Monday, July 16, 2018

#TheCradleOfDestiny #Sci/Fi



Title: The Cradle of Destiny
          Th Sy’Arrian Legacy Book One
Author: Gregory D. Current
ISBN: 978-1-62420-366-4
Genre: Science Fiction
Excerpt Heat Level: 1
Book Heat Level: 1
Price: 4.99

Buy at: Amazon, Barnes and Noble


TAGLINE

A usurper’s relentless pursuit, the return of a forgotten race and a legacy reborn.

BLURB

The ability to mold each of the four elements to perform extraordinary acts in defense of others has been limited to one race alone, the Sy’Arrians. Through the course of time, Sy’Arrians have noticed it is the inherent will of the individual utilizing Akasha that is key in understanding its unique course from one lifeform to another. Whether good or evil is based solely on the practitioner.

EXCERPT

“The abomination,” it growled. “Where is it?”
Bayne cocked an eyebrow. “An interesting descriptor. You are a day late, I’m afraid.”
“You lie!” The being’s eyes grew wider. “I detect two Sy’Arrian scents; the abomination’s is quite potent.”
Bayne found the budding dialogue intriguing. Maintaining the being’s focus not only provided more insight into their intellectual capacity but an opportunity to continue searching for the one who had stepped outside their ranks.
“Smell?” he probed. “Some odors last longer than others. A residual effect, I suspect.”
“It is the Source I smell! It permeates everything; a stink coursing through your kind’s veins.” The being sniffed, swaying to the left and right, an indication to Bayne the situation was about to get ugly.
Interesting. Lourous alluded to the possibility they could somehow sense us. This “source.” Could it be…?
“Akasha.” Bayne stated flatly, noticing the being’s eyes grow wider once again.
“Yes!” It hissed. “The abomination’s taint is especially pungent. He must be hiding nearby.”
“I can assure you,” Bayne paused, noticing subtle movement at his right periphery, “that is not the case.”
Before a retort came, Bayne reacted to the threat encroaching on his position. Akasha flowed effortlessly, burning through his being to reach out and reshape the elements. Sand erupted underneath the creature, attempting to slither towards him, forcing it to reel upwards. Bayne extracted nearby ocean water to mix and bind the granules, quickly crafting an earthen spear.
“Tisk, tisk,” he waved a forefinger at it sternly. “I do not appreciate being stalked.”
Bayne perforated the being’s chest, delivering a critical blow with a forceful thrust. It exited the creatures back, a dark purplish fluid spewing from its mouth to coat the sand beneath it. He savagely ripped the weapon from the creature’s chest; sounds of crunching bone and tearing flesh echoing in the wind. The seasoned warrior quickly elevated its broken body and tossed it callously at the larger group. They fanned outward, a dull thud and shower of sand signifying its final resting place.
The group looked at their deceased comrade, its remaining life force spilling outward to create blood cakes in the sand. In unison they looked skyward, necks stretching to produce an earsplitting yowl. Bayne winched slightly, noting it to be a combination of both a howl and high pitched screech. It lasted mere seconds; their focus now back on him.
A cry of unity. I have not seen such an act for several hundred years. They are not who they appear.
“And here I thought we were establishing rapport,” Bayne kept his tone purposefully flat. “You were receptive to courtesy, but resorted so soon to this underhanded attempt to remove me from the equation. No, no, no; this will not do.”
“The time for talk is over! Now we fight!” Their hands opened wide, claws springing from fingertips.
“I wouldn’t have it any other way.” Bayne remarked calmly, leveling a scowl in their direction. He bolted upward, allowing the wind’s natural course to carry him effortlessly. He folded into a ball, slowly stretching outward upon reaching the zenith of his ascent. Ocean air filled his nostrils, salty and fresh serving to rejuvenate his senses; he hastened his descent.
The ground cracked and groaned when he landed behind them, the vastness of the sea acting as his backdrop; sand and water sprayed outward. The two substances quickly crawled up his body, churning between liquid and solid states. Bayne felt them work with his own chemistry, molecules binding with one another to eventually form a breathable, clear and hardened exoskeleton. It was smooth and flexible.
Fully aware the entire action had taken less than two minutes, Bayne knew his foes could sense Akasha, so logic would dictate they would be aware of surges in its use. If he intended to remain sufficiently ahead of their counterattacks, both timing and a degree of fearlessness must be utilized. Before he finished the thought, they were upon him.
