Mineran Influence

New Version of Book Cover 2016
 

Sci-Fi

Date Published: Jan 2016 (paperback Dec 2016)

 

Sam, an ex-soldier who is trying to rediscover himself after twenty years of service, unwittingly stumbles upon a mysterious alien presence in rural Wales. He is drawn into a tangled web of intrigue, pitting him against forces bent on destruction and putting his life in peril. Feeling mentally eroded by his time in the army and having worked hard to overcome this, he is thrust upon an alien journey that will change his life and beliefs in a profound way.

Claims of benevolence are only the beginning of the mysteries he’ll have to unravel as doubt and mistrust haunt him. He will have to form unlikely alliances in order to fathom the mysteries at the secret Mineran enclave, where intrigue, deception and imminent danger reside.

His journey for answers will introduce him to pernicious enemies with hidden agendas, as a heinous plot to kill him unravels. Can he defeat his personal demons to secure justice and discover the truth of who or what is behind the nefarious machinations and why?

 

Review

This was a thrill ride and quite a fun read. I liked that from the very beginning we understood what the “world” was looking for and what would happen once they got it.

Sam as a main character really drew me in.

Great, Sci Fi novel and writing from P.N. Burrows. The world he has created is so vivid and really helps the reader feel like they are there with the characters.

A strong and fast paced plot will keep you invested the entire way through.

 

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Born in England and raised in Wales, I started my working life on a farm in the glorious rural Welsh countryside.  I retrained to become an IT Consultant and having spent thousands on Microsoft, CompTIA and Cisco qualifications; I also obtained a contract to run and teach at a Cisco Academy in England.  After this, I became a small business IT Advisor for WCBC and the Welsh Government.  As this funding dried up, I retrained as a Business Advisor and have since helped thousands of people start up their own businesses.

In my leisure time, I work my way through a comprehensive bucket list with my Fiancée, Cath. This has caused us great delight as we have attended various courses and fun days out, such as beekeeping, pottery making, stained glass making, painting course, cooking courses, hawk walks, animal experiences, quad biking, gorge walking and much more. Our favourite one is learning to dance. This activity has remained with us and will hopefully do so for the rest of our lives. We can do a reasonable Waltz, collapse in laughter trying the Viennese Waltz, but it is the 1920’s Lindy Hop that we have fallen in love with. After three years of dancing, we still attend regular dance classes and events.

Strangely, for an ex-geek, my favourite gadget is my Italian Marcato pasta machine. I love real, unprocessed food and my freshly made pasta with a home cooked sauce is amazing.

I have always enjoyed reading, and in my early teenage years, I read authors ranging from Harry Harrison to HG Wells. Later in life, I turned to thriller writers such as the 3 C’s; Clancy, Cussler and Child. Also, I will always have a Pratchett book on my phone for light reading. His imagination was and always will be, inspiring. I have wanted to write the Mineran Series for several years prior to actually starting and with the encouragement from Cath, who has suffered my many varied, imaginative pranks over the years, I have begun.

 

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Kane Moss

Western
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Kane Moss, a rather large, easygoing cowboy who would prefer to be left alone, finds himself leading a small posse on a bloody trail of reckoning.
Their remote Wyoming mountain village burned and pillaged by a murderous gang they are charged by their elders to find the gang and take their retribution. Little did they know that their pursuit would take them from their small mountain village to Ojinaga, Mexico. Kane Moss is no stranger to trouble. He has travelled a considerable part of the West riding shotgun on stages and participating in posses hunting for stage robbers. He has a strong code of honor learned from his upbringing and tries to do right. Sometimes naïve in trusting others he makes blunders, but always manages to come out on top. His determination is one to be reckoned with. Klatchard Bordiaz, leader of the murderous gang is a man full of hatred and contempt for anyone who has earned a decent life. He is intemperate and unrestrained having viciously killed his first man at the age of fourteen. He commands a large gang of murderers and thieves known as the Klatch Gang. On their way back to Ojinaga from a cattle drive to Montana they attack a small mountain village in the Medicine Bow Mountains of Wyoming Territory. Burning, raping and plundering the residents of this unsuspecting mountain village they stir up a hornet’s nest of angry mountain folks who are unforgiving when done wrong.
Among Kane’s posse is a young woman, Sarah Jane, who lost a brother and sister in the raid on their village. She is a determined woman and will be put down by no man. Nothing will stand in the way of her seeking revenge on the Klatch gang.
Sometimes humorous and rollicking, at other times deadly serious, their determination never fades. Through false leads, blunders and marauding Indians they manage to catch up to the raiders in the lawless village of Ojinaga. Here they find they are also up against the Mexican Rurales. The odds of success are overwhelmingly against them as Kane Moss and his small posse faces the intemperate and cold-blooded Klatchard Bordiaz, a much-feared vicious killer and gang leader.



About the Author

C. D. Tuttle was born and raised in Central Oklahoma. Through learning from his great grandmother, who was in the Oklahoma land rush of 1891, and the experiences of his father, he developed a passionate interest in the old West. He spent his formative years on a farm in Lincoln County, Oklahoma. Well educated in the sciences, he spent his professional life as a geologist, zoologist and naturalist. Throughout his travels to wild places around the world, he never lost touch with his Western upbringing. He has resided on the western slope of Colorado for the past 20 years.
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Butterfly Serenade

 

New Adult Romance, Contemporary Romance
Date Published:  1/15/2017
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 Rose
Whore. Slut. Tramp.
I don’t want to believe the words, but they’re true. Having sex with strangers temporarily affords me the necessary control to quiet the demons from my nightmares. But each unfulfilling encounter leaves me more emotionally empty than before. I’m trapped in a dead, brown shell, unable to break free.
Until the day he walks into my life.
Colin is everything that’s good and pure–a beacon of light to my dark, lost soul. His music is a soothing balm, warming long-frozen places inside me. His kindness disarms me, making me long for more. But to have more, I’d need to reveal the horrors of my past.
And I can’t tell anyone. It’ll tear me apart.
Colin
 
