Category Archives: book spotlight

Spotlight – THEY CALLED ME 33

TourBanner_They Called Me 33 Reclaiming Ingo-Waabigwan

They Called Me 33
by Karen Chaboyer

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GENRE: BIOGRAPHY & AUTOBIOGRAPHY / Cultural, Ethnic & Regional

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BLURB:

Karen longed for acceptance, validation and love, but had no ability to form healthy, meaningful relationships. Born into a large family already suffering the effects of two generations of residential school, and surviving her own nine years at St. Margaret Indian Residential School, Karen (like everyone she knew) had been systematically stripped of her dignity, identity, language, culture, family and community support systems.

Not wanting to be alone as an adult, Karen tolerated unhealthy relationships with family and partners. Still, she was coping. But after suffering further trauma, Karen turned to alcohol and other addictions to numb her pain.

Eventually, Karen found the strength to reach out for help. She learned to grieve through layers of shame and was finally able to embrace her identity. Karen also discovered what has long been known in her culture – the healing power of sharing your story. Karen would now like to share this book, her story, with you.

Cover_They Called Me 33 Reclaiming Ingo-Waabigwan

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EXCERPT

It took many years to write this book. I came up with the idea in 1994 thinking it would be easy: like writing a diary. But writing this book has been one of the hardest things I have ever done in my life. I did not know all the ghosts I had in my closet. In addition to my painful memories of residential school, looking back made me realize I had blocked many other painful memories, from both before and after residential school life. I went to my family with these painful memories, trying to find help in remembering some past experiences. I wanted to focus on what happened to me, so this could be my story. Many times, I had to stop writing because depression set in. I learned to listen to my body and focus on the feelings to find out what was triggering the depression. I realized I had to learn to grieve. This was an important discovery to me, as it was something I had never considered. I did not realize that my inability to grieve was preventing my healing journey.

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AuthorPicture

AUTHOR Bio and Links:

Karen Chaboyer is an Ojibwa mother and grandmother from Rainy River First Nations, a community in northwestern Ontario. She is proudly admired by her children, who have witnessed her transformation as she worked through layers of shame and learned to embrace her identity. A second-generation survivor of residential school, Karen now shares her experiences with audiences throughout the Toronto area, where she now resides. Karen’s goal is to educate people on the extent to which the tragedies of the residential school system have impacted individuals, families, communities and entire cultures to this day.

Twitter: https://twitter.com/kmchaboyer
Goodreads Book Link: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/52669557-they-called-me-33
Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/20155545.Karen_Chaboyer
LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/karen-chaboyer-0bb09135/?originalSubdomain=ca

Buy link: https://www.amazon.com/They-Called-Me-Reclaiming-Ingo-Waabigwan-ebook/dp/B0863BNJMF/ref=sr_1_1

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RAFFLECOPTER GIVEAWAY

Karen Chaboyer will be awarding a $20 Amazon or Barnes and Noble GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour.

Enter to win a $20 Amazon/BN GC – a Rafflecopter giveaway

Spotlight – THE STORMWATCH SERIES (Spotlight on Book 2: Deep Freeze)

This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions.

STORMWATCH series blurb:

The storm sweeps in like a thief in the night… Winter storm Holly is the worst in eighty years bringing high winds, subzero temperatures and snowfall better measured in feet than in inches. The weather paralyzes everything in its path, but in this storm, weather isn’t the only threat.

A new installment of STORMWATCH releases each Thursday starting December 5 through January 9. Each thrilling full length novel is a standalone story with no cliffhangers. Don’t miss a single one from half a dozen of the genre’s bestselling storytellers!

December 5 – Frozen Ground by Debra Webb

December 12 – Deep Freeze by Vicki Hinze

December 19 – Wind Chill by Rita Herron

December 26 – Black Ice by Regan Black

January 2 – Snow Brides by Peggy Webb

January 9 – Snow Blind by Cindy Gerard

Stormwatch series at Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B07YZB1FZR

Emma Miller, a probationary security consultant posing as a reporter, is stranded at Portal International Airport in the worst storm in eighty years. She’s reassigned to protect a top-secret High Containment Lab in the international airport that houses the deadliest bio-contaminate diseases on the planet. A lab under attack by international terrorists who want those pathogens to sell on the black-market.

Dr. Gregory Mason Martin is a bio-containment specialist who runs the top-secret lab, and he knows Emma well. They grew up together, went to school together, and she’s always fascinated him, but she has a long-standing habit of going through men like water, so he’s kept his distance. He doesn’t dare to trust her or her abilities.

Now, all these years later, they must work together to protect the lab and stop the terrorists from obtaining the pathogens. And they must protect the pathogens from Holly, the deadly storm barreling mercilessly toward them. If those pathogens are stolen, the world will be held hostage, and worse, if mishandled, the country could be facing the worst pandemic in history. A pandemic that in short order could wipe out not just cities and states, but the entire nation.

Both are willing to risk their lives. Both are reluctant to risk their hearts. Yet events prove neither of them is who they were thought to be. And a fierce battle against terrorists and the storm proves challenging but no match for the challenges chambered in their human hearts.

Read an Excerpt

Winter Storm Holly bears down on Colorado…

Insight: Emma, an undercover security consultant, has been assigned to protect a High Containment Lab located under Portal International Airport from winter storm Holly and from a potential terrorist attack. A lab run by Dr. Gregory Mason Martin. They grew up together, and Mason wasn’t the one who got away. He was the one Emma never got…and always wanted. He, however, had never wanted her.

*****

Emma saw Mason weaving through the crowd. Her breath hitched and she gave herself a mental shake. He was no longer lanky, instead he was muscular. His face was more angular, and she liked the scruff of beard. It accentuated his high cheekbones and slim nose. Gorgeous, as always. Even as a gangly boy, his face had hinted at the man he’d become. And the fitted blue shirt, cuffs still worn rolled up to just below the elbow, made his eyes appear all the bluer. Her breath threatened to hitch again, but the sudden downturn in his wide mouth into a formidable frown nixed that. He’d spotted her. And he was not pleased.

Mason intercepted her. “Tell me you aren’t here waiting for me.”

He smelled as good as he looked and sounded obnoxiously hopeful. “Hello, Mason.”

“It’s Gregory, as you well know, Emma.” He didn’t look flustered, just irritated. “Are you waiting for me?”

She smiled just to annoy him. “I am.”

“Great.” He shoved a hand into his slacks’ pocket. “I need a security specialist and headquarters sends me a reporter. Batting a thousand today.”

So was she; not that she’d mention it. She needed a battle with him about as much as she needed another close call on her life. “I’m glad to see you again, too.” She sniffed and jutted her chin so he wouldn’t miss it. Everyone else had called him Gregory or Greg. She’d only ever called him Mason, trying to get his attention. It had failed. But she kept up the practice to needle him. Compensation for his rejecting her.

