Tag Archives: sci-fi

RELEASE DAY! Running Out Of Lies by Abigail-Madison Chase

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Keep reading for details on how you can WIN a beautiful customized key chain or bookmark! And stay tuned for my upcoming review of Running Out Of Lies!

Running Out of Lies

No Alibi Series

Book One

Abigail Madison Chase

Genre: Suspense, Mystery, Sci-Fi, Thriller, Paranormalrunningoutofliescover

Publisher: BookBaby

Date of Publication: July 1, 2014

ISBN: 9781630416973

ASIN:

Number of pages:26

Word Count: 8,000 words

Cover Artist: Alchemy Bookcover & Design

Book Description:

Dr. Erik Plez is a former Marine Officer who puts his skills as an investigator to use as he tries to solve the biggest mystery of his life….

Who is Erik Plez?……A sketchy past, with no memories of his childhood, at sixteen he was recruited for a secret team of Young Marines.

Now he’s on the run, running out of lies, making it hard for him to think of an alibi.

Excerpt:

He was tired. This was the first time he’d been able to lie down in forty-eight hours. Of course it was a morgue but, that did not matter. His body needed the rest. The steel slab he rested upon was cold. Wait…. He could still feel…  Didn’t that mean he was still alive? The men who had found him said he had no heartbeat or pulse. They’d called the sheriff and he’d been brought to the morgue for an autopsy on Monday.

He tried to move his left hand to see his watch. It wouldn’t move. He tried to open his eyes. Nothing. He shook his head. His head still moved?  Maybe he was in a state of limbo and not truly dead, yet not truly alive. He sniffed the air. It was pure oxygen. He breath in deeply again. His hand moved. He took several more deep breaths. The slab beneath him was getting even colder. The oxygen. It was bringing him back to life.  Slowly he began to focus on breathing. His life was attached to the air.

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Abigail Chase swag

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About the Author:

chaseauthorSo, you wanna know more about Abigail-Madison Chase? Interesting… I am not really that intricate. I am simple twenty… something.. well, actually forty something neurotic mom of two who has been writing since the Mrs. Turner’s 4th grade English Language Arts class where she won FIRST prize in the Creative Writing Fair. My educational background is superb. I hold a B.F.A. and M.F.A in English and Literature from an awesome university.

I am highly trained professional at least in my mind. I believe myself to be Jane Bond Super Heroine who just happens to take time out to write some books for pleasure.

My house sits in the beautiful mountains of Western United States where I am continuously dreaming of other worlds.  My family and my writing exist in my world of make believe harmony. Each one is fighting for their right to become a character that I won’t kill off. Sarcasm, quick wit and lots of laughs is what one will locate in Abigail’s Wonderful World… a place where moments of peace and harmony descend upon me and my two children… Sit back and enjoy as I share my world.

http://janitorsclosetwestend.blogspot.com/

https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/8203404.Abigail_Madison_Chase

https://www.facebook.com/pages/Abigail-Madison-Chase/1422299541365282

http://www.abigailmadisonchase.com/

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Jpv90PvX7ic

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REVIEW: Pangaea – A Rollicking Sci-Fi Adventure

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REVIEW:

Pangaea coverPangeaea: Eden’s Planet by Tom Johnson offers something for everyone: a fresh take on a familiar Sci-fi theme which should thrill Sci-Fi and Fantasy buffs; romantic elements with “swoon” factor for romance addicts; non-stop adventure for adrenaline junkies; survivalist theme for preppers; and a shorter length (50k) for those readers who have limited time to devote to reading but still want the punch of a longer story.

Have you bought this book yet? You should.

Pangaea is the tale of an ill-fated NASA crew on their way to Mars by way of the Twilight Zone. (Sorry, had to throw that in!) The crew soon finds themselves on a prehistoric planet with danger and threats around every tree, boulder and hill and valley. Our adventurers encounter monstrous creatures so realistic you might find yourself looking over your shoulder as well as some pretty scary humanoids. The characters are fun, quirky and well developed. But don’t get complacent. Pangaea is also about surviving insurmountable odds with limited resources. People get killed.

I don’t want to give away the ending which was a surprise for me . . . and I’m not slow to catch on . . . so go buy the book. You’ll be glad you did!

 

Pangaea: Eden’s Planet
Tom Johnson  


Genre: Science Fiction/Survival

 
Publisher: First Realm Publishing
Date of Publication: June 18, 2014
 
ISBN -13: 978-1497340749
ISBN-10: 1497340748
ASIN:
 
Number of pages: 100
Word Count: 50,000
 
Cover Artist: Jared from Off the Wall Creations
 
Book Description:

Seven astronauts en route to Mars encounter a time warp in space that disables their ship. Crash landing on Earth, they discover an alien planet sixty million years before the dinosaurs.

Pangaea, the super continent, is filled with danger and terror, as they must survive against fierce reptiles that ruled the Earth 250 million years in the past!

Excerpt:

“Damn!” he let out a whoop, “My foot’s caught in something. Someone shine their light down here!”

When two flashlight beams were aimed at his feet, three voices sounded as one:

“Oh, hell, what is that thing?”

The twin beams illuminated not only the major’s trapped foot, but also the thing that had hold of it. Cooper had stepped into something like a giant circular pit with gentle sloping sides that culminated in a center at the bottom, like a whirlpool in sand. A long, dark vine had wrapped around his ankle. Only the thing wasn’t a vine, it was some kind of slender arm with thick scales, and steel-like strength. And the arm was slowly, but steadily pulling him towards the creature waiting at the bottom!

Like the head of an octopus, there was a bulbous cranium sticking out of the sand at the bottom of the pit. The skull-like thing was covered with a thick layer of scales like those of a reptile, but that’s where the resemblance ended. There were no eyes visible, only a round mouth, with many sharp, pointed teeth. The long, powerful, scaly arm was pulling Cooper towards that gaping mouth!

