Saving Paludis

 

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Science Fiction
Date Published: June 2018
Publisher: Publicious Pty Ltd
 
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Finalist in the Readers’ Favorite 2018 International Book Awards
An alien revolution centuries in the making will change mankind’s future forever …
Police agent Stefan Lattanzis never expected his planet to become a battlefield, nor Earth for that matter. But when scientists from Paludis share a technological breakthrough with Earth authorities, peace escalates to the brink of war in a hurry. It doesn’t help that the local aliens have a dangerous and mystifying agenda of their own. Meanwhile, a desperate human cult has its own plans to exploit the powerful new technology…
To keep his homeworld alive, Stefan must team with two strangers, a botanist, and a mysterious seer. As embattled factions vie for control of the universe, the trio must trust in each other to keep the new technology from ripping time and space apart.
Saving Paludis is an electrifying sci-fi thrill-ride. If you like futuristic technology, alien political intrigue, and high-octane, paranormal action, then you’ll love Clayton Graham’s interstellar adventure!
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Excerpt
SELMA RETURNS HOME
Rain was falling in a steady drizzle as Selma turned into the road that led to her domicile. It was not yet fully dark and the final vestiges of sunlight creeping through a solitary hole in the clouds had turned the aluminium domes of the dwellings to a blood red. The roadway, smooth and black and shiny, snaked like a ribbon through the glistening streetscape and dark, low clouds threatened to crush the buildings beneath their ponderous weight. 
Strangely, she’d encountered few individuals as she walked through the streets and, like on the drive south, very little traffic. It was as if a giant hand had been placed over the mouth of Kentucky, stifling its usual raucous behaviour. Selma assumed most people were indoors and she wondered if a storm was approaching.
She stopped outside her home, unable to resist a glance back to that part of the road where she had been abducted by Serpentine. Serpentine! Where was he now? She palmed the switch, pressed the code buttons in the right sequence and her door slid open. Entering, Selma turned on the light and the door closed behind her. The rain suddenly increased in ferocity, and she heard its rattling on the dome of the house. She looked around. Nothing had been disturbed, nobody had gained entry.
She strolled into the lounge and sat down. The videoscreen stared at her blankly. Selma switched it on. There was a message scrolling across the bottom of the monitor. She stared at it in amazement, leaning forward in the chair. Then she shook her head and palmed the screen off, then back on again. The message was still there, scrolling innocuously over a documentary film displaying the attractions of Martian architecture. A change of channels did not remove the words. A cold, dark chill seemed to grip her mind and Selma just sat there, unable to move even a finger. The words clutched at her sanity:
Following a savage attack on Saltzburg, Earth forces are now occupying East Paludis. West Paludis authorities have every reason to suspect an assault on our continent is imminent. Our forces are well prepared and confident of repelling the aggressor. If you are not involved in any military or civil defence body, please stay in your homes … 
After several minutes Selma rose, left the screen on, and walked through to the bedroom. She changed into her work uniform and sat on the bed, staring at the red sash of the Natural Order as it lay on the cover. If Kentucky was to be attacked, she would have been better staying with Joby and Marta. Earth forces! It didn’t make sense. Why were they here? Should she go to work? Was nurturing babies not important anymore?
She left the house and went next door. There was nobody in, so she tried further along.
“Please,” she said, as an elderly man answered the door. “What’s going on? What’s this about an invasion?” Raindrops trickled down her face.
The man looked at her quizzically. He was tall and frail with a head full of grey hair, large bags hung under his bloodshot eyes. Selma could not recall seeing him before.
“I’ve been away,” Selma added. “I don’t understand the message on the screen.”
“It’s that fool, James,” the man replied eventually. “Thinks he can take on the entire universe.”
Selma paled. “So it’s true. We’re going to be attacked.”
The man shuffled his feet. “Won’t worry me none,” he said. “I’ve had my share of implants, transplants and injections. I’m about done for this world, anyway.”
Selma backed away, turned and ran back to her home. Something niggled at her mind, something she had to do. A copter swooped low over the rooftops, the sound whining through her head, and she panicked, expecting some kind of attack. Frantically, heart beating madly, she fumbled with the door code and burst into her home. The words were still crossing the screen. She slumped in a chair, pondering what to do. She just couldn’t wait here to die!
About the Author

