How to Handle Negative Reviews by Graeme Ing – Guest Blog and Giveaway

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How to handle negative reviews
A guest post by Graeme Ing

As a writer, we pour our hearts and souls into our books. We spend months or even years in front of the keyboard, staring into space, struggling to get a few hundred words written each day. We procrastinate, and have ongoing doubts about our ability to write or tell an interesting story. Then, at the revision stage we agonize over every scene, every page and sentence to make it just so. Writing a book is a huge achievement.

Finally our child is ready for the world. We publish it and refresh our browsers endlessly, counting every review. The first reviews are kind, typically from friends and families but then we get our first 1-star review, perhaps another – a scathing damnation of our priceless work of art. What now? What do we do?

Take your fingers away from that mouse! Breathe. Calm yourself. Take a walk, or a drink, or meditate, anything, but don’t you dare respond to that review. I know you want to reply to it, argue your case, point out how the reviewer misunderstood. No. To quote the movie Frozen: Let It Go.

There is nothing you can comment to the reviewer that won’t come across as defensive, neurotic, sour grapes, self-serving or all of the above. You might feel better, but other readers will think your response petty. You may also trigger “The Streisand Effect” and actually draw more attention to a bad review that readers might otherwise have ignored.

Here’s the truth of it. Not everyone will like your book. Even bestsellers have 1-star reviews. Go and look at a Stephen King title or any famous author. It’s ok, really. Do you enjoy every book you read? If you see a book that has predominantly 5 and 4-star reviews, do those few 1 and 2 star reviews put you off? Probably not. They may even make the book appear more legitimate. Give your readers the intelligence to judge for themselves whether those bad reviews have merit or not. The ones that are particularly scathing or that attack the author directly are usually ignored anyway.

What you might want to do is read the bad review objectively. Perhaps they made some valid comments. Perhaps you did overuse the curse words. Maybe your ending could be misunderstood. Maybe your heroine did come out more whiney than you intended. Take what constructive feedback you can from the bad review and use it as a learning experience. If you can’t read it without getting angry or upset, then make it a habit never to read bad reviews. Many authors don’t.

Analyze your book cover and blurb. Some bad reviews are the response of incorrect expectations – the reader was simply expecting something else. Does your cover clearly indicate genre? Make sure your blurb isn’t misleading or promises something you didn’t deliver on.

As an example, one reviewer of my debut YA book Ocean of Dust lamented that she wanted more romance. I hadn’t billed it as a romance at all, but I’m sure she was used to modern YA stories being about teenagers in love. See how her expectations were not met? That’s ok. It’s her opinion, and a valid one. I don’t have control over her preferences. I like to think of that review as useful actually: Many readers will ignore her review because they don’t care about the romance,or it might deter similar-minded folks from reading my book. That’s a good thing. Why is deterring readers a good thing? Well first off, I want my readers to enjoy my books, not be disappointed, and secondly it might prevent further bad reviews.

At the end of the day, we all enjoy the freedom to express our views. Some people are more constructive with criticism than others, but don’t ever, ever, ever let a bad review control your mood or derail your writing dreams. Reviews are just opinions. Shake off the bad ones, concentrate on the good ones and keep writing the best, most polished books that you can. Happy writing!

MEDIA KIT Necromancer Book CoverA primeval fiend is loose in the ancient metropolis of Malkandrah, intent on burning it to a wasteland. The city’s leaders stand idly by and the sorcerers that once protected the people are long gone.

Maldren, a young necromancer, is the only person brave enough to stand against the creature. Instead of help from the Masters of his Guild, he is given a new apprentice. Why now, and why a girl? As they unravel the clues to defeating the fiend, they discover a secret society holding the future of the city in its grip. After betrayals and attempts on his life, Maldren has reason to suspect everyone he thought a friend, even the girl.

His last hope lies in an alliance with a depraved and murderous ghost, but how can he trust it? Its sinister past is intertwined in the lives of everyone he holds dear.

Can only evil defeat evil?

Enjoy an excerpt:

She glanced at me then the ground below, but only clung tighter. A man appeared at the window, his teeth bared. Four scratches on his cheek oozed red. White drool speckled his trimmed beard. He clawed at her. She scrunched her eyes shut and wailed.

With a crack, the casement tore free, and she plummeted into my arms. We tumbled to the ground and the smoke surrounded us like a pack of wild animals.

I rolled to my feet, helped her up, and dragged her down the street, holding my breath as long as I could. She coughed and choked, resisting my pull. Murder flared in her eyes. I slapped her.

“Trust me. Hold your breath and stay with me.” I yanked her forward.

I shouldn’t have spoken. Smoke surged down my throat and I gagged.

Rage ignited inside me. I wanted to tear out her rabid eyes. My arm squeezed hers until she cried out, and I knew that I could break it with a twist, could snap her entire frail body. My gaze fixed on her pale, sweat-soaked throat. It invited me to choke the life from her, watch her struggle and finally go limp. My pulse quickened. Anger flooded my veins. Then my hands were around her throat, squeezing, crushing. She coughed and drooled thick, white saliva. Her blue eyes locked with mine but she put up no resistance. A smile twitched on her lips as my thumbs dug deeper. Ah, the sweet moment of superiority. How would it feel to kill? Delicious. It washed the tight pain from my head.

Something flickered deep within me. This was wrong.

About the Author:MEDIA KIT GraemeIngPhotoGraeme Ing engineers original fantasy worlds, both YA and adult, but hang around, and you’ll likely read tales of romance, sci-fi, paranormal, cyberpunk, steampunk or any blend of the above.

Born in England in 1965, Graeme moved to San Diego, California in 1996 and lives there still. His career as a software engineer and development manager spans 30 years, mostly in the computer games industry. He is also an armchair mountaineer, astronomer, mapmaker, pilot and general geek. He and his wife, Tamara, share their house with more cats than he can count.

Website ~ Blog ~ Facebook ~ Twitter ~ Google+ ~ Goodreads ~ Amazon

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Project Firebird by Nick Green – Spotlight and Giveaway



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Don’t ask Leo Lloyd-Jones. Ask him how to steal a car, or why he got excluded from every school in Salford, but don’t come to him for help. This whole thing must be a daft mistake – and if anyone finds out, he’s done for.