Bayne tucked outer extremities closer to his body, avoiding the outright severing of an arm or leg. Darkness enveloped him, the sheer mass of their bodies dousing all light and straining his muscles. A flurry of claws slashed, glancing off his protective shell; a carapace he knew would not last long if he did not act swiftly.
I need to rid myself of a few passengers.
Crystalline spikes sprang from the protective shell, skewering three of the beings instantly; gurgling of blood filled lungs signaling to him the desired effect had been achieved. While the bodies slumped to the ground, Bayne noticed how quickly the remaining group spread out to form a perimeter not wanting to suffer the same fate.
He stood to full height just in time to face two of them already too close for a truly effective countermeasure. A cestus forming a solid anvil shaped armament completely enclosed his left hand. Bayne lowered the weapon slightly before bringing it full force to backhand the being square in the face, crushing it instantly. The resulting force sent its limp body cartwheeling several meters towards the warm embrace of the sea.
In one fluid motion, Bayne spun toward his right side to address the second threat. The being’s clawed hand missed the flesh of his left check by centimeters, removing a sizeable chunk of the old warrior’s hair instead. He swiftly snapped the beings lower leg at the knee with his foot, forcing it to howl in pain. Bayne brought the cestus upward to smash the being’s face before delivering a finishing blow to the back of its head. The force of the downward impact buried it head first up to its shoulder blades in the sand; the body quivered a few seconds before expiring.
Sensing doubt in his opponents, Bayne opted for a more offensive approach to help thin their numbers further. It was a calculated risk, one he knew from experience would drain his energy and could rightly end with his demise if it were not executed perfectly.
Heels planted firmly in the moist earth, he divided his attention between the ocean before him and the air carrying its briny aroma inland. Akasha augmented every muscle fiber and nerve ending in his body, allowing the Sy’Arrian to utilize each element in its raw form.
Sand to his left began to move due to a slow and steadily increasing wind, a smattering of granulated clumps beginning to splatter against the beings faces; attempts by them to block it ended in futility. The wind swiftly transitioned from eye watering gusts to a small, isolated sand storm forcing granules into every orifice. Elongated fingers clutched their throats, grit filling lungs and caking eyelids. Bayne narrowed his focus even further, sending funnels of sand directly into their mouths.
While the creatures to his left began to slowly suffocate, an oceanic wave six meters in height and width rushed at him. A force all its own, it veered off before crashing into him, swooping toward the threat to his right. The creatures attempted to leap to safety but were hit full frontal, the sheer force nearly crushing their skeletal structure. The wave split itself into sections, forming individual tendrils that coiled around their victims. Each tendril acted independently, swinging their prey wildly in the air before violently slamming them into the ground three times in rapid succession. Twisted and broken, four of the creature’s limp bodies were cast several kilometers out to sea.
Bayne released his grip on Akasha, its empowering effects trickling away, while the forces around him returned to their former state. As expected, he felt weary but considered the maneuver successful. A canvass of the immediate surroundings supported his assessment; the four lying dead to his left, partially buried under a blanket of sand plus the four thrown out to sea came to eight. In total, sixteen of the original twenty were neutralized, including the one subdued prior to this fight. Strength waning, he turned to face the remaining four.
“Your power has left you, old man,” the largest of the four uttered in a throaty voice.
Bayne’s protective shield melted away, the breeze immediately cooling exposed skin. He stepped back towards the shoreline, stopping in a spot where his feet remained submerged up to the ankles. The four beings moved in slow controlled movements, closing the gap between themselves and their quarry. They fanned out to cover his front, right and left sides.
“Well then,” he articulated calmly, motioning them to come closer, “do not keep an old man waiting.”