Pulling the automatic pistol from its holster, the major fired point blank at that bulbous head, until the clip emptied. He was aware of Colonel Peterson firing her pistol at the same time, and heard its audible click as well. Their pistols were useless now. In an act of blind rage, he threw the empty automatic at the head of the ugly monster, and was satisfied to see it strike the creature in the mouth. It must have injured one of the teeth, for the creature shook for a second. But the awful arm continued to pull him ever closer to the wide opening and horrible death.

He was only a yard from the monster when he suddenly yelled, “The spear. Throw me the spear, quickly!”

Colonel Peterson was nearest to the spear, and she grabbed it up and jumped into the pit, as if intent on rushing the creature herself. But Major Cooper grabbed the long, metal weapon from her hand and pushed her out of harm’s way, as he brought the weapon high above his head just as he came within reach of those deadly teeth.

About the Author:

Tom's Back Cover PictureAs a twenty-year military veteran, I served on the Korean DMZ under fire, as well as in Vietnam. I have a law enforcement background. My studies of paleontology and entomology have been an influence in many of my novels.

My wife and I started the publishing imprint of FADING SHADOWS in 1982, and published a hobby magazine and several genre magazines for 22 years, before I settled into writing my own novels.

I have now been published in over 80 books, which include fiction novels and short stories, as well as nonfiction books. I write SF, YA, Western, and Action novels.

Website http://www15.brinkster.com/jur1/index.html

Pulp Den http://pulplair.blogspot.com

Jur Novels  http://jurnovels.blogspot.com

RELEASE DAY: Brass Stars by A.G. Carpenter

Brass Stars

A.G. Carpenter

BS_web(main)Genre:  SF Western

Publisher:  Eggplant Literary Productions, Inc.

Date of Publication:  11/18/2013

ISBN: 978-1-932207-49-1(Nook),

ISBN: 978-1-932207-50-7 (Kindle)

Word Count: 21,000

Cover Artist: Paul Alexandrescu

 

Book Description:

Tashndelu Sand has wandered the known universe on a mission of vengeance.  She’s spent years tracking down the gang who murdered her mother.  And, with the help of Snyder—a psychotic cyber-horse with an agenda of his own—she’s killed all but one: Brannigan.

Now she’s come to Paradise, a lonely town on a desert planet.  Here, Brannigan rules with a new gang.  Here, the graveyard is filled with the corpses of gunslingers who have tried, and failed, to kill him.

Get in, kill Brannigan, and get out.  That’s the plan.  And Tashn is determined to finish what she started.  She’ll not be stopped: not by Brannigan’s army; not by her feelings for Johnny, an Extra sapien like her; not even by the darkness she sees in herself.

Excerpt:

I stand up, sway for a moment and catch my shoulder hard against the post. “Ungh. Damn.”

Jackson is on his feet in a heartbeat, slipping his arms around my waist. “Easy.”

My cheeks are hot. At least it’s dark and maybe he won’t notice. “I’m all right.”

“You’re certain?”

“Just tired.” I try to shrug away from his hands. “It’s been a long day.”

“Yes.” A pause. “Tashn…” He leans in and kisses me.

Warm as a spring afternoon. Intense as a lightning strike. His arms holding me hard and close. Pushing me back toward the house.

It’s nice. Enjoyable, even. And also terrifying. There is no spark like there is with Johnny, no rush of blood in thighs and breasts.

This is energy of a different kind. I take a breath, trying to find something to say. “What the hell, Jackson.” I thump his shoulder with my fist. “You think I’m easy?”

“No.” His eyes are dark, serious. He pulls me in a second time, slower, but no less intense. My chest aches with it.

“Stop.” My hands are knotted in the front of his shirt, caught somewhere between pulling him close and shoving him away. “Let go of me.”

He takes a half-step back, leaning against the other side of the doorframe. Only inches separate us, but it hurts like a bruise.

I press both hands against my chest, panting for breath. This isn’t lust, and I’ll be damned if I think it’s love. But I know this pain. The grief of separation, no matter how slight. The echo of connection, no matter how permanent the distance.

I felt this way when they put Mother under the sand.

I felt this way the day I left my father’s village.

“Damn you, Jackson.” I can barely whisper around the weight over my heart.

He cups my face between his hands. “Come inside, Tashn.”

“I can’t.”

“John won’t keep you safe like I will.”

“Like you will. A gunner with no gun.” I grin, bitter. “I think I’ll take my chances with the one-eyed Extra.”

He tips his head as though he will kiss me again, but this time I lean away from him.

Read another excerpt here: http://eggplantproductions.com/excerpt-brass-stars-g-carpenter/

About the Author:

A.G. Carpenter writes fiction of (and for) all sorts. She studied film-making in college, but quickly discovered that pen and paper are a less costly medium. She likes: movies where things explode, rainy days, strong tea with lots of milk and sugar. Her favorite color is black.

She lives in the South-eastern United States with her husband, their lively son and a herd of cats.

Twitter: @Aggy_C

Blog: agcarpenter.blogspot.com

Goodreads: A.G. Carpenter

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Bonus Material for Release Day Blitz:

What Happened to Earth? – Theories abound about the reported “loss” of Homo Sapien’s planet of origin, but they boil down to three main ideas.

The most commonly accepted is The Navigational Miscalculation Theory. It claims there was an error in the navigational calculations much like the Mars Surveyor loss of 1998 AD. By the time the error was detected and rectified, the coordinates of origin had been so corrupted it was impossible to relocate Earth. (This would also explain the dozens of transports that missed their target worlds on this end.) The specifics of the type of miscalculation and the degree of error are the subject of heated debate especially at a university level.

The second major theory is the Deliberate Data Corruption Theory. Proponents hold that the navigational charts and data were deliberately corrupted in order to keep Homo Sapien from returning to a homeworld that was already damaged beyond the ability to support large quantities of life. “Nostalgia,” one scientist was reported as saying, “can be more powerful than self-preservation.”

The third theory is The Rich Bastards Theory. In this theory the wealthy decided to keep Earth for themselves and paid to have the origin coordinates destroyed or corrupted. The biggest flaw in this particular idea is the continuing presence of rich bastards in the colonies.