“They honestly did send you?”

They, being his headquarters, of course. “I’m here. No one else is, or can get here,” she said, lifting a hand. “So, do you want me to go or to stay?”

He didn’t answer, but from his darting eyes, she saw the mental debate raging inside him. It annoyed her. “That was a rhetorical question, Mason.” She folded her arms. “I’m staying.”

About the Author:

Vicki Hinze is a USA Today bestselling, award-winning author, who has written nearly forty books and hundreds of articles published in as many as 63 countries. Known widely for innovation, she generally includes strong suspense, action adventure and thriller elements with a dash of romance, penning series that genre-blend and earned her career-achievement awards as a trailblazer. For nearly a decade, she was columnist for the global Social-In Network and, before that, a radio talk-show host for Everyday Woman. Hinze holds an MA in creative writing and a Ph.D. in Philosophy (Theocentric Business and Ethics). Long before being named as the first PRO Mentor by the largest writing organization in the world, she founded Writer’s Zone to mentor other authors and maintains a free online writers’ library. Raised in New Orleans, Hinze then married a career Hurricane Hunter/Special Ops officer. After moving around the country, they settled in Northwest Florida, where she heeds her one writing rule: Writing only books she loves.

Vicki Hinze online

Website: http://vickihinze.com

Facebook: http://facebook.com/Vicki.Hinze.Author

Bookbub: https://www.bookbub.com/authors/vicki-hinze

Twitter: https://twitter.com/vickihinze

Exclusively on Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B07YG889PT

The author will award a $20 Amazon/BN gift card to a randomly drawn winner via Rafflecopter.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Release Blitz – Highway to Hell

About the Book

Title: Highway to Hell

Author: Lydia Anne Stevens

Genre: Paranormal Fantasy

Death. Reapers. Atonement.

Catriona Clarke is a mercenary demon leading a gang of reapers and working with Lucifer to atone for her sins. The Hellcats’ mission is to collect the marked souls of the damned and bring them to Hell once they perish. When Catriona returns from collecting a soul, she discovers the rival gang of demons, the Hellhounds, have marked her ex-boyfriend.

Conflicted about going to reap Zeke’s soul, she reluctantly goes to collect. In a whirlwind of chaos, Catriona discovers that the son of Satan, Damien, has mistakenly marked the innocent and pure soul of Zeke’s twin brother, Lowell. Her gut instinct tells her to stand up against Lucifer and the demons of Hell, but in doing so, she will lose everything she’s worked hard for.

Is her ex-boyfriend’s brother worth the trouble?

Readers of Patricia Briggs, Darynda Jones, and Kevin Hearne will devour this Hellishly fantastic series.

 

Author Bio

Lydia Stevens is a full-time author and freelance writer having written over 75 novels for clients – with two series having become Amazon Bestsellers. She is an active member of the Maine Romance Writers Association, The Horror Writers of Maine, The Fantasy Writers of Maine, The Maine Women Authors, The Maine Writers and Publishers Alliance, Sigma Alpha Pi’s, National Society of Leadership and Success, and Sigma Tau Delta’s, International English Honor Society. Lydia graduated from the University of Southern New Hampshire with a Bachelor of Arts in Creative Writing and English on May 12th, of 2018 and she graduated with a Master of Arts in Creative Writing and English on May 11th, 2019.

She’s the author of a paranormal/humor trilogy, The Ginger Davenport Escapades and is contracted with a second trilogy, The Fire Series with LM Vintage Publishers. The first book, Phoenix Fire, is slated to be released in 2019. Lydia currently works as an internist in the second semester within a literary agency and plans to pursue future endeavors within this line of work, as well as a PhD in Creative Writing. Her creative writing research proposal is under review at Lancaster University in Lancaster, England.

Lydia lives in Maine where she enjoys living life with an active eight-year-old and a black cat, Sirius Black, who is equally competitive for her attention. In her spare time, Lydia loves knitting, reading, coaching soccer, completing fantasy-themed jigsaw puzzles for inspiration, traveling and having a laugh with her best friends.

Lydia Anne Stevens 2

Links

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Book Spotlight – Encounters

ENCOUNTERS by Patrick Stull

Title: ENCOUNTERS

Author: Patrick Stull

Publisher: Independent

Pages: 250

Genre: Fine Art Photography Book

 

 

With photography at its base, Stull offers a nuanced explication of
his encounters to allow the viewer an opportunity to form a relationship
with his art. While looking within ourselves, exploring our own
feelings, he hopes that he will inspire greater humaneness in response
to his art.ENCOUNTERS is the second in a series of six large-format books in
which artist, photographer and author, Patrick Stull explores a wide
range of experiences. Using light and the physical body, the written
word and his artistry he creates imagery that examines aspects of the
lives of women.

Compiled over the last 18 years, the images in ENCOUNTERS, Stull
says, are meant to “inspire and challenge the observer while always
empowering the subject.”

Stull brings a powerful sense of the surreal and the spiritual to his
work as he plots a course along the many paths of the human experience.
His imagery runs from the ghostly and ephemeral to the flowing and
fiery.

As much as he concentrates on the human form, Stull never forgets to
focus on the humanity of his subjects. His choice of the coffee-table
style book format draws the viewer into an experience both intimate and
universal.

Stull’s first book in his series, titled EVOLVE, was published in
2006. A third book, titled HIDDEN DIMENSIONS, is completed and awaiting
publication. Future titles in the series include DHARMA, BEING
DIFFERENT, and YOGA, A HEALING MOMENT.

Stull hopes that his readers come away from the book with “a love for
art and a respect for the female who gives us life and challenges us to
be better human beings.

 

https://patrickstull.com/books-2/encounters

 


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Encounters
is a collection of imagery created and compiled over the last 15 years to
inspire and challenge the observer while always empowering the subject. The
imagery is coupled with text, odes and perspectives about the human experience
and existence itself. The imagery is mostly an explication, an intimate view of
the lives of women and our relationship to them – on an individual and cultural
level. However, there are images of men included in this work. A portion of the
portfolio presents something more than a photographic image. Here the imagery
is developed into contemplative art pieces of the surreal genre, where the
viewer is transported into the depths of their own psyche challenging them to
see something new.