Earth is on a deadly collision course that nothing can prevent. The only real hope is Project Firebird, deep inside a blast-proof bunker that shelters the brightest and bravest young people. Leo has got mixed up with the likes of Rhys Carnarvon, the celebrated teenage polar explorer, and other child prodigies chosen to keep the flame of civilisation.

Among them is the streetwise Paige Harris, a girl Leo likes a lot (but not in that way). Paige is desperate to rescue her little sister from London before the catastrophe strikes. But no-one is crazy enough to try that. Almost no-one.

Enjoy an excerpt:

‘Some of the brightest young people on the planet. Yet not one of you can make a cup of tea.’

Paige twitched into life.

‘That ain’t true! We’re not all useless around the house. I’ll do it.’

‘Thank you,’ said David. ‘One cup of tea, please. But you must make it all by yourself. No-one can help.’

Paige rolled her eyes – as if! David called after her.

‘I do mean no-one, Paige. No-one at all. Anywhere or anywhen.’

She turned. ‘You what?’

‘Tea,’ said David. ‘Let’s go. First you’ll need water. Clean water. I don’t want to get diarrhoea. So find some. Remember, no help. Not from water companies, or plumbers, or bottle manufacturers. Just you. There’s a lake a few miles away, but streams might be safer. Either way, you’d better start walking now. Maybe take some food along.’

A few uneasy sniggers trailed off. Paige stopped halfway to the door, her face daring David to make fun of her. He continued, counting on his fingers.

‘Something to carry the water in, you’ll need that. A sturdy vessel to boil it in. Pottery is good. Hunt for some clay while you’re out. Enough for a water pot, a teapot and a cup. Plus fuel of course. Wood for the fire. A bow-and-drill, or some other way of lighting it –’

‘This ain’t fair!’ Paige exploded. David held up a hand. Now his smile was kind.

‘It’s all right, Paige. You can sit down. Sorry to put you on the spot.’

About the Author: Nick Green lives in the UK. He is the author of seven fiction books to date, including the middle-grade CAT KIN trilogy published by Strident. His other books include THE STORM BOTTLE, a fantasy adventure about the dolphins of Bermuda, and most recently the FIREBIRD trilogy, a YA science fiction epic.

www.nickgreenbooks.com

https://www.goodreads.com/nickgreen_catkin

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What Sets SFF Apart from Other Genres by Dean C. Moore – Guest Blog and Giveaway

 

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What Sets SFF Apart From Other Genres?
There’s no question reading fiction of any kind is the ultimate exercise for the mind. If you’re solving a mathematical problem, your rational brain is in charge. There could well be creativity involved; anything done well enough rises to the level of art. But when you read, something truly mystical and magical happens. For one thing, your rational mind is engaged, but so much more of your mind is involved. Your left and right hemispheres come into sync, your superconscious, conscious, and unconscious minds are engaged. By utilizing all of your mind, and by recruiting that much mind power you have what it takes to truly transform yourself. But the gift of books doesn’t just stop there, for storytellers who excel at their trade are all master spell casters; their books but one elaborate magical spell designed to remake you from the ground up. So with the ultimate tool of self-transformation in your hands, the question becomes what do you want to remake yourself into?

And that, my friends, is what sets sci-fi and paranormal fantasy apart from other genres. You could choose to be the best human you can be. A noble enough quest. But why stop there? Why not aim higher, at being the best superhuman or trans-human you can be? Why not start visualizing yourself performing the feats no mere mortal could ever pull off, from telepathy to telekinesis to teleportation? How about being in several places at once? Maybe you’d like to use your body like a spaceship and simply fly to your next location. Perhaps you’d like to live forever, each day more powerful than the last. These may seem like childish fantasies, but children may well possess a wisdom that we lose along the way. After all, current research in the field of psychobiology suggests the power of belief is far greater than we ever imagined. Cancer patients have cured themselves of cancer by simply visualizing themselves getting better! Zen monks, saints, and sages throughout time have been documented and witnessed demonstrating all manner of remarkable things, including—that’s right—all of the superpowers listed above. How many of these folks are actually alive at any point in history is hard to gauge because, as you can well imagine, they tend to stay hidden away in remote locations in the Himalayas. Some, like shamans of old, situate themselves on power spots throughout the world to magnify their abilities.

The science and technique of self-transformation and self-empowerment is actually quite elaborate and goes back thousands of years. It was a Taoist master, seated in meditation that mapped out the nadirs and chakras for us, who outlined the mechanics of the entire energy body used in acupuncture and acupressure to this day. Other secrets have been handed down from Tibetan Buddhist masters, Sufi masters… The list goes on.

So now we’ve arrived at what separates me from other writers in my field of paranormal fantasy and sci-fi. I don’t just dream big, I dig into how it is we can actually do these things. I study those who have mastered these gifts, and I relay their secrets to you through my stories. Reading any of my books is like taking a master class in the subject. Reading all of them is like getting a graduate degree in the field. And adding to your reading with each new title is like the way many do post graduate work.

But are these books then mere primers for how to escape, not just temporarily but permanently, from your humdrum world into wildly fantastic alternate realities? Well, if they were, they’d hardly be fun reads. That’s why I digested thousands of books over the decades so I can transform that learning into fun sci-fi and paranormal fantasy novels as suitable to YA audiences as to adults. God forbid anything get in the way of a rollicking good time. If anything, my novels are just the opposite of those stodgy manuals; they read like fast paced action and adventure and thriller films ensconced in the genres of sci-fi and paranormal fantasy.

Some disclaimers: I frequently merge the two genres of sci-fi and paranormal fantasy to varying degrees. The mix in The Warlock’s Friend is about fifty-fifty, similarly with the series Renaissance 2.0 and The Hundred Year Clones. Blood Brothers is ninety-percent paranormal fantasy. Escape From the Future is sci-fi and urban fantasy along with paranormal fantasy. Don’t let the hybrid novels scare you. I write sci-fi in such a way as to make it accessible to those who traditionally find the genre too technical, perhaps even too male, when you consider the equal weighting I give my female characters who are every bit the match for their male counterparts. And if you do find yourself challenged by brief sections of the books, remember what’s at stake: I don’t just want to make you think you have superpowers for a while as part of some escapist dream; I want to give them to you for real. That said, you will escape your world entirely, I promise you, the way you can read Animal Farm on any number of levels, including the one that’s just sheer fun, with plenty of action.