I’ve been waiting for her all my life.
From the moment I laid eyes her, I knew Rose was my soul mate. I’m drawn to her inner beauty and yearn to show her the love she’s never known. The pain reflected in her lovely amber eyes rouses emotions deep within me, stirring the music in my soul and making my fingers take flight over the keyboard.
But Rose is a woman holding closely guarded secrets.
More than my next breath, I want to quell the haunted look in her eyes … heal her broken spirit and make her whole again. She doesn’t believe that’s possible. But I won’t give up.
Not until she lets me love her–all of her.
Warning: Contains graphic descriptions of abuse that may distress some readers.
Excerpt

 

Chapter 1
Rose
I slide the last box of my belongings out of the back seat of Olivia’s car and close the door with my hip. For a moment, I stand there breathing deeply of the fresh pine-scented mountain air. In the distance, beyond the brick building that houses our dorm, the majestic San Francisco peaks rise up in their cloak of foggy clouds to meet a clear blue sky. It’s good to be back at Northern Arizona University. The city of Flagstaff and this school have been my haven since I left my old life behind two years ago. I don’t miss it. No one in their right mind would. It was nothing short of hell. In a way, my life didn’t really start until I moved here. It’s still far from perfect, but whose life is? At least it’s mine to live now, and no one can make me do anything I don’t want to.
Funny that I lived that old life just two short hours away from here, yet no one I used to know has ever tried to find me–or if they tried, they haven’t been successful. I’m glad. I don’t want to see anyone from that time. No, that isn’t entirely true. The only person I’d like to see again is my old friend, Emily. Other than her, I couldn’t care less. The people to whom I’m related by blood aren’t my family anymore. The only real family I have now are Olivia, her mom, Abigail, and her younger sister, Jennifer. They took me in when I had no place else to go and helped me carve out this new life for myself.
The ache in my arms reminds me that I need to relieve them of their burden. I head for the main door of the dorm. One of the girls who lives down the hall from me and Olivia sees me coming and holds it open for me. I nod my thanks, then head up the stairs for the third floor where our room is located. I’ve made this trip up and down about ten times today, unloading all our stuff. By the time I reach the second floor, the strength in my arms is flagging and my legs are screaming to end this torturous exercise. After taking a short breather at the landing, I continue plodding up the next flight of stairs.
At the sound of heavy, rapid footfalls behind me, I move to one side to allow the person who is quickly gaining ground on me to pass by. My cumbersome load bumps into the railing, causing my foot to catch on the next step. As I’m about to pitch down the stairs, a pair of strong hands catch me at the waist.
“Whoa, there! Easy,” a sexy, masculine voice rumbles in my ear.
I automatically stiffen. I don’t like being touched–especially by strange men–without my permission. Knowing he’s only trying to help, I take a deep breath and will my body to relax.
He leans to one side, and out of the corner of my eye, I can see he’s smiling.
“Are you OK?”
“Yeah, I’m fine.” You can let go of me now, I resist the urge to say out loud.
“Here, why don’t you let me help you with that?” Before I can protest, he moves around in front of me and lifts the heavy box out of my hands. “So where are we headed?”
“Ah … next floor.” I point upward. “Room 329.”
He continues up the stairs with me trailing behind. The door to mine and Olivia’s dorm room is open, but before entering he calls out, “Knock, knock.”
“Hi! Did you need something?” I hear Olivia’s friendly voice coming from inside the room, but his tall, muscular frame blocks her from my view.
“Just helping your roommate with her stuff.” He lifts his arms, indicating the box.
“Oh! Well, bring it on in.”
He enters the room, and I follow.
Olivia finally sees me. “I was wondering what happened to you. You were gone for a while.”
Having placed the box on one of the beds, my helper turns around. “I’m afraid that’s partly my fault. I nearly knocked her over in the stairwell. I figured the least I could do is carry her things.”
“Thank you,” I say to one of the buttons on the front of his shirt. I can’t bring myself to make eye contact. It’s something I tend to avoid with men, unless I’m on the prowl. I’m afraid it might encourage him to do something I don’t want. Like ask me out.
“I guess I should introduce myself. I’m Colin … Colin O’Malley.” He offers his hand, first to Olivia–who introduces herself, too–and then to me.
It would be rude not to accept, so I place my hand in his. It almost completely envelopes mine, and at once, I notice his long fingers. Even though his hands are on the large side, there’s a gentleness in them I don’t expect. Now that I think about it, once I got over the initial shock of his touch, I’d noticed it in the stairwell, too. It also didn’t escape me that he’d behaved like a gentleman and hadn’t tried to “accidentally” cop a feel. He’d only held me until he was sure I’d regained my footing.
“So …” He leans down a little. “Do you have a name?”
Realizing I’ve been daydreaming, and still staring at his chest to boot, my face starts to heat. “Yeah, i-it’s Rose … Rose Harmon.”
I finally lift my gaze to find him smiling at me. He has a gorgeous, model-perfect smile with straight white teeth. And wonder of wonders, it actually shows in his sparkling eyes. I don’t think I’ve ever seen eyes quite so blue. They’re the color of the sky I just saw outside. He has dark hair, almost jet black, with an unruly lock that falls down over his forehead, giving him a rakish look. I don’t think I’ve ever seen a man this handsome in all my life, except maybe a few times in the movie magazines Emily and I used to look at in the library as teenagers.
Still smiling and holding my hand, he says, “Rose” as though he’s trying out my name to see if it fits.
The sound of it coming from his lips makes my stomach do an uncharacteristic flip-flop, and for a moment I forget to breathe.
About the Author
Julianna is a hopeless romantic and believer in fairy tales. Even as a little girl, her fondest dream was to find a Prince Charming who would sweep her off her feet. She’s happy to report she’s been married to him for twenty-two years. Although she’s been an avid reader since she was two years old, she never envisioned herself as a writer until six years ago. Now she feels like she’s finally found her life’s passion. The muses keep the ideas flowing faster than she can put them on the page. She hopes that her readers will love her characters and stories every bit as much as she’s loved creating them.
Julianna currently lives in hot, sunny Phoenix, Arizona with her husband, an adult son, a teenage daughter, a Husky/Great Pyrenees mix dog, and two cats. In addition to writing, she enjoys reading, hanging out on GoodReads, surfing the web, watching TV or movies, book shopping, and feeding her insatiable thirst for knowledge.
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Sale: Risky Business

