BOOK TOUR: Hell Holes Book IV – A Slave’s Revenge by Donald Firesmith #SciFi #Horror

A Slaves Revenge

Hell Holes Book 4

by Donald Firesmith

Genre: SciFi, Paranormal Horror

An epic story of love, loss, friendship, and survival under the most hellish of conditions, Hell Holes: A Slave’s Revenge is the award-winning prequel to the Hell Holes series of alien invasion novels.

After killing his father, alien demons teleport a fifteen-year-old boy, his mother, and his sister to Hell, a desert world in the Demonic Empire. With survival far from certain, they have just two choices: to live as useful slaves or die as demon food. As the boy becomes a man, he must decide just how much he must collaborate with his demon masters to survive. But can he live long enough to take his revenge and regain his freedom without losing his humanity and his very soul?

Winter 2022 Pinnacle Achievement Awards – Winner – Science Fiction Category
2021 Top Shelf Magazine Book Awards – Runner-up – Fiction/Fantasy Subcategory
July 2022 BooksShelf.com Book Awards – Finalist – Fiction Category
2021 The Wishing Shelf Book Awards – Finalist – Adult Category
ReadFree.ly – 50 Best Indie Books of 2021

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EXCERPT

Prologue

My name is Paul Chapman. When I was just fifteen years old, a band of demonic aliens murdered my father and captured my mother, sister, and me. These vicious creatures — the source of humanity’s myths of devils, imps, and hellhounds — took us through a hidden portal to Hell, the nearest planet to Earth in their vast empire. I spent the next twenty-three years there as their slave.

I was rescued during the Armageddon War and became the only captive human to ever escape from Hell. Over the following months, members of the US military and various specialists spent countless hours interviewing and debriefing me to learn everything I knew about Hell and the demons. They provided a therapist to help me recover from my horrendous experiences and adjust to my new life back on Earth. She recommended I document my life as a slave. This book is my story: the autobiography of my life as a slave on Hell.

1 – The Hunt

My parents, Robert and Mary Chapman, met while first-year students at the University of Alaska, Fairbanks. He studied wildlife biology while she studied anthropology, concentrating her studies on the history and culture of the native Inuit. Although they had grown up in the Lower 48, they fell in love with Alaska and decided to remain after graduating.

Dad had hoped to obtain a job as a wildlife biologist, but such jobs were rare and paid little. Mom had an even harder time finding suitable work. So, when my maternal grandfather died two years later, my parents decided to use her modest inheritance to buy a dry cabin and live a subsistence lifestyle. They would hunt caribou and moose, trap small game for furs and food, and fish for salmon during spawning season.

Mom and Dad eventually bought a cabin on the north shore of the Kobuk River. Only seven miles upstream of the tiny town of Kobuk, the house was close enough to make buying provisions easy. The town’s simple landing strip also made visiting relatives practical and would enable evacuation in case of a medical emergency.

Miles from their nearest neighbors, the cabin was also isolated enough to offer all the seclusion a family could ever want. Nestled between the nearby river and the Brooks Range a few miles to the north, my parents had found the home of their dreams.

My twin sister, Sarah, and I were born a few years later, and we grew up in some of the most beautiful land imaginable. The chores were many, the work was hard, but the rewards of freedom and the wilder-ness’s majesty made the hardships well worthwhile. I loved the life and couldn’t imagine ever leaving it.

This story begins when Sarah and I were fifteen. It was early August, and the Chinook salmon were running up the river to spawn. After breakfast, Mom and Sarah were going fishing. Dad and I had built a fish wheel, an ingenious tool that automatically catches the salmon. An underwater fence forces some of the fish towards the wheel that the river’s current turns. Baskets attached to the wheel’s rim scoop up the fish and dump them into a box. Mom and Sarah were going to carry the salmon back to the cabin, clean them, and hang them up over a fire in our smokehouse. Their work would ensure we would have plenty of smoked salmon to eat during the long Alaskan winter.

While they were fishing, Dad and I would hunt moose and check our traps for small game. We took our rifles and headed upriver away from town. We left our dog, Sergeant, behind so her barking would warn Mom and Sarah of any bear that might be attracted by the smell of our fish.

We started by checking our traps, but they were empty. Not a single one had been tripped. And we didn’t spot any small game even though we didn’t talk, and we walked carefully to avoid making any unnecessary noise.

When it was nearing lunchtime, we turned around and headed back to our cabin. This time, instead of following the river trail, we hiked up towards the nearby mountains forming the southern edge of the Brooks Range. As before, the area seemed completely devoid of animal life, which was pretty unusual. We’d typically see something, even if it was too far away or on the far side of the river.

About halfway home, we spotted the remains of a bull moose that had been recently killed. Because the bears were busy with the salmon, we initially thought it had been brought down by wolves. But it wasn’t. Enormous chunks of flesh had been removed in single bites, and the bites’ edges were too clean to have been made by wolves or bears.

It was strange that we couldn’t identify the tracks in the soft ground around the carcass. There were many large and small hoof prints, but they were shorter and rounder than moose and elk tracks.

Stranger still were the giant paw prints from the carnivore that had brought down the moose. Easily twice the length of wolf prints, they had only three toes, and the separate claw marks were much longer than wolf or even bear claws. Dad, the biologist, was stumped. The prints didn’t seem to belong to any Alaskan wild animal or to any animal for that matter. The only tracks he could think of that were even somewhat similar were those of ostriches, emus, and cassowaries. But the claw marks were too short for ostrich and emu tracks, and the cassowary only has one claw that long, not three.

“Dad, how about a really big dog?” I asked. “Maybe a Newfoundland had lost a toe.”

Dad shook his head. “Can’t be. See how the toes are arranged symmetrically? And besides, why would a dog have the same toe removed on each paw?”

“What about a dinosaur?” I suggested jokingly.

Dad actually considered it for a second before answering, “You know, it does look a little like a theropod footprint. It might have been a reasonable hypothesis if it weren’t for the little fact they’re all extinct except for the birds. No, this has to be a hoax. Someone’s trying to start a rumor about a strange beast roaming the Alaskan wilderness. Probably wants to draw tourists hoping to catch sight of the mythological creature.”

“But Dad, what about the bite marks?”

“My guess is that they used a curved knife to make them. Still, whoever did it did a good job. They had me going for a bit. Come on, let’s head home and tell the girls about our mysterious find.”

So, we hiked back to the cabin and had lunch with Mom and Sarah. They told us about the baskets of fish they had caught and cleaned. We told them about the moose kill we’d stumbled on, the strange tracks, and the huge bite marks. Mom agreed with Dad that it would probably turn out to be a hoax, but Sarah wasn’t sure what to think.

After lunch, Dad and I headed out again to see if we’d have any better luck hunting. We didn’t. The animals, both big and small, were still missing, and we were once more forced to come back empty-handed. I did, however, carry my camera with me and took some pictures of our find. For a laugh, I figured I would upload them onto Facebook the next time I was back in town where I could get internet service.

2 – Demons in the Dark

Sergeant, our three-year-old German Shepherd, woke me from a pleasant dream by barking her head off and scratching at the cabin door. I glanced at my alarm clock. It was just after three in the morning, and much too early for her to need to be let out to do her business. She was also far too excited for that to be the problem.

“What is it, girl?” Dad called. “Are the raccoons back again?”

Sergeant ignored him and continued barking.

I thought I heard a deep growl coming from outside my window. “I think it’s a bear, Dad.” I groggily dragged myself out of bed, stepped into my slippers, and headed downstairs.

Dad was already there, taking his hunting rifle down from its home over the fireplace. He checked it to ensure it was loaded while I pulled Sergeant back from the door.

Grizzlies occasionally break into empty cabins looking for an easy meal. Still, I’d never known one to bust into one that was occupied, and a dog could usually be counted on to keep them at bay. Besides, it was late summer when their food was plentiful.

“What is it, Robert?” Mom asked. She was halfway down the stairs with Sarah just behind her.