 

 

 

 

 

American
artist Patrick Stull has spent the last eighteen years mostly creating imagery
about the lives of women. He searches for what lies beneath the surface of his
subjects, empowering each one he encounters. He has recently ventured into the
realm of surrealism, creating powerful imagery that reflects on our humanity
while dealing with the meaning and power of art.
Stull
say’s, “My work has allowed me to venture past the camera into the realm
of a humanist, an artistic life, delving into the intellectual, a more cerebral
life experience, creating what I call ‘connectivism.'”
His
ongoing work is based in large-scale digital photography accompanied by
sculpture/body casts, composition art, painting, poetry/prose and drawings.
His art is then integrated, collectively, into exhibitions to provide the
viewer a once in a lifetime experience. The presentation of the work is
delivered to the viewer in a unique and emotionally powerful way.
Stull,
71, a self-taught artist, works in many artistic disciplines. Educated at San
Diego State University
with degrees in psychology, economics and philosophy during the 1960’s, amidst
the backdrop of the counter-culture revolution and the Viet Nam War, where his
social consciousness and political views were shaped. Stull emerged from a
Catholic Irish/German family, one of five children where work, discipline and
religion took precedence over emotional expressions of the self – a different
kind of loving environment. Being a husband of thirty-plus years and father to
two has taught him the power of kindness, love and commitment.

His latest
book is the fine art photography book, Encounters.

 

Visit his website at www.patrickstull.com.
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GIVEAWAY!


50 Amazon Gift card
 

Patrick Stull is giving away a $50 Amazon Gift Card!

Terms & Conditions:
  • By entering the giveaway, you are confirming you are at least 18 years old.
  • One winner will be chosen via Rafflecopter to receive one $50 Amazon Gift Card.
  • This giveaway ends midnight August 30.
  • Winner will be contacted via email on September 1.
  • Winner has 48 hours to reply.
Good luck everyone!

ENTER TO WIN!

http://www.pumpupyourbook.com

 

 

Spotlight – High Flying

High Flying banner

About the Author

Kaylin McFarren

KAYLIN MCFARREN has received more than 45 national literary awards, in addition to a prestigious Golden Heart Award nomination for FLAHERTY’S CROSSING – a book she and her oldest daughter, New York Times/USA Today best-selling author, Kristina McMorris, co-authored in 2008. Prior to embarking on her writing journey and developing the popular THREADS psychological thriller series, she poured her passion for creativity into her work as the director of a fine art gallery in the Pearl District in Portland, Oregon; she also served as a governor-appointed member of the Oregon Arts Commission. When she’s not traveling or spoiling her pups and three grandsons, she enjoys giving back to her community through participation and support of various charitable and educational organizations in the Pacific Northwest, and is currently the president of the Soulful Giving Foundation – a non-profit focused on cancer research, care and treatment at hospitals throughout Oregon. 

Website: www.kaylinmcfarren.com

Blog: https://kaylinmcfarren.blog

Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/4kaylin

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

 

About the Book:

Title: HIGH FLYING
Author: Kaylin McFarren
Publisher: Creative Edge Publishing LLC
Pages: 280
Genre: Time Travel Thriller

High Flying

BOOK BLURB:

 ten minutes to survive the past.

Skylar Haines has struggled with personal demons most of her life, going to dark extremes to subdue anxieties rooted in her tragic past. On a perpetual hunt for the next adrenaline hit, she discovers a passion for flying and becomes a hard-edged stunt pilot, verging on obsession. In the sky, following her most daring airshow, she encounters a mysterious storm and almost collides with another aircraft, sending her into a perilous dive. Guided by a mysterious voice, she manages a safe landing but finds herself transported to another time. Eight months before she was born, one week before her father was murdered. 

Though baffled by her circumstances, Skylar soon arrives at a single certainty: Before her lies a remarkable chance to change her family’s destiny drastically for the better — or possibly even worse — depending on the choices she makes, before her window of opportunity closes. 

ORDER YOUR COPY:

Amazon

https://amzn.to/2MhXVAR

 

Book Excerpt:

With renewed excitement, Jake Brennen and Skylar Haines approached two silver Pitts high performance biplanes, designed around Vedeneyev M14P engines. Their trusted mechanic limped wearily toward them, wiping crumbs from his thick handlebar mustache. Ethan Edwards had been named after the main character in The Searchers, an unlikely hero. But according to Ethan, he’d already become one with the endless hours he put into keeping their planes in the air.

Unfortunately, the grimace on his narrow face reflected the concern in his voice. “Jake, I know Skylar is an excellent pilot and has been going to airshows for years, but do you really think it’s a good idea to let her tackle those stunts alone?” The forty-four-year-old grease monkey had become a father figure to Jake after his dad died twenty-some years ago, and he never minced words when it came to voicing his opinions.

“Skylar says she’s ready to do it,” Jake assured him. “We’ve been going over these stunts for several days now.”

“In the air?”

“Yes, of course. We went through the whole routine twice. I’m pretty confident that—”

“You of all people should know that it takes months to perfect maneuvers.”

“I realize that. But Skylar’s got her mind set on doing this, and I believe in her abilities.” Jake glanced at her and smiled. “If I didn’t, we wouldn’t be here.”

Ethan followed Jake to his plane, shaking his head, and Skylar trailed close behind. “Honestly,” Ethan grumbled, “I just hope you’re not making a huge mistake.”

“I agree with you there,” Jake said, settling into his seat.

“Okay, fine…if that’s the way you want it. Come on, Skylar. I’ll help you get strapped in.”

“Thanks, Ethan!” Jake called out.

A short, middle-aged woman with shoulder-length brown hair approached Skylar, waving her hand excitedly. “Miss Haines! Miss Haines! Please wait. I’ve been trying to reach you for two days now. I’m Samantha Jackson. I can’t tell you how exciting it is to meet you in person.”

“Exciting?” Skylar’s lips held a faint smile.

“Why, yes. I read about you in the newspaper this morning and understand you purchased one of my books. Women in Flight? I wrote it four years ago.”

“Really? In the newspaper? Somebody actually wrote a story about me? Was Jake mentioned too?”

The kindly woman smiled. “Jake Brennen was interviewed about the airshow and said you were performing today. I’m sure your family is very proud of you, Miss Haines.”

Skylar almost laughed out loud. Her grandfather had no interest in any aspect of her life, especially after having her arrested for stealing his motorcycle. Moreover, the hostility between them had increased exponentially when he insisted she be sent away to reform school. At the time, he claimed he was doing her a real favor and she did him a better one by leaving town.

“Anyway,” the writer added, “I want to wish you good luck today, not that you’ll need it. Mr. Brennen said you’re one of the most talented pilots he’s ever worked with.”

“What? He actually said that?” The stupid smile, which had left her face while the woman was speaking, reappeared.

“Indeed, he did. You can see for yourself right here.” The woman handed her a torn section from the local newspaper. “You can keep that if you’d like.” The story she was referring to filled most of the page and continued on the backside. Skylar took it, folded it, and slipped it into her backpack, promising herself to read it later.

“I also thought you might also like to know that I’m working on a new book,” the woman added. “It’s all about female stunt pilots and—”

Skylar was only half-listening. “You don’t say?” Her attention had drifted to Jake in the neighboring plane. He had his sunglasses on, covering his stunning green eyes, and was adjusting the headset on top of his shaggy blonde hair.