Leeland Snyder’s Last Words

A tall man with thin hands and dark hair takes a seat opposite the recorder and smooths a piece of paper on the table in front of him. He clears his throat.

I, Leeland Snyder, now record my final words.

A pause, while he studies the paper.

My final words in this material form. If there is justice in the world, my brain will survive the planned surgery and I will be given a second-chance at life. A chance to prove that I am innocent of the crimes of which I have been accused.

He combs his hair behind his ears.

I know that many of you feel I am an evil man, guilty of the murders of seventeen women and one child, but I can only remind you that sixteen of them were my wives. I am as heartbroken as the rest of their families over their brutal loss. I can only hope that the true killer will eventually be brought to justice.

An unsettling smile turns his mouth up at the corners.

In the matter of Abigail McKinley and her half-breed daughter, I had no role in their deaths. Though I was witness to the real criminals who took that mother and child too soon. I leave it to you to draw the natural conclusion that my subsequent trial and conviction is merely the attempt to bury the truth that I am capable of revealing.

He folds up the paper and tucks it into his pocket.

For the others, my dear and departed wives, I can only mourn. And I pray that those powers that be will allow me to continue my existence in some form ’til I may bring the truth about their deaths to light. Well. All except for Martha Clemmings. That bitch had it coming.

– End of Recording –

Author Interview: Nick Kelly & CONTEST!!!

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CONTEST: 

 Tour wide giveaway includes: 

10 ebook copies open internationally

 5 physical copies open to US Shipping

 ENTER by clicking this link: 

http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/ba112f367/

**************************************************************************************

INTERVIEW with author Nick Kelly:

Sometimes I meet talent and think, “Wow! This person has their s**t together. Look at everything they’ve accomplished.” And then they amaze me even more by adding to their growing list of achievements.

Nick Kelly is such a person.

I could say “author” Nick Kelly, since I’m focusing on his recently released novel, Catwalk: Messiah but that hardly covers the extent of this man’s ability.

Nick, your bio on the Horrorview.com website describes you as a musician and writer. Digging a little deeper, I discovered you are also a lifestyle coach/trainer and public speaker. How do you manage to juggle all your many hats? And what drives you to keep multi-tasking?

Thanks, Deb. I appreciate the kind words. I think everything I do is born from music. My love of the stage, and telling stories, and making people laugh…all of it goes back to spending half my life on stage as a musician. I’ve expanded that to coaching and training people on everything from entrepreneurship to online safety. I simply find something that I find fascinating and share it with as many people who will listen!

Your tag at Horrorview is “Catwalk”. How did you come up with the name? Should I assume the lead character in your book, Leon “Catwalk” Caliber, exhibits some of your personality traits?

The Catwalk character existed long before I joined the staff at Horrorview.com. I became the indie film (and book) guy over the last few years, so I get to view and read the works of many unknown authors and filmmakers. It’s a great gig.  Cat and I share a number of personality traits, though I’ve never been a hitman. We share a love of motorcycles and driving fast, loud music, cutting edge technology, and the Pandora’s box that is human potential. I think he’s some of my traits to the absolute extreme.

You’re published in comic books and other types of media. Why write a book? How does your approach to writing a book differ from a comic book?

I grew up on comics. Back in Philly, my grandfather (for whom I’m named) owned a trucking company and a recycling business. He would bring us tons of comics, including Star Wars, The Uncanny X-Men, and The Amazing Spider-Man, to name a few. Comics were a passion my whole life (and still are). Catwalk’s first appearance was in a comic titled Independent Voices 3 which launched on September 11, 2001. It failed miserably in the States, because it was a violent story made public at a time when we were all reeling from a violence we’ve never experienced before. The comic actually serves as a prequel to the book.

Writing a comic can be very different from writing a book. I find my process to writing a novel is very comic-like. I visualize everything. I storyboard. Even writing books, I still write as if the ultimate product will be a comic or a movie.

Catwalk: Messiah has been described by reviewers as dark, futuristic, sci-fi, dystopian, steampunk . . . even detective noir. How much research was involved in world building, and what made you decide on a cybernetically enhanced main character for your post-apocalyptic tale?

I think the universe introduced in the Catwalk stories is a distinct, if pessimistic, possibility. Think about everything we do with our smart phones – which are so much more than phones, let’s face it. Technology advancements in the next decade are bound to lead to expanded nanotechnology and potentially cybernetics, and that is an amazing thing. Think about how different life could be for a wounded veteran if the technology could replace a limb and give him back full use of an arm or a leg.

The Catwalk tone is all about telling the story set in that realm. He’s a super-charged private eye working in a realm where technology is not just acceptable, it’s stylish. Think Bionic Man meets Phillip Marlowe.

This is the first book in a series. How many installments do you envision? What can we expect from Book Two?

I actually wrote Book Two (“Catwalk: Lineage”) before Book One, but it wasn’t an acceptable origin story. It expanded the universe too much. So, I went back and wrote this one to introduce Cat to the world. I have the first four books basically finished up, with a skeleton in place for Book Five. Book Two is going to introduce some very fun new villains who I think fans will enjoy. One is based on my older brother. Is that dark and subliminal somehow? Is it wrong to put your anti-hero against a crime lord you based on your brother? I’ll let the readers comment on that.

You are currently co-authoring the Urban Samurai series with wife, Stacia, as “NS Kelly”. How does that work – two authors living under the same roof and contributing to the same project? How do you resolve creative differences?

Stacia has her own series, The Goddess Chronicles, beginning with “Phyxe: Goddess of Fire.” Her series are more fantasy and romance. With the Samurai series, starting with “Ichi”, we sort of meet in the middle. Her lead character is a 1,000 year old samurai, and my character is a homicide cop who needs to see everything in black and white, who believes nothing supernatural until he gets attacked by a demon.

Writing together has been a really fun experience. We approach the writing process very differently, but we challenge one another well, and the criticism is always constructive. We’ve worked together at a number of different jobs, so we know how to get along in a professional environment. Plus, the plotting sessions in the hot tub are a nice plus.