“Probably just a bear,” Dad answered.

We had a thick solid door with a strong lock, so I wasn’t too concerned. I just hoped that it wouldn’t break a window because I’d be the one Dad would send into town to buy the glass to replace it.

Boom! The door rattled as something massive struck it. Sergeant growled, jerked her collar out of my hands, and bounded to the door. She pawed at it, barking like mad.

I was just about to run forward and grab her when there was a deafening bang. Ripped right off its heavy hinges, the door flew across the room, knocking Sergeant sideways and narrowly missing me before crashing into the dinner table.

Dad raised his rifle and fired just as a huge, wolf-like creature charged into the room. The bullet struck it squarely in the middle of the chest, dropping the monster to the floor.

We all gawked at the nightmarish beast lying at Dad’s feet. We’d never seen or even imagined such an animal. Easily four times the size of a timber wolf, the beast had neither fur nor anything you could call skin. Its massive brick-red muscles and yellowish bones and tendons were clearly visible as were the finger-long fangs and large, triangular teeth in its gaping mouth. Its yellow eyes with horizontal pupils stared blankly up at us while it bled blood the color of crude oil.

“What the hell is that?” Dad exclaimed as a second such beast burst into the house and bounded over the body of the one he had shot. Before he could react, it sank its teeth into Dad’s neck and shook him like an orca shaking a seal.

Several things happened almost simultaneously. Mom and Sarah screamed. The gun flew out of Dad’s hands and slid past me into the kitchen. Sergeant whined and bolted out the door as I sprinted to retrieve Dad’s rifle.

Grabbing his gun, I started to turn back to face the monsters when someone yanked the rifle right out of my hands. No, not someone. Some thing!

A grotesque, little, ape-like monster no more than three-feet-tall stood in front of me holding Dad’s rifle in one hand and a sword to my neck with the other. The imp had short little horns and stared at me with yellow, goat-like eyes. Like the hellhound, it was totally naked and seemed to have no skin covering his heavily muscled body.

Perhaps those huge muscles were what made me feel certain he was male despite his lack of any obvious indicator of his sex. The imp grinned, flashed an impossibly wide mouth full of shark-like teeth, and shook his head. His intent was unmistakable.

Wresting my gaze away from the imp’s hideous face, I looked up to see a second, sword-carrying imp motioning for Mom and Sarah to come down from the stairs. They, however, were transfixed by the sight of the hellhound feasting on Dad’s body. The one he’d shot had staggered to its feet, the wound in its chest miraculously healing before our eyes. The hellhounds snarled and growled at each other as they bit off softball-sized chunks of flesh and swallowed them whole.

I was having a nightmare! The worst nightmare of my life. I was asleep. I had to be.

The imp in front of me poked my stomach with the tip of his sword. It hurt! What? It shouldn’t hurt. You don’t feel pain in dreams. I glanced down and saw a little circle of blood staining my pajamas.

I wasn’t dreaming! Two wolf-like monsters were eating my dad, and two diminutive demons with swords had taken over the house. I couldn’t imagine how things could get any worse, but they did.

The devil, who was completely naked like the imps, walked in through the open doorway. There he stood with his long swept-back horns, his cloven hooves, and his red naked body. The only things missing were a pitchfork and tail. Tall and far more muscular than any Olympic athlete, he looked around the room with yellow, goat-like eyes, just like those of the imps and hellhounds.

The devil pointed at my mother and sister and barked out a series of incomprehensible sounds. They had to be words in the demonic language of Hell. Several of the syllables were so weird and spoken so rapidly that they were difficult to grasp and impossible for any human to repeat.

The imp standing at the base of the stairs motioned with his sword for Mom and Sarah to come down. Then the devil said something else, and the imp in front of me motioned for me to join them. Mom and Sarah were crying, their shoulders shaking uncontrollably as they watched the hellhounds feasting on Dad’s body. We hugged, and I did my best to make them turn their backs on the horrific scene. But there was no way we could ignore the horrible sounds the hellhounds made as we waited to learn our fate.

To Hell and Back

Hell Holes Book 3

The beautiful young photojournalist, Aileen O’Shannon, is not who she seems. For centuries, she has been a demon hunter, a sorceress who has tracked and killed small bands of demons that occasionally crossed into our world. But that changed when she joined Dr. Jack Oswald’s expedition to study one of hundreds of huge holes that mysteriously appeared overnight in the frozen tundra north of the Arctic Circle. Instead of small sporadic incursions, hordes of demons now pour from these hell holes like water from a sieve. With bombing little more than a losing game of whack-a-mole, Earth’s armies are unable to destroy the portals. When Jack suggests a desperate plan, he is drafted to join Aileen and a team of other sorcerers and Army Rangers to travel to the demon homeworld. Once there, they will unleash a plague virus and set off a nuclear bomb to destroy the portal complex. It’s a suicide mission. But Aileen has given Jack’s wife her word to bring him back safely, and the demons have already killed three men under her protection. Just how far will Aileen go to avoid losing another?

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Demons on the Dalton

Hell Holes Book 2

When hundreds of huge holes mysteriously appeared overnight in the frozen tundra north of the Arctic Circle, geologist Jack Oswald picked Angele Menendez, his climatologist wife, to determine if the record temperatures due to climate change was the cause. But the holes were not natural. They were unnatural portals for an invading army of demons. Together with Aileen O’Shannon, a 1,700-year-old sorceress demon-hunter, the three survivors of the research team sent to study the holes had only one chance: to flee down the dangerous Dalton Highway towards the relative safety of Fairbanks. However, the advancing horde of devils, imps, hellhounds, and gargoyles will stop at nothing to prevent their prey from escaping. It is a 350-mile race with simple rules. Win and live; lose and die…

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What Lurks Below

Hell Holes Book 1

It’s August in Alaska, and geology professor Jack Oswald prepares for the new school year. But when hundreds of huge holes mysteriously appear overnight in the frozen tundra north of the Arctic Circle, Jack receives an unexpected phone call. An oil company exec hires Jack to investigate, and he picks his climatologist wife and two of their graduate students as his team. Uncharacteristically, Jack also lets Aileen O’Shannon, a bewitchingly beautiful young photojournalist, talk him into coming along as their photographer. When they arrive in the remote oil town of Deadhorse, the exec and a biologist to protect them from wild animals join the team. Their task: to assess the risk of more holes opening under the Trans-Alaska Pipeline and the wells and pipelines that feed it. But they discover a far worse danger lurks below. When it emerges, it threatens to shatter Jack’s unshakable faith in science. And destroy us all…

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Donald Firesmith is a multi-award-winning author of speculative fiction including science fiction (alien invasion), fantasy (magical wands), horror, and modern urban paranormal novels and anthologies of short stories.

Prior to retiring to devote himself full-time to his novels, Donald Firesmith earned an international reputation as a distinguished engineer, authoring seven system/software engineering books based on his 40+ years spent developing large, complex software intensive systems.

He lives in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania with his wife Becky, his daughter Sera, and varying numbers of dogs and cats.

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BOOK BLAST: Last Chance by Darren E. Watling #sciencefiction #humor #postapocalytic @GoddessFish @darrenwatling2

This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. Darren E. Watling will be awarding a $15 Amazon or B/N GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour. Click on the tour banner to see the other stops on the tour.

The earth’s epilogue was a forgone conclusion.

Our World selects seven of the best human beings that man, woman, and other could put their faith in, to ensure human existence, each displaying traits of a master in his/hers/its field.

However, not all traits are in the best interest of humankind.

Out of this World places seven hospital patients on a Plan B shuttle. Life was difficult on Earth. A new planet presents new problems. The ex-Fruit and Nut Friendly Psychiatric Hospital patients are up for the challenge.

Into the Other World—The Twist. Not only a mid-1900s dance, it is also associated with a lemon, a warped shape, a frame of mind, a warped frame of mind, a face you pull from sucking lemons and an end of story, unexpected finish, not to be given away, glancing at the back cover.