Women’s Fiction
$.99 Until March 30th
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Doggedly determined, Risky Williston strives to rescue every homeless dog in Simi Valley and beyond. Her small house and yard bursts at the seams with dogs of all breeds, some her personal pets and some waiting for her to find homes for them.
Disciplined, neat and orderly, Chet Jensen desires Risky, but can he cope with her bizarre and disorganized lifestyle?
Chet stirs old fears Risky has spent a lifetime repressing. She doesn’t want to confront them, to face them again.
Is it possible for two people with such diverse values to have a lasting relationship?
About the Author

 

Patricia Campbell turned life altering events into an opportunity to change direction, and reinvented herself as an author of women’s fiction and romance novels.
It’s never too late to realize your dreams.
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 $0.99 Til End of March 

 

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Rolling Thunder

Historical Fiction/Military Fiction
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Rolling Thunder is an historical novel about the decisive role politics played during the Vietnam War. Its characters range from men in the field to the Pentagon and the White House. Fighter pilots and Special Forces warriors try to do their best but are hampered by President Johnson, Secretary of Defense McNamara, and their staff members who despise the military. Only one aging USAF general, who fought in Korea and WWII, is on their side. His clashes with his Commander in Chief, Lyndon Johnson, are epic in proportion and startling in content.
In Rolling Thunder, the time is late 1965 and 1966 in war zone places such as Saigon, Hanoi, Bien Hoa, Da Nang, and Tahkli. While back in Washington, LBJ sits over lunch and personally picks bombing targets in an attempt to fight a limited war. In Vietnam the war knows no limits.
There, as the hostilities escalate, the fates of three men intertwine: USAF Captain Court Bannister, overshadowed by a famous movie star father who fought in WWII as a B-17 gunner, driven to confront missiles, MiGs, and nerve-grinding bombing raids in order to prove his worth to his comrades — and to himself…Air Force First Lieutenant Toby Parker, fresh from the States, who hooks up with an intelligence unit for a lark, and quickly finds his innocence buried away by the lessons of war…and Special Forces Colonel Wolf Lochert, who ventures deep into the jungle to rescue a downed pilot — only to discover a face of the enemy for which he is unprepared.
Four airline stewardesses, who fly the civilian MAC contract flights that bring American soldiers to and from the war zone in Vietnam, have difficult love affairs with G.I.s and fighter pilots. After one flight they come under attack while on an airbase.
Young American G.I.s are cursed and taunted as they return to the United States.
Through their eyes, and those of many others — pilots, soldiers, lovers, enemy agents, commanders, politicians, profiteers — Rolling Thunder shows us Vietnam as few other books have, or can. Berent captures all the intensity and drama of that searing war, and more, penetrates to the heart and soul of those who fought it. Rolling Thunder rings with authenticity.
 