What’s the overall feel of these sci-fi/paranormal fantasy mergers? Think Jurassic Park and Raiders of the Lost Ark, Star Wars, Star Trek Into Darkness, Wolverine, and X-Men, down to and including the dark humor. More recent examples would include the TV series, Forever, and Extant.

Fraternal twins are separated from birth, and raised to be assassins. They were never meant to meet. But even when kept apart, they’re just too powerful. Their paranormal abilities cease to be an advantage when they can no longer be controlled. So they are scheduled for cancellation.

Their paths cross before they can be taken out. It is only then that they discover the true depths of their betrayal. Not only are they stronger when they’re together, they’re half-breeds, sired by an all-powerful warlock.

The question is, are they strong enough even together to take him on now that he’s coming for them?

They have an ace up their sleeves they are not aware of. Drawn to the same kind of women, they find themselves married to a pair of sorceresses whose magical abilities are only now surfacing.

But one encounter with dear old dad is all it takes for them to realize, they’re still the underdogs.

From the back of the book:

“The series is called Blood Brothers, but this adventure is really a family affair: the brothers, their partners, children and even their old man in a starring role as the villain. Think Disney’s Incredibles, but in a violent and bizarre fantasy world.” Rob May, Dragon Killer

“With incredibly detailed world building and action scenes, this story seems like it would make a phenomenal film or TV series.

Moore pulls out all the stops with dragons, telekinesis, shapeshifters and insurmountable odds in this battle of good versus evil – and a villain who just won’t lay down and die.” Demelza Carlton, Ocean’s Gift

“When you read a Dean C. Moore novel, you can expect rich, original characters, witty dialogue and unexpected plot turns. Blood Brothers doesn’t disappoint.” JC Gatlin, Designated Survivor

Enjoy an excerpt:

Jared Rawlings fought to keep up with his wife Ellen, the predatory animal that was the real him threatening to break free of the placid, domesticated creature on the surface that held him prisoner.

They made their way to the latest stall, past the body odors and the dust kicked up in the dirt road by the relentless march of harried shoppers. The Moroccan marketplace was teaming with life; not all of it for sale, at least on this side of the display tables.

Ellen’s eyes darted to the curios, his to the latest constellation of attackers. Whoever had sent the first one after him had abandoned subtle and understated methods.

One fez-wearing assailant, in the window two stories up, aimed his rifle at him. Another assassin, lurking in the shadows the booth over, reached for a Yemeni Janbiya under his vest.

Jared picked up a frying pan, and deflected the bullet from the shooter at the man with the short curved-blade dagger the booth over. The gunfire and ricocheting sounds were swallowed up in the mayhem of the marketplace.

He gazed at the back of the frying pan—with nary a scratch—impressed. Thrusting the pan before Ellen, he said, “I like this one.”

Having missed what was going on with him entirely, she pointed to the miniature brewer and the Arabic coffee. “A few shots of that are what you need.” Addressing the peddler, she said, “I swear, he sleepwalks through life.”

About the Author:

I write sci-fi, fantasy, action-adventures and thrillers, or some combination thereof—usually with a strong vein of dark humor. Though, my works are dramas first; the humor is there to take the edge off as with the Raiders of the Lost Ark, Transformers, and Jurassic Park franchises.

I wrote screenplays for a while, and while enjoying them, I found them a bit confining. After a while you just need the extra page count to flesh out characters better and do additional world building, especially when considering doing anything epic in scope. I also took a run at future forecasting and trend tracking, being as I always had my head in the future, things like Alvin Toffler’s Future Shock. I also relished this, and can certainly see myself releasing a few titles accordingly in the nonfiction area. But since delving into novels, short and long, I’ve definitely found my home and my voice. For the first time I feel the restraints have been taken off of my imagination. I suppose all mediums have their limits, so I may end up doing a mix of things, but I suspect I will continue to spend most of my time with novels. Series add an additional dimension, allowing for even more depth and development both in the character and world building departments. But I remain at heart a divergent thinker, so, no surprise, I seem to have more series going than follow up installments at this point. That too may change over time; we’ll see. Until then, it may be best to just think of these books as one-offs if you’re fond of my writing style and some of the themes I work with.

My current catalog of twelve books represents a little over five years’ worth of work. I’m currently averaging a couple books annually. Of my existing franchises with multiple installments, The Hundred Year Clone books can be read in any order, while the 5 books of Renaissance 2.0 must be read in sequence as they form part of a singular story arc (much as with A Game of Thrones.)

I live in the country where I breed bluebirds, which are endangered in these parts, as my small contribution to restoring nature’s balance. When I’m not writing, or researching my next book, I may also be found socializing with friends, or working in my organic garden.

http://deancmoore.com/

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https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/7951313.Dean_C_Moore http://www.amazon.com/DEAN-C.-MOORE/e/B00IBYUHXC/ref=sr_tc_2_0?qid=1407520914&sr=1-2-ent

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Character Interview with Spencer from CRIMSON SON by Russ Linton – Guest Blog and Giveaway

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Recently, I attempted to interview the main character of my book, Crimson Son. Things didn’t go as planned, but since I went to all the trouble to contact a secure, undisclosed location (which actually has no outside connections, but hey, I’m a FICTION writer…) I figured I would post the results.

 

Spencer: I got your encryption key. Bouncing the signal through enough wingates to give the NSA a hernia. Man, this is just like the good ol’ days at D3dm4n$ Ch3$t. Okay, let’s get this going – I can only jeopardize the air gap for so long.

 

Me: You think he’d be upset?

 

He freaks out when I grab passing satellite TV signals. If he knows I’m actually sending a signal, he’ll literally shit a brick.

 

Literally?

 

Pretty sure he eats bricks for breakfast. He’ll pick them out of his teeth when he gets home from fighting Super Villain number whatever. Maybe that’s why he htinks cardboard is a good substitute for real food.

 

Alright, well, as you know, my name is Russ Linton, author of Crimson…

 

Really? This book is about HIM?

 

Let me finish. The book is called Crimson Son, not Crimson Mask. The book is about you, not him.

 

Oh. How could you possibly write an entire book about me?

