Monthly Archives: March 2019

Promo Day 2019

Promo Day 2019 Presenters (14)

ASJ Publishing will be taking pitches during the Promo Day 2019 event on Saturday 11th May.

More details can be found on Promo Day website.

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VBT – HIS SECRET LOVE

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

Meghan Mallory has a plan for her life and it does not involve falling in love. She doesn’t have the time nor the inclination. She’s too busy trying to save the world. But when a freak snowstorm puts her in the path of a man she has secretly been fascinated with for years, she is forced to reconsider her stance on dating. Spencer is rude and obnoxious with his bad boy swagger but then he rescues her when she gets stranded on the side of the road, like a knight in tarnished armor, and sweeps her away to his house to ride out the blizzard.

Spencer Collins likes his life just fine, thank you very much. As the owner of the lifestyle club Cuffs & Spurs in Jackson Hole, he has a bevy of available subs who are his to command – not that any of them have held his interest in longer than he can remember. When his best friend’s sister-in-law gets herself into trouble, Spencer heads out to rescue the little brat who is in need of a firm hand. But he never expects to be forced to confront the incendiary heat that has always existed between them.

As the storm rages around them, they surrender to a passion hotter than the sun. Now that he has felt her surrender, Spencer attempts to lure Meghan into his world. But will they let go of their pasts or will they allow secrets to destroy them?

Read an Excerpt

“I’m to tell you that your sister is pissed you worried her this way.”

Meghan squelched the ever-present guilt when it came to her sister and sighed. “She always worries. Why aren’t we going to Carter’s? It’s a hell of a lot closer than your place in Jackson.”

She studied his profile, the angular, firm jaw covered with a neatly trimmed black beard.

His gaze was trained on the road as he navigated. The way his big hands—the fingers long and bluntly tipped—kept a firm hold on the wheel made driving in these horrendous conditions appear effortless. “We aren’t going into town. My house is roughly ten minutes from here.” His gruff voice, the deep, rather exasperated, bass slithered along her spine like a caress.

“But I don’t want to stay with you,” she protested. She’d rather be stranded on Hoth or on the U.S.S. Enterprise without power. Plus, she’d been looking forward to a night or two at Casa Jones with lots of yummy food and the chance to hang with her nephew. She was indoctrinating him into her love of pop culture and science with measured success. Then there was also the tiny little fact that the thought of being cooped up with Spencer, alone, made her entire body simmer, and not in anger but anticipation.

“Why? Chicken?” he dared and glanced her way.

Meghan’s heart thudded. Her mouth went dry. And deep down she knew the answer was a resounding yes, not that she would ever admit it. With a deadpan glare, she snorted. “Nope. In your dreams, big guy.”

“Relax. I don’t bite. I have guest rooms you can pick from and we will hardly see each other.”

“Sure. Thanks. I just don’t want to be an inconvenience.” Not just to him but to anyone. Not ever again.

He rolled his shoulders in a manly shrug that was so distinctly bored alpha male, her entire body whimpered with the desire to feel all that strength against her.

And then he opened his mouth. “There are always ways in which you can thank me.”

The innuendo flash-fried her brain, bombarding her with carnal images she wanted to deny. But her body told a far different story. Stupid hormones. Her blood ignited. She pressed her thighs together to squelch the distinct throbbing and felt her nipples bead into hard points. Thank god the parka cloaked and hid her desire. She didn’t want to feel this way about him—or anyone, for that matter.

She cast him a withering stare. “Ew. Thanks, but no. You can let me out right here if this rescue comes with those kinds of strings.”

“Just saying, if you really feel that bad, I can find plenty of chores to keep you occupied.”

“Chores?” She glanced his way. His lips were compressed into a thin line but those midnight eyes of his, the ones she saw in her darkest fantasies, danced with merriment. He was teasing her, the big lug.

“Sure. I could use a maid or a cook.”

She couldn’t help it. Really, the man drove her to it. And perhaps her brain had not yet completely defrosted from her sojourn on the side of the road and then the tawdry images her brain had conjured at his innuendo… Her fist curled of its own accord. She punched him in the arm.

“You’re such a jerk. You had me thinking—”

Before she could retract her left fist, he snatched her wrist. “Careful, brat. Had you thinking what?”

And his dark gaze glittered, bored through her defenses before shifting back to the road.

What did he see? Did he intuit that she was fascinated by him? That the thought of him putting his big hands on her again liquefied her insides? Just the simple contact of his hand gripping her wrist, his thumb pressed against her wildly beating pulse, made her panties wet.

About the Author: Born in St. Louis, Missouri, Anya grew up listening to Cardinals baseball and reading anything she could get her hands on. She remembers her mother saying if only she would read the right type of books instead binging her way through the romance aisles at the bookstore, she’d have been a doctor. While Anya never did get that doctorate, she graduated cum laude from the University of Missouri-St. Louis with an M.A. in History.

Anya is a bestselling and award-winning author published in multiple fiction genres. She also writes urban fantasy and paranormal romance under the name Maggie Mae Gallagher. A total geek at her core, when she is not writing, she adores attending the latest comic con or spending time with her family. She currently lives in the Midwest with her two furry felines.

Visit my website here: http://www.anyasummers.com

Plus, I have an Exclusive Bonus Scene from HIS SECRET LOVE available for a FREE download by subscribing to my newsletter: https://goo.gl/phM786

Website as Maggie Mae Gallagher: http://www.maggiemaegallagher.com/

Visit her on social media:

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/AnyaSummersAuthor

Twitter: https://twitter.com/anyabsummers?lang=en

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/15183606.Anya_Summers

Amazon Author Page: https://www.amazon.com/Anya-Summers/e/B01EGTVRKC/

Bookbub: https://www.bookbub.com/authors/anya-summers

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/anyasummersauthor/

Buy the book at https://www.amazon.com/Secret-Love-Cuffs-Spurs-Book-ebook/dp/B07NKN5Y2S/ref=sr_1_fkmrnull_2

Anya Summers will be awarding a $15 Amazon or B/N GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour.

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VBT – Crystal and Flint

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About the Book

Title: Crystal and Flint

Author: Holly Ash

Genre: Science Fiction

It’s been 300 years since humans arrived on Neophia and the planet’s intelligent species have yet to agree on how much influence humans and their advanced technology should have on the planet. With the threat of war hanging in the air, Lieutenant Commander Crystal Wolf races to finish construction of the mega submarine, Journey, in order to calm political tensions on Neophia and cement her already stellar military career.

