Monthly Archives: November 2014

S.O.L.A.D

Lets start the week with a bit of demonic rebellion shall we. Check out this exclusive blurb and extract from  author Tyrone Tony Reed Jr and his book S.O.L.A.D:
Exclusive blurb: 
 
What would you do if you were the only person who could save a world overrun by demons?
 

Would you run and hide?

Or would you stand and fight as a Soldier of Light Against Darkness?

Exclusive extract: from Chapter 8 “No Mercy: Part One”

Jeff was having a hard time keeping his eyes off of the three 23-year-old women working inside the supply warehouse in the Village of St. Louis. He and Melanie had been sent by Wiseman J to pick up food and other supplies from the closest village to the Village of Memphis.

Even though he was on an important mission, Jeff couldn’t resist the temptation to flirt.

“So, beautiful ladies, which one of you would like to go out with a famous demon slayer tonight?” Jeff asked as he ran his hands through his hair, smiled and waited for their replies.

Melanie pushed a sack of apples into Jeff’s chest. “Take it easy, lustaholic. They’re not thinking of you when you say ‘demon slayer.’”

The three women giggled and continued helping other villagers seeking goods for their villages.

Jeff carried the sack of apples to the doorway of the warehouse and looked back at Melanie. “Then who are they thinking of?”

“If you’re talking about a male demon slayer, then it’s Angelo. Who else?” Melanie smiled as she picked out grapes and strawberries and placed them into a sack. “If you’re talking about a handsome, charming man with super powers who slays demons, it’s definitely Angelo.”

Jeff frowned. “He’s not the only demon slayer.”

“That’s right,” Melanie said. “There’s Angeline. She’s a true role model for all women.”

Melanie handed Jeff a sack of oranges and went to pick out some potatoes.

Jeff sat the sack next to the sack of apples and let out a loud sigh. “This is unbelievable.”

“I know,” Melanie said as she filled up a sack with potatoes. “It’s getting harder and harder for every village to supply enough food for its villagers. Thank God the Village of St. Louis is still thriving and able to harvest enough food to feed 20 villages.”

Jeff walked over to Melanie and grabbed the sack of potatoes from her. “I’m not talking about the supplies. I’m talking about Angelo and Angeline.”

“What about them?”

Jeff threw the sack of potatoes near the doorway.

“Hey,” Melanie said. “Be careful.”

Jeff sat down in a chair next to the doorway and folded his arms. “I’m just sick of hearing about them. I’ve been fighting demons for the last six years, saving countless lives. Then Angelo and Angeline show up and everyone forgets about what I’ve done.”

Melanie walked over to Jeff and put her hand on his shoulder. “Look, nobody has forgotten what you have done. So don’t get jealous. Angelo and Angeline are just here to help fight, especially against super-powered demons like the ones we fought against nearly a month ago.”

Jeff’s voice softened. “How are you doing with that stuff that demon did to you?”

“I’m getting a little better every day,” Melanie said. “I appreciate you, Juanita, Kevin and Uncle J being there for me. So, let me be here for you now. You are a great hero, Jeff and no one will ever forget what you’ve done and are still doing. I think everyone is just excited because Uncle J’s prophecy is being fulfilled.”

“People used to be excited about me,” Jeff said as he leaned back in the chair.

“They still are. Just give Angelo and Angeline a chance. Work with them and I’m sure…”

Alarms around the village sounded and Jeff and Melanie heard and felt explosions coming from outside. 

Screaming people, with numerous injuries and blood-stained clothes, ran into the warehouse.

Jeff and Melanie ran outside and saw hundreds of bodies scattered across the village.

A man limped toward the warehouse as other people ran towards the village gates. He fell towards Jeff, who caught him and carried him inside.

“What happened?” Jeff asked. He was worried and had never seen anything do what had just been done to the Village of St. Louis and its villagers in a matter of seconds.

 “I don’t know,” said the man, whose legs were covered in blood. “There was something in the sky…looked like a flying man…and then something came from his hand. It was small at first…a small ball of orange light. It grew and grew until it was as big as a car. As he moved around in the air, the ball of light moved with him and then he made a small motion, like he was pushing it and the ball of light flew down towards us.”

Melanie found a towel and poured bottled water on it. She wiped the man’s leg as Jeff continued to talk with the man, trying to keep him conscious.

“Where were you when this happened?” Jeff asked as the man shook violently. Jeff grabbed the man and held him tight.

“He’s going into shock, Jeff.” Tears streamed down Melanie’s face as she looked around at the other villagers in the warehouse.

The warehouse employees were trying to help as many of the injured as they could, but many of the injured had died upon entering the warehouse. While half of the employees rendered aid, the other half stacked the dead in a corner and covered them up with tarps.

The eyes of the man Jeff talked to rolled into the back of the man’s head and Jeff knew, from his past failed rescue missions, that the man was about to die. But, he still needed to know what was outside slaughtering the villagers of St. Louis.

“Look, mister. I know you’re in a lot of pain and I know it may be hard for you to concentrate right now, but I need to know what happened when the light hit the area you were in.” Jeff shook the man until the man’s eyes stared at him.

“It hit the playground,” the man said as his eyes filled with tears. “I…was…watching my daughter and her friends swing on the swing set. When we saw the man in the sky, we thought it was Angelo…but, it wasn’t him. The light shot towards us…and…and…”

Jeff shook the man hard. “And what?”

“Stop it, Jeff,” Melanie said, afraid that Jeff would shake the man to his impending death.

“I must have blacked out,” the man said. Blood ran from his mouth and his eyes rolled back into his head again. “When I woke up, I was lying… on the ground… and my daughter’s… head, her precious little head… was lying next to me.” Tears ran down the man’s cheeks. “The rest of her body and the bodies of so many… many others…were in a big crater where the playground had been.”