Other Books in the Wings of War Series
Five months after we left them in Rolling Thunder, Steel Tiger brings back USAF Major Court Bannister, Special Forces Lieutenant Colonel Wolf Lochert, and USAF First Lieutenant Toby Parker, now scattered to their new posts: Bannister in Test Pilot School at Edwards Air Force Base in California, Wolf Lochert at Lang Tri, Republic of Vietnam, carrying out covert operations in Laos, and Toby Parker, in the pilot training program at Randolph Air Force Base in Texas. Soon their diverse paths will lead all three men back to Vietnam for a second tour of duty — in the very heart of the conflict.
In Phantom Leader (May 9, 1991) Berent, himself a highly decorated Air Force Pilot, once again captures the intensity of the most controversial war in modern history. Phantom Leader shows readers exactly what it was like to be a pilot caught between the immediate reality of death and the distant decisions of Washington.
In Eagle Station (June 8, 1992) the newest installment in his Vietnam War series, Berent puts on the heat and raises the stakes, creating his most electrifying tale of war to date. Beginning with a hair-raising cliff side helicopter rescue under heavy fire, and racing toward a climactic ground battle played out in the dark of night, engaging top secret USAF first special operations gun ships, Eagle Station is filled with adventure and acts of daring, woven into a compelling and powerful plot.
Storm Flight, (Book Five of Five) the intense conclusion to his saga, the action is touched off by a daring raid on the Son Tay prisoner-of-war camp that reveals some startling information. With American prisoners in terrible jeopardy and crucial national secrets in danger of being discovered, the characters we have met in Berent’s earlier books are put to the ultimate test. They must call upon all their skill, leadership, guts, and strength to complete their missions.
As always, Berent highlights his knowledge of little known facts about the war, and his keen insight into the minds of members of the fighting forces. In one exhilarating sequence, Parker and his instructor pilot Ken Tanaka each shoot down two MiGs in the course of one fight, involving four MiGs and an unarmed transport. Despite the chewing out that they receive later from their superior officer, the two fighter pilots refuse to shoot down the transport. Ironically, that decision was the one that saved the life of one of their strongest critics, Jane Fonda, who had once called fighter pilots “professional killers.” (This incident is based on a true story.) Parker later makes “ace,” a title given to the rare fighter pilot who shoots down five MiGs.
Excerpt
CHAPTER ONE
1320 Hours Local, 17 December 1965
Airborne in an F-100D near
Bien Hoa Air Base, Republic of Vietnam
Precisely how a crashing jet fighter breaks up is a function of its speed, of its angle of impact, and of the topography of the ground it strikes. A high speed impact at a ninety degree angle ensures small pieces mashed into a neat circular hole with narrow wing trenches extending from each side. Depending on soil consistency, the engine can burrow down 30 feet and be compressed from twelve feet in length to three. Lesser angles of impact splash the wreckage in the direction of flight. A near-zero glide angle on smooth terrain is another matter entirely. Unless the air­craft cartwheels, which it often does if one of the landing gear collapses, the wings will usually remain intact al­though probably separate from the aircraft. Large sections of the tail assembly and fuselage usually remain. If the pilot is not killed upon impact, he may survive if the wreck doesn’t burn. Usually they burn.
USAF Captain Courtland EdM. Bannister knew all this as he delicately babied his shotup F-100D Super Sabre jet fighter toward his home base of Bien Hoa located 15 miles northeast of Saigon in III Corps, South Vietnam. There were six half-inch holes in his airplane, two nearly lethal.
Less than an hour earlier, Bannister and his flight leader, Paul Austin, had been scrambled from runway Alert to aid an American Special Forces unit in trouble up near Loc Ninh in War Zone C. In pairs, Bien Hoa F-100 pilots pulled three types of Alert: runway, cockpit, and standby. Each flight of two could be airborne streaking toward a target in one minute, five minutes, or 20 minutes.
Almost all Bien Hoa missions, whether scrambled from or scheduled the night before on the Frag Order, were air-to-ground doing what the USAF had been sent to Vietnam to do; support U.S. or Vietnamese troops in battle. The weapons hung under their wings were a mixture of bombs, rockets, napalm, and cluster bomb units known as CBU. Each carried 800 rounds of ammo for the four 20mm cannons mounted internally under the scoop nose of the fighter.
A radar controller in a small dark room had Bannister on his scope.
“Ramrod Four One, I have you twelve miles out on the 275 radial of Tacan Channel 73. Squawk Three Four, acknowledge, Bien Hoa.” To ‘squawk,’ a pilot toggled a switch to send a burst of energy to the radar scope.
“Bien Hoa, Four One, squawking Three Four. I have a situation here. I need a straight-in. I’m leaking bad; gas and, ah, hydraulic fluid. Get me down quick, you copy Four One?”
“Roger, Four One, GCA copies.”
The Ground Control Approach controller had picked up Ramrod Four One from Bien Hoa Approach Control who advised him the pilot had declared an emergency due to battle damage and low fuel. Bannister had not mentioned he was bleeding. Approach Control also said they had no contact with Ramrod Four Zero, Bannister’s flight leader.
As the controller prepared to transmit, another voice broke in. It was neither as low pitched as that of the GCA controller nor as calm.
“Four One, this is Ramrod Two speaking, Ramrod Two. You got gear? You got three good ones down? How about flaps? You got flaps? Where’s your flight leader?” Ramrod Two, Bannister’s operations officer and immediate commander, had channeled into the conversation using the squadron radio.
Bannister didn’t have time to answer his nearly hysterical operations officer. He was busy keeping his crippled airplane aloft. Suddenly, a red warning signal lit up drawing his attention to a small hydraulic gauge on a lower panel in his cockpit. The needle of the gauge bobbled twice, then yielded up the few remaining pounds of utility hydraulic pressure as the main pump ground to a halt, then violently broke up deep inside the big fighter. Bannister thought he could feel the grinding. He quickly raised his eyes out of the cockpit to see if he could spot the runway. He had to squint and to blink away blood. All he could see was the jungle canopy a thousand feet below stretching out for miles into a reddish haze.
Several slugs from a big quad-barrel Russian ZSU-4 12.7mm antiaircraft gun had stitched his Super Sabre from scoop shovel nose to just short of the tail section. They had punctured and ripped tubing and control lines causing a loss of hydraulic fluid which required Bannister to engage his emergency flight control system. That system was powered by a Ram Air Turbine called RAT by its acronym. The engine itself was untouched. One slug, however, had ripped a small hole in the belly fuel cell allowing fuel to stream out behind the F-100 like a smoke trail.
Another slug had crashed through the starboard quarter panel glass of the windscreen, smashing the gunsight, zinging fragments of metal and glass into Bannister’s face. His helmet and oxygen mask protected all but the area around his eyes and forehead. He wore no sunglasses and had not lowered either the sun visor or the clear plastic visor mounted on his helmet. The fragments had etched a few minor lacerations above Bannister’s right eye. While neither particularly painful nor disabling, the wounds produced prodigious capillary bleeding effectively causing Bannister to lose the sight of his right eye. Wiping with his gloved hand smeared it worse. Bannister unhooked his blood-filled oxygen mask and let it dangle. Pooled blood splashed down the front of his parachute harness and survival vest and mingled with his sweat. He heard the measured cadence of the controller through the headset in his helmet.
“Ramrod Four One, check gear down. Prepare for descent in one mile.”
Bannister cupped the mask to his face with his right hand, bracketed the control stick with his knees, and pushed the trans­mit button on the throttle with his left hand. He countered a right wing drop with a leftward motion of his knees pressing on the stick.
“Bien Hoa, my situation is a bit worse. No Utility pressure, Flight One is out, Flight Two is going, and I’m not getting much RAT pressure, flight controls stiffening. Yeah, and I only got about 100 pounds of fuel.” Bannister still didn’t mention the blood. He did not consider himself wounded, merely inconvenienced at a rather harrowing time.
“Where’s your leader, where’s Four Zero? Ramrod Four One answer me.”
“Get off the air, Ramrod Two,” the GCA controller broke in, “there’s an emergency in progress and I’ve got it.” His voice was brittle, not the calming one he used with Ramrod Four One.
Bannister shoved down a lever with a replica of a wheel on it. The lever released the lock pins allowing the gear doors to open and the heavy wheels and struts to fall free. Then he pulled the lanyard that shunted emergency hydraulic fluid into the last two feet of hydraulic lines locking the nose and left main gear into place. The right main didn’t lock causing its cockpit indicator light to remain red. Bannister pushed to test the green indicator bulb. It worked. He already knew his flaps wouldn’t go down; he had tried them at a higher altitude doing a damage check. His flight leader was not there to assist him and report whatever damage Bannister could not see.
“Ah, Bien Hoa, the right main is still red. I don’t think it’s locked in place. And this will be a no-flap landing. Put the barrier up, I’ve got to make an approach-end engagement.” Without flaps he had to bring his plane in fifteen knots faster. Bannister didn’t intend to eject unless the engine quit.
He punched a button activating a solenoid that released a heavy steel bar with a hook on the end which extended under the aft section of his plane. If he touched down in the right place, the hook would snatch the cable stretched across the approach end of the runway and yank him to a stop in a few hundred feet, exactly the way a Navy fighter engages a cable during an aircraft carrier landing.
“Roger, Ramrod Four One, Bien Hoa copies. Barrier crew noti­fied. This is your final controller, how do you read?”
“Loud and clear,” Bannister yelled into his dangling mask. From here on he needed his right hand on the control stick, his left on the throttle.
“Ramrod Four One, you need not acknowledge further trans­missions. Steer right Two Six Five degrees and start your descent…now.”
The controller frequently released his mike button for an instant in case Ramrod Four One had to make a transmission that his emergency was worsening.
Bannister concentrated on his heading, but did not start the standard 600 feet per minute rate of descent that would give him a smooth 3 degree descent angle to the runway. He needed to hold his altitude until the last minute in case his engine quit from fuel starvation. Then he would decide if he was close enough to glide in or if he would be forced to eject. He rapidly blinked his eyes as he scanned his instruments every few seconds while simultaneously searching forward for the runway. His right eye cleared. When he finally spotted the white concrete landing strip he started to breathe more rapidly as he estimated altitude and distance to the point of touchdown. His airspeed gauge indicated two hundred knots. He was flying into a five knot headwind giving him a speed over the ground of 230 miles per hour or 338 feet per second. In 23 seconds he would be on the ground, one way or another.