“When you have some free time,” the woman added, “I’d love to sit down and talk with you. Maybe even include your story in my new book.” She handed Skylar a business card and smiled.

“Yeah, sure. Why not?” Skylar shook the woman’s hand. Then she watched her walk away. She glanced at the ivory business card’s elegant scrolled lettering and made a mental note of the woman’s name before adding it to her backpack.

Unbelievable. Skylar smiled to herself. Jake was certainly full of surprises today. She’d have to remember to thank him for the compliment—one that she was determined to earn today.

“Looks like you have a new fan,” Ethan said, reminding her of his presence. His face was serious as always, but his blue eyes were brighter than usual.

“I can’t imagine why.” Skylar glanced toward the stands, filled to capacity with spectators. The realization of what had taken place made her cheeks flush. “Jake’s the one with all the talent, not me.”

“I don’t think so,” Ethan said. “Far as I’m concerned, you’re both gifted.” As they reached her plane, he laid a hand on her shoulder. “I just hope you know what you’re doing, kiddo.”

“Yeah, so do I.” An unseasonal breeze had picked up, sending a chill down her spine. Her hands trembled and her arms ached, reminding her of her hidden obsession and Jake’s disturbing remark during breakfast.

“I don’t understand why you wear long sleeves all the time…even when it’s unbearably hot. I hope you’re not shooting up drugs or something.” He smiled, and she shook her head. She tried to smile back, but failed miserably. She wasn’t about to tell him that she was emotionally scarred by childhood abuse and had anxiety-driven roadmaps on her arms to prove it.

“You okay, sweetheart?” Ethan brought her back to the present. “Cause if you’re not, there’s no way I’m sending you up.”

“I’m fine…honest.” She could hear the scared little voice in her head disagreeing. Eight maneuvers were not part of the original plan. At least, not until two weeks ago. With very little preparation, a lot could go wrong, and Ethan knew it better than anyone.

“All right,” he said. “I’m holding you to that.” She gave him a quick smile before climbing into her seat. Apparently, he sensed her fear as he continued to reassure her, while strapping her in. “Just follow Jake’s lead and his commands. Keep an eye on your airspeed and altitude. Stay a comfortable distance away from each other. And break off if things get sloppy. Is that clear?”

Skylar whispered quietly. It’s just you and me now, Roxy. Let’s do this right.

“What’s that?”

“Yes. I understand, Ethan.”

“I’ll be listening.”

“Okay. Sounds great.”

He patted her shoulder and winked. “You’ve got this. In fact, I bet you ten bucks no one’s going to be as incredible as you two. Just remember that, Sky, and you’ll forget about all your fears.”

She managed a weak smile. “Okay, you’re on. But you still owe me six dollars from poker.”

“What do you say? Double or nothing?”

“You’re incorrigible.”
Ethan checked her straps and gave her a thumb up salute. She returned the gesture, confirming she was ready to go. Then she heard Jake’s voice on her headset. “So, how’s my girl doing?”

“As well as can be expected,” she said. In all truth, Skylar was a jittery mess—anxious to get this show over and on with her life. She closed her eyes and exhaled all the breath from her lungs for a count of five. Then she repeated the relaxation technique, holding her breath. You can do this, you can do this, she kept telling herself.

“Heck, you’re far better than that,” Jake said. “You’re friggin’ amazing…for a woman anyway.” He was grinning, motioning his head towards the empty seat in front of him. “What do you say? Care to tag along?’

She touched her necklace and smiled. “That’s the plan.”

He mouthed the words I love you, and she instantly relaxed.

There were moments like this when she was tempted to repeat the words. When for three seconds, she didn’t believe in the notion that love gave someone the power to destroy you.

She was only six years old the day her mother asked her, “What’s more beautiful than life itself…devours you inside…makes you laugh and cry all day…and makes you do anything, anytime, anyplace?” Of course, the answer to her riddle was love. But after everything her mother had gone through, Skylar was frightened to say it.

So is that why she was doing this now? Why she was willing to risk her life to please the only man she truly cared about?

Jake’s voice came back on the radio, directing her step by step. “Okay, Skylar, let’s do this just like we planned. Remember…pay attention to our distance. Do everything like we practiced. I’ll count us through. You got this! And don’t forget, sweetheart…this is all about timing and having fun too. Is that clear?”

“Yes. Crystal clear.”

“Okay. Ready to go?”

“Ready.”

“Then let’s do this. Nice and easy.”

Jake taxied his biplane off the grass and onto the runway, and Skylar followed close behind. Then the airshow announcer’s voice erupted over the loud speakers in the stadium. “Our next act, ladies and gentlemen, boys and girls, are the Twin Arrows from the Ace Flying Circus. Let’s give these two a big round of applause.”

A cheer rose in the air, and Jake’s voice came through Skylar’s speaker. “Roger, Mitchell Tower.” His plane rolled forward and Skylar trailed behind him, increasing her air speed as she pulled the stick towards her. She looked at the tower and knew that Ethan was keeping an eye on her from there. For the first time all day, the announcer said nothing. The crowd hushed and even the children watched silently as the two old war planes took off full throttle, one after the other. They swooped upwards and their engines roared.

The wings made it difficult to see, but Skylar witnessed bits and pieces of Jake’s first maneuver—enough to know that they were perfectly executed. He flew out of the spectator’s view allowing her center stage. Now it was her turn. The plane responded instantly to her touch and she became a sculptor carving the air. Spins and turns, drops and climbs. Her individual routine had been flawless. To finish, she climbed high above the runaway. The hangars, taxiways, and crowded tarmac became the size of miniature replicas. When the plane could climb no more, it stalled and fell to one side, dropping into a spiral heading straight for the ground. Instead of recovering and pulling out of the dive, Skylar let the ground rush toward her until she knew the crowd feared for her life. And because she had spent countless years watching airshows, she knew the audience had exploded with cheers when she added power and regained control. She climbed back into the sky feeling electrified, brimming with adrenaline.

Jake met her in his plane directly over the runway, front and center for the cheering crowd. They climbed in unison, turned on their tails, then stalled and dropped in opposite directions. They proceeded to fly the identical acrobatic routine: tailspins, four-point rolls, flat spins, figure eights, snap rolls and hammerheads. Flying together, they were a reflection of each other—perfectly matched in speed, altitude, and control.

The other pilots could do these stunts too, skillfully even. But each time Jake was in the cockpit, he became an artist. Everyone who watched him knew they were seeing something remarkable. But this time, Skylar was right there with him, matching every move. The feeling was pure energy and naked spirit.