The man’s pupils were no longer visible as his body went limp.

Jeff checked the man’s pulse. “He’s dead.”

Melanie stopped wiping the blood off the man’s legs and placed the towel over his face. She stood up and wiped her eyes with the sleeves of her shirt. “We need to contact Uncle J.”

Jeff pulled out the keys to Wiseman J’s SUV and started out the front door of the warehouse when Melanie grabbed his arm.

“Where do you think you’re going, Jeff?”

“I’m going to get my weapons and see if I can stop this thing.”

“Well, I can tell you from what I’ve seen and heard that you can’t.”

“Yes, I can.”

“No, we need Angelo and Angeline and Uncle J is the only one who can get in contact with them.”

“You might need them, but I can handle this myself,” Jeff said. “I just have to get to my weapons.”

Melanie looked out the door and then back at Jeff. “Well, if you can get through that, I think you might have a chance.” Melanie opened the door wide so Jeff could see outside.

It was raining, but it wasn’t water that was falling from the sky. It was blood and flesh. Body parts hit the ground with a “plop” and the blood filled up several craters throughout the village that the demon’s orbs of light had created.

Jeff closed the door and locked it. He hung his head down and handed a transmitter to Melanie. “Call your uncle. Tell him we need help.”

Where to get it: 
 
The US links are: http://amzn.to/1zE511L (Amazon.com)
 
The UK link is: http://amzn.to/1xVgQ4u (Amazon.co.uk)
 
To learn more about the author: http://ttreed2009.wix.com/tyronetonyreedjr

 

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Ronin (Part 2)

As promised here’s another extract from Jan Domagala and his book Ronin.

 

PROLOGUE

He stood on the Observation Lounge looking out at the vista of stars, waiting to die.

Out of the four volunteers for the special experimental programme, only he and Kurt Stryder were left alive. The other two, Summerfield and Watson, had died in circumstances too horrible to contemplate. Was this his fate too, to die like them?

He knew there were risks involved in the programme, a fact of any experimental programme but seeing those risks, seeing the consequences up close and personal made him doubt the validity of both the programme and his eagerness to enlist in it. It was too late to pull out now though, for the final round of tests had been completed. At least he had gotten that far, more than could be said for Summerfield or Watson.

Turning away from the large panoramic viewport he decided to return to his quarters. It was after midnight station time, which was synchronous with Earth Central Time. At this time of night only the night shift were working keeping this station, Research Station Five, operational. He walked towards his quarters, nothing more than a cubicle with a bed really, and he entered. He soon had disrobed placing his uniform in the wardrobe, the only other piece of furniture present in the Spartan quarters before climbing into the bed.

He was more tired than he had first thought and sleep came to him quickly. After a few hours sleep, he was suddenly awakened by a searing pain that ripped through his abdomen like a wildfire. He tumbled out of bed wrapped in the duvet that strangled his movements. He tried to stand but a wave of nausea engulfed him like a raging tide washing over the shore. He stumbled and steadied himself against the wardrobe to prevent falling on

the floor then activated the locking pad on the door. As it opened on a cushion of compressed air he threw himself out into the corridor beyond.

A series of hacking coughs wracked his body and when his sight returned he saw the wall he had leaned against for support was splattered with blood.

This was not good. This was how the other two started before they died.

He was afraid then and he screamed for help before another coughing fit took control.

He fell to the floor, his stomach heaving, the pain building to excruciating levels. As he lay on the floor he turned his head to see a pair of boots running toward him. He had never felt such pain and he was so weak he could hardly lift his head.

He felt someone cradle his head and he looked up into a pair of worried eyes.

He coughed once more spraying the shirt of whoever was holding him with blood before he succumbed to the darkness that had been creeping into his peripheral vision.

The man cradling his head accessed a comm channel via his Neural Interface.

When the call was connected he said, “Sir, Captain Bell

has just died.”

1

Kurt Stryder was taking a shower when his Neural Interface tingled, telling him a comm. channel had been accessed and a call was coming through to him.

“Go ahead,” he said. The NI automatically connected him to various networks, wherever he was on a starship, station or on a planet, whether it was comm. networks or the main computer on board. Effectively doing away with the need for external devices, the NI gave remote access to the same sources. Most Col Sec personnel were fitted with these NI’s and also, some private citizens who could afford the cost of surgery, and the device.

“Something’s happened to Bell,” General Sinclair said, his voice coming through as clear as if he stood next to him in the room.

“What, same as the others?” Stryder asked almost knowing the answer, which would make his own worst fear come true.

“I’m afraid so, just like Summerfield and Watson.”

“How long have I got?” Stryder asked, for he was part of the same project and now, the only remaining test subject left alive.

“There’s no guarantee that what happened to them will also happen to you. They assure me they’re doing everything in their power, to get to the bottom of this,” Sinclair said.

“Excuse me sir if I don’t feel reassured. What I don’t understand is, if we all had the procedure at the same time, why have the others died at different intervals?”

“That’s something they’re looking into, I can assure you. I want you to come to the main lab right away. There are some tests they want you to perform and I want you

under close surveillance at all times, until we get to the bottom of this.”

“Right, I’ll just finish my shower and be right there sir.”

“There’ll be an escort waiting at your door when you’re ready, Sinclair out.”

Stryder continued with his shower now that the tell tale tingle had left him, as the connection was severed.

All he could think of was, when would he die? He’d seen the reports of the first two deaths and they were horrible. He’d seen his fair share of death during combat and had caused enough of his own to warrant his participation in this project. This was supposed to help bring about the end of the needless death, or at the very least, help reduce it. He had thought that if the results of this project helped to save one life in the field, then whatever they had to endure would be worth it.