Lieutenant Desiree Flint never dreamed she would leave Earth to serve on Neophia, but with the end of her military career in sight she doesn’t see a way around it. Determined to rebuild her reputation on Neophia, no matter the cost, she sets her sights on dethroning Commander Wolf in order to prove her own superiority.

When Journey is attacked by someone from Crystal’s past, the two women must find a way to work together to save the ship, liberate an underwater colony from an oppressive government, and prevent a war.

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Author Bio

Author photo

Holly Ash is the author of the underwater science fiction series The Journey Missions. She has worked for the last ten years as an Environmental Engineer after receiving degrees in Environmental Science and English Literature from Central Michigan University. Holly lives in the metro Detroit area with her husband and two tiny people who constantly want her to do things for them.

Holly is also a member of The Cabin in the Woods Association of writers which works to help indie authors get their books seen.

facebook.com/hollyashwriter

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Twitter: @hollyash85

Links

https://hollyashwriter.com/

https://www.facebook.com/hollyashwriter/

https://www.instagram.com/hollyashwriter/

https://twitter.com/hollyash85

Spotlight – Josephine Baker’s Last Dance

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About the Author

Sherry Jones2

Author and journalist Sherry Jones is best known for her international bestseller The Jewel of Medina. She is also the author of The Sword of MedinaFour SistersAll QueensThe Sharp Hook of Love, and the novella White Heart.  Sherry lives in Spokane, WA, where, like Josephine Baker, she enjoys dancing, singing, eating, advocating for equality, and drinking champagne.

Her latest novel is Josephine Baker’s Last Dance.

Website: http://authorsherryjones.com
Twitter: 
https://twitter.com/sherryjones
Pinterest: 
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BookBub: 
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Facebook: 
https://www.facebook.com/sherryjonesfanpage
Instagram: 
https://www.instagram.com/josephinebakerslastdance
LinkedIn: 
https://www.linkedin.com/in/cybersecuritytechnologywriter
Goodreads: 
https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/1219600.Sherry_Jones

 

About the Book:

Title: JOSEPHINE BAKER’S LAST DANCE
Author: Sherry Jones
Publisher: Gallery Books
Pages: 304
Genre: Biography/Historical

From the author of The Jewel of Medina, a moving and insightful novel based on the life of legendary performer and activist Josephine Baker, perfect for fans of The Paris Wife and Hidden Figures.

Discover the fascinating and singular life story of Josephine Baker—actress, singer, dancer, Civil Rights activist, member of the French Resistance during WWII, and a woman dedicated to erasing prejudice and creating a more equitable world—in Josephine Baker’s Last Dance.

In this illuminating biographical novel, Sherry Jones brings to life Josephine’s early years in servitude and poverty in America, her rise to fame as a showgirl in her famous banana skirt, her activism against discrimination, and her many loves and losses. From 1920s Paris to 1960s Washington, to her final, triumphant performance, one of the most extraordinary lives of the twentieth century comes to stunning life on the page.

With intimate prose and comprehensive research, Sherry Jones brings this remarkable and compelling public figure into focus for the first time in a joyous celebration of a life lived in technicolor, a powerful woman who continues to inspire today.

Purchase Josephine Baker’s Last Dance in paperback,  ebook,  and  audiobook  formats on  Simon and Schuster’s website (available on Amazon,  Barnes and Noble,  BooksAMillion,  Indiebound,  Kobo,  and  other sites). Learn more about Sherry’s books  at  www.authorsherryjones.com

Josephine Baker's Last Dance

Link to book trailer:

Behind the Mic: JOSEPHINE BAKER’S LAST DANCE with Adenrele Ojo. Listen as she discusses what it was like to narrate this epic book: https://youtu.be/lHd0amFM3oo

 

Book Excerpt:

Just before she entered the stage door, a drop of rain hit her on the head. No, that was not a bad omen, only a reminder to do her best, to shine like the star she was, or would be. Wilsie came running up—Mr. Sissle was there, but Mr. Blake had yet to arrive. “You’ll knock ’em dead, Tumpy. Just do your dancing and forget the rest.” Josephine didn’t need to be told that. She was ready.

She flexed and stretched her arms as she walked with Wilsie across the stage, past the musicians gathering, trumpets and saxophones and drums and a clarinet, down into the auditorium, where a slender man spoke to a white-haired man at his side. He turned his head very slightly and looked her up and down from the corners of his shrewd, hard eyes. His mouth pursed.

How old are you?” he’d said before Wilsie had even introduced them. The stage door opened, and a very dark-skinned man with a bald head hurried in, talking about “the damned rain,” scampering down the steps, striding up the aisle, shaking water from his clothes.

Eubie Blake,” he said, smiling, holding out his hand to her.

This is Tumpy, Mr. Blake, the one I told you about,” Wilsie said. “She’s here to audition for Clara’s spot in the chorus.”

The man with Mr. Sissle—the stage manager—motioned to her and she followed him up the stage steps. Did she know the songs? Could she dance to “I’m Just Wild about Harry”? Josephine wanted to jump for joy. She pretended to watch as Wilsie showed her the steps, which she already knew as if she’d made them up herself. Josephine stripped down to her dingy leotard, tossed her clothes on a chair, then ran and leaped to the center of the stage. This was it. She bent over to grasp her ankles, stretching her legs, then stood and pulled her arms over her head.

Ready?” Mr. Sissle barked. The music started, and she began the dance, so simple she could have done it in her sleep. Practicing in the Standard, she’d gotten bored with it and had made up her own steps, throwing in a little Black Bottom, wiggling her ass and kicking her legs twice as high as they wanted to go, taken by the music, played by it, the instruments’ instrument, flapping her hands, step and kick and spin and spin and squat and jump and down in a split, up and jump and kick and spin—oops, the steps, she didn’t need no damn steps, she had better ones—and kick and jump and wiggle and spin. She looked out into the auditorium—a big mistake: Mr. Blake’s mouth was open and Mr. Sissle’s eyes had narrowed to slits. Don’t be nervous, just dance. Only the music remained now, her feet and the stage.

