Friday 56 #146 – Vostok by Steve Alten @meg82159

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The Friday 56 is hosted by Freda’s Voice.The only rules are to grab a book (any book), turn to page 56 or 56% in your ereader and find any sentence or a few ( no spoilers) that grabs you and post it.

Please join Rose City Reader every Friday to share the first sentence or so of the book you are reading along with you initial thoughts about the sentence, impressions of the book, or anything else the opener inspires.

Please include the title of the book and the author’s name.

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OMG. Such a fabulous cover of Vostok by Steve Alten, a Meg(a) Hit. There is no way I will ever pass on the chance to read one of his novels.

You can see my 5 star review here.

Vostok

Amazon  /  Goodreads

MY 56

At one point she interrupted the conversation to remind me that Willy’s nanny was due to leave soon and that we really needed to get back to our room

And then she winked!

That was all the prompting I needed.

(Pages 56 in hardcover published in 2015)

GOODREADS BLURB

East Antarctica: The coldest, most desolate location on Earth. Two-and-a-half miles below the ice cap is Vostok, a six thousand square mile liquid lake, over a thousand feet deep, left untouched for more than 15 million years. Now, marine biologist Zachary Wallace and two other scientists aboard a submersible tethered to a laser will journey 13,000 feet beneath the ice into this unexplored realm to steve

In this sequel to The Loch and prequel to the upcoming MEG 5: Nightstalkers, New York Times best-selling author Steve Alten offers readers a crossover novel that combines characters from two of his most popular series.

Steve Alten is the New York Times and International bestselling author of fourteen novels, including the MEG series about Carcharodon Megalodon, the 70-foot, 100,000 pound prehistoric cousin of the Great White shark and Domain trilogy, a series about the Mayan Calendar s 2012 doomsday prophecy. His work has been published in over 30 countries and is being used in thousands of middle and high school curriculum as part of Adopt-An-Author, a free teen reading program, which he founded with teachers back in 1999.”

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Aliens Vacation on Earth – Trespassers by Todd & Tim Wynn @WynnBrothers

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Earth is a resort destination for aliens in Trespassers by Todd and Tim Wynn.

TrespassersGoodreads  /  Amazon US  /  Amazon UK  /  Amazon CA

MY REVIEW

Hop aboard for an alien adventure in this scifi tale  of mystery, intrigue, romance and intergalactic travel.

I love their description of us humans, but you will need to check out the book for yourself to learn it.

Denokin was an abductor of earthlings. It had become ho hum for him. Until…

Stewart and Mindy worked at the division that regulated alien traffic on earth and were responsible for their presence being kept a secret. For all we know, one could be sitting right beside us, right now. Look to your left, look to your right. Could they be an alien?

It was Bruner’s job to prove of the aliens existence. The poor guy is being duped and used by his own government.

When confiscating Denokin’s ship, Stewart failed to secure all the aliens on the ship, so Earth has some unexpected visitors…Trespassers.

The aliens lives mirror ours, in some ways. They have families, they go to school, they get married, they take vacations…

I couldn’t help but laugh when Mindy realized she was attracted to Stewart, as if seeing him for the very first time…and he’s HOT. I don’t feel this is a spoiler, because, come on, we all know its gonna happen.

There are many different types of aliens and Earth is considered a resort stop for them. Seeing Earth through their eyes makes me appreciate our world even more, reminding me of its beauty. I prefer to think of it as a resort destination, like them, and wonder at the marvels before me…water, nature, hills and valleys. 

Trespassers by Tim & Todd Wynn is a science fiction fantasy unlike others I have read. The writing is serious, but not dark. The characters had me in their grasp, as I decided which I liked and which I didn’t like. Some were just doing their job, but I still didn’t like it. There were no villains, in my mind. Just human beings trying to do the right thing. We are primitive, they are so much more advanced than us.

All in all, a fun read with entertaining characters and, maybe, there is even a lesson to be learned through fiction. So, hop aboard and meet the Trespassers.

Animated Animals. Pictures, Images and Photos 3 Stars

GOODREADS BLURB

B.R.A.G. Medallion Winner 2015

When four alien visitors arrive on Earth and disappear into the cornfields of Indiana, it is Stewart Faulkner’s job to find them. Who they are, where they’re headed, and what’s important enough to make them jump from a moving spaceship are all questions that Stewart must uncover. And he will have to do it all while

1) training a new team member named Mindy—who is developing a crush on him;
2) flying under the radar of his boss to make sure he’s not removed from the case; and
3) staying one step ahead of a government agent named Karl Bruner, who is determined to expose the presence of aliens on Earth.

Website  /  Twitter

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Giveaway – Slivers by Fiona J R Titchenell & Matt Carter @FJR_Titchenell @MCarterAuthor @YABoundToursPR

 

Slivers (The Prospero Chronicles #3)
by Fiona J.R. Titchenell & Matt Carter
Genre: YAHorror/Scifi
Release date: June 20th 2017

Summary:

Ben

Growing up is hard, and growing up in Prospero is even harder, but I think we manage. I mean, yeah, my friends and I spend more of our time fighting a race of shapeshifting aliens than we do hanging out, but we have our fun. We go to parties, help each other with our classes, maybe even fall in love…

I’ve no illusions that we live ordinary lives, but they’re our lives, and I’m going to make sure we make the most of them whether the Splinters want us to or not.