Read an Excerpt

“The court versus Jarred Pork,” the bailiff announced.

“Another serious offence. Jaywalking again. Unbelievable. What have you got to say for yourself, hmm? Well? Speak up, speak up,” the judge said, his thick and fearsome eyebrows alternating up and down.

“If the court pleases, Your Honour . . .” Sid, the defence lawyer, started.

“I’m not too pleased so far but ‘carry on, Sid’.”

“I’m the accused’s attorney. I will speak for Jarred as the accused is mute.”

The judge gave a heavy sigh and adjusted his black gown. “Very well, continue.”

“Jarred went out looking for his husband, as he hadn’t returned with an asthma puffer for their great-grandson., Wheelchair-bound, Jarred left the child with a trusting neighbour. As Jarred left their tiny unit, the red-bearded, dreadlocked kiddies friend, Molly Lester sang a kiddie song, and everyone assumed the child was safe, sport. (It is said Molly was heard on the phone: Hey, Dad! Bring Bill over. I’ve got another one. Presumably, another child to nurture, teach and explain what fine examples of human beings they are).

“I’ve heard enough from that man’s/woman’s/its mouth. Guilty! Throw away the key, like a rapper!” “Next, and this better be good, Johnny,” Clint said, as Sid swapped out and Johnny became the new defence lawyer.

“You sure are a weird lawyer Johnny, but I like you.”

“The court versus Harlett Sexton Action. The Honourable Judge Clint Eros presiding,” the bailiff stated.

“Oh, you poor thing. What have they got you in here for?” the judge showing compassion to the DD’s.

Harlette continued chewing gum as she spoke, “Well, Clinty, I’m pretty sure it’s a case of mistaken identity. I was on my way to make another porn movie, and the next thing I remember was a police officer saying I hit something or something.”

“You have a very strong defence Miss Action,” the unbiased judge claimed. “Let the prosecution begin.”

From chapter ‘Clint’ part three – Into the Other World

About the Author:

Born Darren Edward Watling, Subiaco, Western Australia, 1966. Darren excelled in English, maintaining ‘A’s, throughout his schooling and wrote a play, ‘Laughing Gas’, for his school at the age of 10. Credited with one small, published article, Darren found inspiration and reward, arriving at his latest piece, ‘Last Chance’.

He completed an apprenticeship, as a fitter, at Princess Margaret Hospital, while continuing his passion for short story writing.

Traveling Australia for three years on a private bus gave Darren a beginning to the experiences and continued, humorous outlook he has on life.

Darren approached his mother Jill Stubbs Mills and asked for her blessing to take her short story, ‘Deception’, and rewrite it into a novel. (The feedback from her publisher about her story was exceptional). Jill agreed to her son’s request. Sadly, Jill now suffers with dementia, but, keeps her sense of humour.

Various forms of employment, including a movie extra, a welder on a crocodile farm, a drummer for a touring band and currently a roof plumber, gave Darren considerable ‘fuel’, for a fired up, comedic novel.

Darren has had several passions over the past 56 years while walking this Earth. Drums, Karate, tennis and continuing today- comedic writing.

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BOOK TOUR: A Kinder City by Peter Taylor-Gooby #SciFi #Dystopian @RRBookTours1

Welcome to the book tour for A Kinder City by Peter Taylor-Gooby. Read on for details and grab yourself a copy today! A Kinder City Publication Date: April 28, 2023 Genre: Eco Sci-Fi/ Sci-fi/ Dystopian What place for love in a city ruled by greed? Sarah, spirited and caring, is on her first trip outside her village. The city is dominated by the grim law of the market – the only relations permitted are between buyer and seller. Her gift of a wagonload of food to those who need it is a crime. David, a serious-minded police cadet who naively trusts in the law, arrests her and finds himself falling in love. Franklin, the richest man in Market World, puts a price on everything. His giant factories spew forth road beasts – the huge machines that devastate the lands beyond the City in pursuit of yet more wealth. How can David prove his love to Sarah? And how can they save her village and build a kinder city? A gripping and thought-provoking eco-sci-fi novel, set in a world a little bit like ours. Add to Goodreads