They flew out and around to get enough distance and speed to do their final stunt. Descending even lower, it appeared as if they were going to land. Then Jake yelled, “Here we go!” He dropped even lower and did a smooth barrel roll directly under Skylar. They kept the bellies of their planes in perfection position from one end of the runway to the other—blasting by the audience, a plane and its reflection.

Jake called, “Clear out!”

Just as they had rehearsed, Skylar broke off to the right and went into a climb. She couldn’t see him, but she knew that Jake was completing his barrow roll and would soon follow her into the sky.

The exhilaration she felt was beyond description, beyond anything she had experienced before. Skylar could almost hear the cheers erupting from the ground below, as she soared higher and higher. She was heading straight toward a cloud bank that hadn’t been there before—not when they started their routine. It was like a wall that reached higher than she could see.

Skylar heard a crackle on her radio and then Jake’s reassuring voice. “Honey, that was amazing! I knew you could do it.”

His praise was a salve for her soul. “Thanks for believing in me, Jake.”

“You would have loved this, Roxy,” she said quietly. “It was just like we talked about.” All of her dreams were coming true, exactly the way she imagined. With Jake’s help, she had accomplished a remarkable feat, and now her name would be synonymous with female stunt pilots all over the world.

The wall of clouds was getting bigger at a rate Skylar had never seen before. Even intense thunderstorms didn’t grow this rapidly, and there were no storms forecasted in this area.

“Jake? Do you see this?” Skylar couldn’t believe the size of this weather system in front of her. She couldn’t even begin to see the top or either side.

The radio crackled but he didn’t respond.

“Jake? Can you hear me?”

Static erupted in her headset but then cleared. “Baby, listen. There’s something I’ve been meaning to tell you.”

“Jake? Is that you?”

“I don’t know why it’s taken me so long to say this out loud—”

“What are you talking about? Jake? Is something wrong?”

“Skylar…I…you.” Static blocked out most of the words. “Sky…do…hear me? …get what…saying?” The static was increasing. “…honest…love you!”

“Jake! I can barely hear you. Can you hear me?”

He kept talking, obviously unaware that the call was breaking up. “…Skylar…want…know…”

“Jake! I can’t hear you! Jake! Repeat.”

“Get…here…quick.” The static was getting louder. “…proud…believe…long to…say…here…why…you.”

The static ended and silence filled her ears. It was time to get back on the ground. “If you can hear me, there’s a weather system approaching and it’s a biggie! I’m on my way back.” Then she added, “Taking it nice and easy.”

However, nature had a different idea. It was as if the wall of clouds had swallowed her whole, darkening the cockpit in an instant. The plane danced and swayed in the turbulence, constantly buffeted by the increas­ing wind. Skylar’s head hit the canopy and her knees slammed against the sides of the plane. She had entered the eye of the storm and was being thrown around like a toy plane. Lightning flashed across the sky, followed by the crash of thunder. She tightened her grip on the controls and released a ragged breath.

Holy shit. Skylar was in the bowels of a storm with no end in sight. She could only hold on and pray that the plane wouldn’t break into pieces. The turbulence grew wilder, tossing her around like a rock in a can. She regained control of her plane for seconds at a time. When she could, she started a turn in an attempt to break free from the storm—to exit the way she came in. She kept an eye out on the windscreen to stay oriented, but it was hard to keep her head still long enough to see clearly.

The dark ominous sky revealed glimpses of white clouds sliding behind fast-moving black curtains, giving her a sliver of hope. Then, from out of nowhere, a red and white plane descended from above, headed straight at her. We’re gonna crash!

Skylar gasped and veered her biplane to the left. They were bulleting past each other, but there wasn’t enough time to get out of the way. Her right wing clipped the tail of the other aircraft, sending her plane into a nose dive.

“Oh, my God!” she yelled into her radio. “We collided!”

The radio was quiet.

“Jake! Can you hear me? It’s Skylar! I’m going down!” She was spiraling and plunging straight down, holding on for dear life.

Why wasn’t he answering? Where the hell was Jake?

Skylar had the stick close to her chest pulling up for all she was worth. “Ethan, are you there? Ethan, it’s Skylar! Why isn’t anyone responding? I’m going down!”

A man’s voice came through the speaker. “Skylar. Let go.”

Who was that? It was an unfamiliar voice.

“I can’t recover the controls!” she yelled. “I collided with another plane! Help me! Please help me!”

“Skylar, listen. You know how to do this. You just need to let go.”

“I can’t! The controls were damaged. I’m going down!”

The man’s voice remained calm. “You can do this. Your plane is fine.” He might as well have been ordering dinner at a restaurant. “Listen to me. You’re in a stall. Let go of the stick. Let the wings do their job.”

Her knuckles were white.

“Skylar, listen to me,” he repeated. “You know how to do this. Let go!”

She blew out a deep breath. The ground was getting closer by the second and her nerves were jumping. She needed to act before it was too late.

Against everything her brain was screaming, she followed stall protocol. She pushed the stick away from her and shoved in the throttle, increasing her descent into the ground. As soon as she heard the power of her engines, relief poured over her. She pulled back on the stick and felt the gloriousness of her wings taking hold, creating lift and allowing her aircraft to fly.

I’m going make it!

“Nice one, Skylar! You did it!” The stranger cheered.

She leveled off and the sky around her lightened, allowing her to see the runway below. She had fallen a long way. “Thank you. I…couldn’t…I have…”

“Just land and be done with it,” he said. “That was quite a ride!”

“Coming around.” She headed for a final approach and used the time to breathe and wipe the tears from her eyes. There was nothing she could do about the shaking. Her whole body was trembling.

“Jake? Ethan? Are you there?”

The radio remained silent.

Skylar touched down with a gentle bounce. She taxied off the runway and pulled around to a stop in front of a black hanger that she didn’t recall seeing before. But then after that harrowing experience, everything in the world seemed new.

She shut off the engines and the airplane shuttered. The propellers slowed and stopped with a jerk. Silence. She started to remove her headset but stopped and said into the mic, “Are you still there? I can’t thank you enough.”

“It was nothing. Glad to help.”

“I don’t know what got into me. I’ve never panicked like that before.”

“No problem. Happens to the best of us.”

“But I’m used to emergencies. I’ve done it a thousand times. I do stalls for a living!” She hesitated, embarrassed to admit such a thing. “Well, thank you. I really can’t thank you enough.” Then she realized she didn’t have the foggiest idea who he was—this guardian angel who saved her. “Can I ask who this is?”

“The name’s Haines,” he said. “It was my plane your clipped up there. But I managed to bring her down safely.”

“That was you! I don’t know how that happened. You just appeared and I only had a second to react. I’m so glad you’re okay. That I’m okay too…thanks to you.”

“Like I said, glad to help.”

“Wait a minute. Did you say Haines?” She must have misheard. Or perhaps it was the near-death experience confusing her further.