Now he wasn’t so sure. It didn’t seem right to sacrifice three lives, possibly more, to save only one life. The balance was off, and he had no idea how to redress it.

Finishing his shower, he dried off and quickly got dressed in his uniform of white shirt and dark blue trousers. The Col Sec emblem was on the patch pocket on his shirt, over his heart and the three pips of his rank of captain were on the epithets. He glanced in the mirror to ensure he was presentable, but what he saw disturbed him somewhat. His blond hair was cut to regulation length, not too short but trimmed neatly around ears that lay flat against the side of his head. High cheekbones gave evidence of his Nordic ancestry, as did his cobalt blue eyes. His normal, warm smile was missing now, replaced with a worried frown. Trying not to think about what could lie ahead, he went to the door.

As the door opened he saw his escort, two marines from Recon Delta. Delta was his old unit, the elite of Col Sec, which meant the General was taking this development

seriously. The marines promptly fell in behind him as he left his room.

Arriving at the main lab he was met by General Sinclair and Doctor Baxter, the two main men heading this project. General Sinclair was in overall command of Col Sec; both Recon Delta and Intelligence Division. Doctor Baxter was in charge of the lab.

“There you are Captain,” Sinclair said as Stryder entered the lab, flanked by his escort. Sinclair was in his fifties but still ram-rod stiff from his years in Col Sec. His brown hair was receding from a high forehead in a widow’s peak. Below that, his deep brown eyes were unfathomable, as was his normal, stoic expression. Thin lips rarely if ever, spread into a smile. It was said in some circles that, if Sinclair had ever indulged in playing poker, with his normal deadpan expression, he could have been wealthy beyond his dreams.

“Yes sir, I see you’ve beefed up the security somewhat,” Stryder replied with a sardonic smile.

“Yes I thought it about time.”

“Granted, but don’t you think it smacks of closing the stable door after the horse has bolted, just a little?”

“Your opinion is thus noted Captain, but Baxter here doesn’t share your sense of doom. Tell him Doctor.”

Stryder turned to the doctor not daring to hope. He said, “Tell me what, Doc?”

Baxter was smaller than the other men in the lab who were all professional soldiers standing between six feet one and six feet three inches tall, with lean hard physiques that had been honed through years of hard training. Baxter, however, was five feet ten inches tall, with a thin, reedy body that had rarely seen exercise. His mind though was as sharp as any blade known to man.

“Well Captain, you know as well as any on this project, that what we’ve witnessed, has been unprecedented and quite frankly, simply should not have happened…,” he

said, his slate grey eyes aglow with excitement. He ran his hand through his thinning, salt and pepper hair, and then pushed his spectacles up his aquiline nose, a habit of his when he was nervous, or excited.

“But it did happen, sir, three times now. The same every time. What I need to know is, when is it gonna be my turn and can you prevent it?” Stryder asked.

“But that’s just it, the same every time. All three died exactly the same.” said Baxter, thrusting his hands into the pockets of his white lab coat.

“I understand that Doctor, what’s your point?”

“You know the basis of what we’re doing here, right? We’ve injected you all with a serum that would alter you genetically; to enhance your immune system, to give you the ability to heal faster and to aggressively attack toxins.”

“Yes sir, I was briefed fully at the induction, we all were.”

“And you agree that no two people’s d.n.a. is exactly the same?”

“Yes sir.”

“So why would the treatment affect three people in exactly the same manner, at different intervals, when it has been proven, that there are no toxins present in the serum?”

“I don’t know Doctor; you tell me, you’re the expert. No wait, you suspect foul play. How is that possible? I thought the facility was locked down tighter than an air lock in deep space”

“It is, but considering we are in deep space, that comment is redundant. Having said that, it’s the only explanation that fits the facts,” Baxter said.

“So what’re we gonna do sir?” Stryder asked, glancing at the general.

“You are going to continue with the program, leave the security of this facility to me,” Sinclair replied confidently.

“Do you have a list of suspects sir? I’d like to know so I can keep an eye out, or am I to be the bait?” Stryder asked.

“We’re looking into it Captain,” Sinclair said, giving nothing away as usual.

Stryder watched as Baxter turned to the General and said, “Tell him.”

“Tell me what sir? What is it you’re keeping from me?” Stryder asked suspiciously.

Sinclair stared at Baxter for a second, his eyes boring into him with repressed anger. Baxter was a civilian scientist working for Col Sec, but not directly under Sinclair’s command, otherwise that little outburst would not have happened. He looked away from the doctor then turned to face Stryder. There was a battle going on inside his head, Stryder could see that. When he came to a decision he said, “Okay, we suspect that Captain Howard may have something to do with all this.”

“Howard? Isn’t he in charge of security here?”

“Yes and we have to handle this carefully. If he has ties to the Alliance, then we need to find out. We’ll have to keep him under close surveillance but without alerting him to the fact we’re on to him. If he is our man and he gets wind of our suspicions, there’s no telling what he might do.”

“One thought has occurred to me sir, why is he going to so much trouble, when this project clearly doesn’t work?” Stryder asked.

“Excuse me?” Baxter replied indignantly, staring at the taller man as if he had insulted him.

“Well sir, if this serum is supposed to increase our immune system, to make us more able to fight off toxins, how is he killing us off one by one? All the testing we’ve undergone so far has been to see if it affected us on a physical level. As far as I can see, our immune system has not been tested yet. Surely if a poison or toxin of some sort has been used shouldn’t the serum have neutralised it?” Stryder explained with no trace of malice.

Baxter’s expression softened a little. He said, “That again, is something of a mystery. You were right to point out about the testing. We had to ensure that the serum had no debilitating effects on your abilities to perform as a soldier. In fact, in your case Captain, it had quite the opposite effect; it actually increased your strength and stamina. I’m sure you’re aware that your endurance levels have increased by twenty five per cent.”