 

Well, it’s a book about how your life was changed by tragedy. How you’re thrust into your father’s world and have to survive.

 

That sounds like a crappy book.

 

It isn’t. It starts out right there in the bunker…

 

You start things in the Icehole? Why would anyone read a book about this place? Let me sum it up – cold, boring, claustrophobic. It’s like The Road, only no road and no people to eat. I could really go for a good slab of people right about now.

 

Yes, it starts in the Icehole. There, we get an idea of your everyday life: the isolation, the stress you have to deal with after the loss of your mother.

 

Easy now. She’s still out there, Mr. Biographer…ummm, right?

 

I’d rather not say, you know, spoilers and all.

 

What!? Don’t be a douche.

 

I’m simply saying who would buy the book if I gave away the ending?

 

Wait, there’s an ending? Is it a happy one?

 

Of course there’s an ending and I’ll leave it to the reader to decide how happy it is.

 

Do I see some action?

 

Oh, definitely. The whole book is action-packed.

 

Nice! Do I become a porn star or something?

 

Not THAT kind of action.

 

Dammit. ‘Cause it’s REALLY cold in this bunker. And lonely. Hey, how detailed is it exactly?

 

Pretty detailed…

 

Awww man, don’t do this to me. This place is like the igloo of masturbation! I mean there’s almost nothing else to do here.

 

Woah, hang on. No, nothing like that. We skip closer to the homicidal-robot-dodging, heroic sort of action.

 

Hmmmm, I’m liking my book idea much better. Are you sure I couldn’t become a pornstar?

 

Spencer, what is it with you?

 

What the hell do you expect? I’m a bundle of hormones who’s been on ice for the past two years in Dad’s not-so-cleverly veiled fortress of solitude reference. Nineteen, locked up in my prime, I’m pretty sure I’m going insane.

 

The book’s a bit more serious than all that.

 

Didn’t Cyrus have a kid? What about Ember? You sure you have the right son of a superhero?

 

Positive. Maybe I took some creative license and subdued your smart assery a tiny bit. Except the time you’re tripping on Mountain Dew or one of the many pulse-pounding adrenaline rushes as you struggle to survive and prove to your dad that true heroes are the ones with the most to lose.

 

Wait, I get to drink Mountain Dew again? Fuckin’ sweet!

 

Language, Spencer.

 

Crap. Dad’s home.

 

<<END TRANSMISSION>>

 

Crimson SonHis mother kidnapped, his superhero father absent, powerless Spencer Harrington faces a world of weaponized humans to prove himself and find the truth.

Nineteen-year-old Spencer is the son of the Crimson Mask, the world’s most powerful Augment. Since witnessing his mother’s abduction by a psychotic super villain two years ago, he’s been confined to his father’s arctic bunker. When the “Icehole” comes under attack from a rampaging robot, Spencer launches into his father’s dangerous world of weaponized human beings known as Augments.

With no superpowers of his own save a multi-tool, a quick wit and a boatload of emotional trauma, Spencer seeks to uncover his mother’s fate and confront his absentee superhero father. As he stumbles through a web of conspiracies and top secret facilities, he rallies a team of everyday people and cast-off Augments. But Spencer soon discovers that the Black Beetle isn’t his only enemy, nor his worst.

Enjoy an excerpt:

This part always comes so fast.

I hand the phone back to Mom. “You’ll need to send later, I guess. The signal dropped. Should be in your outbox ready to go.”

As she takes the phone, the wall of the room explodes.

Here. Dream becomes nightmare. For a moment, I feel I can make it stand still, but why would I? Events unfold with the emptiness of the bunker gnawing at my insides. I can identify every stray chunk of plaster and splinter of wood in this time-robbed moment.

Fragments of home spray like a swarm of locusts. Mom screams and the world spins under her protective dive. I struggle to see through a haze of dust. Glimpses of the valley filter past a humanoid silhouette. A long, pincered arm lashes out. The arm clamps tightly around Mom’s waist and retracts, drawing us closer.

“Release the boy and he will live,” the Black Beetle speaks with an unnatural vibration. “He can relay a message for your husband.”

Mom squeezes tighter but her screaming stops.

I search her face, knowing what I’ll find, all the while scrambling to find an anchor as we slide across the room. She’s bleeding from a gash on her forehead and the pincer cinches tighter. Her eyes are full of fear, but focused. She’s calculating, deliberating. A hundred times? A thousand? It always hurts.

“No, Mom, please!” I throw my hands around the leg of a toppled chair which drags uselessly behind us. Countless trips through this nightmare, I know I can’t keep us here, but I reach out anyway. And always, she lets go.

I grab her arm, trying to pull her back, cursing my stunted size, my weak limbs, my feeble grip. Sweaty hands slip as the pincer continues to retract. Her trembling lips form a final smile and she watches me with a sad but determined expression.

She mouths the words, “I love you.”

About the Author: MEDIA KIT Author Photo In the fourth grade, Russ Linton wrote down the vague goal of becoming a “writer and an artist” when he grew up. After a journey that led him from philosopher to graphic designer to stay at home parent and even a stint as an Investigative Specialist with the FBI, he finally got around to that “writing” part which he now pursues full time.

Russ creates character-driven speculative fiction. His stories drip with blood, magic, and radioactive bugs. He writes for adults who are young at heart and youngsters who are old souls.

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10 things we would be surprised to learn about Richard H. Hardy – Guest Blog and Giveaway

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10 things we would be surprised to learn about Richard H. Hardy
1) I lived in three different countries by the time I was 4 years old: Scotland, England and the USA.

2) I play tenor, alto, and soprano sax. I also play the bass clarinet and keyboard.

3) I was a sectional champion for the shot put on my high school track team. My best throw was 47 and a half feet.

4) I once hitchhiked from Denver to the East Coast.

5) I really enjoy a good cup of tea.

6) One of my favorite movies is The Big Lebowski. I’ve known far too many people just like “The Dude” in that movie.

7) I’m a big time cat person. I believe what Leonardo De Vinci once said, “Even the smallest cat is a work of art.”

8) My sister Lynne is also a published writer. She earned a PhD. at age 70 and lives in Australia.

9) Exactly 100 years before my book, The Infinity Program was published, my great uncle George Webb Hardy had a bestselling book published in England.