Mina

The truce is temporary. We will not humor the Splinters forever. It’s only until the Slivers can be stopped, until the army of Shards being planted among our classmates can be disassembled, until we get our hands on the thing I’d almost given up believing in.

The humanity test.

For the chance to know, once and for all, who can be trusted, some dealings with monsters must be excusable. Inevitable. Just like this feeling between Ben and me.

And that has to be temporary too.

 
 
Buy links: AmazonBarnes & Noble (Nook) | iBooks | Kobo | Smashwords | Indigo

Excerpt:
1. Sabotage
 
 
Ben
At the time, my instincts told me that jumping onto the hood of a moving SUV was a brilliant idea.
After half a second of trying to find something to hold onto, I told myself I’d reconsider my instincts when I got out of this.
If I got out of this.
A voice in my ear—I hadn’t lost my Bluetooth after all. Haley’s voice, by the angry sound of it.
“Ben, what the hell are you doing?”
“I have no idea!” I yelled back, finally grabbing the roof rack with both hands and holding on for dear life, doing my best to block the windshield. The driver accelerated down the empty suburban street, jerking the wheel back and forth, trying to shake me off. I knew behind the tinted glass of this anonymous, plateless SUV were the gray faces of Slivers. Today they were supposed to be kidnapping one of Prospero High School’s nicest teachers from her home, and we were going to stop them. It wasn’t exactly a piece of cake, but we’d done it before and should’ve been able to do it again.
I looked to the sidewalks, trying to spot any other members of the Network.
There was a heavy blow against the windshield near my chest. The tinted glass spiderwebbed beneath me. The Slivers were trying to break through.
Not for the first time, I cursed The Owl.
“Everybody close on the house! They’re still on the move!” Courtney called over the party line.
“Where’s that spike strip?” Haley asked.
“About twenty feet behind Ben before he decided to go Shatner on us,” Greg answered.
The spiderweb of glass expanded as the Sliver continued to force its way through.
The next voice was impossibly calm. “If we can stop this vehicle, there’s every chance we can capture multiple Slivers at once in addition to preventing Ms. Craven’s abduction. Ben, do you think you can slow them down?”
Mina Todd.
She always asked for the impossible so reasonably.
The windshield broke open in front of me, safety glass exploding outward as a long, muscular arm with a seven-fingered, clawed hand burst through. It raked back and forth, opening up a large gash in the glass that allowed me to see the three Slivers inside. They were of slight frame with gray, hairless heads and bulging black eyes, and they had begun sprouting extra limbs and tentacles to better mangle me.
“I’ll try,” I said, diving into the jagged hole where the windshield used to be.
Their brief, startled pause before attacking was all I needed.
I reached into my pocket and pulled out one of the cheap stun guns Mina loved to make out of disposable cameras and jammed it into the driver’s chest. The creature shuddered violently, jerking the wheel to the side and stomping on the gas reflexively.
I forced the gearshift into neutral and pulled on the parking brake. The SUV lurched to a violent stop in the middle of the street.
So far so good.
Less good was the sound of snapping wood that came from the passenger seat as its occupant’s body began to shift. Its rib cage broke open into a giant, vertical mouth full of jagged teeth and swirling tentacles. The tentacles lashed out at me, wrapping around my arms and neck, and squeezed. The Sliver in the backseat joined in, grabbing the leg I tried to anchor myself with against the dashboard and forcing me closer to that terrible maw.
The passenger door flew open. The Sliver let out a howl of pain as Julie buried a large meat hook in its back and began pulling it from the car. Courtney wrapped her hands around Julie’s on the hook, throwing her track team muscles into the effort and hardly wincing when the gelatinous Splinter blood began to soil her neatly pressed blouse. The tentacles released me, and soon enough the two girls wrestled the Sliver from the vehicle and tased it.
One down.
The driver’s mutated arm reached across my chest and pulled the door shut. It looked deep into my eyes with those empty, black orbs. Its narrow mouth curled into the faintest of smiles as it held me pinned to the seat with that monstrous arm. Though its face was formless, its flesh waxy, I couldn’t help but feel something familiar in that smile and those soulless eyes.
“Soon,” it whispered to me in its chittering, popping voice.
A new arm burst from its shoulder, splitting into two insectoid hands that allowed it to shift gears and disengage the parking break simultaneously. I watched helplessly as Greg and Kevin finally caught up to us with the jury-rigged spike strip we’d built for just this occasion, tossing it uselessly to the ground just as the driver swerved out of the way.
I didn’t know if the Slivers were still going to try for Ms. Craven or if they would content themselves with taking me instead. Would they try to drag me to their Warehouse (assuming the Slivers had a Warehouse) and replace me, or would they kill me as soon as they found a nice, quiet place to pull over?
They weren’t slowing down. If anything, they seemed to be speeding up. They swerved down the street, aiming for the side of an old duplex. Ms. Craven’s duplex.
I took advantage of the driver’s focus to pull one arm free, fasten a seatbelt around me, and brace myself.
The SUV slammed through the duplex’s wall with a crushing impact that knocked the wind out of me and whipped my neck forward. The unsecured driver flew through the jagged remnants of the windshield and landed in what used to be Ms. Craven’s living room. The passenger from the backseat climbed over me with spindly spider’s legs, following the driver out the windshield.
A woman screamed inside.
Slowly, painfully, I undid my seatbelt and crawled through the windshield, landing on the floor in a dazed heap.