(Stacia and I actually joined fellow authors Phillipa Ballentine and Tee Morris to discuss this topic. Check out the podcast: http://www.theshareddesk.com/2013/07/23/episode-24-collaborating-couples-wbtr/)

And now, what can you tell us about “coaching those new to the entrepreneur’s lifestyle?” How did coaching and speaking evolve from the many facets of your world? Also, please feel free to include websites, contact information, etc for any readers who wish to learn more about your services.

Most of us have been educated on what it takes to be a great employee, but not to be a successful business owner. Stacia and I not only write together, but we also are business partners in a health and wellness business. She is a holistic health coach with a Ph.D. I jumped on board when our product line added a healthy, all natural energy drink (see: exhibit A. “musician”).  As we’ve grown our business, I’ve embraced training folks on what it takes to build a business, gain self-confidence, and help build their brand.  I’m scheduled to speak for a “Steps to Success” event on September 28th in Fredericksburg, VA. Anyone can attend and simply reach out to me for an invite. I’m happy to do virtual one-on-one coaching also via Skype (Nicholas.a.kelly). My site is www.nickkelly.com, I’m @Nick_Kelly on twitter, and I’m on Facebook as facebook.com/NickKellyAuthor. I love meeting new friends in the virtual world, so please don’t hesitate to hit me up!

Thank you, Nick, for joining me today. It’s been such a pleasure!

NOTE TO READERS:  I’ve included a Spotlight on Catwalk:Messiah following this interview. Also, Horror fans will enjoy the musings from this witty, talented and profound man at http://www.horrorview.com/. I encourage you to check it out!

 

Catwalk_messiah_coverart_AmazonCatwalk: Messiah
Leon “Catwalk” Caliber Series

Book One
Nick Kelly

Genre: Sci-Fi

ISBN: 978-0-9852837-5-9 

Number of pages: 249

Word Count: 70,266 

Cover Artist: Heidi Sutherlin 

Amazon

 

Book Description:

Nitro City, 2033.

Leon “Catwalk” Caliber left his cop job in DC behind, heading to the City of Angels to earn a living off the grid. He took a few odd jobs that called for his particular skill set – extortion, espionage, and the occasional hit – and managed to carve out a niche for himself among the Downtown dwellers.

All the changed when a new breed of MetaHuman cyborg appeared on the streets with explosive violence. Cat’s quiet existence is sent into turmoil when he finds himself right in the crosshairs. He must evade the assassin squads sent by a vengeful pimp, uncover the origin of these mysterious new mechs, and keep the cops off of his tail. Simple enough, except that the cybernetic technology that powers his body threatens to sever his humanity at any moment. Can the killer with a conscience find a cure, solve the case, get the girl, and live to see another day?

Short Excerpt:

“Okay, Sweetie, open your eyes.”

Leon “Catwalk” Caliber takes a long drag off of his cigarette. The voice on the vidscreen triggers the same sick taste in his throat as the first time he pressed the play button. The series of events on-screen remains the same: the awkward smile of the girl in the frame, the sweet and self-absorbed tone with which the man just off-camera delivers his dialogue, the slight, excited shaking of the camera as she looks up at him. Once again he asks the young girl which hand holds the coin, even though only his left hand is extended. She’s nervous. Her shoulders are pulled up, and her arms are tight to her body. She shifts to accommodate the tight fit of her school uniform. She blushes, the ghost of Shirley Temple, complete with pigtails and storybook innocence. She giggles and touches the back of the man’s gloved hand with a finger. She’s correct.

It’s the right hand that wields the bone saw.

Catwalk stops the recording. The glass next to him is empty, the bottle of bourbon almost the same. The dull glow of the paused recording is the only light in the loft, save a few blinking sensors from the bay that hosts his motorcycle and gear. He stares mutely at the image on the screen. He already has the rest of it memorized. The girl survives for another two minutes and 17 seconds. She doesn’t suffer long. Thank whatever God she believes in that she doesn’t feel what happens next. This killer doesn’t keep his victims alive along. He saves the mutilation and sex acts until after they’re dead. He doesn’t get off on torture, just the rush of ending a life … even that of an eight-year-old girl.

Cat takes a hold of his whiskey tumbler, mindlessly raising it to his lips. The lack of liquid distracts him from the screen. The video was an unexpected test. Someone hoping to remain anonymous had paid a deposit for his services. The instructions were simple. Watch the video. Find the killer. Get vengeance for the victims. Get proof. Get paid.

His yellow eyes return to the screen. His lips curl into a sneer. After watching the recording once, he was willing to do the job for free. That feeling amplified each time he watched the girl die. Cat chuckles out loud. He’s curious at his reaction. This chit never bothered him before. Why now? Why her?

He stands and walks away from the screen. He needs a break. He stands and stretches. The muscles along his arms and sides are sore. His legs and spine don’t protest. They’re hard-wired into his nervous system. Thanks to modern cybernetic technology, he can leap from the sidewalk to the top of an apartment complex, and outrun most of the commercial vehicles on the market.

The benefits aren’t without a curse. His immune system has never quite solved the riddle of his experimental cybernetics. Treatment is painful and expensive. He could use the money this job would bring in.

Catwalk stands in front of one of the windows, listening to the endless clamor of sirens, screams and gunfire in the distance. He’s chosen a nasty part of Downtown. It’s dangerous, but it’s very private. As a professional hitman, that’s worth the risk.

Running his hands through his jet black hair, he ties it into its customary ponytail. He looks over his shoulder at the custom-crafted, armored helmet resting on the counter. The triangular yellow cat’s eyes stare back at him. Cursing under his breath, Cat walks toward the helmet and the armored motorcycle behind it with cold intent.

There’s work to be done.

About the Author:

Nick KellyNick grew up on sci-fi, horror flicks, Dungeons and Dragons, good music, and recycled comic books. He has been published internationally as a comic book author and musician. He’s spent over half his life on stage from New York to Las Vegas. He is outspoken, supportive, and willing to take a good kick to the ribs for the right cause. When not touring the world, Nick lives at home with his blushing bride (and co-author), Dr. Stacia Kelly, their son, and a rotating roster of cats and dogs.

www.nickkelly.com

www.facebook.com/NickKellyAuthor

twitter @Nick_Kelly

Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/-/e/B00BQD7J2W

Sci Fi Fans: Double Helix series

DoubleHelixCovers

Bewitching B&W

Check out this great series of Dystopian Sci-Fi by Jade Kerrion. The first book, PERFECTION UNLEASHED, is offered at .99 cents for the duration of the book tour. Read the excerpt below.