Excerpt

In an overheated semi-basement, seven storeys beneath the Council Chamber, David awaits Sarah’s Audit Hearing. The windows are horizontal slits high up the walls and the overhead strip-lights are still on, although it’s before 11.00 am and bright sunshine outside. The room is barely wide enough to hold the dais with the wooden table for the Assessor, her Recorder and the clerk, with the chair for the witness to the right and the dock for the defaulter to the left. He feels stifled and wonders if he suffers from asthma. He has found a seat at the back of the courtroom on an upright chair that grates when he moves. He shouldn’t be here. He crept in with the public through the main door, and was squeezed against a young man with inky fingers, a notebook, and furtive eyes. As soon as he sees the uniform the young man introduces himself as a TV reporter, but doesn’t give a channel. He slips his cuff back to show his wristband. ‘We pay for your stories. Do you think Franklin has the answer to lawlessness in the Old Town?’ David touches the insignia on his sleeve: ‘No comment.’ A group of young women and men in blue uniforms without badges fill the benches at the front of the room. David guesses they are cadets from the Academy. Not so long ago I was one of you, he thinks. A cadet whose hair seems unruly despite the regulation cut looks back at him and says something to the young woman next to him. She glances round and giggles. The Assessor enters at the door behind the bench, a spare black woman in a navy blue trouser suit with the badge of office – the Golden Balance – on her breast pocket. Her clerk follows her. Everyone rises with a scraping of chairs and David is forced back against the main door. The Assessor surveys the room through metal-rimmed spectacles, sighs, and sits down. ‘What have you got for us today?’ The clerk bows his head. He’s short, plump-faced and his hair needs combing. He reminds David of a pocket spaniel. ‘Long list, Madam. First case, Major Breach of the One Law. Conveying a cargo without contract. Intent to supply said cargo without payment.’ ‘Bring the defaulter to scrutiny.’ David is forced to stand as the main door opens and the Court-Serjeant enters, a square-shouldered older man in a gold-braided uniform who scowls at the Bench, the Assessor and the audience. He leads Sarah into the courtroom. She glances round the room, as if noting the details for when she tells her friends the story. The Serjeant grasps her arm and the clerk slaps his hand on the desk: ‘Proceed.’ She nods to him, picks the officer’s fingers from her arm with her other hand and strolls forward. ‘Take her to the dock.’ ‘Please. I’ll find my own way.’ The clerk snorts. ‘Silence.’ She takes her position to the left of the bench, the Serjeant behind her, and looks round. David feels she is searching him out. The journalist licks his biro and scribbles at his pad. The Assessor leans towards her. ‘You are Ms S.Cordell, known as Sarah. You are called to scrutiny for a serious Audit transgression. I have reviewed the evidence and am minded to order full compensation with costs. Have you anything to say?’ Sarah frowns, and for an instant David feels dizzy, as if everything is back to front. She is the judge and he stands accused in the dock. Then her face lights up. ‘Not really. I was taking some fruit and other produce from Coneystone in the wagon with Juno. We wanted to share it with our cousins and friends in the Old Town. First time I’ve done the trip, we had a great crop this year. These people,’ she waves a hand towards David, ‘him and his mates, jumped out on me, all dressed up like comedy policemen. Pity it was muddy, they kept falling over. He’ll do it now if you’re lucky.’ Someone sniggers and the Assessor fixes her gaze on the cadets. Sarah keeps talking. ‘It’s not funny. They scared Juno.’ ‘That’s of no importance. The question is: have you a valid contract?’ The Assessor pauses a moment, then raises her voice. ‘You have no contract, it’s idle to deny it. Answer a simple question: who pays you for the apples?’ ‘But it’s a good act, you really should see it. Then they frightened Juno and upset the applecart.’ Her face darkens. ‘So to speak. Then they took me here and kept me in and I’m worried about Juno. The apples will spoil. So will the blackberries.’ She turns to the court: ‘You haven’t seen where they’ve put Juno have you? Lovely beast, heavy horse, red ribbons in her mane. You wouldn’t miss her.’ The Assessor thrusts her face towards Sarah. ‘You will address the question. The longer you waste the court’s time, the more it will cost you.’ Sarah smooths her forehead with her hand. ‘Oh no, I’m sorry, didn’t I say? The apples and everything, they’re all presents. Brilliant harvest this year. You can have some.’ She looks round at all of them, smiling at her good fortune. The Assessor straightens her back. She glances at the clerk, who nods. ‘Thank you. Transfer of commodity at zero price: major breach.’ ‘I’m sorry? Would you like some apples? Don’t you want witnesses? Look, one of them’s over there.’ David colours and hunches down in his chair, but he can’t stop himself gazing at her. He feels as if everyone in the court is craning round to look at him. The clerk slaps the desk again. ‘Silence!’ Sarah raises an eyebrow but says nothing. The Assessor sighs. ‘Breach of the One Law. Full confession. Witnesses are unnecessary.’ David feels the tension flow out of his shoulders. Sarah shakes her head, her face comical. Her eyelid flutters. David can’t tell if she just winked at him. ‘I’m sorry?’ ‘The One Law directs that all transactions must be between willing buyer and willing seller at an agreed price. Law of the Market. You do not give people things that you could sell to them. There are no exceptions.’ ‘But….’ Sarah stops, her mouth open. ‘Be quiet. You have incurred substantial expenses.’ She gestures to the clerk, who reads out staccato from a thin strip of paper: ‘Deployment twelve Enforcers, 1 captain, 1 sergeant, 1 half-sergeant for 4 hours: 300 credits; Item: deduction for value of training exercise: minus 110 credits. Uniform cleaning: 10 credits. Accommodation, item: basic cell by one night: 200 credits; item: stabling and incidentals: 4 credits Security during accommodation: 50 credits Incidentals: toothpaste, soap, towel etc: 5 credits. Courtroom, third grade, by one hour, staffing and incidentals: 100 credits. Compensation: inconvenience of arrest to the detainee, standard rate 2 credits an hour by 18 hours: minus 36 credits. Item: proceeds, sale of 1 horse: minus 17 credits. Item: proceeds sale of cart and contents: minus 32 credits.’ David keeps his eyes on Sarah. She raises her eyebrows again and shrugs her shoulders. ‘Total 474 credits.’ ‘Thank you. Ms Cordell, your breach cost Market World 669 credits minus 110 credits value of training provided, 36 credits citizen compensation and 49 credits sale of confiscated items. Your civic recompense is set at 474 credits. Next case.’ Sarah stares at her. ‘You must be joking! What is a credit anyway?’ The Assessor blinks. ‘Next case.’ ‘But what about Juno?’ The clerk remarks to no-one ‘Additional court time may be purchased at 1.4 credits a minute.’ The Court-Serjeant seizes Sarah by the arm and hustles her towards the door. David rises and pulls his chair out of the way. She catches his eye as she passes and looks back at him and grimaces. It strikes him to the heart. He grips the door and stops it from shutting. The next case, a market trader accused of short weight, in a shabby suit with the jacket too tight under his shoulders, is brought in. A buzz of conversation rises from the cadets. The young man who stared back at David tilts his head towards the young woman next to him and whispers something that is terribly important to them both. He takes the young woman’s hand, ignoring the others. The Assessor glowers at them ‘Silence! Or I shall clear the court.’ The journalist flips to the next page, sucks at his pen and writes. David slips round the door and pulls it shut behind him. He leans against it for a full half-minute, his eyes closed. He knows that the staircase in front of him leads up to the main hall where fines are paid. He turns left and strides down the corridor towards the barracks block. Voices sound from the guard room and he dodges left again into a narrower corridor with raw concrete walls lit by unshaded light-bulbs, then up an iron spiral stair. He listens for foot-steps, then creeps across a metal landing as softly as if he were on a close surveillance exercise and it was Adam assessing him. He listens again, and passes through a side-door into the Process Room. He blinks in the daylight that streams in from tall windows overlooking City Square. His heart feels tight in his chest. He has never in his life done anything like this. He doesn’t know why he is doing it now. He is a fool. The duty Enforcer sits at the metal desk with the band-reader on it and the empty metal chair opposite, examining her finger nails. She slips something into her mouth. David clenches his fist, relaxes it and lets the door slam shut. The sound echoes across the room. She jerks upright and glances towards him, and pulls her jacket straight. He knows her, they did their basic training together. Six weeks of square-bashing with Curtis shouting at you. ‘Hi Jan. Your lucky day. I’m to take over.’ He didn’t plan that. Where did it come from? Jan frowns. ‘Who says? I’m here ‘til 18.00 hours.’ She chews at something. ‘Curtis. Extra duty – for yesterday.’ ‘I heard. Curtis doesn’t like you, does he?’ ‘Yeah, well. It’s a long story, I think he was a bit scared of the horse. Guess he likes you.’ ‘Sure he does.’ She studies his face. ‘Are you alright?’ ‘Yeah, well. I’ll be OK.’ ‘That bad, is it? You’ve got friends you know.’ ‘Sure… Thanks.’ She touches his hand. ‘All yours. I’m off.’ The side-door clicks to. David expels the air from his lungs and breathes in slowly to calm the throbbing in his head. He touches the band-reader in front of him. He’s used it a thousand times. You key in the amount, touch your wristband against the screen and it deducts or adds on the credits. No citizen in Market World is ever without a wristband. It’s fastened to your wrist at the citizenship ceremony when you pass eighteen and goes with you to the grave. You get lessons on it in “Lifeskills” at school. It only works if the buyer assents to the deal and that is infallible. Willing seller, willing buyer. As the signs in the street say: ‘You’re not dressed without it’, ‘No pay, no get’ and ‘You are your account’. He swallows and pushes the hair back off his forehead. The door is thrown open and the Serjeant enters, still gripping Sarah by the arm. He marches her up to the desk and releases her. He reminds David of an elderly bullfrog. ‘All yours. Watch her. She tried to chat up my deputy in the Guard Room.’ ‘I did not. I just said he had nice eyes for a comedian.’ She stares at David. ‘Nice to meet you again.’ She holds out her hand. David reaches out, then lays his hand palm-down on the desk. ‘The defaulter will maintain discipline,’ barks the Serjeant. ‘Sit.’ Sarah looks round her, pulls out the chair, sits and crosses her legs. David squares his shoulders. ‘Alright. I’ll take over from here.’ ‘The court placed Ms Cordell in my charge.’ The Serjeant keeps his hand on Sarah’s shoulder. ‘Until her debt is discharged. Which is now.’ He looks the Serjeant in the eye. After a pause the officer drops his hand and pulls on a leather glove. ‘Very well.’ The door slams behind him. David licks his lips and looks at Sarah and tries to smile. He has the script by heart, he learned it last night. ‘You understand that you must pay civic recompense as decided by the court. 474 credits. Touch your wristband to the reader.’ ‘Where’s Juno? I don’t care about the cart, but she’s not used to being away from me.’ ‘Your possessions will be auctioned to defray expenses. Just touch your wristband here. See that number? That’s your account: “Debit 474”. But you must have a wristband. It’s always issued at the citizenship ceremony when you leave school. You could buy that cartload ten times over with that many credits. Twenty times.’ He taps the reader. She grins at him. ‘We don’t bother with those things in the villages, waste of time.’ She starts to get up. ‘Let’s go and find Juno. I need to get on my way.’ ‘She’s OK, I sorted it. She’s being looked after.’ ‘Are you sure? What do you know about horses?’ ‘She’s OK.’ ‘Tell me about Juno.’ She rests her chin on her fingertips and fixes her eyes on him. He places his hands together on the table. ‘She’s a black Percheron. 18 hands.’ She nods and her cheeks dimple. ‘She’s being fed OK?’ ‘All the hay she wants – and crushed oats. And apples, but not too many. I tell you, she’s OK. Trust me. Now touch your wristband to the reader.’ She’s puzzled. Her brow furrows in tiny creases. ‘What wristband? I told you we don’t go in for them. My sister’ll plait you one out of wool. She’s only nine.’ ‘You really don’t understand do you? You are in Market World. You pay for everything, you have to. You’ve taken up the time of the court and the resources of the Enforcers. No-one is going to lock you up for free.’ She giggles and the tiny dints dimple her cheeks. She places her hand over her mouth. ‘Sorry, but you just said…’ ‘I know. Everything is for sale here, you get nothing without paying for it. The One Law – law of the market. It’s what give s us a well-ordered society, why we’re so much better off than you are in the villages.’ ‘Sort of “All for One and One for All?” Free for All?’ ‘Sort of – but it works. Don’t you see it?’ He craves for her to understand, to see how his world is better, to want to be part of it. That’s why he’s here. For her. He will be her guide, her mentor, her friend and she will trust him. She shakes her head. ‘You really shouldn’t take these things so seriously. It doesn’t make you happy, does it?’ There’s a sharpness in her glance, as if it’s in her mind to say something else, but she continues: ‘Anyway, I don’t have a wristband.’ He shows her the numbers on the screen set into the black band on his left wrist. ‘There. See – all my credits: eight thousand seven hundred and fifty two, until I get paid. It’s all connected up to central computing – they keep the records. It’s how we do things.’ He feels a flush of pleasure at teaching her. She’s so confident and, at the same time, so wrong, so much in need of help and he can give it. His left leg trembles against the desk. He wills it to be calm. She folds her arms. ‘Yeah, I heard stories about that. But I told you, we don’t bother with that kind of stuff – it’s no fun.’ ‘Listen. In the past was the Great Hunger. Didn’t they tell you about it in school? Everything was terrible, people fought for food, children starved and warlords ruled the land. So many died they could no longer bury the dead.’ She shivers. ‘Sounds nasty.’ He finds it hard to concentrate. ‘Look out of that window.’ He points over City Square. ‘Can’t you see? Everyone going about their business. The shops, full of food and clothes and everything you need. The residence blocks where everybody lives.’ The words come more easily as he remembers the lesson. She mutters something to herself. ‘What’s that?’ ‘Don’t look as if they’re having much fun.’ ‘Clinics where you can buy medicine, schools and training colleges where you can pay for a degree, markets where citizens buy and sell at a fair price. Above them, the towers of the Entrepreneurs. And everywhere the Enforcers watching over us all, trusted by everyone, making sure we follow the rules.’ She peers out through the window. ‘They’re not happy. No-one’s smiling, nobody stops for a chat. Why aren’t there children playing? Or animals? And their clothes are so drab. Don’t you like to see trees?’ She spreads out her arms. ‘They’re so lovely this time of year.’ ‘Everyone’s busy, they’re going about their business. That’s what you do in Market World. Children are in school or training or working. No time to waste. We keep the beasts in their sheds and the trees in the park. What’s the profit in bright clothes?’ He watches her as if, at that moment, she matters more than anything to him. The thought comes to him: I am an Enforcer. She will understand, without the Enforcers there is no market, no Market World. I am worthy of respect. She needs to see Market World as it is, but he can’t let her go out there. She’ll be as lost as he would be in the forest. How desolate it would be, to be alone on those streets with no wristband and the night coming on. ‘When did you last eat?’ He has her full attention. ‘I don’t know.’ She pauses and tiny creases appear between her eyebrows. Her face clears. ‘I had some dried fish on the way. They wouldn’t give me breakfast back there, they kept saying didn’t I know “No pay, no get”. They didn’t like it when I asked if that was the chorus and could I sing along? I keep telling you, you people have no sense of humour.’ David stands and at the same time flips his left hand forward onto the reader without looking down, hears the click as it makes contact and checks the screen. “Account cleared”. She doesn’t notice. He’s in command for once like he’s in a novel. ‘Come on. We’ll find a café. You need someone to show you what Market World’s really like. And I’ll tell you my dream – why I’m an Enforcer.’ Her eyes light up and she rubs her hands together. ‘And I’ll tell you about how we live in the villages. And we’ll find Juno, won’t we?’ ‘Of course.’ She trusts him. He knows that she trusts him. He leads the way, through the lobby and the double doors, and down the flight of steps from the Halls of Justice into City Square. Happiness bubbles within him. She laughs, mouth open, the dimples in her cheeks each side of it. He remembers he’s on extra duty. He’ll deal with that later.