Somehow I stumbled to my feet and pulled the mini flamethrower from my back. It wasn’t much—just a kitchen lighter duct-taped to one of those recalled aerosol fire extinguishers that Mina had stocked up on, but it did the job. Flicking the lighter on, I lifted it high.
The driver had Ms. Craven wrapped in a set of tentacles and interlocking claws, lifting her off the ground. Ms. Craven looked at me fearfully, trying to cry out through the tentacle lashed across her mouth. The flamethrower wouldn’t do much good at this range, standing as much a chance of burning Ms. Craven. I was going to have to wait for backup.
“Let her go,” I said shakily. All of my experiences with Slivers so far had proved that they loved to talk. I only had to stall them long enough for Mina and the rest to get here.
The driver looked to the passenger, exchanging a low series of pops and clicks. The passenger nodded, calmly raising one of its three arms and pointing the hand at me, flat. Just like the driver, a small, frightening smile crossed its face.
I lost all feeling beneath my waist, my legs giving out beneath me. Then I could feel again—too well. It felt like every nerve in my body had burst into flames. Violent waves of nausea hit me, and my muscles no longer seemed to be my own.
Two realizations hit me at once.
First: they had a Shard we hadn’t documented yet.
Second: this Shard had remote control of human bodies.
There was shouting, and then Kevin and Greg slid through the massive hole in the wall, brandishing their flamethrowers and Tasers. Less than a second later, a sliding glass door opened in the next room, and Mina and Haley ran in to join us.
Only Aldo, Julie, and Courtney had yet to catch up.
The two Slivers looked at each other, then at us. They could have taken me easily, maybe even two of us. But five of us, well-armed as we were—that gave them a moment of pause. The driver dropped Ms. Craven roughly to the floor. Both of the Slivers raised their arms, and the driver looked at me, curling its lips into that faint, unpleasant smile.
“Soon,” it said again.
Long spikes of bone erupted from each of their chests and backs. They both began to laugh—a raspy, choking sound—as the base of each spike began to pulsate.
“DUCK!” Mina blurted, falling to the floor.
Everyone dropped, dozens of bony spikes narrowly missing us as they erupted from the Slivers’ bodies, lodging in the walls and shattering windows.
By the time we regained our feet, the Slivers were gone.
“Is everybody all right?” Mina asked.
There were murmurs of assent. Ms. Craven was on the floor, sobbing.
Finding out about Splinters is never easy for people to deal with under the best of circumstances, much less while being kidnapped by the extreme anti-human cult of Splinters that we’d taken to calling “Slivers” last fall.
Not that getting kidnapped by regular, garden-variety Splinters was all that much better.
I was confident that Ms. Craven would come out of her shock soon—she’d always struck me as pretty tough. Once this wore off, we’d be able to tell her the truth. Maybe even make her a part of the team.
Assuming, of course, she was really human.
Haley examined my scratches and scrapes. Content that I must have been okay, she smiled and threw her arms around my neck, hugging me close. I don’t know what was more uncomfortable, Haley’s weight against my aching ribs or the look of annoyance on Mina’s face.
“I’m fine,” I assured Haley, pulling away, “though that Shard they have sure did a number on me.”
“One of the ones The Owl showed you?” Haley asked.
“No, this one’s new,” I said.
“Dammit, I hate Shards,” Greg said, shuddering. I didn’t blame him; the last time we’d gone up against a Shard, it had made him feel a swarm of spiders crawling beneath his skin.
“Tell me about it,” I said.
“Hey, guys?” Aldo said over the group line.
“Did you secure the other Sliver?” Mina asked.
“Yeah, we got her. No problems there. What about yours?” Aldo asked.
“They’ve retreated. They haven’t doubled back your way?” Mina asked.
“No, we’re clear,” Aldo said. There was something held back in his voice I didn’t like.
“What’s wrong, Aldo?” I asked.
“Uh, I think you need to see this one for yourselves.”
“We’re on our way,” Mina said. “Haley, Greg, keep an eye on Ms. Craven.”
“I got some stuff that might calm her down,” Greg said, patting a pocket on his old army jacket.
“Don’t,” I said.
Greg shrugged. “More for me then.”
I followed Kevin and Mina out the front door. By force of habit, I looked up and down the street, hoping by some miracle that we hadn’t been spotted—or heard, for that matter. It was early Sunday morning, so the streets were mostly deserted. Typical abduction timing. The cops would be here eventually—a vehicle crashed through the side of a house has a way of summoning them sooner or later—but given the Prospero Police Department’s closeness with the main Splinter Council, this would all no doubt be hushed up pretty quickly.
“You’re gonna have to spend some quality time with Mina’s first-aid kit, brother,” Kevin observed.
“I’ve looked worse,” I said.
“You’ve looked better, too,” Mina interjected coldly.
“What’d I do?” I complained.
“You nearly ruined the operation. This didn’t go half as smoothly as our other interceptions,” Mina shot back.
I didn’t have a good defense for that. Ever since she’d started receiving those messages from the Owl, giving us the Slivers’ plans for abductions, we’d had a pretty good (though not perfect) track record of intercepting and stopping the Slivers before they could take their intended targets. Over the previous month and a half, we had managed to save the mayor’s son, Sheriff Diaz’s wife, and the head of the PTA from being taken without their ever knowing anything was going on. Things could have gone better this time, I knew that, but they also could have gone a lot worse.
“I didn’t have a choice. They know what we’ve been doing, and they’re being more careful. I did what I had to do,” I said.
“You could’ve been killed.”
“But I wasn’t!”
Kevin squeezed his way between us and put an arm around each of our shoulders.
“Let us not forget, my friends, that we did stop them from replacing Ms. Craven. It may have been sloppy, and she may have been needlessly introduced to our world, but we saved her. We did a good thing; the forces of evil are in check for another day. We should be celebrating!” Kevin said, smiling that easy smile he always used to defuse tense situations.