Perfection Unleashed
Genre: Science fiction (Dystopian)

ISBN: Perfection Unleashed 1469980355

ASIN: Perfection Unleashed B008E98YFM

Number of pages: 212

Word Count: 87,000 words

Cover Artist: Jason Alexander

Two men, one face. One man seeks to embrace destiny, the other to escape it.

Danyael Sabre spent sixteen years clawing out of the ruins of his childhood and finally has everything he wanted–a career, a home, and a trusted friend. To hold on to them, he keeps his head down and plays by the rules. An alpha empath, he is powerful in a world transformed by the Genetic Revolution, yet his experience has taught him to avoid attention.

When the perfect human being, Galahad, escapes from Pioneer Laboratories, the illusory peace between humans and their derivatives–the in vitros, clones, and mutants–collapses into social upheaval. The abominations, deformed and distorted mirrors of humanity, created unintentionally in Pioneer Lab’s search for perfection, descend upon Washington, D.C. The first era of the Genetic Revolution was peaceful. The second is headed for open war.

Although the genetic future of the human race pivots on Galahad, Danyael does not feel compelled to get involved and risk his cover of anonymity, until he finds out that the perfect human being looks just like him.

Kindle  Print

Perfect Betrayal
Don’t fear the army of genetically engineered perfect killers. Fear the cripple who leads them.

An alpha empath, Danyael Sabre is powerful, rare, and coveted, even among the alpha mutants who dominate the Genetic Revolution. Betrayed by his friends and abandoned to a life sentence in a maximum-security prison, Danyael receives freedom and sanctuary from an unlikely quarter—the Mutant Assault Group, an elite mutant task force within the US military. Physically crippled and emotionally vulnerable, Danyael succumbs to the warmth of friendships and the promise of love he finds within their ranks.

Friendship and love, however, demand his loyalty, and Danyael rises to the challenge of training and leading the assault group’s genetically modified super soldier army. The super soldiers are faster and stronger than the military’s human soldiers; their animal instincts spur ferocity and fearlessness in battle. But who is the perfect weapon—the super soldiers or Danyael, the alpha empath, who can, with a touch, heal or kill?

Adversaries swarm, like vultures around carrion; the pawn is once again in play. The threads of betrayal that sent Danyael to prison spin into a web, ensnaring him. When a terrorist group strikes Washington, D.C., how far will Danyael go to defend a government that sent him to prison to die?

PERFECT BETRAYAL is the second novel in the award-winning Double Helix series.

Perfect Weapon
You can defeat your enemies, but can you defeat your friends?

Danyael Sabre, an object of desire, would much rather not be. An alpha empath by birth, a doctor by training, and an empathic healer by calling, he is stalked by the military that covets his ability to kill, not heal. He finds himself on the run under the protection of an assassin, Zara Itani.

Bereft of two days of memories, the more he uncovers of his lost hours, the more he doubts everything that once anchored him. He knows only that he endangers those around him and that he is falling in love with Zara, who hates him for reasons he no longer remembers.

As forces—both powerful and ruthless—threaten those he cares for, Danyael has only two options. He can betray his values and abandon the path of the healer, or he can wait to be betrayed, not by enemies, but by his friends.

PERFECT WEAPON is the third novel in the award-winning Double Helix series.

Except from PERFECTION UNLEASHED

On another Friday night, she might have been out at a Georgetown bar, accepting drinks from attractive men and allowing them to delude themselves into imagining that they might be the lucky one to take her home.

Tonight, she had work to do.

The hem of the white lab coat brushed about her legs as she strode toward the double doors that barred entry to the western wing. No one paid her any attention. Scientists and lab technicians scurried past her, nodding at her with absent-minded politeness. On Friday evening, with the weekend beckoning, no one thought about security.

Where men faltered, technology kept going.

The corridor seemed endlessly long, and the security cameras that pivoted on their ceiling-mounted frames bore into her back. She knew that her image likely featured on one or more of the many monitors at the security desk, but a combination of training and nerves of steel steadied her. She resisted the urge to twitch or to hurry her pace.

Each step brought her closer to an ominously glowing red eye on the security panel beside the door. Undeterred, she waved her badge over the panel. Moments later, the security panel flashed to green and a heavy lock slid back. Another small triumph. It usually took a series of them to make a victory.

She lowered her head, ostensibly to look down at the tablet in her hand. Her long, dark hair fell forward, concealing the lower half of her face from the security camera as she walked through the open door. “Entering the western wing,” she murmured, trusting the concealed microphone to pick up on her whisper.

“Good luck,” Carlos’s voice responded through the tiny earpiece inserted in her right ear. “All’s clear out here.”

“I’m really glad the security pass I programmed for you actually worked,” Xin added, a whimsical tone in her voice.

Zara was glad, too. She had a solid plan. Two of her finest associates backed her up—Carlos Sanchez waiting in the car concealed off road outside Pioneer Labs, and Mu Xin poised in front of a computer in her Alexandria home—but she could come up with a list of a half-dozen things that could still go wrong.

“I’ve finished checking the employee log against the National Mutant Registry,” Xin continued. “You’ve lucked out, Zara. Apparently Pioneer Labs isn’t big into hiring mutants. You won’t have to contend with any telepaths or telekinetics tonight.”

Good. That was one thing she could strike off her list.

Another long hallway stretched in front of her, but the glass-enclosed research station on the left drew her attention. Two lab technicians huddled around a network of computers, their attention focused on the output pouring from the whirling terminals. Her gaze drifted over the lab technicians and focused on Roland Rakehell and Michael Cochran, the famous co-creators of “Galahad”, the perfect human. The two scientists stood in contemplative discussion in front of a liquid-filled fiberglass chamber.