Stryder expressed mild surprise and a little bewilderment.

“To be honest Doc, I thought you were taking it easy on me, well on us, actually. I never realised it was just me, we never tested together. I just put it down to my training in Recon Delta being harder than what you put us through.” He paused then asked, “But why me?”

Baxter had no answer for him other than a shake of his head and a bemused expression. When he spoke his voice displayed his frustration.

“We’ve encountered so many variables that that were, to be honest, unexpected. Each test subject has had a different reaction to the serum, however small. You, it seems Captain, are the only one to exhibit any positive reaction to the serum. It seems the serum did not affect the immune system of the first three. In fact, once the autopsy results are in on Bell, I’m sure it will confirm my earlier findings, that their immune system, actually saw the serum as a threat, and destroyed it.”

“How is that possible sir, and what does it mean for me? Am I in danger from it?” Stryder asked a little concerned.

“On the contrary, it seems to have increased your metabolism, now all we need to do in order to get it to increase your immune system. We need to get it to attach itself onto your DNA to affect your immune system genetically; otherwise it could be perceived as a threat by

your body’s defences and be destroyed by the very thing it seeks to improve.”

“And how on earth do you intend to do that?”

“I’ve developed a nano serum, billions of tiny robots programmed to attach the serum to the specific strand of your d.n.a. We just inject it into your bloodstream and they get to work. We should see results within a very short time.” Baxter said smiling and almost rubbing his hands together in glee at the prospect of this new development.

“Billions of tiny robots Doc? I’m no scientist but how have you programmed so many, in such a short space of time,”

“We’ve been working on nano bots for many years. They’re used extensively throughout the medical profession as I’m sure you’re aware. Programming them was relatively easy; they work in series you see. If you programme one, it passes that data along to the rest almost instantaneously.”

“When are you planning on—” Stryder stopped short when he saw Baxter reach for a syringe.

“Right now Captain, roll up your sleeve please.”

Before he knew it the injection had been administered and he was pulling down his sleeve again.

“How soon Doc, before you know? What can I expect?” he asked, unsure of what would happen next.

“Not sure really, but the nano bots should get to work immediately. As to the question whether you’ll feel anything, I wouldn’t expect so. Remember this is taking place at the genetic level so the changes should go unnoticed until the immune system is threatened.”

“So what you’re saying basically, is that I won’t know if it’s worked until I get injured?” Stryder asked.

“Well, I suppose that’s somewhat true, yes,” Baxter replied seeming a little unsure.

“You don’t sound too confident Doctor.” Sinclair said.

“We’re not dealing with absolutes here, we’re into uncharted waters. This has never been attempted before and quite frankly, until we get some sort of results, until we can test this, I don’t know what to expect.”

“Forgive me Doc if I don’t feel reassured.” Stryder said.

“If it works though, just think of the potential. Think of the lives we’ll be able to save.” Baxter said, pushing his spectacles up his nose again.

“Going back to my earlier question about Howard sir, why is he going to so much trouble to kill us all off? Does he know something about this that we don’t, or is the Alliance so afraid that we may be on to something, that they’re desperate to stop us at any cost?”

“It’s no secret that they are desperate to prevent us gaining any sort of advantage over them and if they can’t duplicate our research, then the safest thing to do is either discredit it or destroy it,” Sinclair said.

“If he’s in charge of security won’t he be pissed off that you brought in Recon Delta to take over?”

“Oh, I do hope so,” Sinclair said with an uncharacteristically smug smirk.

“I get it, you want to rattle his cage and force him to make a mistake.”

“Of course,” Sinclair said.

“So, not only am I a guinea pig, but I’m bait now as well?” Stryder said.

Baxter looked from him over to Sinclair, then down to the floor, unable to maintain eye contact with him. The General though, had no trouble at all looking at him.

“Don’t feel guilty Doc, I’m first and always a soldier, this comes with the territory,” Stryder said never taking his eyes off Sinclair.

“You got that right Captain; this is what you signed up for,” Sinclair said coldly.

“Yeh! The life in Recon Delta, it’s not just a job, it’s an adventure.” said Stryder.

 

Download this book now from Amazon.


Ronin

Today I’ve got an extract from Jan Domagala and his book Ronin. Take a look and we’ll be showcasing more from this book tomorrow.

 

 

PROLOGUE

He stood on the Observation Lounge looking out at the vista of stars, waiting to die.

Out of the four volunteers for the special experimental programme, only he and Kurt Stryder were left alive. The other two, Summerfield and Watson, had died in circumstances too horrible to contemplate. Was this his fate too, to die like them?

He knew there were risks involved in the programme, a fact of any experimental programme but seeing those risks, seeing the consequences up close and personal made him doubt the validity of both the programme and his eagerness to enlist in it. It was too late to pull out now though, for the final round of tests had been completed. At least he had gotten that far, more than could be said for Summerfield or Watson.

Turning away from the large panoramic viewport he decided to return to his quarters. It was after midnight station time, which was synchronous with Earth Central Time. At this time of night only the night shift were working keeping this station, Research Station Five, operational. He walked towards his quarters, nothing more than a cubicle with a bed really, and he entered. He soon had disrobed placing his uniform in the wardrobe, the only other piece of furniture present in the Spartan quarters before climbing into the bed.

He was more tired than he had first thought and sleep came to him quickly. After a few hours sleep, he was suddenly awakened by a searing pain that ripped through his abdomen like a wildfire. He tumbled out of bed wrapped in the duvet that strangled his movements. He tried to stand but a wave of nausea engulfed him like a raging tide washing over the shore. He stumbled and steadied himself against the wardrobe to prevent falling on

the floor then activated the locking pad on the door. As it opened on a cushion of compressed air he threw himself out into the corridor beyond.