Mina sighed. “Please try to avoid unnecessary risks in the future.”
“Will do,” I said.
“There, isn’t that better than fighting like a couple o’ freshmen?” Kevin said.
“So says the senior commencement speaker,” I replied, punching him in the ribs softly.
“Hey, I’m as surprised as you guys are that I actually got the gig,” Kevin said, grinning.
“Right… so how long have you had that speech written?” I asked.
“Seventh grade, give or take a month.” Kevin laughed. “Come on, it’ll be my last chance to try to change a few minds here before I move on to the real world.”
“Freshmen don’t fight any appreciably more or less than any other students,” Mina said as if she’d missed half the conversation, looking a bit lost in thought.
“Really? Maybe we should ask Aldo,” Kevin joked.
Tall tales about Aldo’s secret second life, or third life in our case, had become something of a running joke among the Network, given his habit of accumulating even more scrapes and bruises than the rest of us in spite of spending most of his time behind the scenes, digging for information or tinkering with the equipment.
Underground cage fighting and undercover spy operations were common speculations.
This conversation did lead to one topic that had been eating at me lately: the passage of time. Of the eight members of the Network, Kevin and Courtney were both seniors and were going to be moving on from Prospero within the next six months. I didn’t know how we were going to keep the fight going without them. We would find a way to manage, Mina always had in the past, but it would be rough without Courtney’s organizational skills and Kevin’s ability to put things in perspective.
Julie, Courtney, and Aldo had dragged their captive Sliver to the privacy of Courtney’s backyard, a good five blocks from Ms. Craven’s, and by the time we caught up with them, they already had it tied up in copper wire and were threatening to touch the wire to a car battery. As usual, Julie (her jet black hair streaked with hot pink and red for Valentine’s Day coming up) smiled at us perkily beneath her thick goth makeup.
“Ya all right, Ben?” she asked, eying the scratches on my face.
“I’m fine.”
Aldo’s concerned expression was unsettling. Ever since our fight with Robbie, Aldo had assumed a bravura I’d never known he had in him. He was the first to cheer any victory lately. If he wasn’t smiling…
“What is it?” Mina asked, looking down at the Sliver, which looked more human now despite the few extra limbs it still possessed.
Courtney held the end of the copper wire above the car battery with a plastic pair of tongs. “Show them again.”
The Sliver hissed something in its chittering language that must not have been kind. Courtney and Mina exchanged a glance. Mina nodded. Courtney dropped the wire onto the battery’s contact.
The Sliver screamed too humanly as it shuddered and arched what could best be approximated as its back, and the wire sparked violently. When Courtney took the wire away, it reluctantly took the face of its true, human form with a look of pure spite.
It was the face of Ms. Claudette Velasquez, my calculus teacher. That she was a Splinter was not news; we had known this for a few months.
That she was working with the Slivers was a surprise. The last time we had seen her, she had a seat on the Splinter Council.
“What are you waiting for? Kill me. That’s what you want, isn’t it?” she challenged.
“We’re not that stupid,” I said.
Ms. Velasquez looked at the battery with a mix of anger and fear. “Then what is your plan for me?”
“You’re going to tell us everything you know about the Slivers’ plans,” Mina said simply, taking the tongs from Courtney and holding them a little closer to the battery. “And when we’re convinced you’re not holding out, we’ll hand you over to the Splinter Council.”
Ms. Velasquez’s eyes went wide with genuine fear. “And if you’re never convinced?”
“We turn you over to them anyway, only we don’t tell them how remorseful and cooperative you were.”
Ms. Velasquez’s eyes scanned us, probably trying to gauge whether or not Mina was telling the truth. She must have believed her, because her body visibly slumped.
“Fine. I will cooperate. Just don’t—”
She let out an ear-splitting scream, her eyes bulging—then fell still with mouth agape. We stared, trying to figure out if it was a trick, when the flesh began to melt from her bones in thick gray rivers.
“What the… no, no…” Aldo muttered, trying to scoop bits of dissolving Splinter into one of his specially rigged containment boxes, watching with confusion as the liquid continued to evaporate after the box was sealed.
The entire Splinter corpse down to the bones was deteriorating into nothingness as the raw Splinter matter became incompatible with our world.
“What the hell just happened?” Courtney asked. “She was going to talk!”
“Was she?” Mina asked doubtfully.
“Well she sure as hell wasn’t going to die!” said Aldo, staring at the last vanishing remnants of the body. “Splinters just don’t do that spontaneously.”
“They might if they got one of those in ’em, brother,” Kevin said as he pointed to what was left of Ms. Velasquez’s deteriorating bones.
What looked like a foot-long, white caterpillar made of tumors and small air sacs disentwined itself from around her spine. Slowly, it walked away from the dissolving remains of my math teacher, shaking off bits of gray slime.
Then it started to glow a faint, pulsing white, lifting off the ground and beginning to float away like a plastic bag in the breeze. Mina grabbed it with her tongs.
“That a Splinter?” Kevin asked.
“No, I don’t think so,” Mina said.
“Then what is it?” Aldo asked.
The answer hit me before Mina could say it out loud.
“A game changer,” I said. “If they’ve got themselves some sort of alien suicide pill hiding inside them to keep them compliant, we might have to reconsider our capture strategy.”
Capturing a Sliver for information had been one of our dreams ever since we started receiving information from The Owl.
Just when we thought we had the Slivers figured out, they had to come up with something like this.
I would’ve laughed if it weren’t so damn depressing.
 