10) I love walking on the rocky coast of Maine. It’s one of my favorite things to do.

10_16 infinityJon Graeme and Harry Sale are unlikely friends. Harry is a world-class programmer, but his abrasive personality alienates co-workers. In contrast, Jon is a handsome and easy-going technical writer, the low man on the IT totem pole.

Sharing a love of nature, the men set out together, planning to go their separate ways–Jon on a hike and Harry, fly fishing. Three days later, Jon arrives at the rendezvous point, but his friend is nowhere in sight. When Jon finds Harry unconscious on the floor of a cave, Harry claims to have been lying there the entire time. But he is neither cold nor hungry. What Jon doesn’t know is that Harry fell into an underground cavern, where he came into contact with an alien quantum computer.

Back at work, Harry jettisons his regular tasks and concentrates exclusively on inventing new operating language to access the alien system. In the process he crashes his office’s Super Computer and is fired. Jon convinces the company to give Harry a second chance, arguing that the system he has invented will make them millions.

Jon has no idea what havoc Harry is about to unleash.

About the Author: 10_16 infinity author richRichard H. Hardy was born in Glasgow, Scotland, during a week of relentless bombing raids just before the close of World War II. The day he was born an incendiary bomb fell on the church across the street from where he lived, so he is fond of saying that he entered the world with a big adrenaline rush.

His family later moved to England and then on to America.

After college Richard bounced through a series of temporary jobs as he traveled around the country, wanting nothing more than to write fiction. A job driving a library van allowed him free time to write several short stories and work on a novel.

He and his wife moved to New Hampshire, where he took an entry level job at a software company. He was soon promoted to the technical writing department and ended up producing over 500,000 words of online documentation. After a few years he was promoted to the programming department and ended up as the Senior EDI Programmer, creating EDI maps and writing UNIX scripts and troubleshooting on AIX systems throughout the U.S. and Canada.

After he retired, he started writing fiction again. The Infinity Program is his first published novel.

The Infinity Program GoodReads page:
https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/20794011-the-infinity-program

Richard H. Hardy’s Facebook:
https://www.facebook.com/richard.hardy.31924

Richard H. Hardy‘s Twitter:
https://twitter.com/rhfh944

Richard H. Hardy‘s GoodReads:
https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/7844267.Richard_H_Hardy

Richard H. Hardy’s blog:
http://richard-hardy.com/blog/

Richard H. Hardy’s website:
http://richard-hardy.com/

Tribute Books Blog Tours Facebook:
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http://store.kobobooks.com/en-US/ebook/the-infinity-program

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The Ghost in the Closet by M.K. Theodoratus – Spotlight and Giveaway


This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. The author will be awarding a $25 Amazon GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour. Click on the tour banner to see the other stops on the tour.

Some say the ability to see ghosts is a gift, but after losing her job, Dumdie Swartz says, “Hogwash”.

Since she was a child, Dumdie has seen ghosts and has developed several quirks to cover the fact so she wouldn’t need to explain herself or be exploited. When her boss witnesses several of these occasions, he fires her, thinking that she suffers from a mental issue that could be a liability to his business.

Without a job and money, Dumdie becomes just another old, homeless woman living out of her car. As winter approaches, her luck changes, and she secures a private room in a homeless shelter, but it isn’t as private as she thinks. The ghost of the former owner of shelter haunts the room where she died, searching for the misplaced will that guarantees the shelter would continue to exist as she so desired.

Dumdie must make a decision. Does she continue to hide her gift in fear of upsetting people or appearing insane? Does she go out on a limb and try to save the shelter, the room they have given her, and herself in the process.

Enjoy an excerpt:

“Do you think the place has bed bugs?” Hanna had picked up the clothes and putting the suitcases in the closet. She stood in the middle of the room, wrinkling her nose. “I wonder if they sterilized the mattresses. I hope so.”

“The carpenters probably left the closet as-is to save money. Haven’t you noticed all the short-cuts in the house remodeling? All the places the boards don’t even meet.” Dumdie stopped before she said she’d seen nine corners where there were gaps in the trim. Fifty-two places where the paint coat was uneven, and she was only passing through the rooms on the tour.

Hanna pulled a face. “The house reeks of charity, but the public rooms were much nicer than the bedrooms. Must have been part of the original rooms. The two bathrooms still have the old fixtures, but I kind of like those deep old bathtubs. Think of the wonderful soaks we’ll have. Much nicer than the showers the janitor at the fitness club let us use in the mornings.”

The janitor at the gym had called them Mutt and Jeff. Dumdie was tall and dour, and while the shorter and thinner, Hanna beamed with good cheer even as she described the shelter’s shortcomings. Dumdie wished she could be more like Hanna.

“This place could be worse. Granted, my bed has more lumps than under-cooked porridge.” She poked her head back into the closet. “At least they didn’t try to squeeze someone else in there. It’s big enough for a cot and chair if they put hooks on the wall. That’d make our rooms smaller to fit in a hallway to the landing.” Her nose contorted. “Think we’ll have ta get up at an ungodly hour to get a bath? The seven of us will cause a log jam in the mornings, otherwise.”

“Seven old ladies fighting for the lavatory.”

About the Author:

Hooked by comic books at an early age, M. K. Theodoratus’ fascination with fantasy solidified when she discovered the Oz books by L. Frank Baum with his strong female characters. She has traveled through many fantasy worlds since then. When she’s not reading about other writer’s worlds, she’s creating her own. Most of her tales are set in the Far Isles where she explores the political effects of genetic drift on a mixed elf human population. She also writes about gargoyles, magic, ghosts and other magical beings.

A sixth grade English assignment started her writing. The teacher assigned a short story. Theodoratus gave her an incomplete, 25-page Nancy Drew pastiche which turned into a full novel by the next summer. She’s been writing happily ever after ever since in two different alternative worlds – that of the Far Isles Half-Elven and in Andor where humans fight demons in many forms.

Website ~ Facebook ~ Twitter ~ Goodreads ~ Google+

Buy the book at Amazon, iBookstore, Barnes and Noble, Smashwords, or Kobo.

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The Rifters by M. Pax – Spotlight and Giveaway!

This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. The author will be awarding a $25 Amazon gift certificate to a randomly drawn winner via the rafflecopter at the end of this post during the tour.