KEYWORDS

Science Fiction, Action, Adventure, Akasha, Sy’Arrain, Four Elements


SOCIAL LIINKS

Website URL: www.gregorydcurrent.com          

Blog URL:Same as website URL

Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/authorgregorydcurrent/

Twitter handle: https://twitter.com/GregoryCurrent

Sunday, July 15, 2018

#FaceYourFears #LGBT #GeneralFiction


Title: Face Your Fears
Author: Bill Mathis
ISBN: 978-1-62420-365-7
Genre: LGBT/General Fiction
Excerpt Heat Level: 1
Book Heat Level: 4


TAGLINE

Face Your Fears shows how normal comes wrapped in different packages, yet inside each package, people are the same, whether able bodied, disabled, black, white, brown, green or LGBTQ+.

BLURB

Face Your Fearsis filled with vitality as it challenges the traditional concepts of normalcy, family, disability and love. Nate is a quadriplegic with cerebral palsy raised in a family of achievers. He must be fed, dressed and toileted, yet has unique skills and abilities he gradually becomes aware of. Jude is able-bodied, one of 10 children raised on a hardscrabble Iowa farm. He can change diapers, cook, fix equipment, milk cows, and discovers his vocation as a physical therapist. Both experience tragic teen-age losses, navigate family tragedies, and come to peace with who they are individually as gay men, and eventually together.
            This book shows how normal comes wrapped in different packages, yet inside each package, people are the same, whether able-bodied, disabled, black, white, brown, green or LGBTQ+.