Previous Books in the Series (click on image for Goodreads link):

 

 
About the Authors
Fiona J.R. TITCHENELL is an author of young adult, sci-fi, and horror fiction, including Confessions of the Very First Zombie Slayer (That I Know of). She graduated from Cal State University Los Angeles with a B. A. in English in 2009 at the age of twenty. She currently lives in San Gabriel, California, with her husband, coauthor, and amazing partner in all things, Matt Carter, and their pet king snake, Mica.
Connect with Fiona J.R. Titchenell on:
Her blog | Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads | Pinterest

MATT CARTER is an author of horror, sci-fi, and yes, even a little bit of young adult fiction. He earned his degree in history from Cal State University Los Angeles, and lives in the usually sunny town of San Gabriel, California, with his wife, best friend, and awesome co-writer, F.J.R. Titchenell. Check out his first solo novel, Almost Infamous, or connect with him on:
His blog | Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads

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Giveaway – A Human Element by Donna Galanti @DonnaGalanti @GoddessFish

A Human Element is an amazing fantasy that will have you screaming for more.

The beautiful cover is only a prelude to the wonderful story inside.

Amazon  /  Goodreads

A Human Element by Donna Galanti

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GENRE: Paranormal Suspense

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REVIEW

To see my full review, go HERE, but I will give you a taste…

I felt such tension, suspense, fear and dread for the characters, that I was talking to them. Shouting at them. Telling them to watch out. He’s coming.

I had thought A Human Element was paranormal, but it is so much more. They come from another place. A place out of this world.

I never saw the ending coming. Fantastic. I kept trying to figure it out and felt tortured and pained as I raced through the pages – I HAVE to know – now!

I am sitting here, finished, looking at nothing, in complete disbelief. Awesome! Donna Galanti’s imagination knows no bounds.

Animated Animals. Pictures, Images and Photos  5 Stars

 

BLURB

Evil comes in many forms…

One by one, Laura Armstrong’s friends and adoptive family members are being murdered, and despite her unique healing powers, she can do nothing to stop it. The savage killer haunts her dreams, tormenting her with the promise that she is next. Determined to find the killer, she follows her visions to the site of a crashed meteorite in her hometown. There, she meets Ben Fieldstone, who seeks answers about his parents’ death the night the meteorite struck. In a race to stop a madman, they unravel a frightening secret that binds them together. But the killer’s desire to destroy Laura face-to-face leads to a showdown that puts Laura and Ben’s emotional relationship and Laura’s pure spirit to the test. With the killer closing in, Laura discovers her destiny is linked to his, and she has two choices—redeem him or kill him.

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 EXCERPT

The man could hear the child’s bellowing cries coming from underneath the blanket covering it. She pushed the child into his arms as if eager to be rid of it. He took the bundle and handed the nurse his packages. The nurse began to close the door when he heard another far away cry.

The man wedged his foot in the door. “What was that?”

“N-Nothing.” The nurse looked up.

The man risked looking her in the eye.

“The girl is in pain and won’t keep quiet.” She clutched the envelope and folded her arms across her sagging bosom.

“It sounded like another baby,” he said.

“It’s just the whimpering slut. Now she’s paid double for what she’s done.” The nurse took a step back as if aware she had said too much already. She glared at him. “Now go on. You have what you wanted. And so do I.” She shut the door in his face.

The man in black stood there for a long moment, considering the woman’s choice of words. What if another child had been delivered and the frigid woman and country doctor kept it secret?

Fascinating.

