.


2015 IAN Book of the Year Finalist YA
2015 CAL Book Award Finalist YA Fiction
2014 Literary Classics Seal of Approval
2015 Readers' Favorite Finalist YA
2014 Literary Classics Silver Medal for PreTeen/Tween



Snippet:

No way am I that crazy.

‘Touch me, Roosa. You will see I’m real enough.’

Touch him? Is he as crazy as I am? Okay, so I’m going to touch him, just for my own peace of mind.

I reach out my hand, fingers extended, trying to reach him but not move from the wall. A crooked smile appears on his face. He takes a couple of steps forward, reaches out and touches me.

Lightning heat shoots out from him, races up my arm, switches direction and dives into my stomach. I snatch my hand back and grab my belly with both hands. The burning sensation knocks my knees out from under me. I slump to the floor, still leaning on the wall. The room spins, and my head swims. Tears mixed with stars blur my vision so there is no focusing. Not enough air in here; my chest tightens as if the lungs inside are ready to explode.





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