NOTE: The Rifters is FREE everywhere it’s available. Buy links are below — why not grab your copy today?

A junction between the worlds erupts.

The Gold Rush trickles to a fool’s quest and a string of stagecoach heists. In 1888, Earl Blacke decides to make a new start and become a better man. He escapes into the mountains, heading north. In the wilds of Oregon, a rift inside an ancient volcano opens and sends him into the future, into the present day. It also shaves thirty years off his age, thirty years to live over again and atone for what he’s done.

Starting over is hard to do. In current day New York, Daelin Long’s dream job at a publishing house goes the way of the dinosaurs her sister chases. With no money and nowhere else to go, Daelin accepts the librarian position in her sister’s dinky town in the middle of Oregon.

Nestled inside ancient volcanic peaks, the town of Settler holds onto many secrets. Residents roam the streets with weirdly fashioned devices, and odd lights pulse in the night skies. People whisper of a phantom outlaw and start dying, murdered and missing their heads. Worse than that, Daelin’s sister is missing, and Daelin doesn’t know who to trust.

Earl knows more than he’s saying. He shares a notorious history with the phantom, one he’ll see remains buried. Keeping Daelin’s sister’s secrets is his only chance at redemption, and the only way to keep this world safe.

Enjoy an excerpt:

A woman in a long flowered dress hurried forward carrying a paintbrush. “Hello, hello.” She waved. “Excuse the mess. I’m renovating… again.” She laughed with little snorts, stumbling in a little circle, defying her years. She couldn’t be younger than forty. “Inside joke, man, sorry. What groovieness can I help you find? I know where everything is.” She gestured at the piles of castoff merchandise strewn about.

If not for the goose bumps on her goose bumps, Daelin would have left. “A winter coat? Earl Blacke mentioned you might have some.”

“Oh man! What a tragedy about him, huh?” She wore her amber hair in two braids, tied with twine and decorated with plastic flowers.

Tragedy? What had happened to Earl? Daelin clutched at her knotting stomach. “What do you mean?”

“There was a murder last night. Umm, wow. Didn’t you hear?” She set the paintbrush down on a plate that had been used for the purpose before. Bracelets covered her arms, clinking with her simple movements.

“In Settler?” Violent crime wasn’t what Daelin expected to hear. She didn’t know what she had expected, but not murder.

The thrift store woman leaned in closer, whispering in a conspiratorial tone. “Yeah, they’re saying Earl Blacke killed Susan Leeds. Took her head plum off, man. Only thing is…,” she glanced at the shadows then wet her lips, “her head is missing.” The soft scent of melon accompanied her words.

Earl had murdered somebody? Daelin gulped, getting a lungful of paint fumes. Right, the paint. The fumes had to be messing with her mind. “Are you serious?”

 

M. Pax is author of the space adventure series The Backworlds, plus other novels and short stories. Fantasy, science fiction, and the weird beckons to her, and she blames Oregon for that, a source of endless inspiration. She docents at Pine Mountain Observatory in the summers, has a cat who has a crush on Mr. Spock, and is slightly obsessed with Jane Austen.

Website: http://mpaxauthor.com/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/mpax1

FB: https://www.facebook.com/pages/M-Pax/115874581852313

Smashwords http://www.smashwords.com/books/view/468047

iTunes https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/the-rifters/id910696527?mt=11

Barnes and Noble – http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/the-rifters-m-pax/1120171300?ean=2940046112849

Amazon –
http://www.amazon.com/The-Rifters-M-Pax-ebook/dp/B00MW8RKME/ref=pd_rhf_gw_p_img_1

AmazonUK –
http://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/B00MW8RKME?*Version*=1&*entries*=0

Googleplay – https://play.google.com/store/books/details/M_Pax_The_Rifters?id=IbJMBAAAQBAJ

Other links: http://mpaxauthor.com/mpaxworks-books-and-stories/rifters-series/the-rifters/
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The Darkest War by CL Parks – Spotlight and Giveaway

This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. The Author will be awarding one paperback copy of The Darkest War to a randomly drawn winner, One deluxe swag pack including paperclip bookmark, The Darkest War candle holder, paper bookmark, postcard, and playing cards will be awarded to another randomly drawn winner and One swag pack including book mark, postcard, and playing cards will be awarded to one more randomly drawn winner. All prizes will be awarded via the rafflecopter at the end of this post during the tour and are US ONLY. Please click the tour banner at the top to see other stops on this tour.

Tenna Massey hoped for a break after killing her possessed ex-husband, but the demons have other ideas. She thought her first Hunt was difficult; just wait until she sees what the demons have in store for her now. The latest attack on her points to someone she knows, causing her to doubt her relationships with her soul mate, Jason, and the rest of her newly adopted family.

While Tenna wades through all the new information, trying to learn whether one of her own has betrayed her, the entire family is on edge with the arrival of an enemy clan of Shifters, the same Shifters responsible for the slaughter of Jason’s entire family and tribe. Everything is hitting too close to home.

The closer Tenna gets to finding the demon doing everything it can to be the one to end the reign of the Huntress, the more she realizes it is, indeed, someone she loves. Sometimes the dead don’t stay dead.

Enjoy an excerpt:

A man close to Russell’s size stepped forward, staring down at her, a smirk playing at his thin lips. “You’re the Huntress?” The tone in his voice showed he was doubtful. He snickered and glanced over his shoulder at his buddies. They rolled their eyes at him, and then began to make their way down the walkway heading toward Stacy. Luckily for the women there were only three of them. Tenna could easily take care of the asshole standing over her and Stacy was always good for a fight. At six feet tall she was as large as most men and more capable of holding her own than just about anyone Tenna had ever encountered.

That feeling of confidence lasted about, oh, thirty seconds; four more Shifters filed into the media room and each was large enough to dwarf Tenna. Hell, a couple of them were bigger than Stacy. She needed to see Stacy, see if the woman was as scared as she was. But there was no way Tenna was going to turn her back on any of these guys.

“I asked you a question, bitch. Are you the Huntress?”