When she’d finished, panting, and pulled on her dress and shoes, Wilsie came running over, her eyes shining. “You made their heads spin, you better believe it,” she whispered, but when they went down into the aisle Josephine heard Mr. Sissle muttering.

Too young, too dark, too ugly,” he said. The world stopped turning, then, the sun frozen in its arc, every clock still, every breath caught in every throat. Mr. Blake turned to her, smiling as if everything were normal, and congratulated her on “a remarkable dance.”

I can see that you are well qualified for our chorus, Tumpy,” he said, and on his lips, the name sounded like a little child’s.

You have real talent, and spark, besides. How did you learn to do that at such a young age? You are—how old?”

Fifteen,” she said.

Mr. Sissle snorted, and cut Wilsie a look. “Wasting my time,” he said. Mr. Blake looked at her as if she’d just wandered in from the orphanage.

I’m very sorry, there’s been a mix-up,” he said. “You must be sixteen to dance professionally in New York State.”

I’ll be sixteen in June,” Josephine said. Her voice sounded plaintive and faraway.

We need someone now.” Mr. Sissle folded his arms as if she were underage on purpose. Mr. Blake led her toward the stage door, an apologetic Wilsie saying she hadn’t known. Mr. Sissle followed, talking to Mr. Blake about adding some steps to “I’m Just Wild about Harry,” saying they should put in some kicks, that he’d been thinking about it for a while. Uh-huh.

Come and see us in New York after your birthday, doll,” Mr. Blake said. “You never know when we might have an opening.” He opened the door and let the rain pour in before shutting it again. He looked at Josephine’s thin, optimistic dress. Where was her umbrella? She hung her head. He stepped over to retrieve a black umbrella propped against the wall and handed it to her. She took it without even knowing, her thoughts colliding like too many birds in a cage. She would have to stay in Philadelphia, she had failed—too young, too dark, too ugly—she should have lied about her age, what had gotten into her? Showing off, that was what.

And now Mr. Sissle disliked her, and she would never get into their show; it didn’t matter how many times she went back. As she stepped out into the rain with that big umbrella in her hands unopened and felt the rain pour down her face; she was glad, for now they would think it was water instead of tears, but when she looked back, Wilsie was crying, too, in the open doorway.

Seeing the men watching from a window, she stopped. They wouldn’t forget her; she’d make them remember. She walked slowly, her silk dress dripping, while Mr. Sissle gesticulated with excitement as he stole her ideas—authentic Negro dancing were the last words she’d heard—and Mr. Blake looking as if he wanted to run out there, scoop her up, and carry her back inside.

( Continued… )

© 2018 All rights reserved. Book excerpt reprinted by permission of the author, Sherry Jones. Do not reproduce, copy or use without the author’s written permission. This excerpt is used for promotional purposes only.

Spotlight – The Desire Card

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About the Author

Lee Matthew Goldberg

 Lee Matthew Goldberg is the author of SLOW DOWN and THE MENTOR (St. Martin’s Press), which was acquired by Macmillan Entertainment with the film in development. He has been published in multiple languages and nominated for the 2018 Prix du Polar. The first two books in a thriller series, THE DESIRE CARD and PREY NO MORE, are forthcoming from Fahrenheit Press in winter 2019. His pilots and screenplays have been finalists in Script Pipeline, Stage 32, We Screenplay, the New York Screenplay, Screencraft, and the Hollywood Screenplay contests. After graduating with an MFA from the New School, his writing has also appeared in the anthology DIRTY BOULEVARD, The Millions, The Montreal Review, The Adirondack Review, Essays & Fictions, The New Plains Review, and others. He is the co-curator of The Guerrilla Lit Reading Series (guerrillalit.wordpress.com). He lives in New York City. Follow him at leematthewgoldberg.com and @LeeMatthewG.

 

WEBSITE & SOCIAL LINKS:

WEBSITE | TWITTER | FACEBOOK

 

 About the Book

Title: THE DESIRE CARD
Author: Lee Matthew Goldberg
Publisher: Fahrenheit Press
Pages: TBA
Genre: Crime/Suspense

The Desire Card

BOOK BLURB:

Any wish fulfilled for the right price. That’s the promise the Desire Card gives to its elite clients. But if the Card doesn’t feel like they’ve been justly compensated, the “price” will be more menacing than the clients could ever imagine.

Harrison Stockton learns this lesson all too well. Harrison has lived an adult life of privilege and excess: a high-powered job on Wall Street along with a fondness for alcohol and pills, and a family he adores, yet has no time for. All of this comes crashing to a halt when he loses his executive job and discovers he has liver cirrhosis with mere months left to live.

After finding himself far down on the donor list, Harrison takes matters into his own hands. This decision sparks a gritty and gripping quest that takes him to the slums of Mumbai in search of a black market organ and forces him under the Desire Card’s thumb. When his moral descent threatens his wife and children, Harrison must decide whether to save himself at any cost, or do what’s right and put a stop to the Card.

THE DESIRE CARD is a taut international thriller that explores what a man will do to survive when money isn’t always enough to get everything he desires. It’s the first book in a series followed by PREY NO MORE that focuses on other people indebted to this sinister organization, where the actual price is the cost of one’s soul.

PRAISE:

“Careful what you wish for, especially from a nefarious shadow organization, in this gripping start to Lee Matthew Goldberg’s fast-paced, highly compelling, buzz worthy new series. If you love characters morally compromised, richly drawn, and constantly surprising, you’ll love THE DESIRE CARD. I burned through the first book and can’t wait to get my hands on PREY NO MORE to see where this endlessly exciting story takes me next! Loved it!” – Daniel Palmer, critically acclaimed suspense author

ORDER YOUR COPY:

Amazon

 

Book Excerpt:

HARRISON STUMBLED INTO CENTRAL PARK CLUTCHING THE SILVER BRIEFCASE, HIS BODY SHAKING FROM BEING HUNTED. Clouds clogged the sky. The trees seemed like creatures towering over him. He turned around to see the man in the Humphrey Bogart mask running toward the entrance, a gun bulging from the guy’s inside pocket. The man’s cold eyes scanned the park, zeroing in. Harrison took off down a dirt path until he was alone with only the wind ringing in his ears.