The controller’s voice faded for Bannister as he concentrated on aligning his craft and deciding when to start his last minute descent. If he was too late, his steep descent angle would cause him to overshoot the runway which would force him to bailout or crash, since he did not have enough fuel to go-around and try again. If he started too soon and the engine quit, he would also have to bail out or crash short of the runway.
One mile from the runway Bannister decided it looked right and started an abnormally high rate of descent. He could see the crash crew lined up along the side of the runway; red foam trucks, a yellow wrecker, and a blue ambulance. At 800 feet above the ground and 4000 feet from the end of the runway his engine sucked up the last drops of JP-4 jet fuel and quickly unwound.
“Flameout,” Bannister yelled into his mask.
The big plane wanted to quit flying but Bannister held his speed by shoving the control stick forward which forced the nose down more. His rate of descent increased to 1000 feet per minute. Airspeed had to be high to spin the RAT and give him hydraulic pressure to work the flight controls. He would need a lot of control response to break the glide and flare for touchdown. Though Bannister’s heart rate went up another notch, he felt confident he could make it. All the numbers were right. He calculated he had enough altitude to trade for airspeed to make the touchdown point where his hook would grab the cable. The camouflaged airplane plunged closer to the jungle, barely topped the palm trees, streaked across the half-mile clearing before the concrete, then flared smoothly as Bannister applied enough back pressure on the control stick to break the rapid descent but still make a firm touchdown so the hook wouldn’t bounce over the barrier.
It all worked. The hook snatched the cable with the immense force generated by 17 tons of mass in motion at 300 feet per second. The four-foot brake drums on each side of the runway feeding out cable screamed and smoked, absorbing kinetic energy as they decelerated the big fighter. The jet slewed sharply left, then, at 100 knots, the right main gear collapsed, slamming the right wing to the ground and starting a cartwheel.
Bannister’s head banged against the canopy as the wing hit the ground. He grunted as he pushed without results on the now frozen control stick and rudder pedal to counter the violent movement that would end in a fireball. Of the three remaining forces acting on the plane, forward momentum, right roll, and hook deceleration, the hold-back by the hook was the most powerful and won out. The left wing rose ten feet off the ground, the plane pivoted thirty degrees on the crushed right wing tip, the hook held and slammed the flat-bottomed airplane back onto the concrete runway. Bannister’s seat survival pack absorbed most of the impact for him but his head, weighted by the three-pound helmet, thudded down on his chest harness so hard the metal snap gashed his chin. The violent impact dazed him. For an instant he was on the edge of consciousness.
The fire trucks and crash crew surrounded the wreck almost before it settled. They shot great streams of sticky white foam over and under the plane, around the hot engine and aft section. Without fuel there was little chance of a fire. Four firemen in aluminum suits, looking like bulky astronauts, ran to the airplane, two to each side. One jerked the external lanyard blowing the canopy off while the others positioned a ladder and ran up to get Bannister, who was rapidly coming around and able to undo his own helmet, harness, G-suit, and oxygen connections. The years of programming himself to instinctively perform all the ground emergency egress actions were paying off.
 The fireman at the top of the ladder on the right side thought so much blood in the cockpit was unusual. Usually a guy hit this bad wouldn’t make it back. He passed Bannister’s helmet to another fireman, who, facing aft toward the open cockpit, was straddling the nose of the aircraft like a horseback rider. “Are you okay, Sir?” the closest fireman asked through his helmet faceplate.
 “Yeah, Chief, fine, thanks. How about fire? We got any fire?” Bannister, thinking the plane would blow up, was struggling to get out.
“No, no fire. No sweat, Sir, just hang on a minute.” The firemen gently placed his gloved hand on Bannister’s shoulder. He held the groggy pilot down until the Flight Surgeon from the ambulance could climb up the ladder and check his condition.
“Hey Court, how ya doing? Where ya hit?” Major Conrad Russell, MD, asked as he leaned over Bannister to wipe away blood and assess damage. He saw the facial rips and tears where the blood had already clotted. He thumbed up Bannister’s right eyelid and noted that the eyeball looked intact and functional. The nick in the chin was barely oozing.
“No place. I’m not hit. Just some junk in my face. Is my right eye okay?” Bannister asked. He looked up at Russell, squinting his gray-blue eyes as much from the residual blood as from the sun behind Russell’s back. Bannister’s brown hair, released from the confines of his helmet, soaked with sweat and plastered against his head, was trimmed almost to crew-cut length. His close-shaved sideburns ended at mid-ear. His face was square, his jaw line strong. Bannister was six foot two and normally trimmed out at 190. Vietnam heat and O’ Club food had dropped him to a dehydrated 170. He was 30 and had been a USAF fighter pilot for ten years. This was his first crash.
Major Russell, his preliminary check complete, said, “Come on, let’s get out of here. We gotta clear the runway. Other guys want to land too, you know. Your eye will be fine.” He tugged at Bannister to get up and climb down the ladder.
The Flight Surgeon started to smile and hum as he moved his bulky figure down the ladder, accepting the helping hand of a nearby fireman. Doc Russell was doing what he loved best. He wore standard Shade 45 USAF blue two-piece fatigues which were now smelly and stained badly by the foam. His name, rank, and Flight Surgeon wings were embossed on a piece of leather stitched to his left breast. Russell was overweight, rotund in fact. His round, young-looking face vaguely resembled that of Baby Huey, the cartoon character. The fighter pilots at Bien Hoa, particularly those of the 531st, the squadron he was responsible for, quickly gave him that nickname. Russell, a 34 year old major, would have been a pilot were it not for optic problems so bad that his eyes tended to cross whenever he was tired.
He walked Bannister to the ambulance. The letters and devices on the leather nametag on the pilot’s left breast stated he was Courtland EdM. Bannister, Capt., USAF. A star above his pilot’s wings indicated he had flown at least seven years and had amassed 2000 flying hours and was rated a senior pilot. Below his pilot’s wings were the parachutist’s wings he had been awarded after training with the Special Forces in Germany. Bannister still wore his G-suit and survival vest, and carried an olive-green bag stuffed with his helmet, kneeboard, and maps. On his feet he wore Army issue jungle boots which were perfectly suited for tropical wear but would provide no ankle support in a parachute landing.
Standing next to the squadron jeep edged up to the blue USAF ambulance, watching them approach, was Ramrod Two, Major Harold Rawson, five-ten, black hair combed straight back, a pencil-thin mustache over his thin upper lip. He looked the type who missed the days of puttees and riding britches. He wore, instead, the standard K-2B cotton one-piece green flight suit with the standard thirteen zippers. On his head was a regulation USAF blue flight cap with silver officer piping on the rim and the gold oak leaves of a major pinned front right. Rawson was the operations officer of the 531st Tactical Fighter Squadron, second in command to the squadron commander and responsible for day-to-day fighter operation. The commander, Lieutenant Colonel Peter Warton, was back in the States on emergency furlough leaving Rawson in charge. He felt burdened with the unexpected responsibility.
Rawson watched Bannister and Russell approach, barely resisting the temptation to run up to Bannister crying “What in hell did you do?” Instead he waited until the two men drew closer.
“Where’s Four Zero?” he asked. Then, unable to contain himself, “How could you lose your leader?”
Before Bannister could answer, Russell shoved him toward the ambulance and said to Rawson, “Look, Harry, I’ve got to check this guy out before you or anybody from Intel gets to talk to him. Now back off.”
Bannister’s face colored. He seriously considered slamming his fist into Rawson’s small, turned down mouth which seemed to perpetually sneer whenever its owner spoke.
“I didn’t lose anybody, Goddammit. Austin got hit and went straight in,” Bannister said in a tight voice over his shoulder as he climbed into the back of the ambulance. As the double doors swung shut he turned to see Rawson struggling with only limited success to control himself.
In the coolness of one of the nested trailers that served as a hospital on the Bien Hoa Air Base, Russell remained silent until he had finished swabbing the cuts on Bannister’s face. They would not require stitching and would heal quickly if kept clean.
“Well,” he said straightening up, “all that blood and these cuts are worth a Purple Heart.”
Bannister stood up and walked to one of the small sliding windows that looked out. He had taken off his G-suit and dark green net survival vest. The sweat beneath was crusted white with salt and starting to dry on his flight suit. He dug a crushed pack of Luckies from his zippered left sleeve pocket and lit one before he answered. The Zippo he used had a thick rubber band around it. He had learned that trick from his Special Forces buddies at Bien Hoa to both keep the lighter from slipping out of a pocket as well as prevent it from clicking on another metal object.
“Forget it.” He inhaled deeply, held it, and blew the smoke out in a long sigh. He could still see the fireball that Major Paul Austin’s plane made after it hit the ground.
 “Why?” Russell asked after a minute.
“Too piddly.”
“Well,” Doc Russell said, “I guess I understand that.” He stood up. “At any rate, Paul Austin will get one.” He was silent for a moment. “Hell of a way to earn it, though.”
After another pause he added, “Isn’t his dad a general in the Pentagon?” He nodded to himself. “Sure he is, a three-star. So that’s why Harry Rawson is so distraught.” He looked to Bannister for corroboration.
“That’s the one,” Bannister said. He hoisted his gear and started for the door. “I’ve got to go debrief. There’s big stuff going on up there near Loc Ninh. We stumbled into something hot and I don’t mean just gun barrels.”
“Okay,” Russell said, nodding. “Keep your dirty mitts off those cuts. Maybe I’ll see you tonight at the club.”
Bannister walked out the door thinking about the intelligence debriefing session he was about to face in the wing headquarters building. He knew he could convince the lower ranking Intel people that something was up at Loc Ninh, but he wasn’t at all sure whether the high level ones at Saigon would agree. They had their own concepts and didn’t like input that upset them. That was one problem he could probably deal with. He wasn’t so sure about the other.
What weighed on Bannister’s mind far more than the Loc Ninh buildup was the lie he planned to tell the Flying Safety Officer about why Paul Austin crashed.
About the Author