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As a youngster growing up in the cobbled streets of Stockport, UK, Clayton Graham read a lot of Science Fiction. He loved the ‘old school’ masters such as HG Wells, Jules Verne, Isaac Asimov and John Wyndham. As he left those formative years behind, he penned short stories when he could find a rare quiet moment amidst life’s usual distractions.
He settled in Victoria, Australia, in 1982. A retired aerospace engineer who worked in structural design and research, Clayton has always had an interest in Science Fiction and where it places humankind within a universe we are only just starting to understand.
Clayton loves animals, including well behaved pets, and all the natural world, and is a member of Australian Geographic.
Combining future science with the paranormal is his passion. ‘Milijun’, his first novel, was published in 2016. Second novel, ‘Saving Paludis’, was published in 2018. They are light years from each other, but share the future adventures of mankind in an expansive universe as a common theme.
In between the two novels Clayton has published ‘Silently in the Night’, a collection of short stories where, among many other adventures, you can sympathize with a doomed husband, connect with an altruistic robot, explore an isolated Scottish isle and touch down on a far-flung asteroid.
He hopes you can share the journeys.
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Still Breathing

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Women’s Fiction
Date Published:  November 17, 2018
Designer: Damonza
Publisher: Acorn Publishing
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Newly widowed and on the threshold of seventy, Lizzie Warton questions the value of her remaining years. Uncharacteristically, she decides for the first time in her life to do what she wants, instead of what everyone expects.
Against the wishes of family and friends, she sets out for Africa to work at a Ugandan middle school. When she lands at night in the Entebbe airport, her hosts are not there to meet her. Near panic, she hires a local taxi. The driver drugs her, steals everything, and dumps her limp body in a slum. Waking in the dark, she feels someone tugging off her shoes.
Without money, a passport, clothes, or medications, Lizzie is forced to start over and find a way to survive.
Soon she learns that nothing in Africa is as it appears. The grind of daily life in the third-world is beyond anything Lizzie imagined. Nevertheless, encouraged by budding friendships in surprising places, and against every sensible instinct she’s ever developed, Lizzie’s own personal search for meaning becomes the grand adventure of a lifetime.

Review

This one had parts I thought were ingenious and really put things in perspective.
I think the writing itself was done in a way that it flowed effortlessly.
This is a novel that while you think would be very cut and dry is actually not. I was surprised in several spots and the writing was superbly done.
About the Author

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Originally from South Minneapolis, Gene Fournier earned a BA in Philosophy & Literature from St. Louis University followed by a Masters in Film from USC. Gene is a member of the Writers Guild of America West (WGA) and worked as a screenwriter and editor in Hollywood, but sadly, he never got that big break.
Seeking a return to his roots after twelve years in California, he accepted a Director of Media position with a multinational company headquartered in the Midwest. For thirty years he wrote, directed, edited and distributed corporate video programs around the world, managed live presentations, and orchestrated the creative elements for national and international meetings.
Retired now, with his seven children grown, and a dozen grandchildren to distract him, Gene is finally able to write down the stories he’s been carrying in his head all these years.
 
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Voyage of the Lanternfish

 