The man floating within the sensory deprivation tank, his head encased in a metallic hood and his face covered by breathing apparatus, writhed in agony. Wires monitoring heart rate and brain waves trailed from his naked body. Jagged edges leaped hysterically off the computer readouts as mind and body convulsed, shuddering with madness and pain.

One of the lab technicians spoke up, “Professor, his brain waves indicate that he is waking.”

Roland Rakehell glanced at his watch. “Right on time,” he noted, his voice tinged with disappointment. “I guess the miracles can’t come thick and fast every single day.”

“We made him human, not superhuman,” Michael Cochran said. “Besides, we don’t really have time to record a miracle today.” He glanced at the two technicians. “Roland and I are meeting investors for dinner, and we have to leave now. Take Galahad back to his room. Make sure he gets something to eat.”

Silently she pushed away from the viewing area and continued down the corridor. Her violet eyes betrayed the faintest flicker of confusion and consternation.

Galahad.

She would never have imagined it, but apparently the scientists had no qualms treating their prized creation like a common lab animal.

“Xin?” she murmured quietly.

“Right here,” was the immediate response.

“Approaching the suite.”

“I’m one step ahead of you,” Xin said. “I’ve gotten through the security system and rerouted all the cameras in the suite to a static video feed. You’re clear to enter.”

The second door opened into a large suite pressed up against the western wall of the laboratory complex. No gentle ambient lighting there, just harsh pools of unforgiving white light blazing over the bed and table, leaving the rest of the large suite in muted shadows.

Was it through deliberate design or neglectful oversight that no attempt had been made to humanize Galahad’s living quarters? Empty shelves lined the wall. The small metal table and matching chair were severe, the narrow bed unwelcoming. She had seen third-world hospital wards offer far more comfort to its occupants.

Footsteps echoed, drawing closer, and then paused outside the door. There was no time to waste. She strode across the room, slipping into the shadows that obscured the far side of the suite moments before the door slid open again.

The two technicians she had seen earlier half-dragged, half-carried Galahad into the room. It staggered with exhaustion, trying to stand on its own. The technicians hauled Galahad up and dumped it unceremoniously in a wet, shivering heap on the bed.

One of the technicians cast a backward glance at the unmoving figure on the bed. “Pete, are you sure he’s going to be okay?” he asked the other.

“Eventually. It usually takes him a while to recover,” Pete assured the younger man. He pulled out two sealed nutrient bars from his pocket and tossed them onto the table. “Let’s go.”

“I think we should at least get him a towel or put him under the sheets.”

Pete snapped. “How many times do I have to say it? Let him be, Jack. He doesn’t want to be helped, though God knows I’ve tried often enough. He wants to be able to do things for himself, at least here, in this room. It’s the only dignity he has left; let’s leave that to him.”

“It was bad today.”

The older man inhaled deeply, sparing a quick glance back. Galahad trembled so hard it seemed as if it would shatter. It curled into a fetal ball, perhaps to protect itself from further violation. “I know. And the best thing we can do for him right now is leave him alone,” Pete said as he stepped out of the room and allowed the door to seal shut behind them.

The impact was thunderous—not audibly—but she felt it nonetheless. It was the sealing of a prison cell.

Zara had wondered what kind of luxuries and privileges the incomparable Galahad—the pinnacle of genetic perfection—enjoyed. Now she knew the answer.

She watched in silence as Galahad stirred, slowly standing and leaning on the wall for support as it staggered toward the bathroom. She had yet to get a good look at its face, but the blazing light did not leave much of its body to imagination. It was slender but well muscled, powerful and graceful, in spite of its obvious exhaustion—the promise of perfection come into fruition.

She waited through the sound of running water. Patience had never been easy for her, but she possessed the instincts of a hunter closing in on its quarry. Her patience was rewarded when it finally returned to the room, dressed simply in loose-fitting white cotton drawstring pants and a tunic of the same material. As it stepped into the blazing circle of light, her eyes narrowed briefly, and then a faint smile of easy appreciation curved her lips.

She had studied the surveillance video feed Xin had hacked from the central computers of Pioneer Labs the day before, but the wide-angle lenses had not captured anything approximating the full impact of Galahad’s beauty. Its rare and lovely color—pale blond hair paired with dark eyes—stood out and attracted immediate attention, but the longer she looked, the more beauty she saw in its exquisitely chiseled features, as flawless as a Michelangelo masterpiece. Galahad was stunningly beautiful—would be stunningly beautiful, whatever the color of its hair or eyes. The scientists had certainly done well; more than well.

Galahad made its way over to a rattan chair, moving with greater ease. It was regaining its strength, though she did not think that it was anywhere near optimal form, not when it had almost collapsed with exhaustion on the way to the bathroom ten minutes earlier. It curled up in the chair and closed its eyes, looking oddly content, despite the fact that it did not fit very well into the chair. Within a minute, she realized from the even rise and fall of its chest with every breath, that it had fallen asleep.

It was time to get to work.

Galahad did not stir as she silently crossed the room. A*STAR had demanded fresh DNA samples obtained as directly from the source as possible. Hair or skin samples would be acceptable, and both were typically abundant in a bathroom. She pulled test tube and tweezers from the pocket of her lab coat and knelt to examine the bathroom counter.

Something flickered in the corner of her vision.

Instinct and trained reflexes took over. In a flash, her dagger was in her hand. She spun, the black serrated blade slicing outward.

Galahad reacted with uncanny speed. It dove to the side, dropping into a roll and coming up in a battle crouch. Her dagger slashed through the air where Galahad had been standing a moment before. Galahad’s dark eyes narrowed as it assessed her. Its body shifted into motion, preparing to defend itself.

She too reassessed, readjusted. Her attack should not have missed. Galahad’s battle instincts had been trained and polished to perfection. Apparently it was more than a common lab animal.

Her dagger lashed out once again in a graceful, snake-like motion, and Galahad evaded by dodging to one side. The blade sliced harmlessly through the air so close to Galahad that it must have felt the chill breath of the dagger’s passing against its skin.

