Sunday, May 28, 2017

Jenius Starmage and Raiya Ravensong, two detectives in the Android Equality force, are ordered on the case of their lives: THE HIDDEN MEANINGS BY BRANDON HILL

Title: The Hidden Meanings
Author: Brandon HILL

Genre: Science Fiction/Fantasy
Excerpt Heat Level: 1
Book Heat Level: 1

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5.0 out of 5 stars

I read this e-book with some trepidation. Afterall, how often does one find androids mixed in with an obviously fantasy realm? However, the book was well written and quickly caught me. The characters are interesting. The twists in the plot are entertaining. The book opened up a whole new world and one worth visiting again!


Jenius Starmage and Raiya Ravensong, two detectives in the Android Equality force, are ordered on the case of their lives: tracking down a rogue android who committed an impossible atrocity of high magic. Uncovering the android’s past, the two elves learn of a horrendous tragedy that left broken bodies and broken minds in its wake, and links to an ancient tale of near-apocalypse that threatens to occur again through this android’s unbridled rage.  Guided by a grieving nobleman, and with circumstances reawakening long-suppressed emotions between them, Jenius and Raiya must stop the insane terrorist before history repeats itself to the destruction of all.”


Raiya's attention was fully captured from the pages of the Baron's book. "What would he have to do with a terrorist, even if she was an android?"
"Objectivity, Raiya," Jenius reminded her. "He might simply know something about this, but we don't know if he's directly related to the Center for Justice incident. Still, I wouldn't put it past him to have had something to do with our suspect. I'm sorry."
"Why do you think that?" Raiya asked, her tone both accusing and more than a little hurt. He's my father, for Divine's sake!"
"Because, before the Liberation War, he used to work with the Android Equality Force," Zan interjected. He was reading from something that neither of the elves could see. "The records are all here. No charges were brought up against him, because of Doctor Enit's plea bargain. In exchange, every one of his colleagues walked."
"Where is he now?" Jenius asked Zan.
"Berengard," both Zan and Raiya said in unison, and Jenius had to disguise his embarrassment at deferring a question that his partner would have known the answer to.
"Sorry," he murmured to Raiya.
"You want me to patch you in?" Zan asked.
Jenius nodded then waited for the ether to shift to the new address.
"I wonder what my father has to do with this." Raiya muttered aloud.
"We'll find out," Jenius said, placing his artificial hand atop hers. "It's what we do, remember?"
"Yes, but now I think it's getting personal," Raiya said, her voice stressed with concern.
"This case has already hit someone personally," Jenius said, remembering the Baron. "And it was only a matter of time that it would hit another."
The image above the dashboard changed from static to the distracted and annoyed face of an old elf. Though Jenius had only met him once before, long ago when he first introduced him to his daughter at the Android Task Force HQ, one thing about him stuck out the most: that he looked unusually haggard for an elf, even then. Young or old, humans had always described elven folk as possessing a sort of ageless youth about them, but this particular specimen seemed as world-weary as any overworked human in his middle ages.
"Am I speaking to Doctor Leneviir Ravensong?" he asked hesitantly.
"Who wants to know?" The elf asked in a gruff voice. "You'd better not be another one of those Daina bastards. I told them I'm not interested inn"
"Father?" Raiya said, looking into the hologram. Jenius looked and nearly shrank back for the sadness on her face. "This is serious."
The old elf narrowed his eyes. He was genuinely shocked to see her.
"Father, listen." Raiya pleaded. "We need your help in finding information about an android we think you might know something about."
The old elf was very quiet.
Finally, Jenius spoke.
"Doctor, my name is Jenius Starmage, and I work--"
"I know who you are, young one," the doctor said, cutting him off. "And I know about the Android Task Force. That is my daughter you're sitting by, isn't it?"
Jenius fought down the burning sensation of embarrassment and continued. "We need to know if you have any information about an android named Lihelis."
A flash of concern, almost fear, skipped across doctor's face. And then, unexpectedly, his expression darkened.
"No, I don't know a thing about it," he replied tersely then reached for something, most likely his orb, to turn it off Jenius figured.
"Father!" Raiya wailed, both desperate and indignant.
The doctor gave a start then regaining his composure, his face fell in shame. "I'm sorry, my dear," he said, defeated. "I forget myself. Yes, I do know of a Lihelis. She was an Alerian model, one of the second generation, built without the mindwipe option that others of her kind came with. It was still illegal then, but...well...the only way you could have known about her was if you talked to Baron Shosha's son. It's fairly obvious he had the monetary resources to keep the project secret."
"What can you tell us about her?" Jenius asked, having set the car to autopilot.
"Only what I know of her specs," the doctor answered, leaning backwards on something. "She was made with very specific instructions, so that's why she doesn't look like any other model, as you've probably figured out by now. We had a few sorcerers working for the labs, and so we magically extracted DNA from the children of some Alerian models in order to synthesize new templates for future models. In that respect, Lihelis was not only a custom order but a prototype as well: the first in her line."
He paused, as if gathering courage to continue.
"She also had a few...special features of my own design that I took the liberty to test out," he continued.
"What kind of 'special features'?" Jenius asked suspiciously.