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About the Author

My novels deal with issues that matter – love, money, power and environmental disaster. I’ve worked on adventure playgrounds, in a social security office and as a teacher. I love walking, cycling, writing and talking to my children. In my day job I’m an academic but I believe that you can only truly understand the issues that matter to people through your feelings, your imagination and your compassion. That’s why I write novels. My first novel, “The Baby Auction” 2017, is a love story set in a fantasy world where the only rule is the law of the market. That someone should help another because they care for them simply doesn’t make sense to the citizens of Market World, any more that auctioning babies might to us. My second, “Ardent Justice” 2018, is a crime story set in the world of high finance and city fat-cats, where money rules, but greed can trip even the most successful. My third, “Blood Ties” 2020, is about the ties of love in a troubled family, and the bonds of debt that chain illegal immigrants to people-traffickers, and how they can be broken through self-sacrifice. My fourth, “A Kinder City” 2022, returns to Market World where the relentless pursuit of profit leads to environmental devastation. I hope you enjoy them. Peter Taylor-Gooby
Book Tour Organized By: R&R Book Tours

The Seers: The Awakening by James Hai #SciFi #Fantasy #EpicFantasy @RABTBookTours

The Awakening, Book One

Sci-fi Fantasy – Epic

Date Published: December 20, 2022

 

 

Shedding light unto the darkness overpowering the globe and all its
elements, the Seers face a losing battle against the Corrupts, who crave
nothing but wealth, world-domination and a bleak universe of despair under
their control. Kyle Wynn, who dives deep into the distorted life of a new
Seer, learns as much as he can from the last remaining Elders as well as
fellow-Seers, even if it means leaving behind everything he once believed
in. While embarking on a crucial mission to keep the Corrupts at bay, the
Seers try to strengthen their numbers before they come face-to-face with the
Corrupts. Fearing the massive inevitable coming battle may be their very
last, this immortal war threatens not only the pillars of Earth but
existence in its entirety. It’s a race against time across the globe
as the Seers search of the last ancient remnants left behind by the Original
Seers, that is key to humanity’s survival, as they fend-off the
Corrupts lest they fall into the wrong hangs.

About the Author

James Hai is a new author who has written a number of fictional suspense
and scifi thrillers. With hopes of bringing them to life as he debut.

James has dabbled in the arts of various kind as a youngling; from drawing,
painting, writing lyrics and songs during grade school years to singing
horribly and loudly to the tunes of many oldies – like Whitney
Houston, Elvis, Madonna, Roxette, Bette Midler, Cindy Lauper, Tina Turner
and even earlier songs like Patsy Cline and Ben E. King, only because the
songs had meaning in the words. And thus began James’ passion with
words . . . writing.

Before he could even write his first piece of lyrics or stories, he had
made up short stories and orally told them to family and friends through out
the years. It was in telling these stories that he saw how alluring and
intrigued people got when they listened to or heard a GOOD story. The better
the story was the more intent they focused and the longer they gave
attention to it.

Through the years working in the corporate world in recruiting, sales and
business in general, he had learned how important story telling was. Key to
his success in all those fields was his ability to tell a good story (of the
company, of the people, of the product, and of the services he worked for)
that allured and intrigued the customers enough to give it an ear to learn
more.

That gift has always been a part of him, from his earlier years as his
family fled as refugees with the eventual opportunity to live an American
Dream. He continues to hone this skill, from his secondary school years
living away from home and being raised by the SVDs (Society of Divine Word),
a religious and dedicated organization of men & women who trained people
to be religious and spiritual in their own unique way, until his graduation
earning a Bachelors Degree in Philosophy and finally moving back to secular
life.