A series of hacking coughs wracked his body and when his sight returned he saw the wall he had leaned against for support was splattered with blood.

This was not good. This was how the other two started before they died.

He was afraid then and he screamed for help before another coughing fit took control.

He fell to the floor, his stomach heaving, the pain building to excruciating levels. As he lay on the floor he turned his head to see a pair of boots running toward him. He had never felt such pain and he was so weak he could hardly lift his head.

He felt someone cradle his head and he looked up into a pair of worried eyes.

He coughed once more spraying the shirt of whoever was holding him with blood before he succumbed to the darkness that had been creeping into his peripheral vision.

The man cradling his head accessed a comm channel via his Neural Interface.

When the call was connected he said, “Sir, Captain Bell

has just died.”

1

Kurt Stryder was taking a shower when his Neural Interface tingled, telling him a comm. channel had been accessed and a call was coming through to him.

“Go ahead,” he said. The NI automatically connected him to various networks, wherever he was on a starship, station or on a planet, whether it was comm. networks or the main computer on board. Effectively doing away with the need for external devices, the NI gave remote access to the same sources. Most Col Sec personnel were fitted with these NI’s and also, some private citizens who could afford the cost of surgery, and the device.

“Something’s happened to Bell,” General Sinclair said, his voice coming through as clear as if he stood next to him in the room.

“What, same as the others?” Stryder asked almost knowing the answer, which would make his own worst fear come true.

“I’m afraid so, just like Summerfield and Watson.”

“How long have I got?” Stryder asked, for he was part of the same project and now, the only remaining test subject left alive.

“There’s no guarantee that what happened to them will also happen to you. They assure me they’re doing everything in their power, to get to the bottom of this,” Sinclair said.

“Excuse me sir if I don’t feel reassured. What I don’t understand is, if we all had the procedure at the same time, why have the others died at different intervals?”

“That’s something they’re looking into, I can assure you. I want you to come to the main lab right away. There are some tests they want you to perform and I want you

under close surveillance at all times, until we get to the bottom of this.”

“Right, I’ll just finish my shower and be right there sir.”

“There’ll be an escort waiting at your door when you’re ready, Sinclair out.”

Stryder continued with his shower now that the tell tale tingle had left him, as the connection was severed.

All he could think of was, when would he die? He’d seen the reports of the first two deaths and they were horrible. He’d seen his fair share of death during combat and had caused enough of his own to warrant his participation in this project. This was supposed to help bring about the end of the needless death, or at the very least, help reduce it. He had thought that if the results of this project helped to save one life in the field, then whatever they had to endure would be worth it.

Now he wasn’t so sure. It didn’t seem right to sacrifice three lives, possibly more, to save only one life. The balance was off, and he had no idea how to redress it.

Finishing his shower, he dried off and quickly got dressed in his uniform of white shirt and dark blue trousers. The Col Sec emblem was on the patch pocket on his shirt, over his heart and the three pips of his rank of captain were on the epithets. He glanced in the mirror to ensure he was presentable, but what he saw disturbed him somewhat. His blond hair was cut to regulation length, not too short but trimmed neatly around ears that lay flat against the side of his head. High cheekbones gave evidence of his Nordic ancestry, as did his cobalt blue eyes. His normal, warm smile was missing now, replaced with a worried frown. Trying not to think about what could lie ahead, he went to the door.

As the door opened he saw his escort, two marines from Recon Delta. Delta was his old unit, the elite of Col Sec, which meant the General was taking this development

seriously. The marines promptly fell in behind him as he left his room.

Arriving at the main lab he was met by General Sinclair and Doctor Baxter, the two main men heading this project. General Sinclair was in overall command of Col Sec; both Recon Delta and Intelligence Division. Doctor Baxter was in charge of the lab.

“There you are Captain,” Sinclair said as Stryder entered the lab, flanked by his escort. Sinclair was in his fifties but still ram-rod stiff from his years in Col Sec. His brown hair was receding from a high forehead in a widow’s peak. Below that, his deep brown eyes were unfathomable, as was his normal, stoic expression. Thin lips rarely if ever, spread into a smile. It was said in some circles that, if Sinclair had ever indulged in playing poker, with his normal deadpan expression, he could have been wealthy beyond his dreams.

“Yes sir, I see you’ve beefed up the security somewhat,” Stryder replied with a sardonic smile.

“Yes I thought it about time.”

“Granted, but don’t you think it smacks of closing the stable door after the horse has bolted, just a little?”

“Your opinion is thus noted Captain, but Baxter here doesn’t share your sense of doom. Tell him Doctor.”

Stryder turned to the doctor not daring to hope. He said, “Tell me what, Doc?”

Baxter was smaller than the other men in the lab who were all professional soldiers standing between six feet one and six feet three inches tall, with lean hard physiques that had been honed through years of hard training. Baxter, however, was five feet ten inches tall, with a thin, reedy body that had rarely seen exercise. His mind though was as sharp as any blade known to man.

“Well Captain, you know as well as any on this project, that what we’ve witnessed, has been unprecedented and quite frankly, simply should not have happened…,” he

said, his slate grey eyes aglow with excitement. He ran his hand through his thinning, salt and pepper hair, and then pushed his spectacles up his aquiline nose, a habit of his when he was nervous, or excited.

“But it did happen, sir, three times now. The same every time. What I need to know is, when is it gonna be my turn and can you prevent it?” Stryder asked.

“But that’s just it, the same every time. All three died exactly the same.” said Baxter, thrusting his hands into the pockets of his white lab coat.

“I understand that Doctor, what’s your point?”