He decided to keep this information to himself. He would find the opportune time to use it. He was a patient man. But first, he had to see for himself. He peeled back the child’s bunting and looked for the first time into its yellow eyes. For that moment, the baby fell silent.

“Welcome to Earth X-10.”

The baby resumed its wailing.

The man turned with his noisy package and melted into the darkness satisfied, as the doctor had been, that the night’s events had provided him with more than he had asked for.

AUTHOR DONNA GALANTI

Donna Galanti is the author of the paranormal suspense Element Trilogy (Imajin Books -http://www.imajinbooks.com/ )  and the children’s fantasy adventure Joshua and The Lightning Road series (Month9Books -http://www.month9books.com/ ). Donna is a contributing editor for International Thriller Writers the Big Thrill (http://www.thebigthrill.org/) – magazine and blogs with other middle grade authors at Project Middle Grade Mayhem (http://project-middle-grade-mayhem.blogspot.com/search/label/Donna Galanti) . She’s lived from England as a child, to Hawaii as a U.S. Navy photographer. Donna enjoys teaching at conferences on the writing craft and marketing and also presenting as a guest author at elementary and middle schools.

Visit her at www.elementtrilogy.com and www.donnagalanti.com.

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Purchase books 1 and 2 in the Element Trilogy

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GIVEAWAY

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

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Follow the tour and comment. The more you comment the better your chances of winning. Follow the tour HERE.

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Interview & Review for an Amazing Saga – Europa Quanundocii by P R Garcia

Europa Quanundocii by P R Garcia is the second book in the amazing saga of the Oonocks, an alien race trying to survive on earth. To see my review for the first book, Europa Awakenings, go HERE.

Sometimes the second book in a series will be a letdown, but no worries here. The story just keeps getting better and better and if you would like to know what happened to Atlantis, you will want to read the Europa series.

To many, red roses mean a deep, passionate everlasting love. They also portray beauty and courage. So appropriate for the cover of Quanundocii!

Goodreads  /  Amazon

MY REVIEW

Europa Quanundocii by P R Garcia is the second book in the Europa series. This science fiction, action/adventure, romance is as amazing as the first. It picks up where the first book left off.

Europa is named after one of *******’s moons and may be the Oonocks only chance for survival. At ten years old, Europa met Kiijon and a bond was formed. Neither knew what their meeting would bring in the future, but when they were brought together again ten years later, the stars aligned and their fates were sealed.

Danger stalks Europa at every turn. Her friends, lovers and soldiers are willing to lay down their lives to protect her. She is royalty, yet she is giving, loving, naive, not acting as if she is better than anyone or looking down her nose at them. She is humbled by them. She doesn’t demand loyalty, but it is freely given. The characters surrounding her all have their special place in the story. I just wonder if they will all survive.

Quanundocii is the ultimate union, the bond of one soul, one body and one heart. Together they are invincible, but apart their life is filled with heartbreak, unbearable pain, maybe even death. Whenever there is the danger of extinction for the Oonocks, Quanundocii demands that two will unite as one and save them all, defeating the evil threatening them.

Quanundocii is one of the most fantastic love stories I have ever read. The highs reach the skies and the lows make me want to weep for the characters.

I started Quanundocii one afternoon and couldn’t put it down. My eyes were crossing and I still didn’t want to quit, but finally I had to . I got up the next morning and began reading at 8am. I only stopped long enough to grab coffee and use the restroom, finishing at 1pm.

Quanundocii is such a unique and fantastic story with writing that makes the story flow so smoothly I race through the pages, yet I don’t want to reach the end. All the time I know danger is lurking…what will it be…where will it rear its ugly head? Europa learns her true destiny and brace’s for the battle with Jeffra’s followers.

I received a copy of Europa Quanundocii from P R Garcia in return for an honest review.

Animated Animals. Pictures, Images and Photos 5 Stars

INTERVIEW WITH PAM GARCIA

I am so excited to have Pam Garcia back with me today. She is a woman after my own heart. I love the sun, sea and sand, and if you read her bio, you will find that we have a lot in common. Her series speaks to me…deeply…so read on, and you will know why.

1      Your characters are complex and it did not take me long to become fully invested in the outcome of their lives. Of course, a lot of us may choose Europa as our favorite character, but I am curious who you would choose and why?

Actually, I have two favorites:  Jeanip for the original 6 book series, and Swaybuk in the 3 book sub-series.  Both are very dear to me.

Jeanip is the ultimate protector, abandoning everything in his life to protect those he is keeping safe.  No sacrifice is too big, no act too small if it means keeping Europa and the others happy and free from harm.  I have thought of killing off Jeanip several times, but I just couldn’t do it.  I felt doing so would be betraying his loyalty and dedication.  His one flaw, in my eyes, is his excessive dedication to the protection protocols and etiquette rules.  He adheres to them no matter the cost, even his own life.  Yet, it is that flaw that makes him so enduring to me.  Jeanip, like most Oonocks, knows only one thing – a deep love.  He harbors no hate, covets no things, holds no grudges.  He often gets very angry, leaving his fist marks in table tops when he pounds his fist in outrage, but he is always forgiving. He is also a prankster and a loyal friend, as shown in his interactions with King Enok, Chancee and Monarch Earon.  He is the best of what an Oonock is.  The best that is inside some humans as well.