After orally telling short random stories for so long, family and friends
suggested he share those stories to a broader group, the general public. He
now concentrate on sharing newly created stories with the inspiration of
giving inspiration, shedding light in times of darkness, and giving hope
when it seems hopeless. As he would state: Life can be Good, if you know how
to appreciate it!

Contact Link

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Purchase Link

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BOOK BLITZ: Observer by Robert Lanza & Nancy Kress #Giveaway #ScienceFiction @RABTBookTours

Science Fiction

Date Published: 01-10-2023

Publisher: Story Plant

 


 

 

If we can alter the structure of reality, should we?

Caro Soames-Watkins, a talented neurosurgeon whose career has been upended
by controversy, is jobless, broke, and the sole supporter of her sister, a
single mother with a severely disabled child.

When she receives a strange job offer from Nobel Prize-winning scientist
Sam Watkins, a great uncle she barely knows, desperation forces her to take
it in spite of serious suspicions.

Watkins has built a mysterious medical facility in the Caribbean to conduct
research into the nature of consciousness, reality, and life after death.
Helped in his mission by his old friend, eminent physicist George Weigert,
and young tech entrepreneur Julian Dey, Sam has gone far beyond curing the
body to develop a technology that could solve the riddle of mortality.

Two obstacles stand in their way: someone on the inside is leaking intel
and Watkins’ failing body must last long enough for the technology to be
ready.

As danger mounts, Caro finds more than she bargained for, including murder,
love, and a deeper understanding into the nature of reality.

A mind-expanding journey to the very edges of science, Observer will thrill
you, inspire you, and lead you to think about life and the power of the
imagination in startling new ways.

 

Editorial Reviews

“Nancy Kress is one of the greatest living science fiction writers,
and her particular talent for telling stories about people on the cutting
edge of science tipping into something new and marvelous is perfectly suited
to the ideas that have come to Robert Lanza in the course of his
groundbreaking scientific research.  Together they’ve written a
startling, fascinating novel.”

―Kim Stanley Robinson, New York Times bestselling author

“Robert Lanza has taken the gigantic step of incorporating his ideas
into a science fiction novel with Nancy Kress. This brilliant book will take
you deep into quantum physics, where these often-complex concepts are
illuminated through a riveting and moving story.”

―Rhonda Byrne, #1 New York Times bestselling author, The Secret

“Real science and limitless imagination combine in a thrilling story
you won’t soon forget.”

―Robin Cook, #1 New York Times bestselling author

“Nancy Kress is a master storyteller, and her trademark empathy is on
every page. Even as we venture into the heady territory of quantum physics
and the nature of reality that Robert Lanza is known for, we never lose
track of Caro, the brilliant surgeon who’ll do anything to save the people
she loves. Observer is the best of science and fiction—an intellectual
adventure with real heart.”

―Daryl Gregory, award-winning author of Spoonbenders

“Observer is an impressive story! … Lanza and Kress give us
characters with science and spirit”

―David Brin, New York Times bestselling author, The Postman

 

About the Authors

Robert Lanza, M.D.

 

Named one of TIME magazine’s “100 Most Influential People,”
Robert Lanza is a renowned scientist and author whose groundbreaking
research spans many fields, from biology to theoretical physics. He has
worked with some of the greatest minds of our time, including Jonas Salk and
B.F. Skinner. A U.S. News and World Report cover story called him “the
living embodiment of the character played by Matt Damon in Good Will
Hunting” and described him as a “genius,” a “renegade
thinker,” and likened him to Einstein. He is the father of Biocentrism,
the basis of Observer, his first novel. He has been pondering the larger
existential questions since he was a young boy, when for play he took
excursions deep into the forests of eastern Massachusetts observing nature
(like Emerson and Thoreau, who grew up just a few miles from him).
This fascination with the nature of life infused his entire career, leading
him to the very frontiers of biology and science.

Nancy Kress

Hailed by bestselling author Kim Stanley Robinson as “one of the
greatest science fiction writers working today,” Nancy Kress has won
six Nebula and two Hugo Awards for her fiction. She often writes about
developments in science, particularly genetic engineering, as in her
bestselling novel, Beggars in Spain. Her work has been translated into over
a dozen languages, including Klingon. She teaches writing and was
“Fiction” columnist for Writer’s Digest magazine for sixteen
years. Nancy lives in Seattle with her husband, author Jack
Skillingstead.

 

Contact Links

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Facebook

Instagram

 

Purchase Links

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iBooks

 

 

 

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BOOK TOUR: Locksmith’s War by Paul Briggs #YoungAdult #ScienceFiction #YAscifi @paulproofreader @GoddessFish

Locksmith’s War

The Locksmith Trilogy Book Three

by Paul Briggs

~~~~~~~~~~~~~

GENRE: YA Sci-fi (Young Adult, Science Fiction_

~~~~~~~~~~~~~

BLURB:

For Lachlan Smith, learning the secret of the apocalypse was the easy part.

Ever since Locksmith found the portal to the future, he has been wondering who or what was responsible for the empty, uninhabited world he found.

Now he knows—and now he has to fight them.

He thought he had fifteen years in which to prevent the extinction of the human species.

Now, he has only hours.

When the portal is stolen by a cabal of dangerous fanatics, his mother and many of his friends are trapped on the other side. Now the enemy is after him, and the only way to thwart their genocidal plan is to retake the portal and hold it—at both ends.

With very little time left, a handful of allies who don’t trust each other, almost no chance of success and the survival of humanity itself at stake… Locksmith is going to war.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Excerpt One:

Rikki’s first plan of escape

Rikki’s first plan of escape was simple — wait for somebody to open the door, then pounce on them, beat them up and start running. She couldn’t act on this plan until the drug wore off.

She was still feeling jittery from the drug when the lights went out, leaving her in something very close to pitch darkness. The tags on her ears glowed in the dark. The lights stayed off for a fair stretch of time — it might have been an hour. Before long, even with the drug out of her system her pupils had dilated to the point where the light that leaked in under the doorway looked like a line of yellow-white fire, dimly illuminating the room.

Then she heard the footsteps out the in the hall. Someone was headed this way. Rikki pointed herself at the doorway and got herself into a sprinter’s crouch like she’d seen Lock do.

The footsteps stopped in front of the door to her cell. She could see the shadows of somebody’s feet. Just one person. Good. Heavier than average, from the sound of the footsteps, but still better than trying to tackle two or more people at once. Her leg muscles were ready to launch her at the enemy. She got her fists into position. A few good blows to the solar plexus and kidneys…

and try again tomorrow?” This isn’t a track meet, this is a heist. You can’t just reschedule it.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~

AUTHOR Bio and Links:

In addition to writing books, Paul Briggs has worked as a newspaper editor, court reporter’s assistant, and audio transcriber. In his spare time (when he has any) he sometimes performs in community theater, most recently taking on the roles of Bottom, Petruchio, Macbeth, Rosalind, and Richard III in a Shakespeare compilation. An Eastern Shore native who grew up in Chestertown, Maryland, Paul earned a BA in English from Washington College and a master’s degree in journalism from the University of Maryland – College Park.