Saturday, May 27, 2017

Doc Jacobi comes in contact with swindlers who have stolen a prize Stallion. GARRISON CREEK BY HENRY P. GRAVELLE

Title: Garrison Creek
         Doc Jacobi Western Book Two
ISBN: 978-1-62420-170-7
Author: Henry P. Gravelle

Genre: Western
Excerpt Heat Level: 1
Book Heat Level: 2


Doc Jacobi comes in contact with swindlers who have stolen a prize Stallion.


In the second of the Doc Jacobi series, his visit to the town of Garrison Creek brings the Doc and his trusty Appaloosa Bell in contact with a man and woman; swindlers who have stolen a prize Stallion.


"I've been feeling strange, Doc. Sometimes I wanna dance, sometimes I wanna puke," Carrie Monroe said, her brown eyes nervously wide.
She sat straight back, chin out and spoke clearly, yet a tinge of the unknown rattled her tone. Her fingers tapped against one another as though contemplating bad news of her ailment.
"Tired a lot with headaches?" I asked.
She nodded yes.
"Soreness in your breast?" I wondered.
Embarrassingly, she nodded yes again.
"How long you felt this way?" I asked, going to the washbasin atop the side table.
"I dunno," she lowered her head, "little while now."
"You're what, eighteen, nineteen?" I said.
"Sixteen," she raised her head quickly with an expression of horror at my error. She stood, covered her short auburn hair with a ragged felt hat, and went to the door of my office.
As I rinsed my hands, I studied her general appearance remembering her as a tot, delivering her brother, Bob, a few years earlier. Generally, I went by appearances rather than time when it came to age, so I had to look her over again. The tan shirt and dark trousers of a ranch hand covered her petite form 'nough that I could've taken her for Bob.
"Sorry," I grinned.
"Not your fault, doc," she sighed, "Poppa got us working day and night, kinda takes a toll on appearances."
"That it does, but you're gonna have 'ta speak with your poppa. I can't have you doing man's work for long."
She stood defiantly, "I can do anything a man ca—"
"You're pregnant," I interrupted, with a smile.
Carrie made her way back to the chair and sat, the big browns ogling the floor, "You sure…?"
"I may be just an old war surgeon," I said drying my hands on a towel, "but I still know plenty 'bout human biology."
"How?" she whispered.
"You're a young'n but I reckon you already know'd how. Got a last name for the child?"
Carrie's eyes welled. A tear fell across her cheeks. "Not sure, he's been scared away by—"
"Your poppa," I filled in her sentence.

She nodded.

Courageous and impetuous, Jessica Lawerence finds danger in her quest to save all women from white slavery. DOOR TO HEAVEN BY CHRISTINE YOUNG BY CHRISTINE YOUNG

Title: Door to Heaven
Author: Christine Young
ISBN: 978-1-62420-295-7

Genre: Historical Romance
Excerpt Heat Level: 1
Book Heat Level: 4


Courageous and impetuous, Jessica Lawerence finds danger in her quest to save all women from white slavery.


Jessica Lawrence is the stepdaughter of a woman born in the twentieth century transported back in time to the year 1868. An acclaimed suffragette, she raises Jessica to believe in the equality of women. Jess Law believes everything she was taught, and when the time is right she becomes a private investigator. Courageous and impetuous, Jess finds danger in her quest to save all women from white slavery. Her passionate mission results in a wedding to Roc Newman, a man she knows can steal her heart...

Roc can't trust the sapphire-eyed spitfire who invades his home in search of secret papers and knocks him flat with her karate moves. Jessica's refusal to obey his wishes serves to inflame the war between them. Still, he cannot control the intense desire his reluctant bride inspires, or make her surrender her independence, until he has conquered the headstrong beauty on the battlefield of love...