Mark Berent is admirably suited to have written his historical fiction five-book Vietnam Wings of War series for he lived each story. He served four years and one day in the Vietnam War during the period from November 1965 until August 1973.
When asked why he kept going back, he replied: “A lot of reasons; because it was there, because I wanted a MiG, because when the threat goes up the paperwork goes down and the weinies run for cover, but mostly because the guys were still fighting. Everyday I’d pick up a paper and find another buddy KIA, MIA, or POW. I just couldn’t stay on the beach.”
Now he writes about these men. He has five books in print and Ebooks; Rolling Thunder, Steel Tiger, Phantom Leader, Eagle Station, and Storm Flight. Although historical fiction, the books are about the men and women who gave everything they had in a war they weren’t allowed to win. FAC pilots, Phantom crews, Thud, Hun, and Buff crews, gunship pilots and gunners, green berets, grunts, carrier jocks, MAC contract stews, boomers and tankers, from corporals to colonels; the whole nine yards about the day-to-day heroism and heroes we all know and loved . . . and some we hated. By way of contrast, LBJ in the Oval Office and McNamara in the Pentagon E Ring are included and the words they spoke as they picked strike targets over lunch are included in great detail, yes indeed. As are those of Jane Fonda and Tom Hayden.
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Sugar We’re Going Down