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Fantasy
Date Published: January 2019
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An honorable man is mistaken for his disreputable father. Now he’s pushed into a political scheme to start a war that will spread across multiple kingdoms. James Cuttler’s fiancé is being held captive to ensure he goes through with the plan.
He soon decides his skills are at sea and procures a ship to wage war upon those who disrupted his simple life. He can’t do it alone, so he recruits a band of cutthroats to help him. But first, they need guns and munitions to outfit the ship properly. Deception and trickery will only get them so far. Eventually, they’re going to have to engage the enemy.
James’ goals aren’t necessarily the same as his crew. It’s a delicate balancing act to collect enough loot to keep his crew happy, while guiding them back to rescue the girl.
Voyage of the Lanternfish is filled with adventure, magic, and monsters. Lots of monsters. Hoist the colors and come along for the ride.
Excerpt
Fala nudged Dan with her shoulder, then fed the anvil bird a red berry.
As they rounded the corner onto the docks, the ship came back into view. Gold letters nearly two feet tall arched across her stern. They read, Lanternfish.
Dock workers lugged items aboard the ship, rolls of canvas, kegs of gunpowder, live pigs, and more. A glazer worked on the large lanterns attached around the poopdeck. Stuttering Lewis hung over the stern on a bosun’s chair, and carved a log that replaced the supporting statue they’d destroyed when they took her. Rather than a lady with a vase, he was making a skeletal pirate, complete with a branch that became an arm holding a cutlass.
McCormack sat at a desk underneath an umbrella alongside the ramp up to the ship. He turned his journal around quickly. “Do you want to check it, ma’am?”
“No need Mr. McCormack. Maybe later. Things look much improved around here.”
“Aye, ma’am. You look much improved too. Island life agrees with you.”
“That it does. We’re going to have a look around, we’ll report in this afternoon. Where’s the captain?”
“Could be in the tavern. That’s where most business gets done around here.”
They walked the length of the ship. Underneath the bowsprit was a new figurehead made of riveted pieces of metal, like a suit of armor. It was a huge lanternfish. Circular white portholes served as eyes, and a long twisted steel rod protruded from his forehead. The rod arched until it was tangent with the bowsprit, then bent back down. At the end, a huge hexagonal lantern hung, it matched the others on the back of the ship. Long sharp teeth protruded from the creature’s bulldog-like jaw, and the fish appeared to be hollow inside.
The ship resembled an anthill. Men scurried everywhere, painting, tying new rigging, glazing, and more. When they turned back, a young woman approached McCormack’s desk.
The woman was tall, thin, and muscular. She wore a bamboo coulee hat that was wider than her shoulders. It was covered with a gauze beige cloth. Her features were Eastern, giving her an exotic beauty. She wore only short leather boots, and a leather pair of shorts. Her legs were covered with wrapped strips of beige silk up to her knees, as were her breasts, forearms, and fists. She thumped the bronze foot of her pole weapon on the dock then waited for McCormack to speak. The shaft of her weapon was ebony black. The curved blade of the glaive started above her head, and had but a single edge.
As they walked closer, they made out a jade disk pendant around her neck, and the weapon had bronze fittings of a fierce dragon holding the blade in its mouth. The fittings served to add strength opposite the cutting edge.
“Name?” McCormack asked.
“Serang.”
“What are you good at?”
“Fighting.”
“Any experience with guns?”
“No.”
“Can you rig a sail?”
“Like a master.”
“Sign here. Then find Don Velasco topside. He’ll get you situated.”
Dan and Fala walked past. Serang’s braided black hair hung to the small of her back, nearly touching her shorts.
“Wonder what she does with that frog sticker?” Dan said.
Serang spun around, took two running steps toward the side of the pier and threw her weapon like a spear. It sailed across the water to the next dock and impaled a huge bay frog that was sunning itself. “Stick frogs,” she said.
About the Author

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C. S. Boyack was born in a town called Elko, Nevada. He likes to tell everyone that he was born in a small town in the 1940s. He’s not quite that old, but Elko has always been a little behind the times. This gives him a unique perspective of earlier times, and other ways of getting by. Some of this bleeds through into his fiction.
Boyack moved to Idaho right after the turn of the century, and never looked back.His writing career was born here, with access to other writers and critique groups he jumped in with both feet.
He likes to write about things that have something unusual. His works are in the realm of science fiction, paranormal, and fantasy. His goal is to entertain readers for a few hours and he hopes you enjoy the ride.
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Flygirl

 

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Upmarket Commercial/Women’s Fiction
Date Published: January 3, 2019
Publisher: Acorn Publishing LLC
 
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Let pilot Tris Miles lift you up, and fly you to new heights with her inspiring story of love, ambition and the meaning of success.
R. D. Kardon’s debut novel puts you in the cockpit with Tris Miles as she navigates the challenges of integrating an all-male corporate flight department in 1997. Tris encounters harassment, marginalization, and backstabbing on her journey to becoming a jet captain. 
____________________________
It’s 1997. Women stand beside men in combat and fly fighter jets. Pilot Tris Miles is not content with her job as a First Officer for tiny Clear Sky Airlines. She wants to be a Captain—the only way she knows to prove her worth as a pilot and atone for a deadly mistake.
To further her career, Tris accepts a prestigious job with Tetrix, Inc. But her dream of becoming pilot-in-command twists into a nightmare.
As the company’s first woman pilot, she encounters resistance, marginalization, and harassment on a daily basis. Fortunately, Tris has one thing her co-workers can’t deny—skill.
When Tris finds herself in a crippled airplane thousands of miles from home she must prove she can lead. With her career on the line, can Tris earn the respect she’s been craving? And if this is the end, can she find the strength to forgive herself?