Tenna stared up at the man and tried her damnedest to commit every physical attribute to memory. If they got out of this alive she wanted this man to get a good ass kicking…herself being the kicker.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: CL Parks has had a passion for writing since reading Charlotte’s Web in kindergarten. After rewriting the ending to gift Charlotte with immortal life she became obsessed. Her tastes quickly moved from sweet and innocent to the supernatural after reading Stephen King in fifth grade. Since the moment she picked up Pet Semetary she devoured every supernatural and preternatural book she could get her hands on by authors ranging from Anne Rice to Stephanie Rowe.

When not fully engulfed in the latest release or typing away at her newest novel you can find her corralling her chickens, playing with her dogs, spoiling her large lizard or sewing a new vintage inspired dress. Her dream is to travel the country in an RV with her husband while writing more books…after the kids have gone on to college, of course.

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/pages/CL-Parks/361371153873?ref=br_tf

Twitter: https://twitter.com/clparks05

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/4740652.C_L_Parks

Blog: http://traditionalhousewifeagainsttheworld.blogspot.com/

Barnes & Noble –

She Who Hunts (Book 1): http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/she-who-hunts-cl-parks/1104972099?ean=9781940315508

The Darkest War (Book 2): http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/the-darkest-war-cl-parks/1120325211?ean=2940150711983

Amazon –

She Who Hunts (Book 1) – http://www.amazon.com/She-Who-Hunts-C-L-Parks/dp/1940315506/ref=la_B004SZI7V2_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1410444464&sr=1-1

The Darkest War (Book 2): http://www.amazon.com/Darkest-War-C-L-Parks-ebook/dp/B00NFUV4CA/ref=sr_1_1?s=digital-text&ie=UTF8&qid=1410444413&sr=1-1

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Pondering the Muse by J.P. Lantern – Guest Blog and Giveaway

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This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. The author will be awarding a backlist ebook copy to a randomly drawn winner at every stop during the tour and a Grand Prize of a $25 Amazon GC will be awarded to one randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during this tour.

Pondering the muse

The muse for me has a few different qualities that are kind of hard to explain. It’s equal parts, at different times, a sort of suction engine, dilapidated skeleton, and giant badger mouth.
One way you might think of it is like the bad guy aliens from Space Jam. In the beginning, they’re these teensy, puny little things that are sort of inept and good-natured, but also kind of cruel. That’s where my muse is right now. After just completing a novel, the well of ideas is pretty much dry, and my muse has been absolutely emptied.

And where you want the muse to be is where those aliens from Space Jam get to—all pumped up and full of talent stolen from other, better people at the thing they’re trying to do. And that’s the process I take when trying to get my muse all filled up again: I read a lot, a whole lot, and the whole time I’m just refilling that well and taking as many tips and wholesale arcs and stories as I can from people who are smarter and better than I am. Some of this is conscious, but a lot of it is subconscious.

One other important tidbit of the muse is that’s sort of like the facehugger from alien. (My muse has various alien forms, I suppose). And the reason it’s that is because that once it latches onto an idea, it can’t let go. If it lets go, it just…you know, sprays acid everywhere and gives everyone a bad time. I’ve got the acid burns to prove it. But if the muse does stay latched on, then the whole time it’s pumping that idea full of all the stuff it’s collected over all that time you’ve spent reading and absorbing other people’s great notions.

For UP THE TOWER, I absorbed all sorts of stuff. Movies like Blade Runner and Sorcerer; the soundtrack to Assault on Precinct 13; Philip K. Dick books THE DIVINE INVASION and MARTIAN TIMESLIP, and of course a lot of Gene Wolfe. I think all those influences are pretty evident, but I think also they make for a pretty great read.

UptheTowerDisaster brings everybody together. A cloned corporate assassin; a boy genius and his new robot; a tech-modified gangster with nothing to lose; a beautiful, damaged woman and her unbalanced stalker—these folks couldn’t be more different, but somehow they must work together to save their own skin. Stranded in the epicenter of a monumental earthquake in the dystopian slum, Junktown, there is only one way to survive. These unlikely teammates must go…UP THE TOWER.

Enjoy an excerpt:

“This kid comes in, okay? Starts doing all this stuff with Wallop’s tech fists. Powering them up and such. You know, they can bend steel, they can punch a man so far a distance, all of that. At first, I think the kid’s pretty young, but then I see his eyes—they’re old enough. I seen his eyes, they’re about my age, those eyes. And it’s important, okay, how old he is. Because this kid? He looks a hell of a lot like me.”

“So what? Lots of kids look like you.”

“Yeah. So do Georgeson. So do Jonesboy. So do Figueroa.”

“What are you saying?”

“I’m saying…” he palmed the side of his head. “I’m saying, it ain’t no secret that you got yourself a certain type of person that you pick up. A type of boy. I sort of thought I knew why. Last night I found out for certain.”

Konnor was right. Ore was angry.

“The hell are you saying to me? Just say it.”

“You said you had a brother. His name was Samson. He was good with tech, you said. Well this kid? The one tailoring Wallop’s new fists? Samson. That’s what Wallop called him. ‘Samson, touch here.’ ‘Samson, look at that, is that right.’”

Ore didn’t say anything.

“He’s alive. Your brother. In The Tower. He’s maybe been alive this whole time.”

Silence, then. Even the eyebots outside seemed to get quiet.

That goddamn Wallop. Her job, her Haulers, and her eye. Now he had her brother, or near enough. Everything. Would he take everything from her?

Konnor stood up and headed to the door. The shack squeaked beneath him.

“If it was any other sort of job…if it was a job that maybe wouldn’t have gone against the Faces…”

“Shut up, Konnor. It’s all against the Faces. It’s under ‘em or it’s with ‘em. You know that.”

“All right. All right.” He opened the door. An argument had started down the street; someone lit a fire in a barrel on the balcony above her shack; an eyebot stopped, scanned the two, and then zipped away. “It’s a hell of a plan, though, Ore. A hell of a plan. And maybe I won’t get around to telling Wallop what’s what for a little while.”

About the Author:MEDIA KIT Author PhotoJ.P. Lantern lives in the Midwestern US, though his heart and probably some essential parts of his liver and pancreas and whatnot live metaphorically in Texas. He writes speculative science fiction short stories, novellas, and novels which he has deemed “rugged,” though he would also be fine with “roughhewn” because that is a terrific and wonderfully apt word.
Full of adventure and discovery, these stories examine complex people in situations fraught with conflict as they search for truth in increasingly violent and complicated worlds.