He is the author of several short plays, including the award-winning The Worst Super Power Ever and The Picture of Health.  He is also writing the sequel to his 2018 science fiction novel Altered Seasons: Monsoonrise, which vividly imagines the dislocations that follow when the Arctic Sea ice finally melts and the Chesapeake Bay is drowned by the effects of climate change.

https://www.paulbriggs.com/thelocksmithtrilogy

https://www.facebook.com/paulbriggsauthor/

https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/655906.Paul_Briggs/blog

https://lockswriter.deviantart.com/

Amazon Buy Link: https://smile.amazon.com/Locksmiths-War-Locksmith-Trilogy-Three-ebook/dp/B09ZK98V96/ref=sr_1_1

~~~~~~~~~~~~~

GIVEAWAY INFORMATION

One randomly chosen winner via rafflecopter will win a $50 Amazon/BN.com gift card.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

NEW RELEASE: Space Marine by Marteeka Karland #KindleUnlimited #erotica #SciFi @marteekakarland

Not only does Andromeda go where no man has gone before, she resides there. Boredom is null and void in her line of work — the entertainment of space marines who seem more than a little hungry for a warm and willing female form. Yet, something has been… missing. That something might have just strolled through the doors of her station…

Warning: This is a Razor’s Edge Sci-Fi Erotica Story. Expect limited plot and character development, and lots of paranormal heat. If you’re looking for a lengthy plot driven erotic romance, this is not it!

Available in Kindle Unlimited

EXCERPT

All rights reserved.
Copyright ©2022 Marteeka Karland


If there was one thing Andromeda loved, it was a big cyborg space marine. They always had those delicious muscles that made her mouth water. Every one she’d ever met had never refused the optional “equipment” that went with the cybernetics. It always made for one delicious ride indeed.

The station orbiting Earth had more traffic than any other station in the sector. Which meant more space-weary customers starving for a woman than she knew what to do with. But Andromeda wanted a space marine. Besides being starved for a female body, they paid well. They always demanded much, but the perks far outweighed the demands.

“I want to fuck.”

The deep, gruff voice brought her out of her musings. Not that she minded. Looming over her was the biggest, meanest looking space marine she’d ever seen, complete with outer armor and a big gun at each hip.

“Lucky for you, I’m on duty, big guy.”

“Not you,” he grunted. “Not now.”

She rolled her eyes to cover her irritation, crossing her legs and propping her chin on her hand. “Sorry, big guy. We’re busy tonight. It’s me or nothing.”

He looked frustrated, but a few seconds later, he swiped his hand in front of the reader. The scanner deducted the appropriate amount for an hour of her time. Andromeda smiled. She could definitely spend more than an hour exploring, but some was better than none.

“Weapons in the locker.” She pointed to a large storage locker where he could store his suit and other weapons. The man was already working to get himself out of the bulky body armor, eyeing her up and down as he went. As she’d hoped, the enhancement between his legs was a huge bulge contained in the tight under armor he wore underneath his outer suit. “Well, all but that one.” She nodded to his crotch. “We’ll definitely need that.”

Instead of responding, he merely grunted, not bothering to try to hide what looked like a massive erection. Andromeda led him to her assigned room, palming open the door and allowing him to enter first. Space marines liked to check their surroundings before getting comfortable. It was a quirk everyone knew and respected. The marines were all that stood between the civilized worlds and the Soth in the outer worlds. Their survival depended on being careful.

She stayed outside the room until he’d completed his inspection. Then he turned his full attention on her. Excitement coursed through her at his perusal. He looked at her with a mixture of lust and trepidation. It was kind of cute, if irritating.

“I’m not made of glass. I promise I won’t break.”

“You might,” he responded, “but I’ll do my best to be gentle.”

Andromeda chuckled. The door slid shut behind her as she crossed the room to him. She swayed her hips in what she knew was her most enticing gait. “What if I don’t want you to be gentle? I’ve been looking for a space marine to push my limits. Are you the man I’ve been waiting for?” As she spoke, Andromeda let her filmy robe slide off her shoulders.

Again, lust flared in his eyes, but he clenched and unclenched his fists in agitation. “You are tempting fate, woman. You’re too fragile to deal with what I need you to take today.”

“Why not try me? You have an hour. I’ll wager your payment I can take anything you want to enjoy with me.”

“You’re assuming I’m interested in your enjoyment. I’m not a nice man. I’m paying for my pleasure. Not yours.” He sounded almost angry, but Andromeda merely smiled, not in the least bit intimidated.

“If that were true, I seriously doubt you’d be worried about hurting me. Marines may be the most feared warriors inside the sector, but they also adhere to a strict code. I’m betting you take that code very seriously.”

He bared his teeth at her, stripping off his under armor. “Then I’ll take your wager. But, if you survive, I’ll be wanting the rest of the night.”

“Not a problem, big guy. Just give me a good fucking and I may even throw the rest of the night in for free.”

BOOK TOURS: Lo by Bradford Tatum #SciFi #Noir #Thriller @KeriBarnum @NewShelvesBooks @RRBookTours1 #RRBookTours #LO

Welcome to the tour for genre-blurring novel, LO by Bradford Tatum. Read on for more details!

LO

Publication Date: June 7, 2022

Genre: Sci-Fi/ Noir Thriller

Publisher: Soft Moon Press

Willoughby, known back on Earth as “the East Hamptons of the Kuiper Belt,” is the first sustainable colony on Mars.

Built by the mysterious geneticist Carlo Yakamura this settlement encourages the rich to live as they please. They can enjoy decadent homes, physically modifiable partners, meals based on their best memories and even boutique children known on Willoughby as Builds.

Designed to impress even at the dullest cocktail parties, the Builds’ proprietary motive genes have been sourced from the DNA of some of the greatest artistic disruptors of the last several centuries. But even among a host of uniquely gifted Builds, Lo is unique. And uniquely unbalanced. So what would be the grisliest of murders back on Earth, is just an inconvenience on Willoughby. That is why Lo is sent to be “seasoned” by a man we come to know only as Cook.

Can Cook’s fatherly hand guide Lo to a deeper understanding of his potential and purpose or is Lo’s innate power destined to destroy all of Willoughby? Is Lo the key to Cook’s creative redemption or is he the cause of Cook’s worst nightmares? And once Cook learns the true purpose of Yakamura’s Willoughby will Lo or Cook find the colony worth saving at all?

LO is a sci-fi noir thriller, painted in more deeper shades of blue than black. It is also a story of fathers and sons, lost to one another through terrible compromises and found again through the limits of love. It is a parable of our possible future, a future that is doomed if we rely only on the digital representation of our present while forgetting the lessons and lore of our analogue past.

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Purchase LO Here!

About the Author

Bradford Tatum’s award winning debut novel I Can Only Give You Everything was published in 2010. His second novel, Only the Dead Know Burbank was published by HarperCollins in 2016 and received a starred review from Publisher’s Weekly. His book Gray Matters has been used as a text book in various college business communication courses.

Bradford began his career as an actor appearing in numerous television shows and movies such as 20th Century Fox’s submarine comedy DOWN PERISCOPE, Disney’s POWDER and HBO’s WESTWORLD.

He was a staff writer for Dick Wolf on the NBC series DEADLINE and has written and directed two award winning independent features. He has won an Alfred P. Sloan grant for his written work as well as sold pitches to various production companies.

Bradford Tatum | Facebook | Instagram

Book Tour Schedule

August 15th

R&R Book Tours (Kick-Off) http://rrbooktours.com

@thebookcoverlover (Review) https://www.instagram.com/thebookcoverlover/

@alexis.reads__ (Spotlight) https://www.instagram.com/alexis.reads__/?igshid=YmMyMTA2M2Y%3D

FUONLYKNEW Blog (Spotlight) http://fuonlyknew.com/

August 16th

Jessica Belmont (Review) https://jessicabelmont.com/

@gryffindorbookishnerd (Review) https://www.instagram.com/gryffindorbookishnerd/

B is for Book Review (Spotlight) https://bforbookreview.wordpress.com

I Smell Sheep (Spotlight) http://www.ismellsheep.com/

August 17th

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Nesie’s Place (Spotlight) https://nesiesplace.wordpress.com

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Book Tour Organized By:

R&R Book Tours

BOOK TOUR: Promise of the Visitor by David Gittlin #ScienceFiction #Fantasy #Giveaway @DavidGitlin @RRBookTours1