ME (sherry):  I am so glad you mentioned Jeanip. I love that man and would feel honored to have a protector like him. He is my favorite character. I would be crushed if you killed him off. 😥

Swaybuk is almost a carbon copy of Jeanip, but his devotion is to Prince EJ.  He stepped forward as the young prince’s protector the first day he met him and never left his side.  Prince EJ became the son he never had, and he gives the prince every ounce of fatherly love he possesses.   And that love is Swaybuk’s major flaw – something that is dealt with in book 8, The Shadow of Apathy.  Like Jeanip, Swaybuk takes his protectorship to the next level, becoming a teacher and a leader, helping the prince to be the best that he can be.

2       I know your dream is to see Europa on the big screen. If Europa’s story was optioned for film, have you imagined what actors you would like to see play Europa, Terrance, and any other characters?

To tell the truth, I can’t watch anything without wondering if some actor or actress would be perfect to play one of the characters.  So far, I haven’t found many.  Medaron would be played by Angelina Jolie.  Kiijon would be Theo James.   Kiijon is supposed to be the most beautiful Oonock ever born, and I think Theo would fit that description.   Aidan Turner from The Hobbit would do well also.   Sam Elliott might make a good Jeanip, but his role in Westerns might take away from the character.  I can see Chris Hemsworth in that role also.  For some reason, I think it will be on unknown to play the all-important parts of Europa, although I can see Zoe Saldana or Jennifer Lawrence in that role.    Liam Hensworth would make a good Earon.

Me (Sherry):  I think Sam Elliot is a perfect match for Jeanip. I am not a big movie buff, I am a TV addict, so some of the others I don’t know.  But I am sure my readers could help you out. 😆

3     A lot of authors listen to music as they write. Do you have a play list, and if Europa was optioned for film, have you thought who you would like to write the musical score?

I listen to music most of the time while writing.  In fact, I’m listening while I write this.  I mostly listen to movie orchestral productions with no lyrics.  I find lyrics to be too distracting.  My favorite is The Hobbit, An Unexpected Journey.  I also listen to King Kong (2005). Star Trek into Darkness and Thor, the Dark World.  All great sci-fi movies with intense sound tracks.  I like their energized pace and find the more intense the music the more intense my writing is.

4    Your novels contain many magical characters with diverse powers. If you could shapeshift and have a power, what would you choose?

Without a doubt, I’d transfer into a whale, probably a humpback.  I have such a love for these noble creatures and was privileged to witness their antics first hand while working as a naturalist on the whale-watching cruises.  To swim with them, explore the vastness of the ocean and travel below to see all the sunken boats and ancient cities not yet found would be a dream come true.  Humpbacks are such gentle giants and they have a great fondness for playing, more so than the other whales.  You will see a humpback slap their pectoral fins repeatedly, stick their tails up in the air and swirl their tail or slap the water, breach 5-40 times in a row (sometimes even more).  They just seem to love life and are having fun doing it.

Me (Sherry): I have been whale watching in Cape Cod many times. I was so lucky to see a mom and baby, and that baby was having the best time ever, jumping all over the place.  It’s ‘funny’, but out of all the magical characters in your story, I too would be a whale, for many of the reasons you stated. Also, not many creatures mess with them…other than humans.

As for my power, it would be to heal.  Can you imagine if you could repair what is broken in people, take away their cancer, mend their broken bones, rejuvenate burned skin and eliminate their pain?  What a gift that would be.  But, just as in the books, it would have to be a gift closely guarded.  There are too many people in this world who would want to exploit such a gift or keep it only for themselves.

5       On a personal note:  Your bio intrigues me as much as the series. If you could wave a magic wand and fix one thing in the world of water, what would it be?

If I had a magic wand, I would eliminate greed in the world.  Greed is the cause for so many of our problems today:  global warming, deforestation, species lost, plastic waste and even war.  Throughout mankind’s history, it has been the desire for power and riches that have enslaved both man and animal, ripped out forests, slaughtered innocent animals, make a life-saving drug jump from $100 to $1200 a pill.  One day, greed will be mankind’s downfall.

While I do believe greed is our greatest evil, I don’t think even a magic wand could take it from within us.  So, on a more realistic note, I would eliminate plastics, a plague on the twentieth century.  When I grew up, we didn’t have plastic everything.  Milk came in glass bottles, as did soft drinks, juice, condiments, sauces and so forth.  Coffee came in tin cans.  Fruit came in a brown bag, as did your groceries.  Thanks to plastic, we have become a world of “throw away” items.  Easier (and often less expensive) to throw something away and buy a new one then fix what’s broken.  The plastic that has been, and that is still, being dumped into our oceans is killing those beings who live there.  Many animals strangle to death from the packing strips and beer-can rings that become wrapped around their necks.  Often mistaken for jellyfish, marine life consume large quantities of floating plastic bags and Mylar balloons thinking it is food.  Even the whales are not immune.  Not long ago, two sperm whales washed up on shore.  When a necropsy was done, it was discovered that their stomachs were filled with plastics.  The animals literally starved to death with full stomachs.  Scientists did a study on one of the Hawaiian Islands where a number of the sea bird chicks born that year had died.  When they examined them, they again found huge amounts of plastics in their stomachs – lighters, toothbrushes, bottle caps, doll parts, toys, plastic forks and spoons, tiny containers, pen tops.  These items were floating in the ocean and the parent birds thought they were fish, swooped down and grabbed the plastic piece and flew back to their chicks to feed them.  These chicks, as with the whale, starved to death with full stomachs.  How sad.  It is estimated that eight million tons is plastic is dumped into our oceans each year.  And, by 2025, it is estimated that the amount of plastic will rise to one hundred and fifty-five million.  If we stopped the use of plastic, or if everyone would recycle, this problem could be eliminated.