Galahad’s silent and sinuously graceful movements were driven by so much speed and agility that strength—although abundant—was superfluous. It matched her, step for step, dodging each attack with a grace that made their deadly waltz seem choreographed. There was no doubt that Galahad was good, far better than anyone she had ever contended with. In spite of its obvious fatigue after a long and difficult day, Galahad possessed flawless timing and impeccable spatial precision, allowing it to escape injury by fractions of a second and a hairsbreadth. It had nerves of steel. It taunted her with its proximity and tempted the kiss of her blade, never straying too far as it sought an opening.

She saw the dark eyes glitter dangerously and knew that something in it had shifted, had changed. She thrust her blade at its face.

In less than a heartbeat, it was over.

With a swiftness that left her stunned, Galahad twisted its hand to catch her wrist in an iron grip. It sidestepped, yanked her forward, and drove its knee into her thigh. Her leg weakened and collapsed. Its superior weight drove her to the ground and kept her there without any visible effort.

A perfectly sequenced attack, executed with flawless precision and stunning speed.

Gritting her teeth against the pain, she recognized the inevitable outcome as it eased the dagger from between her nerveless fingers. She cursed soundlessly. She had underestimated its skill, perhaps to her folly. It suddenly released her, pulled her to her feet, and then stepped away from her. Some emotion she could not decipher rippled over its flawless features, and to her amazement, it flipped the dagger over in its hand and held it out, hilt first, to her. “I don’t know why I’m fighting you. You came to kill me; I should thank you for your kindness.”

She reached out and accepted the dagger from Galahad as her mind raced to understand the incomprehensible. Galahad held her gaze only for a moment before it lowered its eyes and looked away. She saw its throat work as it fought an internal battle to suppress its survival instincts, and then it turned its back on her deliberately and walked out of the bathroom.

She could have struck the fatal blow. Galahad was offering her the chance. She could pull Galahad’s head back and apply the faintest pressure to the dagger’s blade across its jugular. She could extract the tissue sample she had been sent to collect, and then leave, her mission completed.

She could not bring herself to do it. Oddly enough, something in her wanted it—wanted him—to live.

“Zara?” she heard Xin’s voice softly inquiring in her ear, her tone concerned.

“I’m all right,” she murmured. “Give me a minute.” She paused by the bathroom door and watched him make his way toward the wide windows. He kept his back to her as he stared out at the manicured lawns around Pioneer Labs. Was he waiting for her to strike?

Well, she could play the waiting game too. She followed him and then turned, casually leaning against the window as she looked up at him, her gaze coolly challenging.

Several moments passed.

Finally he broke the silence. “Who sent you?” he asked quietly without looking at her.

She had expected the question, but not the calm, neutral tone in which it was asked. No anger. No hatred. No fear. Just a simple question, driven more by politeness than by any real need to know. “Does it matter?”

He inhaled deeply and released his breath in a soft sigh as she neatly evaded his inquiry. He tried another question. “Are you from around here?”

“Washington, D.C.”

“I’ve seen media clips of that city. It’s beautiful.”

She offered a nonchalant shrug as a response to his statement. “It’s pretty enough, I suppose. I take it you’ve never been there.”

“I don’t get out much, and the last time was a good while ago.” He shrugged, a graceful motion that belied the bitterness in his voice. “I’ve seen media clips endorsed by Purest Humanity and other pro-humanist groups. There is no place for me in your world.”

It was pointless to deny the obvious, but before she could open her mouth to toss out the retort on the edge of her tongue, an animal-like cry resonated through the complex. It was a ghastly sound, starting at a low pitch akin to the sound a lost puppy might make and then rising until it was a banshee’s scream. “What was that?”

“It’s an experiment in another part of the building.”

“It doesn’t sound like anything I recognize. What is it?”

He tossed her question back at her: “Does it matter?”

“Not if you don’t care.”

“It’s been going on for as long as I can remember.”

His matter-of-fact statement was like fuel to fire. Her eyes flashed. “And you feel nothing? No anger? No pity? You’re inhuman.”

“I thought you’d already decided that,” was his mild rejoinder. “Isn’t that why the pro-humanist groups want me killed?”

She hesitated. Somewhere along the way—she was not even sure when—she had stopped thinking of Galahad as an “it” and had started relating to it as a “he”. She had attributed to him all the responsibilities of being human, but none of its rights or privileges, in effect placing him in the worst possible no-win situation. She recalled his anguished convulsions in the sensory deprivation chamber. How much pity did she expect him to dredge up for another creature in a position no different from his own? Very little. In fact, none at all.

She closed her eyes and inhaled deeply. The anger subsided. “Do they conduct experiments on you too?” she asked softly.

He stiffened. Without meeting her gaze, he answered the question, choosing his words with care. “I…yes, they do, sometimes.”

“What did they do to you today?”

He averted his gaze and bit down hard on his lower lip. He shook his head, said nothing.

“You looked like hell when they brought you back. I want to know, please.”

He was silent for so long she thought he was never going to answer the question, but then he spoke in a measured, neutral tone. “They gave me a highly concentrated sleeping pill and then injected a hallucinogen, to induce nightmares. They wanted to see if I could overcome the effects of the sleeping pill to wake up.”

“Did you?’

Another long pause. His reply was a softly anguished whisper. “No.”

“How long did the experiment last?”

“About eight hours, perhaps nine.” He laughed, low and melodic, but it was a humorless sound. “I slept all day, and I’m exhausted.”

“Why do they do that?”

“It’s simple; because they can. Humans and their derivatives, the clones and in vitros, have rights. I’m considered non-human, in large part because of the successful lobbying of pro-humanist groups, and I don’t have rights.” Galahad released his breath in a soft sigh. Long eyelashes closed over dark, pain-filled orbs as he inhaled deeply. He opened his eyes and met her gaze directly, holding it for a long, silent moment. The corner of his lips tugged up again in a bittersweet half smile. “I’m tired. I need to lie down. You can do what you need to do whenever you want.”

“Wait!” She grabbed his arm as he turned away from her. “You want me to kill you?”