“Yep, that’s right. Dylan Haines.” He paused, then he asked, “Have we met before?”

“Um…I…” Skylar looked around and realized that she wasn’t sure where she was. None of this was making sense. She pulled off her headset, thinking she could see better without them. She looked around for Jake. Where was Ethan? The airshow was still going on and groups of people were gathered here and there, filling the open spaces outside.

Leaving her backpack behind, she climbed out of her seat and hopped to the ground. Where was everyone? Where was Jake? She was having trouble believing her eyes. A short distance away sat the brick traffic control tower and administration building. People were milling about, going in and out of the buildings. And she knew these buildings well. She saw them every day. She also knew that they had been remodeled a few years ago. But the building in front of her had clearly not been remodeled. It had the old windows and doors, and the addition that gave them more offices wasn’t there.

What was going on here?

Draped across the black façade was a huge white banner with black letters. She couldn’t believe her eyes.

Welcome to the ’98 Reno National Championship Air Races & Air Show!

What? 1998? Was this some kind of joke? Skylar looked around, half expecting someone to jump out and yell, “Gotcha!”

All the buildings around her looked the same but different. Everything was just a little bit off. She took another look around. The hangers were there, but where was the shed? She used that shed daily for tools and wash pails. The small maintenance building was there, however, the large newer side wasn’t. It was just a parking lot.

Skylar scanned the whole airport and realized it wasn’t making any sense. This wasn’t right. None of it was right!

Antique planes of every make and model were lined up in neat staggered rows. Pilots were checking engines, climbing in and out of cockpits, and studying the reader board for their positions. Red and white checkered canopies had replaced the black vendor tents that had been there this morning. The grandstands were still filled to capacity, yet none of the faces looked familiar. Not even the faces in the “Employee Section.” And there was still no sign of Jake and Ethan. Plus Jake’s biplane wasn’t there and his hanger was nowhere in sight.

Was she losing her mind?

A striking man with wavy brown hair and an athletic build strode up to her, wiping his hands on a rag. “So, you must be Skylar. It’s good to meet you. And all in one piece.” A bright smile stretched across his face.

She returned his smile and realized that she recognized him. Her brain started filing through faces and names, searching for something to remind her who this man was. Then a picture came to mind. She knew a picture of this man. That was it! Skylar had seen his face in her grandfather’s album. Only, that album was filled with photos of her father.

He looked exactly like a picture of her father. But that was impossible. Wasn’t it?

Skylar looked at him a little closer. Same hair. Same sea blue eyes. If her father had a twin, this would be him. But wait…it couldn’t be. He didn’t have a twin and this man looked to be 25-years-old.

The world came to a standstill. It was 1998. Her father would have been twenty-five in 1998. This was crazy, and so was being here, in this place—in the same year and place where her father had died.

Skylar kept her clammy hands clenched at her sides and squeezed her eyes tight. This is all a dream…just a dream. Either that or she was dead. She must have crashed and died on impact. That was it! She was…dead. She opened her eyes again, but everything was the same. Still 1998.

She broke out in a cold sweat. A tingling sensation began in her hands and feet and then quickly spread to her entire body.

Her father stepped forward and reached out a hand. “Skylar? Are you all right?”

She simply stared, mystified. “This…this isn’t real. It…it can’t be,” she stammered. “It’s…a dream. Just…a dream.” He was tilting off center before her eyes, blurring into fuzzy grayness, disappearing as the world went black.

High Flying 7

Spotlight – Dreams That Never Were

Dreams That Never Were Blog Tour Banner

About the Author

Greg Messel

Greg Messel grew up in the San Francisco Bay Area and lives on the Puget Sound in Edmonds, Washington, with his wife, Jean DeFond. Dreams That Never Were is his 11th novel and is a historical fiction account of a young reporter caught up in the events surrounding the assassination of Sen. Robert F. Kennedy in 1968. Greg has also written a series of mystery novels set in San Francisco in the 1950s. He has lived in Oregon, Washington, California, Wyoming and Utah and has always loved writing, including stints as a reporter, columnist and news editor for a daily newspaper. Greg won a Wyoming Press Association Award as a colunist and has contributed articles to various magazines.

WEBSITE & SOCIAL LINKS:

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About the Book:

Title: DREAMS THAT NEVER WERE
Author: Greg Messel
Publisher: Sunbreaks Publishing
Pages: 296
Genre: Historical Fiction

Dreams That Never Were 2

BOOK BLURB:

Some men see things as they are and say, ‘Why? I dream of things that never were and say, ‘Why not?” — Robert F. Kennedy

June 5, 1968:  Senator Robert F. Kennedy, then a candidate for President and victorious in the California primary, was mortally wounded by assassin Sirhan Sirhan as he exited the ballroom at the Ambassador Hotel in Los Angeles.  Innocent bystanders were also wounded, including young and idealistic Alex Hurley, a San Francisco reporter.

Swept up in the turbulent events of 1968, Alex is captivated both by the Presidential race and by Vietnam, where he had recently been a war correspondent.  His time in Vietnam had cost him his marriage and bitterly separated him from his own family.

Recovering from his wounds—physical and emotional—a new and surprising love restores his hope.

Part political thriller, part romance, Alex Hurley’s story in “Dreams That Never Were,” captures the turmoil of the day, set against the backdrop of the Vietnam War and America’s wrenching response to it. This novel is the latest historical fiction from award winning author Greg Messel.

 

ORDER YOUR COPY:

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Book Excerpt:

Sirhan Sirhan shot Robert F. Kennedy in the kitchen pantry of the Ambassador Hotel. Kennedy was leaving a victory party after winning the California Primary in June of 1968. Sirhan continued to fire his gun as the crowd tried to subdue him. Five additional people were wounded by the stray bullets. I have one of those wounded be my fictional character, Alex Hurley. This excerpt is when Alex wakes up in the hospital and is unaware of what has occurred. Here’s the excerpt:

I heard unfamiliar voices talking.

He’s starting to open his eyes,” someone said.

That’s a great sign,” commented another.

I detected a pain in my side, just below my rib cage. I tried to open my eyes, but they seemed to be glued shut. The voices resumed—talking about me as if I wasn’t there. Finally, I blinked my eyes, trying to focus, and soon realized  I was in a hospital bed. Standing by me, with concerned looks etched on their faces, was an odd collection of people from my life. 

Through my bleary eyes, I saw my ex-wife Brenda; John Greer, my photographer pal from San Francisco; and Darlene Harvey, the reporter from the Los Angeles Times, I’d been admiring from afar since I had arrived in Southern California. 

Brenda moved forward and tenderly gripped my hand in a way that she had not done for a long time. 

How are you, Alex?” she asked softly. 