“You know the basis of what we’re doing here, right? We’ve injected you all with a serum that would alter you genetically; to enhance your immune system, to give you the ability to heal faster and to aggressively attack toxins.”

“Yes sir, I was briefed fully at the induction, we all were.”

“And you agree that no two people’s d.n.a. is exactly the same?”

“Yes sir.”

“So why would the treatment affect three people in exactly the same manner, at different intervals, when it has been proven, that there are no toxins present in the serum?”

“I don’t know Doctor; you tell me, you’re the expert. No wait, you suspect foul play. How is that possible? I thought the facility was locked down tighter than an air lock in deep space”

“It is, but considering we are in deep space, that comment is redundant. Having said that, it’s the only explanation that fits the facts,” Baxter said.

“So what’re we gonna do sir?” Stryder asked, glancing at the general.

“You are going to continue with the program, leave the security of this facility to me,” Sinclair replied confidently.

“Do you have a list of suspects sir? I’d like to know so I can keep an eye out, or am I to be the bait?” Stryder asked.

“We’re looking into it Captain,” Sinclair said, giving nothing away as usual.

Stryder watched as Baxter turned to the General and said, “Tell him.”

“Tell me what sir? What is it you’re keeping from me?” Stryder asked suspiciously.

Sinclair stared at Baxter for a second, his eyes boring into him with repressed anger. Baxter was a civilian scientist working for Col Sec, but not directly under Sinclair’s command, otherwise that little outburst would not have happened. He looked away from the doctor then turned to face Stryder. There was a battle going on inside his head, Stryder could see that. When he came to a decision he said, “Okay, we suspect that Captain Howard may have something to do with all this.”

“Howard? Isn’t he in charge of security here?”

“Yes and we have to handle this carefully. If he has ties to the Alliance, then we need to find out. We’ll have to keep him under close surveillance but without alerting him to the fact we’re on to him. If he is our man and he gets wind of our suspicions, there’s no telling what he might do.”

“One thought has occurred to me sir, why is he going to so much trouble, when this project clearly doesn’t work?” Stryder asked.

“Excuse me?” Baxter replied indignantly, staring at the taller man as if he had insulted him.

“Well sir, if this serum is supposed to increase our immune system, to make us more able to fight off toxins, how is he killing us off one by one? All the testing we’ve undergone so far has been to see if it affected us on a physical level. As far as I can see, our immune system has not been tested yet. Surely if a poison or toxin of some sort has been used shouldn’t the serum have neutralised it?” Stryder explained with no trace of malice.

Baxter’s expression softened a little. He said, “That again, is something of a mystery. You were right to point out about the testing. We had to ensure that the serum had no debilitating effects on your abilities to perform as a soldier. In fact, in your case Captain, it had quite the opposite effect; it actually increased your strength and stamina. I’m sure you’re aware that your endurance levels have increased by twenty five per cent.”

Stryder expressed mild surprise and a little bewilderment.

“To be honest Doc, I thought you were taking it easy on me, well on us, actually. I never realised it was just me, we never tested together. I just put it down to my training in Recon Delta being harder than what you put us through.” He paused then asked, “But why me?”

Baxter had no answer for him other than a shake of his head and a bemused expression. When he spoke his voice displayed his frustration.

“We’ve encountered so many variables that that were, to be honest, unexpected. Each test subject has had a different reaction to the serum, however small. You, it seems Captain, are the only one to exhibit any positive reaction to the serum. It seems the serum did not affect the immune system of the first three. In fact, once the autopsy results are in on Bell, I’m sure it will confirm my earlier findings, that their immune system, actually saw the serum as a threat, and destroyed it.”

“How is that possible sir, and what does it mean for me? Am I in danger from it?” Stryder asked a little concerned.

“On the contrary, it seems to have increased your metabolism, now all we need to do in order to get it to increase your immune system. We need to get it to attach itself onto your DNA to affect your immune system genetically; otherwise it could be perceived as a threat by

your body’s defences and be destroyed by the very thing it seeks to improve.”

“And how on earth do you intend to do that?”

“I’ve developed a nano serum, billions of tiny robots programmed to attach the serum to the specific strand of your d.n.a. We just inject it into your bloodstream and they get to work. We should see results within a very short time.” Baxter said smiling and almost rubbing his hands together in glee at the prospect of this new development.

“Billions of tiny robots Doc? I’m no scientist but how have you programmed so many, in such a short space of time,”

“We’ve been working on nano bots for many years. They’re used extensively throughout the medical profession as I’m sure you’re aware. Programming them was relatively easy; they work in series you see. If you programme one, it passes that data along to the rest almost instantaneously.”

“When are you planning on—” Stryder stopped short when he saw Baxter reach for a syringe.

“Right now Captain, roll up your sleeve please.”

Before he knew it the injection had been administered and he was pulling down his sleeve again.

“How soon Doc, before you know? What can I expect?” he asked, unsure of what would happen next.

“Not sure really, but the nano bots should get to work immediately. As to the question whether you’ll feel anything, I wouldn’t expect so. Remember this is taking place at the genetic level so the changes should go unnoticed until the immune system is threatened.”

“So what you’re saying basically, is that I won’t know if it’s worked until I get injured?” Stryder asked.

“Well, I suppose that’s somewhat true, yes,” Baxter replied seeming a little unsure.

“You don’t sound too confident Doctor.” Sinclair said.

“We’re not dealing with absolutes here, we’re into uncharted waters. This has never been attempted before and quite frankly, until we get some sort of results, until we can test this, I don’t know what to expect.”

“Forgive me Doc if I don’t feel reassured.” Stryder said.

“If it works though, just think of the potential. Think of the lives we’ll be able to save.” Baxter said, pushing his spectacles up his nose again.