Sugar, We’re Going Down
M.H. Soars
(Love Me, I’m Famous #2)
Publication date: March 20th 2017
Genres: Contemporary, New Adult, Romance

EMOTIONAL. CAPTIVATING. SEXY.

The long-awaited story of the incorrigible bad boy rockstar and the feisty woman who brought him down to his knees.

They say nothing compares to the first kiss. That sentence needs to be amended. Nothing compares to the first kiss from Oliver Best. I knew in the moment our lips touched that the cocky rockstar would be forever imprinted in my mind. I also knew that loving him would be my destruction. And yet, love him I did.

Oliver Best, former rockstar, heir to one of the largest fortunes in Great Britain, and the country’s most infamous bad boy.

Saylor Blue Carter, college drop-out, lead singer of a struggling band, not a penny to her name.

When they met, it was hate at first sight. Oliver was an arrogant ass. Saylor was a cold hearted bitch. These were the thoughts they had for each other. Until that kiss. That life altering, earth shattering, nuclear kiss. They knew what that kiss meant. They knew anything between them would be explosive and without hope for a happily ever after. So they vowed to forget, they tried to stay away. But now with their best friends’ wedding approaching, all bets are off.

*This is Part One of a 3-Part story.

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EXCERPT:

I brace myself for the impact, but as soon as Oliver turns around and my gaze collides with his electric blue eyes, I know I’ll have to bring my A-game if I’m to survive being near him. I haven’t seen the man in six months, but just being under his scorching gaze is enough to make me relive our fiery kiss and crave for more. I’ve never felt this crazy fixation for anyone before. It’s like an ice cold fever that won’t quit, a yearning that makes by body tingle all over in anticipation.

Oliver’s gaze skates over my body deliberately slowly, and a satisfied grin is plastered on his smug face when he focuses on my eyes again.

“Hello, there,” he says.

“What are you doing here?” I snap and my rude reply earns me a frown from Sebastian. Shit, I really need to work on tempering my bitchiness when I’m nervous.

Oliver chuckles. “I see you’re still mad at me. I’m kind of honored.”

I cross my arms in front of my chest and bite my tongue to keep from saying anything else that will give away how much Oliver is affecting me.

Someone touches my arm and with a side glance I see it’s Liv. “Be nice, Blue. I can’t have my maid of honor bickering with the best man.”

My shoulders sag as I let out a heavy sigh. I’ve never been part of a wedding party before so I have no idea how much interaction there is between the maid of honor and the best man. I hope it’s minimal. Oliver keeps staring at me like he can read my mind. It’s unnerving.

“I gotta make a call.” I turn on my heel and walk away, trying to keep my steps slow and relaxed. But all I want to do is sprint back to the house. That’s how badly Oliver’s presence is turning my head around. I hate this.

Once inside, I veer to the powder room. The make-a-call excuse is terrible, but I need a moment to recover. Inside the small room, I stare at my reflection in the mirror and count to ten in my head. I tell my heart to calm the fuck down and to stop galloping at full speed. I feel like a teenager suffering from her first crush and that’s not an emotional state I want to revisit.