I gave a weak shake of my head. “I dunno. What happened?” 

Don’t you remember, mate?” John jumped in. 

Remember what?” I mumbled blankly, as my weak voice tailed off into nothing.

He’s still coming out of the drugs. Give him a minute,” Brenda pleaded. “They’ve been keeping him kind of doped up since the surgery. This is the first time I’ve been able to talk to him.”

Surgery?” I asked. 

Brenda shushed me and gently ran her long, slender fingers through my hair. “Take it easy. Don’t try to talk right now. Take your time. Then we’ll help you understand what happened.”

I groggily attempted to get my bearings. “We were at the hotel. Everyone was celebrating Bobby’s victory. I was following him out of the ballroom, and there was like a riot. I was suddenly on the floor and couldn’t get up. It was strange. All of these people kept stepping on me—on my arm and on my legs.” 

I glanced at my right hand which was heavily bandaged. “I got knocked down. I’m sorry. Everything is a little hazy. I’m having trouble getting my brain to work.”

The three people hovering over me could not have been more different—two beautiful women and John, with his long black hair pulled back in a ponytail and a scruffy beard covering his face. The trio exchanged concerned glances, whispered, and nodded at one another. I started to shift in my bed and was met with a jolts of pain in my side and my leg. 

Brenda attempted to lighten the mood. “I was afraid you’d wake up in your hospital bed, see your ex-wife standing over you, and think you’d died and gone to hell.”

I gave her a weak smile, while the others chuckled to break the tension. 

Brenda was trying to make sure my re-entry was a slow descent, but that strategy was quickly dashed when John started blurting out all the details of the last 14 hours. “Take it easy, Alexander. You’ve had surgery. You were shot, man. They removed the bullet. The doc says you’re going to be fine. Some people from San Francisco are on their way down here, including our boss. Everyone’s been worried about you after they saw the news.”

The news? I was shot?”

Brenda glared at John. “Way to go slow, John. Senator Kennedy was shot. You and some other people were also wounded by the assassin.”

No, no, no!” I yelled. “Bobby was shot? No, not this time! This wasn’t supposed to happen! Assassin? Is Senator Kennedy going to be all right?” 

John moved closer. “Bobby’s just down the hall. He’s still alive, but he’s not doing very well.”

Not doing very well?” I snapped with rapidly accelerating alarm.

John blundered ahead. “This place is like a fortress. It was hard to get in here especially onto this floor. Cops are everywhere.”

Maybe we should go,” Darlene said shooting a glance at John. “We’ll come back later, Alex. We just had to see you. We were so worried.” 

No, no, don’t leave right now,” I pleaded. I repeated what I had been told to try to take in the enormity of the news. “Senator Kennedy was shot. How could… how did it happen?”

Brenda nodded to John and Darlene. “I’ll stay with him. I know you must be very busy.”

Darlene leaned over and kissed me on the cheek. She was dabbing tears from her eyes. “It’s been a long night. We’re all living in a nightmare. I’m so sorry, Alexander. It’s good to see you awake.”

Darlene grabbed John by the elbow and pushed him towards the door. John flashed a peace sign. “Peace, my brother. I’ll see you a little later. Take it easy and get better. I’ve got to call San Francisco. Everyone’s anxious to hear about you.”

Spotlight – Little Yellow Magnet by Jamieson Wolf

Little Yellow Magnet – A Memoir

Life can change in an instant. Jamieson learns this the hard way.

Waking one morning to find he has little-to-no motor control, Jamieson only wants the world to return to how it had been before. After a diagnosis of Multiple Sclerosis, he thinks his life is over. What he doesn’t know is that it’s only just begun.

Trying to navigate through the world in a body he no longer understands, Jamieson must travel through the dark forest of depression while waging a constant battle against himself. Over time, he learns what he’s truly capable of, and what it actually means to be courageous.

Follow Jamieson as he loses himself…then discovers who he is really meant to be.

Buy Links:

Amazon.ca         Amazon.com          Kobo

Jamieson has been writing since a young age when he realized he could be writing instead of paying attention in school. Since then, he has created many worlds in which to live his fantasies and live out his dreams.

He is a number-one bestselling author—he likes to tell people that a lot—and writes in many different genres. Jamieson is also an accomplished artist. He works in mixed media, charcoal, acrylic and oil pants. He is also something of an amateur photographer, a poet, and a graphic designer.

He currently lives in Ottawa Ontario Canada with his husband Michael and their cat, Tula, who is fearless.

You can find him at www.jamiesonwolf.com    Facebook    Twitter    Instagram

The world was falling around me.

Then again, I always fell. The ground would reach up to meet me, but I would get up and keep going. Having been born with spastic cerebral palsy, this was nothing new. But lately it happened with increasing regularity and without explanation.

Normally, if I were about to fall, there’d be a warning: a tightness in the muscles, a spasm, or a vibration running up my legs or down my back as if someone were playing an internal instrument, causing my muscles to gyrate.

Now there was none of that. I’d be walking one moment, then down I went the next. The ground wouldn’t welcome me in its embrace; it would pummel me, demanding a kiss. I wouldn’t even remember falling.

I also began having problems speaking. Just odd little turns of phrase of sentences I couldn’t get out properly. I’d want to say cup and ended up saying cuppy. I would try to say computer and instead said something like commuter.

This worried me more than the falling. I am a writer and words are my trade. I had always been able to turn out a quick phrase, public speaking never a hardship for me. I constantly had more words than the allotted time to speak—there had never seemed to be enough time to say all of them.

These days I was constantly tripping over my tongue. The words didn’t come out the right way. I was concerned but put off going to the doctor. I don’t like doctors; I’d seen too many of them as a child. I usually waited until the last possible moment to see one. I had narrowly avoided pneumonia a few times that way.

Then my mother called me. “Your brother has been diagnosed.”

I knew he’d been having health issues. As I didn’t speak to him, I got second-hand updates from my mother. He had been losing feeling in his feet and the numbness had moved up to his knees. He was having his own kind of difficulties.

“What’s wrong?” I asked her.

“He’s been diagnosed with multiple sclerosis,” she said softly. I could tell from the sound of her voice that she had been crying. “They said it was progressive MS. You should get checked to make sure you don’t have it.”

“Is that likely?”

“You’re his brother, Jamieson, his twin. It’s very likely.”

I begrudgingly agreed that I would go. I had postponed it for as long as I could, but after a fall at work and another fall in my apartment, I gave in to the inevitable. I made an appointment to see my doctor. He’d been my family physician for a while now and while he wasn’t great, at least there was someone I could see when I needed to.

I explained everything: how I was falling more often and losing control of my body. How I was having difficulty speaking and getting the words out that I wanted to say. I told him about my brother’s diagnosis and my mother’s concerns.