Goodreads ~ Website ~ Facebook ~ Twitter

Buy the book at Amazon.

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Lieutenant Henry Gallant by H. Peter Alesso – Exclusive Excerpt and Giveaway

This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. The author will be awarding a $50 Amazon/BN GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter. Click on the tour banner to see the other stops on the tour.

In an era of genetic engineering, Lieutenant Henry Gallant is the only Natural (non-genetically enhanced) officer left in the fleet. Many of his superiors, including rival Anton Neumann, have expressed concern he is not up to the challenge. However, his unique mental abilities have proven essential to the defense of the United Planets in its fight against the Titan invaders.

Serving on the first FTL prototype, the Intrepid, on its maiden voyage to Tau Ceti, Gallant finds a lost colony on the planet Elysium. Cyrus Wolfe and his son, manipulate planet politics against the democratic opposition led by James Hepburn and his granddaughter Alaina. Wolfe has allied himself with an ancient Artificial Intelligence which had lain dormant on the planet for millennia, but is now willing to protect the colonists against the Titans.

With Alaina’s help, Gallant discovers the ancient AI has a sinister ulterior motive and he matches his unique and exceptional mind against the complexity of machine intelligence to escape the ultimate trap and prevent the extermination of humanity.

In Lieutenant Henry Gallant, one man pits the naked human mind against the perspicacity of machine intelligence.

 

Enjoy an exclusive excerpt:

Alaina stood in the main courtyard, oblivious to her own stature, painting the portrait of a vivacious five-year-old child who was sitting on the grass playing with a small toy.

Approaching Alaina from behind, Gallant admired her figure—stately and beautiful—poised before an easel, paintbrush in her right hand, dabbing flesh tone color onto the cherubic expression of the little girl. Her long graceful brushstrokes captured the appealing vivid image of the child—compelling him to conclude Alaina was an exceptional artist.

He walked slowly, taking in the sight and stopping several meters behind her. In accordance with the sunny tropical weather, she was dressed in a pleasant flower print blouse and light blue pants highlighting her slender figure.

“Alaina?” His voice came close to her ear, giving her a start. “Alaina?”

She must have recognized his voice immediately because he was greeted with a stunning smile as she turned her head toward him.

“Henry.”

Flustered for the moment, she turned back to her painting and the posing child as if reluctant to break her rapport. After a final stab of paint, she pulled a cloth over the painting and set down her brush on her easel.

“I’m sorry. I shouldn’t have come up behind you like that,” said Gallant, begging for forgiveness, yet unrepentant.

“No, not at all. It was silly of me—my mind was far away,” she said. She did not change her stance or move about; she merely returned his gaze.

She was dressed so differently from their days in the jungle, and her demeanor was likewise so demure that he wondered,

Is this Alaina, or an impostor designed to confuse me, more than usualif that were even possible?

Alaina cast an approving eye over Gallant’s newly tailored and sharply pressed uniform.

“I know that look,” Gallant said, reaching toward her and touching her shoulder.

“Oh,” she murmured.

“What’s this strange magic you have over men?”

“Why, what do you mean?” she asked innocently, pursing her sexy pouty lips.

Gallant laughed out loud at her pose.

“Well, individually, I will admit men can be something of a puzzle, but I find a solution after a bit.”

“And then what?”

“Why then I move on to something, or someone, more challenging of course.”

“Is that your plan for me? Dropping me because I’m no longer so different, or intriguing?”

“But, Henry, you’re so handsome in your uniform. I’ve always found you fascinating.”

Gallant was trying to sort out his own feelings. Despite his excitement to find Alaina, he wasn’t sure how this day would play out.

“I’m here to learn more about Elysium’s people,” Gallant explained. Suddenly he didn’t want to admit he had been hoping to see her despite his ostentatious excuse.

“You’re not looking for another adventure then?” she asked, her voice trailing off as she tilted her head slightly to one side, her questioning eyes growing wide, her body language exhibiting a curled tension.

Gallant hesitated—the question appeared superficially guileless—but he suspected if he plumbed its depths, he could find hidden meaning.

About the Author:

As a scientist and author specializing in technology innovation, H. Peter Alesso has over twenty years research experience at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL). As Engineering Group Leader at LLNL he led a team of computer scientists and engineers in innovative applications across a wide range of supercomputers, workstations and networks. He graduated from the United States Naval Academy with a B.S. and served in the U.S. Navy on nuclear submarines before completing an M.S. and an advanced Engineering Degree at M.I.T. He has published several software titles and numerous scientific journal and conference articles, and he is the author/co-author of seven books.

You can visit his Web site at: http://www.hpeteralesso.com/Default.aspx

Goodreads Address: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/413852.H_Peter_Alesso

YouTube trailer for Henry Gallant Saga: SciFi Book Trailer: Midshipman Henry Gallant

Facebook for Henry Gallant Saga: https://www.facebook.com/MidshipmanHenryGallantInSpace

Author Blog Address: http://cosmologysymmetrybreaking.blogspot.com/

Amazon link for Volume 1 of the Henry Gallant Saga: http://www.amazon.com/Midshipman-Henry-Gallant-Space-Volume/dp/1482640325/ref=tmm_pap_title_0

Book Reviews for Volume 1:

Past Reviews of the first volume: Midshipman Henry Galant @2013

“The author has created a wonderful piece of work with his first novel in the Henry Gallant Saga. Between Henry Gallant beginning his new life on the United Planets’ battle cruiser Repulse and trying to save the world the author has came up with it all. Henry Gallant is an admirable character with many wonderful features such as courage, intelligence, humility, kindness and special powers. … the odds stacked against him pretty high. But maybe through it all, Kelsey will see the remarkable things about him.” Ashley Patts, Teenage Rush teenagerush.blogspot.com

“This story moves along at a swift pace, with interesting character development and plot surprises. The characters are complete and engaging. This could develop into a good series.” Rae

“Its style and flavor reminded me of The Lost Fleet series by Jack Campbell.” – JJH

“Space Opera at its finest. Rousing read, introverted young man against impossible odds, a girl to win or lose, an enemy or is he? Way too much fun…can’t wait for the next one.” – vrzepka

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