He wanted to collapse; he begged himself to just give in. Nature would destroy him soon anyway, and his shins were starting to feel like they’d been repeatedly stabbed. He coughed up an excess of blood and mucus that spilled down a rock. Now he’d gone so far down the trail that he couldn’t see where he entered. The sound of footsteps came from all directions. A distorted laugh caused all the nearby pigeons to shoot toward the sky. The laugh was followed by an eerie whistle that became louder and louder as he spun around expecting to see his pursuer.

A shadow passed behind a tree, bigger than any animal. He propped himself up against a rock, too exhausted to move any farther, closing his eyes and waiting to die. He could see tomorrow’s headlines declaring his death as a mugging gone wrong.

“Gracie,” he cried, trembling. “Brent, my boy…oh God.”

He had pissed himself now, the urine hot and sticky as it trickled down his pants leg. He still held the silver briefcase close to his chest, resolving not to let it go without a fight.

The man in the Bogart mask emerged from behind a tree holding a gun.

“Just hand it over, Mr. Stockton,” the man said. The voice box attached to his mouth made him sound robotic, weirdly calm. “You don’t want this to get any more complicated than it already has.”

The man made a grab for the briefcase, but Harrison held on tight.

“You’ll kill me anyway,” Harrison yelled, spooking any pigeons that hadn’t already flown away.

“Only if you force me to do so.”

The man kicked Harrison in the shin, causing him to nearly buckle over. Harrison was thrown to the ground, the man pinning him down. He still managed to hold onto the briefcase as if it was fused to his hand.

“The Boss doesn’t know about what you’ve done yet,” the man said, hitting Harrison’s head against the hard dirt. “Do you understand what that means? That means you can still live. And he’ll never find out as long as we get what we’re owed.”

“Why would you do that for me?” he asked, seeing four masked men spinning around.

The man stepped back and pointed the gun between Harrison’s eyes.

“The Boss doesn’t like when things don’t go according to plan. I could be in as much trouble as you for letting this slip-up happen. So let’s make this easy for both of us.”

Harrison got on one elbow and hoisted himself up.

“Do I have your word?”

The man nodded.

“And my family? My wife…my kids? I wouldn’t have to worry about them being hurt?”

“As much as you might think that you are our sole concern, we have an entire organization to run beyond your pithy life. Now I will count to ten and if you don’t hand over the briefcase, I’ll put a bullet between your eyes.”

Harrison thought about what his life had really amounted to. All the hours he’d slaved at Sanford & Co., making rich people boatloads richer. Getting into the office before dawn and often heading home in the middle of the night. Sacrificing his family, his youth, his sanity. How it had made him into a drinker, a serial gorger of all vices, just so he could forget about what he was losing. After all of that, what did he have left to show?

“…8…9…10,” the man said, about to pull the trigger.

“All right, all right.”

Harrison handed over the briefcase. The man opened it up and appeared to be satisfied, a smirking grin visible through his mask.

“I’ll leave you with this nugget of wisdom,” he said, without putting the gun away. “If what you did manages to compromise us in any way, if there are any rippling after-effects, be prepared to come across the Boss. He’s known to wear a Clark Gable mask.” The man’s smirk had disappeared. “He only appears when he’s ready to bloody his hands. Good day, Mr. Stockton.”

“Who are you people? Under the masks…who are you really?”

The man raised the gun over Harrison’s head.

“I doubt you’ll ever find out,” he said, and struck Harrison on the forehead with the handle.

A trickle of blood spilled down Harrison’s nose and felt cold on his tongue. He slunk down and rested his cheek against the dirt, watching the man in the mask take off through the trees, the silver briefcase shining like a beam of light snaking through the leaves. And then the man finally disappeared—as if he was nothing more than a nightmare brought to life and extinguished once the fitful dreamer finally woke.

Harrison pressed against his rib cage and felt for his engorged liver. Cursed at it. Wanted to tear it from his stomach. He’d been poisoned from within for too long, his unending punishment for all of his crimes. Blood zigzagged into his eyes as the wound on his forehead opened up even more. With his other hand he reached into his pocket and removed his wallet. A thin metallic card fell from out of a sleeve and sat in a puddle of blood that had collected in the dirt.

He crumpled it up in his fist since it was responsible for letting these psychopaths into his life. He knew he’d never feel completely settled again, always worried that they might come after him and his family. The Desire Card had caused him to seek out gruesome and despicable wishes. From the instant this devil’s temptation had been placed in his hands, his moral compass never stood a chance. So he chucked it into the air and watched it sail over the rocks for some other fool to find.

“I’m sorry, Helene,” he mumbled to the wind. He knew he’d have to come clean about everything. His head throbbed, and he recalled a memory from twenty-five years ago. Spying her in the quad at Chilton College drinking a cherry Coke, tan and shapely from field hockey, the entire campus becoming muted except for her. He took a chance by flirting miserably and changing the course of their lives.

She would’ve been better off if they had never met. In such a short amount of time, he’d fallen so far. Now because of him people had been sliced up, left for dead, and soon he’d follow them to his own grave. As he drifted off into unconsciousness, he remembered that it all began to spiral out of control on his last day at Sanford & Co. over a month ago, this treacherous path he embarked on, his dark and dried-up destiny.

VBT – THE TURSIOPS SYNDROME

TourBanner_The Tursiops Syndrome

The Tursiops Syndrome

by John C. Waite

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GENRE: Thriller

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BLURB:

How do you get a nuke into the heart of the city? Maybe a dolphin can help. From Author John Waite, the tale of a police detective who matches wits with a mad scientist and terrorists intent on destroying America. When detective Hickory Logan joins Park Ranger Kevin Whitehead investigating the mysterious death of a dolphin she finds herself sucked into a far deeper whirlpool. Can she and Kevin stop the tide of terror that threatens to kill thousands or will they be fodder for a nuclear fireball?

A newspaper review described Tursiops thus: “The writing is, well, wonderful. Waite has a gift for dialogue and story-telling, and his plot is adventurous and perfectly paced.”

Cover_The Tursiops Syndrome

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EXCERPT

 Red Logan hunkered down next to the Humvee’s left front wheel. He folded his lanky frame in several places to assure that the vehicle shielded him from rifle fire emanating from the house a hundred feet away.