He was dismissive from the word go. “You don’t have multiple sclerosis,” he said.

“How can you be sure? Aren’t there some kind of tests you need to do to prove that?”

He waved my concerns away. “You don’t have multiple sclerosis. I’m a doctor, I know these things.”

“What about my body?” I asked, growing slightly frustrated. “I know my body and I know my cerebral palsy. This isn’t cerebral palsy causing the falls. I know it’s not. There’s something else going on.” He stared at me with a somewhat bemused gaze. “I know my own body,” I said again. “What about my speech?”

“This is all in your head,” he told me. “All this hysteria is affecting you. I would suggest psychological help. That’s what you need. I can recommend a good therapist.”

I was shocked. I had never been talked to like I was an idiot. I felt quite hot under the collar now. “What about my speech?” I asked again.

He waved his hand once more. “I would suggest elocution lessons.”

I left his office furious, knowing without a doubt that I needed more than elocution lessons and therapy, but I had no idea what to do or who to talk to.

On December 30, 2012, my hand went numb.

I called my doctor again and got him to begrudgingly refer me to a neurologist, but the appointment was months away. Every time I smoked a cigarette my hand kept going numb. I would switch to the other hand, then I’d begin to lose feeling in that one, too. The cigarette would fall from my fingers. I would pluck it off the carpet before it burned a hole.

Since seeing the doctor that first time, the symptoms I experienced had worsened. I fell almost every day with no explanation and had more trouble with my speaking. I made jokes about it, but I was worried.

I looked forward to the coming new year and I decided to go to bed early so I would have plenty of energy for the day ahead. My body, however, had other ideas. I went to bed living one life and woke up living another.

Spotlight – Fid’s Crusade

Fid's Crusade banner 2

About the Author

David Reiss

While growing up, David H. Reiss was that weird kid with his nose in a book and his head in the clouds. He was the table-top role-playing game geek, the comic-book nerd, the story-teller and dreamer.

Fortunately, he hasn’t changed much.

David is a software engineer by trade and a long-time sci-fi and fantasy devotee by passion, and he lives in Silicon Valley with his partner of twenty-six years. Until recently, he also shared his life with a disturbingly spoiled cat named Freya.

(Farewell, little huntress. You were loved. You are missed.)

David’s first book, Fid’s Crusade, has just recently been published; this was his first novel-length project, but it certainly won’t be his last—he’s having far too much fun!

Website Link: https://www.davidhreiss.com

Twitter Link: https://twitter.com/davidhreiss

Facebook Link: https://www.facebook.com/davidhreiss

 

About the Book:

Title: FID’S CRUSADE
Author: David H. Reiss
Publisher: Atian Press
Pages: 365
Genre: Scifi/Contemporary Fantasy

Fid's Crusade

BOOK BLURB:

Consumed by grief, rage, and self-loathing, a brilliant inventor rebuilt himself to take on a new identity: the powered-armor-wearing supervillain, Doctor Fid. For twenty violent years, Fid has continued his quest to punish heroes who he considers to be unworthy of their accolades, and the Doctor has left a long trail of blood and misery in his wake. After a personal tragedy, however, Doctor Fid investigates a crime and uncovers a conspiracy so terrible that even he is taken aback.

Haunted by painful memories and profound guilt, the veteran supervillain must risk everything to save the world that he once sought to terrorize. Every battle takes its toll…but the stakes are too high for retreat to be an option.

In the end, it may take a villain to save the entire Earth from those entrusted with the Earth’s protection.

Praise:

Fid’s Crusade by David H. Reiss is one of the most refreshing and lively takes on the superhero genre I’ve seen in years. His title character’s crusade is colorful, compelling, and takes wonderfully unexpected turns, and the novel delivers an impressive emotional punch (to go along with the super-powered ones). It stands easily alongside other character-driven superhero novels like Austin Grossman’s Soon I Will Be Invincible, Carrie Vaughn’s After the Golden Age, and Paul Tobin’s Prepare to Die!.” – Hugo award-winning author Tim Pratt

ORDER YOUR COPY:

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https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07C92PMDH

 

Book Excerpt:

“I’m fine,” I informed Starnyx as soon as he answered his highly-encrypted phone.

A swarm of medical automatons surrounded the gurney on which I was reclined, a humming and swirling dervish of blades, clamps, sponges and other surgical tools focused upon the stump of my shoulder. A surgical laser was carefully burning away flesh in a pattern that would increase the efficiency of repairs performed by the medical nanites once my right arm was reattached.

The blended smell of disinfectant and cooking meat had been disturbing at first, but I was beginning to get used to the odor.

“Okay…?” Eric yawned. “Where are you?”

“I’m back in Boston,” I winced; a more significant cocktail of painkillers was now coursing through my veins, but some discomfort remained. “I’m sorry, I forgot that you were asleep when I left.”

“Nah, it’s almost morning. I can wake up. What’s up?”

“I ran into some minor trouble on my way home,” I forced a chuckle. “It will probably make the news and I didn’t want you to worry.”

“Hold on, let me get to a computer.” I heard tired, uncoordinated movement over the connection.

“It’s not as bad as it looks.” Using my neural connection to the surgical control computer, I ordered one of the robots to add another dose of topical anesthetic. “Really, I’m fine.”

“So, what happened?” Eric must have reached his desk, because I could hear the clacking as he typed on his keyboard.

“I ran into the Brooklyn Knights.”

“I think I’ve heard of them. New guys, righ—” he paused mid-question and fell silent.

“Eric?”

“So, you’re fine then?” Nyx asked, patiently.

“Absolutely,” I affirmed.

“I only ask, because the first hit I get on recent news of Doctor Fid is shaky cel-phone footage of you with your arm cut off,” he explained. “And I’m pretty sure you had both arms earlier tonight.”

“Tis but a scratch?” I tried.

“Christ, Doc,” he sighed, “I’m not doing Monty Python bits with you. Let me get dressed, I can be up in Boston in a few hours.”

“Thank you,” I smiled gratefully. “But, really, don’t bother. I’ll have my arm re-attached by then.”

There was another long pause.

“How?” Starnyx sounded exasperated.

“Medical nanotechnology. I’ll have function back in eight hours.” Which was a good thing, since my civilian persona had a face-to-face meeting with the Governor of Connecticut this afternoon to discuss opening a new research facility in Middletown. “In twenty-four hours, I’ll be good as new.”

“You’re a scary man,” he chuckled, relieved. “Okay, I get it. You’re fine.”

“I am.”

“Keep out of trouble, Doc, I’m going to get back to bed. Stay in touch, yeah?”

“Of course.” It was an odd feeling, having someone who cared for Doctor Fid’s wellbeing.

He hung up, and I closed my eyes to think.

Book Trailer:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1e_2WVVnZO8&t=2s

 

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