Me (Sherry):  I totally agree with everything you are saying. Us, as individuals, can do our part my recycling and not using plastic when we can get away from it. BUT, until those in power decide to do something about it, I, too, think the use of plastic will continue to grow.

As you can tell, this is something I feel very passionate about.  In closing, I will leave you and your readers with an American Native saying:

When the last tree has been cut down,

The last fish caught,

The last river poisoned,

Only then will we realize one cannot eat money.

You have wowed me with the interview, Pam. I don’t do a lot of interviews, but this one is, by far, the best. Your passion shines through and I love that. I can hardly wait to continue more of the series. Thanks so much and I look forward to hosting you again…soon. 🙂

GOODREADS BLURB

Europa has accepted and embraced the truth that she is from a  sentient, aquatic race from *******’s ice moon, Europa, who migrated to Earth 6000 years ago. Her enemy, JeffRa, who was determined to end her and her brother’s life, has been defeated. But JeffRa’s death only released a new ruthless leader, more determined, more blood thirsty, more hateful than JeffRa himself. This new leader is determined to fulfill JeffRa’s vow of revenge and dreams of watching the life drain from Europa’s eyes. Using all his resources and Terrian troops, he hunts for the Oonock monarchs. The Orbs have protected the Oonock race for hundreds of millions of years. In times of imminent destruction, they have united two Oonocks in the Quanundocii, the most sacred and purest form of Oonock love which unites two individuals so completely together, that they can defeat death itself. Only the Quanundocii can save the Oonock race. It has only occurred only four times in Oonock history, the last being Enok and Medaron. But Medaron’s death broke the Quanundocii and left the Oonocks vulnerable. A new Quanundocii is needed. Europa must be united in the Quanundocii if the Oonock race is to defeat the Terrians. But she cannot do either while a human. The Orbs begin to change her, to rebuild her into what she was meant to be – a true Oonock. But their remolding soon puts her life in jeopardy. If a way cannot be found to stop any accidental transformation, she will flow out and die before anyone can help. Can she stay alive long enough for the transformation to be complete? Can she be united in the Quanundocii and save her people? Or will the Terrians win this time? She has already lost so much, so many of the people she loved. Who else will be lost before this nightmare is over?

ABOUT P R GARCIA

When asked who I am, I usually tell people I am a not-too-grayed-haired old lady who, at the age of 61, was inspired to write a book. The book turned into two, then three. In three years I have written nine and am presently working on book ten. All are full length novels, averaging 464 pages each.

In 2008, I moved from Michigan to Southern California. Since I grew up along Lake Erie, I had a love for the water, so it wasn’t long before I could hear the ocean calling to me. I began to volunteer on the whale watching boats as a naturalist through Birch Scripps Aquarium and the San Diego Natural History Museum. It is there that I expanded my knowledge of cetaceans and other marine life, a knowledge and love I carried into the books.

MY DREAMS

To see my story play out on the big screen before I leave this world. My other dream is to receive at least one hundred reviews on the books. I welcome both favorable reviews and those with criticism.

For more information about the books, or me, visit my website: prgarcia1.com. There is an index on the web site showing the characters, as well as a listing of places and Oonock terms. I have a YouTube video on EUROPA Awakenings at https://youtu.be/EvSVloULZ2I

I just recently updated the cover of EUROPA Awakenings to better reflect the story. The cover now shows the red-haired Europa, with her sanctuary, Saint’s Isle, on the right had side, and the presence of a large whale’s tail on the left. The whale is key to her survival, but you’ll have to read the story to find out who he is. The first chapter was also updated, so you will note that the paperback holds a release date of 2-27-2016, while the eBook maintains the original 12-9-2013 date. They are both the same book. Due to the significant changes in Chapter One, the paperback required a new ISB Number and a new release date.

EUROPA Awakenings can be ordered through any bookstore or online on Amazon. For exciting news about the ocean, cetaceans or important environmental issues, you can follow my Facebook page Europa Awakenings, which is just shy of 1300 likes.

Check out her website here.

BOOK IX of the Europa Series has just been released. Check out this gorgeous cover and if you are as passionate about our oceans as Pam, I feel this series will speak to you too.

book 9b

  • To see all my Giveaways, go HERE.
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  • Leave your link in the comments and I will drop by to see what’s shakin’.
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