EXCERPT

Eve leans over and whispers to Mikey and me. “They’re getting into the spirit so someone will get healed tonight.”
Mikey tries not to giggle.
His mom pokes her elbow into his side.
I’m confused. I don’t understand this getting in the spirit stuff. Why is everyone crying if someone’s going to get healed? Wouldn’t they be happy? How do they know who’s going to be healed? Besides Mikey, am I the only disabled person here? I kind of wish I wasn’t one right now. That way, I could stand up and look around to see if anyone else is. Does it hurt when you get healed? Would it be like one big spazz, then you’d be all better? What would it be like for Mikey? Would he feel his muscles get all strong again?
I wish Dad was here. He’s good at explaining things. He doesn’t go to church much. He says, “I’m a holiday Catholic, Easter and Christmas is enough, especially after twelve years of nuns and priests.”
The other day, I heard him tell Mom she was taking this borned again stuff too seriously. This morning at breakfast, he got upset when Mom told him she and Judy were taking us to a healing service.
Dad hardly ever gets upset, but he pushed his chair back hard and almost yelled. “Krys, this is going too far. He’s fine just the way he is.”
I thought he was going to say more, then he looked at Mikey and marched outside to the pool and started getting it ready for winter.
I wish Mikey could get healed. He’s the one who will get worser and worser, then die. I’ll have some surgeries and get a little better. I’ll probably live a long time in my chair.
After lots more singing, some people talk with weird words, Eve whispers they’re speaking in tongues. I hear a man ask anyone who wants to be healed to come down front. My wheelchair is back by the coat rack, so even if I wanted to, how was I going to get down there?
Mom leans over Judy and Mikey. “Nate, do you want me to get you in your chair and take you down front?”
I jerk. My eyes get big. I shake my head back and forth lots. I want to say hell no, but I don’t. “No,” I whisper kind of loud. “I’m not going anywhere in front of all these people.”
Mom sits back down. I think she looks sad. I feel bad, maybe I should have let her, that’s what she brought me here for.
An old man pushes an old woman in a wheelchair by our pew. She’s wrapped up in a blanket. Her head flops to one side. Her eyes are kind of funny and her lips have got spit bubbles coming out. Her feet stick out in front and she has pink fluffy slippers on. The healing man prays real loud and talks about the stripes of Jesus healing her. I hear him say he’s anointing her with oil. He repeats everything all over, but louder. Next, he asks if there is anyone else who needs healing. I’m not sure the old lady got healed, ‘cause she didn’t come back up the aisle walking.
All at once, Eve stands up and points down at me and Mikey. Part of me wants to head butt her for pointing us out. Part of me is scared as heck.
“Pray,” Eve hisses. “Close your eyes and pray hard. You too, Mikey. Pray!”
I put my head down and close my eyes. How do you pray? Does it have to be out loud? That would be crazy with other people next to me, especially Mikey. So, I think about walking and running and swimming by myself and not being in a wheelchair. I guess that would be nice. And then, no one would have to wipe my butt or feed me, that would be good for my family. But they don’t seem to mind, they never complain. It all seems regular to us. Mom’s the only one who wants me normal, but it’s not ‘cause she’s tired of helping me. I think she feels sorry for me, or sometimes guilty, which I don’t understand.
Someone touches me and I jerk. I open my eyes and the healing man is leaning over us. He’s old and fat. His shirt button behind his tie is popped off. He’s got stains on his tie and shirt and suit coat. He says all the same things over us he did for the old woman. I get tired after a while, especially the louder he yells.
I peek at Mikey. He won’t look back, which is probably good. We might start laughing. He looks a little scared and worried.
His mom sits straight as a stick. She looks upset and don’t even look down at us, just stares out at nothing.
I can’t see my mom, but I can hear her. She’s whispering and crying real quiet.
The man dabs some oil on my forehead and my arms and legs. “Everything is in God’s timing, so be prepared for a miracle at home,” he says.
He does the same to Mikey and goes back up front. They take an offering. At last they sing the last song, another long one.
The service is over, and my butt hurts from sitting on the hard seat. I don’t think nobody got healed. No one is talking about it. I think if I was healed, or Mikey, everyone would be excited for us. He tried, the preacher healing man really did try hard.