“Isn’t that what you came to do?”

“Do you actually want to die?”

He waved his hand to encompass the breadth and width of the impersonal and deliberately dehumanizing room. “I’m not sure this should count as living.”

“But you’re not human.”

“No,” he agreed, his voice even. “No, but I am alive…just like any other human. This isolation drives me crazy. I know this is not the way others live. This isn’t living.”

He looked away. His pain was real, his anger compelling. In spite of it, she had seen him smile a few times and wondered whether his twisted half-smile could ever be coaxed into becoming something more. In silence, she watched as he turned his back on her and walked to his rattan chair. He seemed tired, emotional weariness draining his physical strength. Slowly he settled into the chair, drawing his legs up and curling into a vaguely comfortable position. Apparently he had chosen to deliberately ignore her. He was tuning her out and was once again trying to find solace in the few things he had left, such as a worn chair and his own company, trying to get through each cheerless day and lonely night.

Outside, a rabbit, safe from predators in the falling dusk, emerged from its burrow and hopped across the small patch of grass in front of the large windows of the suite. Zara watched as a faint smile touched his face, briefly transforming it. His personality seemed wrapped around a core that was equal parts weary indifference and tightly controlled bitterness, but there was still enough left in him to savor the small crumbs that life saw fit to throw his way. If his quiet strength had amazed her, his enduring courage humbled her. As she watched him, she knew he had won the battle he had wanted, so badly, to lose. He had proved his right to live, even though there was no purpose in living in a place like this. He knew that fact intimately, and so did she.

Her eyes narrowed thoughtfully.

“Zara, we’ve got trouble.” Carlos’s voice cut through the silence of her thoughts, his habitual calmness edged with tension. “Lots of vehicles incoming. Purest Humanity logos. Could be a protest forming; they look seriously pissed.”

She took a few steps away from Galahad. Annoyance disguised flickers of anxiety in her voice. “They’re about two days too early. They’ve been gathering on Christmas Eve each year.”

“Well, looks like someone had a change of plans. I’m estimating about forty…fifty cars, at least twice as many people.”

“They won’t get through the gate,” Xin said. “It was designed to keep out APCs.”

“Uh…The gate just opened…Por dios…They’re driving in!”

“What?”

“No kidding, I swear to God.” The tension in Carlos’s voice escalated. “Someone must be screwing around with the security system.”

Zara suppressed a hiss of irritation. “Find that person, Xin, and disable his access. I don’t want to have to fight my way out of here.”

“I’m on it, but I can’t guarantee they won’t get to you. If they’re already through the gate, they’ll be pounding on the front door in seconds. You don’t have time; get moving. And Zara, if you don’t take Galahad with you, he’s as good as dead.”

Zara’s mind raced through the options available to her, the possibilities. She shrugged, dismissing the many logical reasons why she should not do what she was about to do, and took her first step down her path with a terse and coolly decisive order. “He’s coming with me. I’ll get us out of the building. Carlos, stand by for an extraction.”

“Copy that.”

She stepped toward Galahad. “You need to change into something else.” The thin cotton tunic and pants he wore would not provide sufficient protection from the chilly night air. Besides, his clothes looked like something issued to long-term residents of mental hospitals. Something with fewer negative institutional implications would work better at keeping him as inconspicuous as possible.

He blinked in surprise, her voice jerking him back to reality, and he looked up at her. “There is nothing else to wear,” he said. He released his breath in a soft sigh, his gaze drifting away from her to the rabbit outside the window.

Nothing else? A quick search of the suite confirmed his words. The only pieces of clothing in the suite’s large and mostly empty walk-in closet were several pieces of identical white cotton tunics and pants, a subtle but highly effective dehumanizing strategy. “We’re leaving anyway,” she told him as she returned into the living area of the suite. “Get up. We’re going.”

He stared at her in bewilderment. “Going?”

Zara exercised exquisite politeness and reminded herself to be patient with him. “I’m getting you out of here.”

A glimmer of understanding tinged with wary hope swirled through the confusion in his sin-black eyes, but he still did not move from the chair. “I thought you came to kill me.”

Not precisely, but perhaps it wasn’t a bad thing if he kept believing it, especially if it would make him more tractable. Things were complicated enough; an uncooperative captive would heighten the stakes and the danger of their situation. “I’ve changed my mind.”

“Changed your mind?”

“It’s a woman’s prerogative,” she told him, a wicked smile curving her lips. Her tone softened slightly. As huge as this step seemed for her, it must seem even larger for him. “I want to help you. Will you come with me?”

He met her gaze, held it for a long moment, and then finally smiled. “Yes.”

The simplicity of his answer staggered her, to say nothing of the heart-stopping power of his smile. It was a smile that could melt iron. “You trust me,” she said, “but you don’t even know my name.”

“It would be ungracious not to trust someone who has already passed up on several opportunities to kill me.” He uncurled from his chair and stood. His manners were at least as exquisite as his looks. He made no mention of the fact that he had beaten her in a fair fight and then refused to follow up on his advantage.

Maybe he considered it irrelevant. The important point was that she did not. The fight she had lost had, after all, been the critical turning point. She smiled up at him, suddenly realizing that his dark, fathomless eyes did not seem nearly as distant and empty as they had several minutes earlier. “I’m Zara Itani.”

He smiled faintly, the warmth from his smile briefly lighting up his eyes. “Zara, I’m Galahad.”

About the Author:

JadeKerrion

Jade Kerrion, author of the award-winning science-fiction/dystopian series, DOUBLE HELIX, first developed a loyal reader base with her fan fiction series based on the MMORPG Guild Wars. She was accused of keeping her readers up at night, distracting them from work, housework, homework, and (far worse), from actually playing Guild Wars. And then she wondered why just screw up the time management skills of gamers? Why not aspire to screw everyone else up too? So here she is, writing books that aspire to keep you from doing anything else useful with your time. She lives in Fort Lauderdale, Florida with her wonderfully supportive husband and her two young sons, Saint and Angel, (no, those aren’t their real names, but they are like saints and angels, except when they’re not.)

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