A furious fusillade had greeted A-Company, first battalion, 407th Special Forces when their vehicles pulled to a halt in front of what was a rather strange building for northern Afghanistan. In the early morning darkness it looked for all the world like a California ranch-style home.

But there was no BMW parked in the driveway.

The firefight lasted less than fifteen minutes. There was only an occasional round pinging off the slate-riddled soil and infrequent bursts of automatic fire keeping the soldiers from charging the structure. Red wondered why the squads weren’t using some of the heavier weapons. He knew the unit armament included shoulder-fired missiles and a Carl Gustav 84-mm recoilless rifle but so far, the big stuff had been silent.

The tip had placed Azam al-Zawahiri, Al-Qaeda’s chief organizer for nine-eleven, in the house.

Numerous such tips over the past two years had come to nothing. Most of them originated in minds overly-motivated to garner the twenty million American dollars offered for the capture of several of the world’s most wanted terrorists.

At least one Osama bin Laden look-alike had been found dead. And it took weeks before authorities identified the body.  The man had been killed and left in a house to which an Afghan citizen directed U.S. forces. Not only did he not get the reward he sought, but his countrymen also jailed him for mutilating the corpse by cutting off its hands and feet.

Army intelligence, a title Red thought oxymoronic, had considered tonight’s tip more credible than most since it had come in anonymously. The tipster hadn’t mentioned the reward. So the Special Forces unit had headed out in the predawn darkness for a two-hour drive north from Kabul into the mountainous terrain.

“Red?”

The voice belonged to the figure squeezed into the wheel well behind him.

He could barely see Jessie’s sinewy shape, strangely gawky where the video camera and its now-dark lights rested on her right thigh.

“Yeah, what?” he whispered.

“Should I get some video?” Jessie asked, cocking her left hand back over her shoulder.

“Hell no. We’re reporters, not soldiers. CNN’s not paying us to get shot. Just keep your ass down. There’s nothing to shoot.”

Before he could finish his sentence, an amplified Afghan voice rang out from the vicinity of the lead Humvee, imploring the occupants of the house to surrender. The answer was a three-shot rifle volley, the rounds pinging off the hard-pack and whining away into the darkness.

“Now,” Jessie said, pushing past Red and swinging the camera onto her shoulder, leaning on the Hummer’s hood.

“No.” Red yelled, trying to pull her to the ground. But it was too late. The light on Jessie’s camera flared brilliantly then died in a crash of glass and the harsh double bark of a Kalashnikov. The rounds zinged away into the darkness, but Red heard in the report the crunch of bone.

“Jessie.” he screamed.

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AUTHOR Bio and Links

Author Image

Thousands of author John C Waite’s words flew past Alpha Centauri years ago,  heading for the center of the galaxy, perhaps sparking an arthropod’s grin in route. Waite, a degreed journalist and retired Merchant Mariner has numerous writing and broadcasting awards to his credit, and millions of words in print and broadcast media. Originally from New Orleans he has called Panhandle Florida his home for fifty years, but still retains a taste for things Creole and Cajun. A recreational and professional sailor, his travels have covered the Caribbean, the Atlantic and Pacific coasts, portions of south and Central America, Canada, Hawaii, Ireland, Britain, and Europe. John resides in Pensacola, Florida. He is a father to four, and grandfather to four.  His books are available on Amazon.

http://johncwaite.com/

https://www.facebook.com/johngllgskns

 

The book will be on sale for $0.99 during the tour.

 

 

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RAFFLECOPTER GIVEAWAY 

John C. Waite will be awarding a $50 Gift Certificate to Nuts.com to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour.

Enter to win a $50 GC to Nuts.com – a Rafflecopter giveaway

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Tell us about you as a person, something not everyone knows about you.

Although I was born in New Orleans, I spent most of the first five years of my life in Anchorage, Alaska and I still hate snow. My father was an aviation meteorologist, and he had been stationed in the frigid state during the second Great War. I still have letters that he sent his then-wife, my mother, which are stringently redacted, many sentences blacked out.

I almost remember one fishing trip when, not much more than a toddler, I fell into the creek. My dad built a fire on the railroad tracks which we had walked to the stream and dried my clothes.

I have a few glimmers of memories from those days, the most distinctive of which was when something broke into a backyard cage and slew my pet rabbit. I remember crushing sadness.

From Anchorage, the weather bureau transferred my father to Miami. We spent about a year there, before being transferred back to New Orleans, where I passed my formative years. It was in Miami that I met my paternal grandfather for the first and only time. He was a Presbyterian missionary and had spent some years in China, where my father was born. I still possess letters between my father and his father. Because of his birthplace, my father had to prove his United States citizenship before he could work for the US Weather Bureau.

If you could hang out with one famous person, who would it be?

It would have to be Neil DeGrasse Tyson. He picks up where Carl Sagan left off. Not only is he a real scientist as Sagan was, but he is also a first-rate communicator. He has a feel for putting scientific principles into words. And if there is one thing the world needs more of right now it is real scientists willing and able to transfer their knowledge via the common language. Life is short. Science is forever.

What’s the story behind your latest book?

The story behind The Tursiops Syndrome stems in part from my affection for dolphins and people who appreciate them. And I always like stories of international intrigue. Dr. James Crabtree, the angry scientist (notice I didn’t say mad) in Tursiops loves dolphins and seeks notoriety. Despite his affection for Tursiops, he uses them in a get rich-and-famous plan.

What is your writing process?

My process is to just sit there and stare at the page hoping something will appear. Somehow that happens, and I think I am creating it. If I’m not and it just appears on its own, then I am the luckiest writer in the world.

Tell us about your main character.

A bit about Hickory Logan. She worked hard to win her stripes in the Pensacola PD, particularly in the wake of a previous bad relationship. However, she did that and still aims high. So she is a bit wary about her relationship to Kevin, her male co-star in The Tursiops Syndrome. Hickory is a tough, smart woman, with a bit of a soft spot for dolphins, evidenced in her attempt to rescue a porpoise stranded on a sandbar off Pensacola Beach.

If your book were to be turned into a movie, who would play the lead role, and why?

I’ve always liked Halle Berry. She’s been in several action movies and carries herself beautifully, while still packing a good punch. She could certainly carry off Hickory Logan’s persona, and would definitely play well in the love scenes too.

What are you working on next?