Judy lights a cigarette as soon as we get out the door. Mikey says she only smokes outside and when she’s nervous.
Mom straps me in the car and loads the chair. She kisses me, then asks in a croaky voice, “Nate, honey, do you feel any different?”
I think a minute. I know she really wants me to feel something different. I tell my brain to tell my left hand to move, but it only jerks a little, like it always does. I wiggle my toes, or try, as usual, they don’t do much, instead my legs and body spazzes. I look at her and shake my head. I look away, so I don’t see how she looks, but I think it’s sad. I feel bad, but I can’t tell her something when it ain’t true, that’s lying. Once she washed my mouth out with soap for lying.
Mom closes my door and goes over by Judy, who’s smoking by her door. Mikey climbs in and leans over close to me, his face almost touches mine. “I think that man was crazy! I was scared you’d get healed and I wouldn’t. Then you could walk and everything and make new friends, normal friends, and not have time for me. That’s why I didn’t look at you in church. Are you mad because I wasn’t praying you’d be healed?”
I kiss his cheek. “Mikey, you’re my bestest.”
He joins in, “And bestest and bestest friend in the whole universe.”
We giggle, he slides over and hooks his seatbelt.
Mikey’s door is still open, and he can see our moms. “They’re hugging. I think they’re both crying a little. Your mom’s saying she feels guilty ‘cuz it’s her fault you’re handicapped.”
“It is not! Some cord was wrapped around my neck when I got borned. She didn’t do it on purpose. What’s your mom saying?”
“That she’s scared I’m going to die young. She doesn’t think church or God will heal me and it makes her mad.”
He puts his finger up for me to stay quiet.
“Nate, your mom is saying she doesn’t understand why God didn’t heal both of us tonight, especially after all her praying. Maybe we’ll get healed at home.”
He waits some more, listening to our moms. “My mom said she isn’t going to hold her breath and your mom shouldn’t either. Now they’re hugging tight.”
We’re quiet. “Mikey, I’m scared you will die young, too.” Mikey reaches over and touches my shoulder. I think he’d like to slide over and give me a hug, but he’s buckled in and getting tired out.
“I’m okay. You’re okay. Dad says we have to take it one day at a time. I think that means not to worry. So, I’m not.” We don’t talk anymore.
Judy closes Mikey’s door and climbs in the front seat. Mom gets in and starts the car. It’s cool when the car starts, it’s got a big engine. It’s an old Jag with a stick shift, but it’s in good condition. Mom’s always getting it washed and waxed. Sometimes Mom jokes she should have been a race car driver instead of a CPA and owning her own accounting business. Both our moms have tears on their cheeks, but they don’t seem as sad anymore.
Judy wipes her eyes, turns and looks back at us. She smiles extra big, like she’s making herself happy. “How are you boys doing?”
Mikey looks over at me, shrugs his shoulders and winks. I don’t know what he’s going to say, but I’m ready to laugh. In a deep voice, he says like he’s an announcer or something, “Well, Mrs. Howard, I found that to be an interesting way to spend a Sunday afternoon. Almost better than watching the Bears.”
He and I giggle. Both our moms look like they want to laugh and cry at the same time. Judy stretches her arm between the seats and pats Mikey on the leg. “Oh, Mikey, you always see the humor in everything, don’t you? I like that about you and wish I was more like you instead of worrying all the time.”
Mikey pats her hand back, then looks out the window for a while. It’s quiet till Mom turns on orchestra music, real low.
After a while, Mom clears her throat. “Nate, are you feeling anything different happening? Are you all right?” Her voice sounds shaky, but not as much as before.
“Ma.” I say Ma when I want to tease her or get her attention. She doesn’t like me calling her that. “Ma, I’m fine, at least I’m not worse or anything.”
“That’s nice, honey. I’m…”
“Hey, Ma? That man’s breath smelled really gross. Maybe he was constipated or needed to brush his teeth. I thought I was going to pass out before I could get healed.”
Mikey looks at me like he doesn’t know what to do. Judy snorts like she sucked milk up her nose. “Oh my God! Krys, you look like you’re going to lose it. Pull over someplace. Quick, there’s a McDonalds.”
Mom whips the Jag into Mickey D’s, puts the shift in neutral and yanks up the parking brake. She and Judy burst out laughing so hard tears run down their faces and they can hardly breathe.
“Oh my God, Nate. What cabbage plant did we find you under?”
I’m glad I got Mom to laugh hard. I hope she forgets about getting me healed. My bony butt still hurts.