Review

R.D. Kardon is such an imaginative and descriptive storyteller.

A bit of history, woman empowerment, trials and tribulations, determination, are all very present in this story. She does a great job of melding all of these elements to make the novel cohesive.

A unique narrative. Character descriptions written to perfection with a unique POV that places you deep in her thoughts and feelings
About the Author


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Robin “R.D.” Kardon was a litigation attorney before beginning a twelve-year flying career as a corporate and airline pilot. She holds an Airline Transport Pilot certificate and three Captain qualifications. Her travels took her all over the world in every type of airplane from small single-engine Cessnas to the Boeing 737. Robin earned her B.A. in Journalism and Sociology from NYU and J.D. from American University, Washington College of Law. A native New Yorker, Robin now lives in San Diego, California with her beloved rescue pets. , a work of fiction inspired by her own aviation experience, is her first novel.
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Of Metal and Earth

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Mainstream Fiction
Date Published: July 19, 2018
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In 1964, a rural town is rocked to its core when only one young man returns from Vietnam. Emotionally scarred, James hides from their pity and only finds the determination to lift himself up when he realizes what remains to be lost. He buys a little green Jeep, like the one that gave him shelter in the war, and hopes it will lead to salvation again. But the fortune it brings tarnishes, and James is left to sacrifice the thing that gave him hope for the people who need him most.
Over the next thirty years, the Jeep changes hands, passing between friends, family, strangers, and lovers. A single mother who buys a car for her reckless son nearly destroys a friendship with a man who silently loved her for two decades. An insecure youth at the start of his career learns that the most important lessons are the ones you never set out to learn. A family torn apart by their differences finds that love can be the hardest road to take. And a city architect must choose between the easy way to restoration or a difficult path that could save far more than just a rusty old Jeep.
Fans of THIS IS US, MITCH ALBOM, and NICHOLAS SPARKS will enjoy this heart-warming tale of restoration and redemption, a must read book for anyone inspired by the the resiliency of the human spirit.

Review

Superb writing from Jennifer M. Lane. I really liked the originality that Lane brought to her words.
This novel was very vivid in the descriptions, the writing really jumped off the pages and into my head. History, multiple characters who each have their own unique place in the story, different timelines and experiences all meld together beautifully.
This story for me just came across as honest. I understood Lane’s motives in writing and what she set out to give us, I think she executed flawlessly!
About the Author
A Maryland native and Pennsylvanian at heart, Jennifer M. Lane is a resident of East Norriton, PA. She holds a bachelor’s degree in philosophy from Barton College where she served as editor of the newspaper. She also holds a master’s in liberal arts with a focus on museum studies from the University of Delaware, where she wrote her thesis on the material culture of roadside memorials. She once co-hosted a daily automotive blog and served as the president of a large car club. She enjoys coffee, whiskey, Earl Grey tea, and spending time with her partner Matthew and their own 1964 Jeep CJ-5.
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Rijel 12

 

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Science Fiction
Date Published: 11/23/18
Publisher: Chandra Press
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The remote Intergalactic Penal Colony on the planet Rijel 12 is a very profitable enterprise. Its desolate surface is an uninhabitable wasteland relentlessly scorched by its sun, but inside the planet is a vast treasure trove of the most precious resources in the galaxy.
Prisoners sentenced to Rijel 12 know it’s a one-way ticket. It used to be a convict would serve their time and come home. That stopped a while ago. Inmates are forced to work the mines in wretched conditions and the death rate is staggering. Luckily for the warden, new inmates arrive monthly to replenish the labor pool. Business has never been better.
From the darkness of their miserable existence, one prisoner decides to take a stand and begins to organize a resistance. Inmates rally to the cause and prepare for rebellion. Can the rag-tag rebels of ‘New Australia’ succeed in their quest for freedom or will the warden and the overpowering might of the Interplanetary Authority extinguish their only hope?
From new author, King Everett Medlin, comes an action-packed epic of hope, rebellion, and the quest for redemption.