My biggest project is a fictionalized account of the life and death of my best friend. He died in Vietnam early in that disastrous conflict. Had he lived he could have well accomplished his stated purpose in life, to be President of the United States. In the meantime, I am doing several things, some of which appear in the online journal Page and Spine.

What advice do you have for other writers who want to get the word out about their books?

I am still learning how to promote. There is a lot more to it that one imagines. And you have to spend a little money. There is a whole industry out there based on new writers’ needs. It’s a very different profession from what it was just recently.

What is your favorite book on your shelf right now?

I’m just finishing Jeffrey Eugenides “Middlesex.” To say the least, it’s a hell of a book. The hurricane of research he put into that volume is mind-blowing.

You are given the choice of one superpower. What superpower would you have and why?

Time travel, because I want to know how the universe ends.
List 5 things on your bucket list:

  • Get really good on the violin.
  • Be a bestselling author.
  • Sell my book to a good movie producer.
  • Complete the book about my best friend.
  • Fly airplanes again.

Any final Thoughts?

I write because I want people to enjoy the story. I hope they do.
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Book Blast – LEGEND OF SONG DE LIGHT

This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. Kaitlynzq will be awarding a $4 Gift Card to Kaitlynzq’s book boutique to 4 randomly drawn winners via rafflecopter during the tour. Click on the tour banner to see the other stops on the tour.

 

The stories within Legend of Song de Light

connect, unfold, interweave many character’s stories needs, feelings, desires, dreams

their threads as two crescent moons connected under the firelights

that layer the chords, and form the lyrics

all of you entered my world as dawn’s awakening sky of soft palette my garnet heart melted in iridescence to bloom in sun’s rays glow in night’s depth as the stars echo the rhythm of my heart my insides sigh and expand in delight harmonious blend as our lives circle the melody

The audiobook is recorded in Kaitlynzq’s voice with a blend of music like a heart’s wave into downloadable mp3 files.

An audio book that is interwoven in the Lovecontu Song de Light Lovecontu series that includes

Ancient Script of Lovecontu audio poem

Legend of Song de Light audio book Legend of Song de Light audio play

Lovecontu Song de Light Lovecontu audio set

 

Listen to the synopsis: https://youtu.be/j2XiCz03N0Y

Read an Excerpt

“…Dearest Euzy,

Your drum of cashmere footsteps, harp of silk strings touch, and velvet flute voice,
Are an ensemble for my heart.

Forever Yours, Edwin…”

“…As my imagination worked its magic, I vibrated to a guitar string’s luxurious touch…”

“…Dendranthema x grandiflora has layers of petals that caress every fiber of the flower’s center, as my dear Rquhwy’s touch vibrates in my veins to the core of my breath…”

“…The room that is partitioned with a fireplace’s heat wave, and holds teardrop flower petals in the corners, flows freely into my heart with each pebble of sand in an hourglass. Wisjvye’s heartbeat radiates…”

BookCover_Audio Book_Legend of Song de Light audio book

About the Author:

My fictional stories are written from the inside view of a character’s interior heart-that beautiful, vulnerable, intimate space feelings, desires, needs, dreams a blend of delicate feather ripples of heart waves needs, feelings, dreams, desires quiet, gentle heart strings tender, continuous soft, vulnerable air mist circles, weaves to caress a sonic sea of heart’s breath

Woven into audio books that are recorded in my voice with a medley of music as a heart’s wave into downloadable mp3 files; audio plays adapted from the audio books, and layered into pdf files like a heart’s song; audio poems that are multiple poems designed to connect to form a story as a heart’s breath; and audio sets that are sets of these interconnected stories with elements from each story that interweave in one another as heart’s wave, heart’s song, heart’s breath.

https://kaitlynzq.com

https://kaitlynzq.boutique

Blog: https://kaitlynzq.com/blog/

vlog: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCFAc7uEIdMGMrxLFzym5y6g

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/18554610.Kaitlynzq

Contact Information

melodicprose@kaitlynzq.com or contact page: https://kaitlynzq.com/contact

Purchase Links:

https://kaitlynzq.com/legend-of-song-de-light-audio-book

https://kaitlynzq.boutique/legend-of-song-de-light-audio-book/

Kaitlynzq will be awarding a $4 Gift Card to Kaitlynzq’s book boutique to 4 randomly drawn winners via rafflecopter during the tour.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Tour Banner_Legend of Sond De Light copy

Spotlight – The Old Man’s Request

The Old Man's Request banner

About the Author

Joab Stieglitz

Joab Stieglitz was born and raised in the Warren, New Jersey. He is an Application Consultant for a software company. He has also worked as a software trainer, a network engineer, a project manager, and a technical writer over his 30 year career. He lives in Alexandria, Virginia.

Joab is an avid tabletop RPG player and game master of horror, espionage, fantasy, and science fiction genres, including Savage Worlds (Mars, Deadlands, Agents of Oblivion, Apocalypse Prevention Inc, Herald: Tesla and Lovecraft, Thrilling Tales, and others), Call of Cthulhu, Lamentations of the Flame Princess, and Pathfinder.

Joab channeled his role-playing experiences in the Utgarda Series, which are pulp adventure novels with Lovecraftian influences set in the 1920’s.

Website Address: http://joabstieglitz.com

Twitter Address: @joabstieglitz

Facebook Address: https://www.facebook.com/rantingsofawanderingmind

About the Book:

Title: THE OLD MAN’S REQUEST
Author: Joab Stieglitz
Publisher: Rantings of a Wandering Mind
Pages: 117
Genre: Historical Suspense

The Old Man's Request

BOOK BLURB:

An Innocent Favor for a Dying Old Friend…

Fifty years ago, a group of college friends dabbled in the occult and released a malign presence on the world. Now, on his deathbed, the last of the students, now a trustee of Reister University enlists the aid of three newcomers to banish the thing they summoned.

Russian anthropologist Anna Rykov, doctor Harry Lamb, and Father Sean O’Malley are all indebted the ailing trustee for their positions. Together, they pursue the knowledge and resources needed to perform the ritual.

Hampered by the old man’s greedy son, the wizened director of the university library, and a private investigator with a troubled past, can they perform the ritual and banish the entity?