KEYWORDS

Disability, Family, Romance, Able bodied, LGBT

SOCIAL LIINKS

Website URL: www.billmathiswriteretc.com

Blog URL:

Facebook page: Bill Mathis Writer Etc

Twitter handle: @billmathiswrit1

Sunday, July 1, 2018

#TheEmeraldCave #Action #Adventure


Title: The Emerald Cave
            Ramsey Series Book 3
Author: James McPike
ISBN: 978-1-62420-361-9
Genre: Action/Adventure
Excerpt Heat Level: 1
Book Heat Level: 2

Buy at: Amazon, Barnes and Noble

TAGLINE

Renowned Ministry investigator Vince Ramsey returns for his biggest mission yet. To hunt down a dangerous arms dealer who is after the Holy Grail.

BLURB: The Emerald Cave

The Ministry of Jerusalem calls in their top investigator—Vince Ramsey—to track down a shadowy arms dealer whose last known whereabouts were in a reclusive village in France. It soon becomes clear that the arms dealer was after a fabled treasure—something so powerful that it could be used as the ultimate weapon. Ramsey enlists the help of April Fulton, an expert in rare antiquities, to aid him in his whirlwind quest.
            April traces clues to a controversial physics lab in Switzerland, led by a mysterious figure. Hunting down another lead, Ramsey travels halfway around the globe to a decommissioned military base in the most remote place on earth—Antarctica. There he must battle the dangerous elements and a ruthless team of mercenaries in a race to find the treasure in time.



EXCERPT: The Emerald Cave

The door opened with a pitiful creak.
Wasting no time, Ramsey slid his mask back on and darted in, gun drawn. There was a long hallway with two doors on his left and three to his right. He swiftly checked the closest one to his left, ducking in and sweeping the room from side to side.
Nothing but an empty bunkbed and an unsightly disarray of clothes.
Erstad reluctantly followed a few steps behind, sticking close to the walls. For the first time, he was looking a little unsure of himself as if it was a grave mistake to come here. But he kept his mouth shut.
Ramsey moved smoothly and expertly, operating in stunning silence. He checked the next room. Nothing but miscellaneous storage goods. He quietly moved on, checking room after room with expert precision and impeccable timing. Each one turned out to be empty until he reached the last one on his right.
It happened to be positioned straight across from the front entrance.
There was a desk in the room with a radio for communications. Someone was sitting there with a pair of earphones on while chowing down on a sub sandwich. The guy immediately whipped his head up, startled at first, then he quickly recovered and reached for something by his side.
A shotgun.
Ramsey flew into the room with dazzling speed and knocked the weapon out of his hand. Then he spun the man’s chair around to face him and jammed the muzzle of his Jericho pistol into his forehead.
“Nice to meet you,” Ramsey said with a wicked snicker beneath his mask.
The man’s face suddenly drooped in fear as he slowly raised his hands up. He’d reached for the shotgun so fast that he’d dropped his sandwich, leaving a disgusting stain all over his sweater.
“Oh, maybe you didn’t hear me,” Ramsey went on to say as he knocked the earphones off the man’s head. “I said, nice to meet you!”
The man was shaking all over. “Uh...who are you?” He spoke in a distinct Chechen accent and had pronounced cauliflower ears.
“Don’t worry about that. Just tell me what you’re doing here?”
“I’m...” the man paused and gulped, trying to figure out what to say. “I’m a geologist conducting my research. Did you know the main mineral resource here is coal? But the best of all is the untapped oil and natural gas reserves that lie offshore.”
“Thanks for the geology lesson,” Ramsey replied with an absurd sigh, not buying it. For the first time, he noticed all the different maps of Antarctica displayed in the room. There was a dizzying amount of charts and correlation studies attached to each one. He’d almost forgotten about Erstad who was hanging back in the hallway, looking uncertain he wanted to be any part of this.
Ramsey gestured toward all the empty space in the room. “It’s okay. You can come in.”
Erstad attempted a feckless smile, looking as if he didn’t have a choice in the matter, so he tentatively stepped in, saying nothing.
Ramsey focused once again on the man in the chair. “What’s your name?”
“Razan Kadyrov.”
“Okay,” he said as if they were off to a good start. “I’ll call you Raz for short. How’s that? I just have a few questions to ask, and then I’ll be on my way. Depending on how you answer them will ultimately decide if you get out of here or not.” He paused, letting that monumental bit of significance sink in. “So, let’s begin, shall we?”
The man nodded, but hesitantly.
“Do you know someone by the name of Cordoba?”
Ramsey studied his reaction as the man seemed to rake his brain for an easy answer. After what felt like too long, he finally spoke up, saying firmly, “No.”
Ramsey took a step back while keeping his gun trained on him, a look of sheer disappointment concealed beneath his mask.
“All right then. Next question. Do you know anything about a treasure that the Nazis hid out here?”
Despite himself, Raz laughed at the ridiculousness of the question. “You’re kidding, right?”
Ramsey’s storm-blue eyes regarded him with deadly intensity. “Not at all. I’ve flown halfway around the world to find out. So, do you know anything about it or not?”
Raz gave a shrug of indifference. “Don’t know what you’re talking about, man. I just run a research station here.”
Ramsey sighed most regrettably. He could tell that this person wouldn’t be as forthcoming with info as he thought. That was too bad. He’d have to resort to more extreme measures.
“All right. Let’s try something else.” He made a show of returning his gun to his holster as if coming to friendlier terms with the man. “Maybe I was a little rude at first. What I should have done is this.” He swung his fist and punched the man squarely in the face.
“What the hell!” Raz croaked as his head snapped back.
Erstad stepped further into the room, growing wary. “Maybe we should just leave,” he suggested.
“Not a chance,” Ramsey told him incredulously. “We just got here.” He wrapped his left hand into a tight coil around the collar of Raz’s nice wool sweater. Then he slowly reared back his other fist in the air. “Shall I try this again?”
“You’re fucking crazy!” Raz scolded him.
Ramsey smacked him again, only much harder this time. The crunching sound of cartilage breaking was awfully painful to hear in the confines of the room.
“Ow! For chrissakes!” Raz unleashed another outburst as blood squirted from his busted nose. He clamped his hands over his bruised face, trying to contain the torrent of blood. He looked pleadingly over to Erstad for help. “Tell your boy to stop!”
Erstad sighed in a disgruntled manner, hating the position he was in. He held up his hand as if maybe this had gone far enough. “I think you made your point.”
Ramsey settled back, looking sympathetic for only a fleeting second. “Find him a towel or a rag, would you?”
Erstad obliged, rushing back to another room and returning a minute later with a dishrag. He handed it to Raz who immediately snatched it up and held it like a sieve to his broken nose. Ramsey gave him a couple minutes to regain his composure, standing off to the side with his arms casually crossed.
“Feel any better?”
Raz nodded angrily as the outpour of blood began to subdue.
“Well, that’s good,” Ramsey said as he drew closer. “Feel like talkin’ yet?”
Raz clammed up, his bleary eyes filling with malice as he held the bloody rag to his face. He spit in hateful defiance toward the floor.
“Really?” Ramsey asked him as if he were not the least bit surprised. “You still don’t want to cooperate? Hmm...” He gazed around the room, pondering on what else he could use.
There was a long metal survey pole that looked tempting. Ramsey grabbed it and wound his arms back like he was a slugger in the batter’s box.
“Okay, okay!” Raz frantically protested, his voice badly garbled and distorted through the rag. He raised one trembling hand, hoping to fend off any more debilitating blows. “You don’t know what kind of trouble you’ve just put yourself in,” he told Ramsey with a newfound confidence and swagger. He glared at him through red-speckled eyes, issuing a crude laugh. “The people I work for are going to come after you. Cordoba is one of them. We’re here searching for that Nazi treasure just like you. Cordoba is out looking for it right now.”
“Do you know how far away he is?”