“Going back to my earlier question about Howard sir, why is he going to so much trouble to kill us all off? Does he know something about this that we don’t, or is the Alliance so afraid that we may be on to something, that they’re desperate to stop us at any cost?”

“It’s no secret that they are desperate to prevent us gaining any sort of advantage over them and if they can’t duplicate our research, then the safest thing to do is either discredit it or destroy it,” Sinclair said.

“If he’s in charge of security won’t he be pissed off that you brought in Recon Delta to take over?”

“Oh, I do hope so,” Sinclair said with an uncharacteristically smug smirk.

“I get it, you want to rattle his cage and force him to make a mistake.”

“Of course,” Sinclair said.

“So, not only am I a guinea pig, but I’m bait now as well?” Stryder said.

Baxter looked from him over to Sinclair, then down to the floor, unable to maintain eye contact with him. The General though, had no trouble at all looking at him.

“Don’t feel guilty Doc, I’m first and always a soldier, this comes with the territory,” Stryder said never taking his eyes off Sinclair.

“You got that right Captain; this is what you signed up for,” Sinclair said coldly.

“Yeh! The life in Recon Delta, it’s not just a job, it’s an adventure.” said Stryder.

 

Download this book now from Amazon and tune in tomorrow for another sneak peak.


Blood Descendants

Here’s a blurb from Blood Descendants by Beverly Toney – what do you think?

 

Cheyenne wanted to be part of a family, but she had been a peculiar child and her behavior had her shuffled from one foster home to another. After 13 years in as many foster homes, Cheyenne’s wish was granted. Her foster mom, Joyce Redding, was a gift from heaven and for 5 years, they lived a nice, quiet life. But, in life, appearances could be deceiving.
The summer before her senior year, Tabitha came to town and the two became fast friends. But, Tabitha brought more than friendship. Cheyenne would have to decide who to trust, what sacrifices to make, and, most importantly, what she was willing to become!

 

Download the book here:

http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00N9A8OS8
http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/blood-descendants-beverly-toney/1120172017?ean=2940046084917


A Guide to First Contact

Today s the turn of Terence Park and his novel A Guide to First Contact.

 

A mission to a near earth object. Sound familiar? I guess it should; we’ve been aiming at that for the last 50 years or so. Ruling out the Moon and Mars landings, the Rosetta mission to 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko counts as the first. What will we discover? Dunno; but in a fictional sense that’s where things kick off in my book: A Guide to First Contact.
 
Like most science fiction, Guide is a blend of fact and supposition. It has larger and smaller story arcs. In the outermost arc, evolution is set into a narrative framework. In doing this, attention is drawn to a wrinkle (or flaw) in Darwin’s thinking. It’s there which makes it convenient for plotting purposes. This arc goes on to describe classes of entity who are powerful enough to shape the course of life on Earth. To do this they use creatures who double up as living tools. Both classes of entity have a function and purpose – but events go awry. This ultimately drives them to take on human shape. So Guide has aliens who look like us, can act like us and in the end, start to think like us. Their story is touched upon enough to show personality and desire. 
Set within this is the main story arc. The hero in this is Triste, who is first tested and then goes on to become the bait in a larger scheme.
 
The minor story arcs are set in the present day and begin like this: Brent doesn’t fit. He’s a square peg in a round hole. Though he’s an intelligence liaison, he’s too clumsy to shack up to the woman he fancies. She heads up a research team who are busy looking into genetics and the history of man. What they don’t know is what they’re looking at is the result of an alien intervention, long, long ago, in the Late Pleistocene. Back in the present day, Brent’s long-time buddy, Watcher, bails him out again. Brent’s got a degree in haplessness – from the College of Life. 
 
The thing is, Watcher’s into stuff like conspiracies. Be careful Brent or you’ll be sucked in, gutted and hung up to dry.
 
Forty years later, the West has collapsed and the apocalypse is in full swing. What happened? Quite a lot. Earth was contacted by aliens triggering a rapture effect. No one has worked out what to do with the undying flesh of the undead. Most cities are abandoned as unsafe; they’re known as former urban areas. Xenogens – genetic plagues in all but name – are still raging out of control. Catch one and you degenerate into a dangerous, sub-human brute. The problem with dangerous, sub-human brutes is they’re xenogen carriers. Former Urban Area One (former New York) is crawling with them. Triste prowls its streets. There’s always work for a mercenary. 
 
Watch out Triste; something wicked is coming.
 
Heroes never listen. Triste meets Shoe. She’s on the run. They stumble upon an abandoned research lab and find old records of life before the apocalypse. But will they work out what went wrong? Do they want to? Shoe has got dark secrets; she knows more about xenogens than she lets on. There are other things she can’t tell Triste.
 
What does it mean to be human? Some appear human but aren’t. Others aren’t aware of the fact they’re not human. What comes after? (us of course) The apocalypse is the trigger. It takes the shape of a genetic storm which impacts on the human race as epidemics. This is a pre-cursor to post-human creatures. They begin to appear. The main character meets one. Not everything is sweetness and light in this future Earth, but they reach out to each other. They get to debate whether God exists. A key undercurrent is sex, but this rarely breaks the surface. There is more than one ‘First Contact’. The most powerful characters are female; the story won’t work otherwise. Guide, however, isn’t a feminist tract.
 
I’ve put up a resources site which is here: https://aguidetofirstcontact.wordpress.com/ After my book was edited (by Stephen Cashmmore of SfEP) I did a web interview with Louise Harnby which is here: www.louiseharnbyproofreader.com/4/post/2013/09/client-talk-the-independent-author-tp-archie.html (note: at that point I was writing under my web name). Guide is made up of two novels: The Fécunda, and The Xenocotrix. At some point in the future I will break it up into its constituent parts.
 