ORDER YOUR COPY:

Amazon

Book Excerpt:

CHAPTER 1

June 18, 1929

Final papers in hand, Anna emerged from the Edison science building and made her way toward Olson Street to catch the trolley to the house she was renting on the other side of the river. She was petite, with dark bobbed hair, and smooth pale skin, and wore a fashionable blue, knee-length skirted suit, white blouse, and a loose, black necktie which flapped gently in the breezes blowing eastward off the slow-moving Woolley River.

It was another typically beautiful day, warm and dry, in Wellersburg. About halfway across the quad, she spied Father O’Malley approaching hurriedly. “Hello. Father,” she said with a smile, her Russian accent revealing her origins. “Is it not a fine day?” O’Malley, a tall, slender man with short, curly brown hair, usually had a warm, engaging smile, but today his expression was grim.

“Jason Longborough is in the hospital again,” O’Malley said. “It doesn’t look good, and he’s asked to speak to you with some urgency.” Anna was concerned and a little surprised. The ailing trustee of the university had been her champion in the faculty selection committee last summer, but she had neither seen nor spoken with him since that time. He was directly responsible for her appointment to fill Dr. McMahon’s chair for three years while he and his team were on their expedition to Australia. Longborough was also instrumental in Father O’Malley’s appointment to the Ancient History department to fill similar vacancies during the Egyptian expedition, which was to occur concurrently.

“Of course,” Anna replied without hesitation, “I will just drop off these papers in office.”

“He may not hold out that long. Please come with me now. It may be your only opportunity.” With that, the priest took the pile of exam papers from her and led the way toward the Reister University Hospital.

Anna was born Tatyana Trevena, the sole daughter of poor Russian immigrants. In exchange for passage to Brooklyn, the sixteen-year-old was married to the much older, exiled Fyodor Rykov shortly after their arrival in America in 1912. Rykov was an old world man. He treated his young wife as his property and she lived in submission to him until he died of a heart attack two years later.

Tatyana inherited a modest fortune. Wanting to be more American, and having the means to do so, she adopted the name Anna and attended Columbia University, where she studied Anthropology. She completed her degree in three years and went on to pursue a doctorate. In 1924, she did field research for the Russian archaeologist Aleksey Sergeyevich Uvarov in Gnyozdovo, a part of the Byelorussian Soviet Socialist Republic, the site of a ring of 10th century Viking settlements.

Upon returning to the United States in 1926, Dr. Anna Rykov, expert in the Varangians, or Russian Vikings, found that there was little interest in a female professor, especially one of Russian descent, who had done field work in the Soviet Union and could have potentially been a Bolshevik. When Jason Longborough reached out to her with a temporary position at Reister University filling in for tenured staff while they were on a three-year expedition, she gladly took the offer.

There were many new instructors at Reister. Among them, Anna met Harry Lamb and Sean O’Malley. Dr. Lamb had just completed his residency at Reister University Hospital and was teaching Basic Anatomy to first year medical students. Father O’Malley was well-versed in Middle and Far Eastern history and served as an Ancient History instructor. Anna, Harry, and Sean were all new to the area, and the three quickly became friends exploring their new home together.

She was enjoying the small college-town life in Wellersburg and its uncrowded streets. The people of Wellersburg were courteous and friendly, even to a Russian immigrant, on account of the more cosmopolitan influences of the university. She enjoyed the peace and tranquility of a small town where everyone knew everyone, and no one locked their doors.

The hospital room was small and dark, illuminated by a lone window on the far side of the room. Jason Longborough lay in his bed. The withered old trustee was frail beneath his shock of gray hairs. He had looked much stronger when Anna had seen him last. Now his yellow complexion and paper-like skin clearly indicated his infirmity. Dr. Harold Lamb stood over the patient, taking his pulse. Lamb was taller than average and muscular, with broad shoulders and short, black hair neatly parted on the right. He wore a blue, pinstriped suit and a yellow tie under his lab coat. The doctor smiled slightly when the two entered the room. Longborough was alerted to their presence by the closing of the door.

“It was good of you to come,” the patient said with some effort. “My time draws to an end soon, and there is a grave matter from my past that must be addressed.” Some strength returned to his voice. “I fear I have become too feeble to attempt it myself, and wish to enlist your services in this matter.” He sighed heavily.

“How can I be of service to you, sir?” Anna asked. While she was indebted to Longborough for her position at the university, she was hardly acquainted with the man. What could a businessman like Longborough need of an archaeologist?

“Sit. I have a story to tell you.” He gestured to two chairs by the side of the bed.

“I’ll be back to check on you later,” Dr. Lamb said as he started for the door. Suddenly, with uncharacteristic dexterity, the ailing trustee reached out and grasped his wrist.

“I wish you to aid me as well, Doctor.” His gaze was fixed on Lamb’s eyes. The physician left the room, and a moment later brought a chair in from the hall.

“I can spare a few minutes, but then I must complete my rounds.”

“This is not a long story.” The trustee cleared his throat and Anna poured a glass of water for him. He took a few sips from it, and then cleared his throat again. “Back in the spring of ‘71, when I was a freshman here at Reister, I came upon an interesting upperclassman named Brent Hanke, an amateur occultist.” He coughed painfully.

“Five of us formed a group to explore the secrets of the unknown. We called it ‘the Cabal.’ It was quite innocuous at first, but after a while other students became disturbed by our activities, and so we bought an old farmhouse in Stuckley for some privacy.” He coughed again and took another drink of water.

“It was at the farmhouse that things grew out of hand. Brent Hanke’s family was in shipping, and as a result, he was able to obtain rare and unique items from the Old World. He used these trinkets to keep us interested. Among these was a small gold box of Russian origin,” he indicated a length of about eight inches with his bent fingers, “that contained a piece of amber. According to a ritual he found in an ancient tome, this amber could be used to contact a powerful oracle. Being precocious lads, we set out to cast the spell at the farm and seek our fortunes.”

Longborough’s subsequent coughing fit caused the onlookers to jump, and Dr. Lamb went to call a nurse, but the old man recovered quickly and motioned for them all to sit again. After a few fairly deep breaths and another drink of water, he continued his tale.