KEYWORDS: Emerald Cave, Action, Adventure, Mystery, Thriller, Antarctica


SOCIAL LIINKS

Website URL: jamesmcpike.webs.com

Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/james.mcpike.94



Monday, June 25, 2018

#BorrowingAMooseHeadFromColePorter #FamilyLife


Title: Borrowing a Moose Head from Cole Porter
Author: G. Lloyd Helm
ISBN: 978-1-62420-370-1
Genre: Literary Fiction/Family Life
Excerpt Heat Level: 1
Book Heat Level: 1


TAGLINE

I had a bad feeling about Indiana from the first instant I heard we were going to be stationed there.

BLURB

Between the circus that seemed to run the town of Peru, the god-awful weather and the hostile locals we felt like we had moved into a war zone. But, military families make the best of what they are dumped into so we did our best.


EXCERPT

We started Barnum meetings/rehearsals the following Thursday, at the Ole Olson Theater building on the edge of Peru. It was just a big warehouse where lots of stage sets were stored and a piece of floor could be tape marked like the Peru High School stage. Rehearsals would take place there on the improvised stage. The production would actually take place in the high school auditorium/theater.
We were given scripts and notified what parts we would play. As I thought, the main characters were all townies who had been connected with Ole or the circus for a long time.
First night rehearsals were a real trip. We had clowns, jugglers, riggers, fliers and high wire walkers. Most came prepared to perform so there were juggling clowns, balancing acts, and tumblers all over the place. One of the clowns seemed completely ready to work. He was a good deal larger than me, meaning over six feet, made up with white face and red wig, stripped pajamas and floppy shoes. He kinda reminded me of Bozo but not exactly. He did remind me of the Jimmy Stewart character in the movie The Greatest Show on Earth. You know, the clown who never took off his make up because he was hiding from the cops? Anyway, this hulking clown was in full make up, and I wondered if he was hiding from the cops as well. Gave me an itchy feeling which increased when he said hello to Mitch. They seemed to know one another, and that didn’t make me happy.
When I got close enough to ask I said, “You know that clown, Mitch?”
“Yeah, and so do you.”
I looked at the clown again and said, “I do?”
“It’s Big Mike from Church,”
From church and from Our Gang.
“Damn. I didn’t even recognize him.”
“Well, the clothes make the man,” Mitch said, with a grin.
“Smart ass.” 
He laughed and went back to talking with Mary who was over by the piano.
I watched them and looked over at Big Mike a few times and had thoughts, but like an idiot, I put them away for later consideration instead of grabbing Kathy and Mitch and running for the base. Instead, I calmed my queasy feeling and looked around at the mess of people there for the first Barnummeeting.
I was fascinated by one girl who rode a unicycle. She was a beautiful young high schooler who spent her waiting time that evening hopping her unicycle up a movable stage prop staircase. She would hop up one step, regain her balance then hop up the next step. The stair was only four steps high, but when she got to the top she would lift her arms in victory, turn and bounce back down the steps. I said, thinking out loud, “How the hell can she do that?”
Sam Grant who was not only the piano player but also the musical director said, “My daughter, Linda. She started doing unicycle when she could barely walk. Now she is the national youth champion.”
“There is a competition for unicycle riding?”
Sam laughed. “There is a competition for everything if you look hard enough. Get a Guinness world record book.”
“Yeah, I guess.”
“She won a scholarship to Clown College and a thousand-dollar savings bond.”
“Clown College? You’re kidding me.”
“Absolutely not. Clown College is sponsored by Barnum and Bailey Circus and several other circuses worldwide. If you graduate from there you can go clown at any of hundreds of circuses around the world.”
“Hum. Well, she is good at it for sure. Amazing to watch.”
Sam smiled a proud fatherly smile and said “That’s my girl.”
I let it go at that, but I still wasn’t exactly convinced so, being an information geek, I looked it up and it was for real. I found out later that many of the kids who participated in the Peru Circus went on to life in circuses around the world including Barnum and Bailey. Where some students might talk about going the University of Indiana or Ball State a lot of kids around Peru talked about going to Clown College in Florida with perfectly straight faces.


KEYWORDS

Indiana, Peru Indiana, Kokomo Indiana, Circus, Grissom AFB

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Twitter handle: glhelm

Friday, June 15, 2018

#Strange #Mystery #Suspense



Title: Strange
Author: G. L. Didaleusky
ISBN: 978-1-62420-364-0
Genre: Mystery/Suspense
Excerpt Heat Level: 
Book Heat Level: 1

Buy at: Amazon, Barnes and Noble


TAGLINE

A doctor’s frightening dreams, deathbed children waking up cured, and an archeologist’s deciphering Mayan ancient hieroglyphs seems to be intertwined with a twelve-year-old hospitalized patient.  

BLURB: Strange

Frightening dreams night after night are afflicting the chief of pediatrics, Adam Stafford, at Ocala Regional Medical Center. Will there be a conclusion of his dreams or will he succumb to a death spiral before he can awake? At ORMC, Adam attempts to understand why deathbed children on the pediatric floor at ORMC awakened cured without any medical explanation? In a near-by town, an archeologist, Lisa Douglas, is searching for the meaning of ancient hieroglyphs on various Mayan relics recently discovered in a cave along Mexico’s Yucatan peninsula. There seems to be a possibility that all these scenarios are intertwined with a twelve-year-old male patient, Arius Turner, at Ocala Regional Medical Center.  