Welcome to the tour for Promise of the Visitor, one of three novellas in the Silver Sphere Series by David Gittlin. Read on for more info and a chance to win a $50 Amazon e-gift card!

Promise of the Visitor

(The three volumes in the Silver Sphere Series can be read independently and in any order)

Publication Date: April 14th, 2022

Genre: Science Fiction/ Sci-fi Fantasy

Length: 142 Pages

The police have arrived to investigate a strange report. What happens next?

An unconscious body lies on the kitchen floor. Two Daytona Police deputies are ringing the bell on the front door of the beach house mystery writer Jacob Cassel rents. It’s going to be an interesting morning for Jacob, his super-smart girlfriend, Amy, and Arcon, an AI from the other side of the Milky Way. If they can survive the morning without being thrown in jail, they are expecting a visitor from the planet Aneleya to arrive later in the evening bearing a cornucopia of gifts for the human race. Instead of gifts, the visitor arrives with dire news about a doomsday device threatening the destruction of planet Earth and the entire solar system.

Welcome aboard for this suspenseful interstellar adventure of The Silver Sphere Series!

Excerpt

NO ONE BESIDES ME and Amy knows that inside the golden sphere lives an artificial intelligence originating from the other side of the Milky Way. Said sphere rests on top of a beige granite counter beside a nickel-plated sink in Jeffrey’s ultra-modern kitchen. Except the kitchen belongs to a guy named Jack. I keep thinking “Jeffrey” because that’s the alter ego Jack uses as a front for his real name, Jack Markham. I thought Jeffrey Mortenson was my friend. Instead, he turns out to be an international criminal named Jack.

When I first met the artificial intelligence on a lonely stretch of Daytona Beach one night, it identified itself to me as “Arcon” because its actual name is unpronounceable in English or any other terrestrial tongue. At the time, Arcon was packed by his makers into something resembling a basketball-sized silver sphere. The packaging has changed on multiple occasions with the ridiculous demands of the circumstances we have somehow managed to live through. To be completely transparent, Arcon doesn’t actually have a name. He has an unpronounceable Aneleyan name only because the Aneleyan scientists who created Arcon needed to call him something besides, “it” or “the thing.” Arcon definitely doesn’t like to be referred to as a “thing.”

Arcon has preferences, but as far as I know, he doesn’t have feelings. He may, however, be developing them because his consciousness is evolving. I want to explore feelings and other matters in depth with Arcon when there isn’t a crisis at hand. Currently, we have one looming. I think of Arcon as a “he.” Actually, Arcon is neither male nor female. When we first met, Arcon presented himself to me as a “he” because he didn’t want any sexual tension to complicate our relationship. We only had three days to save the Earth, so there was no time to dither around with anything remotely romantic. Therefore, I’ve become accustomed to calling Arcon a “he,” although he really isn’t.

Speaking of sexual tension, my partner and current flame, Amy Goodwin, just walked back into the room. A white robe covers her lithe body. She’s put her long red hair up in a ponytail. She wears a light mask of makeup and a pair of flat heels. In her simple attire and after our long night of digging Arcon out of a sand dune, Amy still manages to look like a knockout. The ponytail, freckles, and white robe lend her an air of child-like innocence, despite her nearly six-foot-tall frame. I know that Amy can change from an innocent child into a desirable twenty-six-year-old woman in a heartbeat. She never ceases to surprise me. For example, if she wasn’t a brainy aerospace engineer and part-time astronomer, Amy might have had a successful career as a criminal. In the short time we’ve been together, Amy has proven she can think on her feet. She can talk her way out of the stickiest of circumstances. We’ve been through many of them. We’re in one now.

Amy had to take a break to put herself back together after what happened only fifteen minutes ago. Presently, there are two sheriff’s deputies knocking on our front door. Their unexpected arrival so soon after the incident is unnerving, to put it mildly. The man lying unconscious on the marble kitchen floor owns the beach house we’ve been staying in. Whether the house is owned in the name of Jack, Jeffrey, or some shell corporation doesn’t matter. What matters is Jack will surely claim that we broke into his house, or we had an argument, and I attacked him. He’ll say he came back from a business trip, found us in the house, and a struggle ensued. He’ll claim he used the double-barreled Derringer a few feet from his bloodied head for self-defense.

If he goes with the self-defense story, Jack will have to come up with a plausible explanation as to how he wound up conked out on the floor. He had a gun, after all, and we didn’t. In actuality, Jack cracked his head on the marble flooring when he crumbled after Arcon zapped him with an electromagnetic energy bolt. At the time, Jack was in a murderous rage. He wanted to kill Amy, again, after succeeding to do so once before. Jack is as devious a criminal as any. I’m sure he’ll come up with a doozy of a story to cover his tracks. And, since he owns the house, I fear the deputies will believe Jack’s fictional version of the story, assuming he wakes up to tell it.

“Daytona Beach Sheriff’s Deputies,” I hear through the front door. “Coming,” I announce.

Available on Amazon

About the Author

Only one thing stood between me and my dream of becoming a creative writer: I couldn’t do two things at once.

Upon retiring from my career in marketing communications, I decided to devote my full attention to writing fiction, thereby solving my multi-tasking challenge.

I began my creative writing journey by enrolling in the online Writers’ Program offered by UCLA. In a series of courses taught by professional writers, I learned how to craft memorable characters, create colorful worlds, and outline suspenseful plots enriched with drama and conflict. Taking one baby step at a time, I managed to bridge the gulf between writing promotional copy in short bursts to rendering full scale novels. As an interim step, I wrote three screenplays.

My three feature length scripts; “Love Will Find You,” “Joshua’s Decision, and “A Prescription for Happiness” have reached the finals or placed in several major screenplay competitions. My first novel, a Science Fantasy, “Three Days to Darkness,” was nominated to the James Kirkwood Prize for creative writing. My publishing company, Entelligent Entertainment, has also published “Scarlet Ambrosia” and my latest novel: “Micromium–Clean Energy from Mars.”

David Gittlin | Instagram | Facebook

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Book Tour Organized By:

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BOOK BLITZ: Cardinals by Ian Conner #vampires #horror @RRBookTours1 #RRBookTours #BookDeal #DealAlert #KindleDeal 

Vampire Fiends!

You can grab yourself a copy of Cardinals by Ian Conner for ONLY $0.99 from now until July 4th! Conner promises “a completely new twist on Stoker’s tale.” Available now where e-books are sold!

Cardinals

Publication Date: May 2nd, 2022

Genre: Horror/ Vampires/ Sci-Fi Horror/ Fantasy

Publisher: Black Raptor Books

Nine Hundred years before Christ, God has cast his wife, Asherah, out of heaven and condemned her to roam the earth as the first vampire. Over the centuries, she created other vampires. There are also those that she left for dead but survived her attack without being completely turned into vampires. These survivors are called Cardinals. Scottish Countess Kellena Donnachaidh and Lady Suzette Allard, our protagonists, are among these cardinals. They are searching out Asherah for a final conflict.

Asherah has discovered a way back to heaven so she can exact her vengeance. Using the Amulet of Cassiel she can call the Flaming chariot of Israel to return to heaven and exact her revenge on God.

Now, 3000 years later, the Vatican and other groups are working to destroy Asherah and the vampires., fearing their own destruction if she ascends, simply want to stop Asherah using the Amulet of Cassiel to re-enter heaven. The race and intrigue to recover the Amulet is full of intrigue, betrayal.

A completely new twist on Stoker’s tale.

Available HERE and on AMAZON!

About the Author

Ian Conner is retired and spent most of his adult life as a Marine and Army Infantry Sergeant. Now living near San Diego California with his wife Bonnie, a cellist, and their two dogs, Cookie and Isabella. Conner spends his days fostering kittens, gardening, crafting beautiful stained glass and creating worlds on the page.

Conner has authored several other novels:

Cooper’s Ridge  –  Science Fiction

The Long Game – Political Thriller

The Price of Partisanship – Political Thriller

Solaris  – Political Thriller

Griffins Perch – Epic Fantasy

Ghost Witch  –  Horror

After a lifetime of destruction the thought of creating something tangible and lasting holds great appeal.  He finds writing a cathartic way to redefine himself both in his eyes and the eyes of others.

Conner can be reached at Ian@BlackRaptorBooks.com