Where to get it: 
The UK links are:
 
US links are:
 
See also:

 


The Fall

Take a look at this book trailer from L Sommers’ The Fall.

 

 

Download the book from Amazon US or Amazon UK now!


Seasons of Fate

Who fancies a bit of Romance? Take a look at the blurb for Seasons of Fate by Avery E Greene and let us know what you think.

‘My life had been difficult, I had dealt with emotional and physical abuse for years, but fate finally decided to step in and introduce me to the life I should have always had, with the person who made me whole and who woke me up.

Mason’s life had been great, his family was loving and supportive. He had the dream career, but being in the spotlight was not his idea of the perfect life, practically a recluse, fate decided now was his time.

When Mason Stone meets Summer Clarke, it’s fate, but can Mason win the heart of the only woman he’s ever met who makes him feel alive, will Summer let him? Or is she too broken to know the signs? Can fate really bring you to the one you were always supposed to love

 

Download this book now from Amazon


Mysteries and Scandals

Here’s a little something from author De’John Leonardo. Take a look at the blurb for Mysteries and Scandals – what do you think?

How would you feel if the life you are currently living was a set up? What if everything you thought was one way turned out to be another? Life for Justin has been no walk in the park. He once knew what it was like to have a happy family and to be loved by someone but all that changed the day his father was murdered. Justin’s life has been flipped upside down and not for the better but for the worse. Justin is stuck with the one person who he can’t stand and that is his mother Brandy. He and Brandy never got along but now that his father is dead they really don’t get along. Justin has always thought of his mother as a stranger. Could it be that he feels that his mother forgot where she came from? Or could it be Justin’s own fault be because of the choices he has made in life? Whatever the case may be they surely don’t see eye to eye. Life for Justin really gets confusing as he unlocks the mysteries behind the scandal. How will he be able to handle everything once he learns the truth about Brandy and what she tried to sweep under the rug for years?

 

You can download this book now from Amazon

 


Authors Needed

Advertising and promotion is so important for all indie authors but my God it’s also the biggest headache imaginable too. Any author will tell you getting your work to as many places a possible is a priority and that’s why I set up this blog which has been showcasing indie talent since August.

If you are an indie author and you need some more exposure then maybe I can help. All you need to do is send me a promotional piece, it can be an extract or an article or details of a promotion along with a link to where the book can be bought and I will put it up for you.

All work featured on the blog is promoted through my social networks and I’ve noticed that a lot of posts that go up get widely spread by authors following this blog.

Also on the first week of December I am going to be posting articles about indie writing, self-publishing and promotion from a variety of authors. If you would like to contribute to this then please contact me. Any article posted will also feature the author name, network links and a short bibliography.

So what are you waiting for?

(For more ideas please see the promotions page)


Conquering Your Goliaths

It’s been a quiet week so far, but I have an interview from Kathryn Elizabeth Jones to entertain you. Kathryn is talking about her book Conquering Your Goliaths. Enjoy!

Virginia Bean is your leading character, can you tell us about her?

Virginia is a single woman, in her mid-thirties, who has just lost her job. She is somewhat preoccupied with the finer things of life, (how she looks, what she drives, etc.) and only begins to ‘see’ as she begins her journey with God and David’s five stones which represent listening, trust, optimism, tenacity and constancy.

What is Goliath?

Goliath in the story represents the Goliath of old who faces small David on the battlefield. David has gathered the five stones (mentioned above) from a small streambed, and has placed them in his pouch. With his sling and stones he is now ready to face the mammoth Goliath. It is interesting that David might have only picked up one stone, because all it took in the end was one stone to defeat Goliath. But in David’s life, as in our own, our faith might need a little work, and thus, the five stones to prepare an individual to defeat his/her goliath.

Where is this story set?

The story is set in Idaho Falls, Idaho. Not much goes on there, however, but Idaho is Ms. Virginia Bean’s home. She is not going to move away; and with the five stones in which she later receives from God, Virginia is indeed happy she stuck this one out.

Are there any other characters you can tell us about?

Virginia meets with God, and though this might have been a frightening experience for her, she soon discovers the kindness of God’s heart, and how much He wants for her. She is never alone, even when she believes herself to be. When she meets Paul, all of Virginia’s problems are suddenly amplified, but the journey doesn’t end for Ms. Virginia Bean, and she discovers that great friends are merely God’s way of keeping her on the path.

Can you share your favourite passage from the book?

Sure. “It is time,” (the stone) said, “for you to return to God.”

A shaft of sunlight came through the window at just that moment and Virginia knew that the words were not only real, but true. They rested in her heart and spoke to her about her potential as a pure daughter of the birthright.

Conquering Your Goliaths has been described as a self-help book described as fiction. What can readers learn from this story?

They will learn that conquering any goliath takes time and effort, but that none of it has to be done forever alone. God is there, He loves each of his children, and He will help them. All we need to do is ask, listen to His direction, trust in His words, remain optimistic even when life gets dark, keep going and never forget that He is walking beside us.

Conquering Your Goliaths is a Christian parable, is this a book specifically for Christians or is this a story for people from all faiths?

The book is for Christians primarily, and for those open to hearing God.

This book has incredible reviews, what would you say are the main selling points of this story?

The book is short (just over 100 pages), but is packed with powerful truths to help an individual with his/her walk with God. We should not be afraid of God, rather, we should see Him as our greatest friend, for He loves us without fail, He never sleeps, and He never goes on vacation. He is always there for each of us.

And finally what is next for Kathryn Elizabeth Jones?

My next book is planned for release a year from now. The title, Heaven 24/7, will share how to live on this earth, and, at the same time, reach for the stars. It will be a compilation of modern day parables showing faith in God and living according to our birthright.

You can download Conquering Your Goliaths from Amazon