EXCERPT: Strange

Arius Turner lay supine on a long rectangular table outside the opening of the MRI’s cylindrical chamber. His arms pressed up against the side of his small, medium-build body. Two Velcro straps laid horizontal across his legs and mid torso; his head was wedged snugly between a foam head support. He laid motionless on the table. The twelve-year-old patient hadn’t said a word of dissatisfaction or showed any frightening emotions when the MRI technician secured him to the table.
Alan Stark, the MRI technician, stood to the left of Arius. The technician, a stout, middle-aged man about six-foot tall, wore a long, blue lab coat. He peered up to his right at a computerized panel of multicolored lights and digital numbers. A moment later, he turned his head downward and to the left toward Arius. “We will be starting the machine soon. Like I said earlier, there will be a loud and rapid tapping noise coming from the machine. So, don’t be afraid. You won’t feel any discomfort or pain.” He paused. “Would you like ear plugs to block the noise? Or maybe you’d like to wear some head phones and listen to music during the procedure?”
“I’m not scared or worried,” Arius answered confidently. “I know no harm will be done to me. Unless I have a heart pacemaker or some other type of electronic device implanted within me. And, no thank you regarding the ear plugs or headphones.”
Alan frowned with a puzzled expression. “You must’ve had this procedure done before?”
“No. I’ve never had an MRI,” he answered with a hint of insolence in his voice. “Besides, I try to read about anything that may harm my body and mind.”
“Well excu-u-u-se me,” Alan blurted out jokingly. “I didn’t know I was speaking with The Shell Answer Man. Of course, you’re too young to know what I meant by that?”
“You would be surprised to what I know, Mr. Technician Man,” he answered with a grin. “He was a fictitious character on a TV commercial many years ago, who would answer questions regarding automobiles and gasoline products.”
“I guess there aren’t too many things I can get by you?”
Arius frowned with puzzlement. “I wasn’t trying to intimidate you. I was reciprocating your statement.”
Alan smiled. He turned around and directed his attention across the room toward a glass partition in the wall. Behind the partition sat a middle-aged, oriental woman in front of several monitors. He gave the woman the “thumbs-up” sign. She reciprocated with the same gesture.
Returning his attention toward the MRI’s panel to his right, he reached out and placed the tip of his index finger on a green button on the MRI panel. He looked down toward Arius. “Here we go, young man,” he said with a monotonous, programmed tone of voice. “The table will slide into the cylinder and stop. The scanning will occur several seconds afterward. It’s very important you don’t move during the entire procedure.”
Alan pushed a green button. The MRI’s rectangular table slowly moved into its coffin-like cylinder. A few moments later he pushed a red button. The table stopped. “The procedure will start...now,” said the technician.
A high shrilling noise shrieked from the MRI machine. The noise then stopped. All the previous lit buttons on the panel went out, as if someone or something had pulled the plug, disconnecting all functions of the MRI machine.
Alan Stark jumped backwards a couple of feet during the MRI’s piercing screech. It appeared all the blood had drained from his face, leaving him with a pale, ghost-white appearance. His eyes appeared like small white saucers as his mouth gapped wide open. He finally shouted, “What the hell happened?”
Alan turned toward the woman at the control monitors. She shook her head back and forth while shrugging her shoulders. He peered down toward Arius. The twelve-year-old patient laid still, motionlessinside the cylindrical chamber. He couldn’t understand why this young boy wasn’t moving or crying out?“Are you all right, little man? Are you still with us?”
No verbal response. Not even the slightest twitch, from the twelve-year-old patient’s body. A few seconds passed, “I’m fine.” Arius’s voice was calm.
A deep sigh of relief came from Alan. “I’m glad you’re all right. You had me worried for a moment.”
“I assume something went wrong with the MRI machine?” Arius said matter-of-factly.
“It lost all power without warning,” he answered. “I’ve never seen this happen before.”
“Since there isn’t any power to the MRI table,” said Arius, “I assume you’ll have to manually move the table?”
“Yeah. You’re right.” He seemed surprised by Arius’s intuitiveness. “Hang in there. I’ll have you out in a few moments.”
When he was about to engage the manual lever to the table, the door leading out to the hospital corridor burst open. He spun around. Coming through the doorway was the transporter, Caleb, who’d brought Arius down from his room, and behind him were a few other hospital employees. All of them expressed concern on their faces.
“Whatin heaven’s name was that horrible noise coming from this room?” Caleb asked anxiously. “The shrilling noise sounded like you and your patient were being attacked by a million bats.”
“The sound you heard came from the MRI machine,” Alan answered, “and I don’t have the foggiest idea what happened. It just crashed.” He turned back around and started to move the table out from underneath the MRI’s cylindrical opening. In less than a minute, the sliding table was out from underneath the cylinder.
Arius looked up at the technician. “Thank you. You’ve been very kind.”
Alan smiled. “You’re welcome. I’m glad you’re all right.”
Caleb, who was now standing a few paces from the end of the table, asked: “Are you going to restart the MRI?”
“I don’t know how long it’ll take to fix it,” answered the technician as he shrugged his shoulders. “Nothing like this has ever happened to me before. Since you’re here, you can take our young patient back to his room.”
Alan reached down and removed the Velcro straps from around Arius’s legs and torso. He next spread the head support allowing his young patient the freedom to sit up. To his surprise, he noticed Arius didn’t have a single bead of sweat across his forehead. Most children would’ve been yelling “bloody murder,” or they would’ve been crying hysterically until they were pulled out from under the MRI machine.But not this patient, he was composed and unaffected throughout this frightening ordeal.
Caleb returned with a wheelchair. “Hop aboard mate. Your ship is sinking.”
Arius frowned. A moment later a smile appeared. He now apparently understood what the transporter had meant by his statement. He slid off the MRI table and sat in the wheelchair.
The transporter said goodbye to the MRI technician, turned the wheelchair around and headed out of the MRI room. On their way back to the pediatric floor,neither of them said anything of significance nor anything about what could’ve happened to the MRI machine.Caleb dropped Arius off in his room and left.



KEYWORDS
Mystery, Suspense, Mayan Hieroglyphs, Strange Dreams, Mysterious Caves, Miracles.



SOCIAL LIINKS
Website URL: www.gregdidaleusky.com

Amazon author page: https://www.amazon.com/G.-L.-Didaleusky/e/B003P6MDN8/ref=dp_byline_cont_ebooks_1