Excerpt


The hard life of mining killed off thousands of prisoners every year, and there was no predictable pattern to it.  Stronger prisoners died in the mines just as easily as weaker prisoners. Determination to survive, or resentment at having been sent to this subterranean hell, could certainly sustain a being for a while, but accidents were quite common.  Death could come easily, and at most any time.  Prison administrators didn’t care.  They didn’t have to.  In another few weeks, there’d be a ship arriving with more prisoners anyway.  Life deteriorated into a matter of brutal survival for the desperate beings on Rijel 12.
After half an Earth century of dumping unfortunate prisoners on the planet, the place had become a death sentence, and everyone knew it.  Inmates would tell newly arrived prisoners, and even prison officials communicated the same message.  As one infamously cruel guard used to put it to arriving convicts as they were processed in the receiving bay, “You have been sent here to die, and that is likely what you’ll do.  Accept it, and your miserable existence here may end peacefully.  Who knows?  You may die tomorrow.  We don’t know, and we don’t care.  Work and you eat.  Eat and you live.  That’s all you need to know for now.”
And yet fifty Earth years after its creation, even when faced with such an impossible existence, amazingly, some beings learned how to survive.  They adapted, and they overcame by creating a society of their own.  Leaders arose, structure developed, and the situation stabilized, partly driven by necessity and partly due to the sheer determination of intelligent creatures seeking to exist, no matter what the circumstances.  They figured out ways to live on.

 

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About the Author

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King Everett Medlin has been writing since 2013 when he first developed the idea for Rijel 12. It was originally designed to be a SciFi series, with the objective of creating several short installments. Instead, he got a lucky break when Chandra Press from San Diego responded favorably to the original draft, deciding to publish it as a full-length novel. King lives in Denver, Colorado with his lovely wife Caroline and has two grown children. He’s a graduate of the University of Oklahoma where he played college Rugby and remains a diehard Sooners fan to this day. His specialties are Science Fiction and Mystery/Suspense novels, focusing on unusual stories with intriguing plot-lines and amazing characters.
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Handbooks for Humans

 

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Self-Help
Learn to Manage Your Attitudes in All Your Relationships
Publisher: Graceful Change Press
Published: November 2018
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In the traditions of Life’s Little Instruction Book, Everything I Need to Know I Learned in Kindergarten, and the Messiah’s Handbook, Handbooks for Humans will provide you guidelines to help make you a better person, and learn to manage our attitudes in our relationships with ourselves and others. You probably wish you were given instructions for living at birth. Because, the truth is, being human isn’t easy. Now, by putting in the effort, working with the guidelines in the Handbook for Humans, Volume 1, there is a path forward that makes it easier. You could probably read this book in a matter of minutes, glean some helpful insights, and toss it aside…or pay attention to each guideline, reflect, go more deeply inside, and do some work. As a reward, you can learn to articulate your feelings, thoughts, beliefs, and experiences which in turn create your attitudes. Your attitudes affect every interaction you have in this world. As one of the guidelines teaches us, Never stop learning. It’s never too late to be a better human. Handbooks for Humans, Volume 1 provides a platform for personal work and sharing, making it perfect for individuals, couples, and families.
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About the Author

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Grace Anne Stevens is a writer and speaker on living authentically.
After over forty years as an engineer and manager in the tech world, she returned to school and received her M.A. in Counseling Psychology at the age of 62. She has participated in and seen life from many sides.
Each day she looks forward to what the future may bring on her own journey learning how to be a better human.
In 2016 Grace was selected by Amtrak as one of their Writer’s in Residence and named as Person of the Year by New England Pride TV.
Grace lives in Lexington Massachusetts and enjoys biking on her new e-bike, beaching and babysitting for her grandchildren, as she learns something new each day.
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