“It was clear that night in March of 1871. I remember the full moon illuminating the living room of the farmhouse so brightly that Brent was worried that there might be too much light. Still we continued, lighting the fire in the fireplace as well as several candles, and drawing a pentagram in chalk on the floor. In the center, Brent placed the amber. As designated observer, I sat in a corner and wrote down the events of the evening in my journal. The others sat in a circle and recited the incantation while Brent threw some foul-smelling powder into the fire.”

“This continued for nearly two hours. Finally, something happened. A plume of smoke arose from the amber and it began to melt. Then it came!” Longborough began to hyperventilate. Dr. Lamb sprang to the bedside and adjusted his position, putting the patient’s head back to open his throat. After a moment of coughing and wheezing, Longborough recovered.

“It was insubstantial.” The trustee’s voice was still agitated. “Barely perceptible in the moonlight, but it was there. And it made a horrible growling sound. Brent threw some of the powder on the creature, and all chaos broke out. Most of us were paralyzed by the sight. John Dalton, however, rose to his feet and stepped forward to embrace the entity. The creature grasped his head in its indescribable appendages and twisted it with a terrible snap. Then it threw the head back to land in Homer Cunningham’s lap. Homer’s face turned white and he began making that chirping sound.” Longborough stared off into space for a moment.

“Roger Furlong apparently doomed us all,” he continued after a pause. “He destroyed part of the pentagram. Free from the bonds of its confines, the creature burst from the house with the force of a hurricane and was gone.” He stopped to catch his breath. “Nevertheless, Hanke believed there was still hope. The spell bound the creature to the house, so it would have to return, and the many glyphs and warding symbols Hanke had previously carved into its structure allowed the creature to only inhabit the attic.”

“Mr. Longborough,” Doctor Lamb said with skepticism, “this kind of superstitious fantasy is probably what caused your condition in the first place. You were probably enjoying the effects of some hallucinogenic drugs this Hanke character threw into the fire.”

“John Dalton was found decapitated the next morning.” The aged and frail patient bore down on Lamb with a look of rage. “We staged an accident with a carriage and said he was run over. The authorities believed us, and they took Homer Cunningham to the Old Oak Sanitarium. He was never released. Brett said that if the spell is cast again in reverse, the creature could be destroyed, or at least sent back to where it came from . That is what I want you to do.”

“Still,” Dr. Lamb continued, “you can’t expect us to believe that reciting some ancient poetry will lay a ghost to rest?”

Anna was divided. The story was completely unbelievable, especially by a scientist such as herself, but how could she deny the request of a dying man?

“You want us to cast this spell?” Father O’Malley asked indignantly.

“Yes,” Longborough said, his features calm and sharp, “I do.”

“By all that is holy, that is the worst kind of sacrilege.” But Sean O’Malley was not a typical parish priest. He was a Professor of Ancient History specializing in the Dark Ages. His training had been under the tutelage of Father Christophé, the exorcist from Martinique regarded as the Church’s leading “expert” on the activities various “nameless cults.” O’Malley was more than prepared to accept Satan’s intervention in the sorry affairs of this once gullible youth. The sly smile from his lips surprised his two colleagues. Finally, he said, “But I accept your request.”

“Are you crazy?” Lamb exclaimed. “This delusion has gone far enough. It’s nearly killed this man. Father, I think we should let this matter, and this patient, rest.” He rose and started off to return his chair to the hall.

“What difference does it make?” Anna asked in earnest. “Mr. Longborough believes that there is threat to all in Stuckley. If it is just a fantasy, then all that will come of it is the easing of his conscience for the unfortunate incident with his friends.”

“Then you’ll help me?” the old man inquired of Anna with hope in his eyes.

“Yes, sir,” she said, holding his hands in hers. “I owe it to you for all you have done for me.” He smiled.

Rykov and O’Malley cast questioning glances at Dr. Lamb. He looked at them incredulously, and then back at Longborough, who returned his gaze with a pitiable look. After a moment, he sighed and said, “O.K., I’m in. But nothing is going to happen. You’ll see.”

“You don’t understand,” the patient started. “You must believe in the innate power in all of us. You must tap into that power to perform the ritual. Only if you are committed will the spell be successful. If you fail, the creature will be released from the house! The little remaining power I can still muster won’t be able to keep it there much longer. Whenever I let my guard down, it got out and killed someone.” He started to gasp and wheeze. Immediately, Dr. Lamb burst from the room to get assistance.

Longborough indicated the drawer of the nightstand beside Rykov and she picked up a locked metal box from it. Then he removed a key from around his neck and handed it to her. “Take these,” he said with the last of his breath, “it is all the help I can give you.” With that, his breathing became erratic. Moments later, Lamb returned with some orderlies and a nurse and ushered the pair from the room.

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Why Defining Your Setting is Important

A lot of would-be writers set out to write a specific story: a fantasy with wizards and dragons, a spy thriller with a megalomaniac villain out to conquer the world, a vampire and werewolf love story, etc. These are all fine ideas, but where they take place is just as important as the characters and the plot.

Just as you want three-dimensional heroes and villains, a well-developed setting is imperative for your story to come to life. Locations are more than an address. They are sights and sounds, past and current events, the physical and emotional sensations that are evoked. All these aspects add to the reader’s immersion into the environment.

For example

The agent’s’ eyes were stung by the smoke as they descended. The remote darkness was broken by the flames of the nearby village that had been their destination. The sounds of machinery announced the passage of the column of troop carriers, the smell of exhaust filling the air as they carried the villagers away.

This scene implies a lot of things that the author needs to know and bring out in the narrative. Where does the story take place? When? Is this Nazi occupied France, post apocalypse Colorado, or Alpha Centuri Prime? Are the agents parachuting, in an aircraft, or falling from orbit in drop pods?

Filling out the details of the environment allows you to add “reality” to your story by making the reader part of the scene rather than just an observer. When the reader experiences sensations in addition to the characters’ thoughts and actions, and a clear understanding of things such as the environment, the weather, and the social and political situation will make a scene come alive.

In my books, I have selected a very specific time and place: immediate pre-Depression New York. Through this lens I can present attitudes, experiences, personalities, and perspectives that are unique. My heroine, Dr. Anna Rykov, is a woman, a Russian immigrant, and a professional. These qualities present specific challenges to her in 1929.

The choice of genre is the first step. An even bigger decision is the setting. An author needs to understand the environment in which the story takes place to present a complete picture to the reade

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