Salem, Oregon 1886

            No one would have ever guessed the little spitfire could create so much havoc in Roc Newman's life. He would never forget that first bizarre meeting with the pernicious but lovely Jessica Lawrence. That night set the tone for their tumultuous and stormy ride through life.
            She had shown her true colors; the wildfire that possessed her soul, the passionate spirit, and the will to triumph even when the battle seemed lost.
            When the moon appeared as a silver slipper in the sky...
            He waited for her, primed yet not prepared, forewarned through the political grapevine that Jessica Lawrence stalked him.
            Jessica Lawrence was a five foot four inch pest. In the midst of it all, no matter how precarious the situation, she seemed to remain, completely, almost unerringly, on his trail--until now. At the window, Roc scrutinized the black form below, fighting the overwhelming urge to give her a shock she would remember forever.
            She seemed hell bent on suicide. Consequently, he followed the young lady one day, dodging her path, keeping in the shadows. He had seen her enter an office mysteriously from a side door and discovered it housed a private investigator. The sign, etched in his mind, Jess Law, PI, alias Jessica Lawrence. It hadn't fooled him for a second, just gave him pause, and the fury seizing him rocked his usually placid facade.
            He gambled on her naiveté. Perhaps because he had thought her harmless, a mere girl in a man's world, inadequate. Perhaps it had even been the notion she would eventually become distracted and quit. Whatever the reason, he had made a Herculean mistake, and now he pondered her next move. Dressed to blend with the night, she was out there, an apparition of darkness, wrapped in ghostly shadows.
            He moved through the house, turning off lights, banking the fires, before settling in a shadowed corner of his study where he could watch Jess. Purposely, he waited until well after midnight to lower the lights. Roc was tense, ready for the intrusion of his privacy. He was peering through the lace curtains, wondering at the girl whose appearance would have shocked most men. A long rope looped over her shoulder, the lone woman strode surefooted across the gardens.
            The sky was clear, except for a ribbon of low clouds and a sliver of moon. The house, a bastion against the silent assault about to come. A soft wind blew through the open window from the south; it cleared his head as he watched the approach.
            Jess Law shrugged the rope from her shoulder. Silhouetted against the sky, he watched the cord snake upward, grappling hook deftly clenching the chimney. He stood in awe of the mastery. Jess Law pulled on the rope, tightened it, and with a proficiency contradicting her sex, ascended. The lady moved cautiously, and when she reached her goal, she smiled. Her even white teeth glowed against the blackness of her face.
            With lithe movements, she swiftly opened the attic window. One jean-clad leg moved through the opening. She balanced precariously, for a moment, as if she were a bird ready to fly. Then her foot rested on the hard wood. The rest of her followed quickly, dropping to the floor; silent, ready to spring.
            He felt the tension, knew she listened for the sound of footsteps. She was inside. He watched the window, imagining each moment, each breath, sensing the emotions that must surely riffle her body. Roc listened for the soft whisper of her steps as she descended and thought he could almost hear the wild racing of her heart. Only a moment passed before the sounds became audible. Once on the first floor, she made her way through the house. Her fingers rested on the tumbler of his safe and turned. He heard the click, saw the handle as she pushed down. The door swung open.
            Then, without warning, he gripped her mouth. She wrenched away, turning quickly, groping for the documents, even while she tried to avoid him. Her actions, quick and agile, proved adept, throwing him off balance, but he would not relent and managed to grip her arm. No matter how swiftly she countered his moves, he still held mastery. He turned her, prepared to hog tie her if necessary. She allowed him, relaxed then surprised him, maneuvering expertly.
            Jess swiftly shoved her elbow into his chest, and he gasped for air. With a skill he didn't suspect she possessed, Jess Law threw him to the floor, and Roc bellowed, landing at her feet. The force of her action amazed him. For a second time, the breath rushed from his lungs, and Roc found himself on the cold floor. Papers, pens, and books clogged the air and littered the Persian rug then a sudden crash reverberated in the once cozy room. His shirt dampened as cold seeped through to his skin. She hadn't just thrown him upon the floor in his private sanctuary. No. She had humiliated him, threatened life and limb, and sent a pitcher of ice water on top of him. If he still held a breath of air in his body, he would have retaliated, a throw for a throw.
            He inhaled swiftly, contemplating revenge, thoroughly irritated. He'd held his own in every fight, every barroom brawl he'd ever participated, and now, in the middle of his study, he had been deflated by a plague upon the female persuasion.
            Studying the ceiling from this new vantage point, heaving, feeling the stab of mortification against his gender, he looked into the leering countenance of what was rapidly becoming the bane of his existence. Then she spoke, surprising him, since he had expected her to run. Her voice, soft and feminine, one that pinned him to the floor with its arrogance. "To the victor belongs the spoils. Would you like a repeat performance?"