I splash cold water on my flushed face and redo my loose braid. After taking a couple of deep breaths and squaring my shoulders, I can almost pretend I’m ready to go back out. I refuse to let Oliver’s presence keep me from spending quality time with my best friend.

I place one foot out of the door when his voice startles me. “How was that call?”

I jump on the spot, placing a hand over my chest. “Jesus. Did you follow me?”

Oliver is leaning nonchalantly against the wall with his arms crossed. I notice for the first time what he’s wearing, a black T-shirt that highlights his muscled chest and arms. He is also blonder than I remember. But it’s his devious mouth that makes me lose the ability to form coherent thoughts. God, I want to kiss him again.

He pushes himself off of the wall and moves closer. I hold my ground, feigning a pissed off stance. He can’t know how much I crave his nearness.

“What if I did?” he whispers in my ear, making my skin break out in goose bumps.

“I’d say I don’t appreciate stalkers.”

Oliver takes a step back and stares at me. I wish I knew what he is thinking.

“You’ve changed your hair. I kind of liked the mermaid colors.”

I touch my white blonde locks before narrowing my eyes at Oliver. “Did you just follow me to comment on my hair?”

“I want to clear the air around us. I know that we started on the wrong foot—”

“You don’t say,” I cut him off and Oliver flattens his lips.

“But we’ve ended on a very interesting note,” he finishes his sentence with a smirk.

I cross my arms and keep on glaring at the infuriating man. “Don’t get any fancy ideas. That kiss meant nothing and there won’t be a repeat.”

He steps into my personal space again. “Are you sure? I thought that was a wicked kiss. It’s definitely worth an encore.”

I push him away. “It’s been months. Get over yourself. Don’t you have a line of ravenous groupies dying for your attention?”

“Ravenous groupies?” He chuckles. “The images you paint in my head, Saylor. Then you blame me for getting fancy ideas.”

“Listen, Oliver. I don’t know how long you’re in town for, but I would like for us to try to act amicable whenever we’re forced together thanks to our friends’ wedding. So you’d better quit with the sexual innuendo.”

Oliver sighs loudly like what I just asked him is a huge, inconvenient favor. “You’re killing me here, Saylor. Do you know how hard it will be for me to look at you and not want you?”

I suck in a breath as my heart lurches in my chest. It takes me a moment to find my ground again and answer him.

“Try your best,” I say, my voice thin and without substance.

Oliver reaches out and takes a strand of my hair, letting it slide through his fingers. I remain frozen on the spot.

“Maddening, but I will.” He drops my hair and takes a couple of steps back. “And since I’m being completely honest here, I’m seriously considering making California home.”

Oliver goes back to the party outside, leaving me alone to digest the news. Why does it bother me so much that he wants to move to the same state as me? It’s not like we’ll ever see each other besides when we’re doing wedding stuff. What annoys me the most is how my heart hasn’t gotten the memo yet that Oliver is a bad idea. It celebrates furiously in my chest, like it has just discovered how to beat.

 

Author Bio:

M. H. Soars always knew creative arts were her calling but not in a million years did she think she would become an author. With a background in fashion design she thought she would follow that path. But one day, out of the blue, she had an idea for a book. One page turned into ten pages, ten pages turned into a hundred, and before she knew, her first novel, The Prophecy of Arcadia, was born.

M. H. Soars resides in Florida with her husband and baby daughter. She is currently working on the Arcadian Wars series, and the Love Me, I’m Famous series.

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Realms of Edenocht

Realms of Edenocht Amazon KDP Cover
 
 

Fantasy 

Date Published: July 2016

Shazmpt has been prepared his whole life to complete the prophecy; however until recently, he was unaware of his true identity as a powerful war wizard.
Hidden on an island in a time realm not his own, he must now search for ancient relics in order to stop the growing evil in the world. All he wanted was to hunt in his beloved forest, but is thrown into a world of sea serpents, dungeons, enchanted castles, miniature men, and air buffs.
Driven by duty and hindered by self-doubt, he is sent on a quest to unite the magical realms once more. He must learn to harness his good and evil powers, but will he survive the shadow…?

 

 

 Review

 

This was a fantasy novel that really made me think on a deeper level than most.

There is a lot going on and a lot to understand since you are diving into a new world. I think that D.S. Johnson really managed to keep his readers up to speed by giving them just enough along the way without making them feel lost or bogged down with information.

There were many surprises and the way that the author was able to keep the pacing just right really helps everything flow naturally.

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A little about me, first I want to tell you a story, about a young girl who thought she was dumb. Yes, in the first, second, and third grades this little girl, was in the ‘Resource’ program or ‘Chapter 8’ as I have also heard it called. Even though she was then put in the regular class, she knew all too well by then she was not a smart child. All the way through high school this girl struggled. She graduated with a glorious 2.9. Yes, it was heart breaking for those little numbers to reflect the great struggle and all the efforts she had put forth.
She went on to start beauty school, figuring she wasn’t college material. Suddenly, she learned that she wasn’t dumb after all. She was what is called a kinesthetic learner or ‘hands on’ learner. She LOVED it. She went on to do very well, for many years. Until, life got complicated. She had five children, a husband, and a disabled mother who now required constant care. While contemplating how to earn a little bit of extra income, now that doing hair wasn’t an option, a thought came to her, ‘Write a book’ it said.
She replied by looking around and with her finger pointing at herself, she said, “Who me? I graduated high school with a 2.9 remember?”
The little thought came again, “Yes, you. Write a book.”
It so happened, that she had been telling her children nighttime stories for some time, so she did. It took five years to learn from the internet, a few writing classes, some great blogs, a lot of practice, one very good editor and the awesome support of her family. But she did it, and now I bring The Realms of Edenocht Series to you! Yes, that little girl was me, but no longer.

 

 

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