Saturday, March 28, 2015

'Married to the War' by Marica Love


Her journey, her love, her loyalty. A young Aussie meets the love of her life, a young Croatian man she connects with while she is on a holiday in the former Yugoslavia. A man she'd later become engaged to. Their love suffered its first hurdle when he went into the military while she returned to her homeland, only later on to not be denied when she goes to Croatia to be with him. But their greatest test was yet to come... war had come to the European region 1 year after she had arrived to be with her one true love. Can the bonds of love, and later family, survive the trials of inner-turmoil and spiritual struggle that only war can spawn? This is the story, of Marica Love.

Buy links

About the author:

Marica Love's passion for humanity, music, creativity, and living an abundant life is rivalled only by her love of children; motherhood is the root of her greatest successes. 

Born and raised in Australia, Marica is the eldest of four siblings. She moved to Europe at the age of eighteen and stayed until the end of the Croatian War of Independence in 1995. Marica's personal journey is candidly chronicled in her new book, Married to the War, the first in a series. 

Once hailed by a newspaper photographer as "Nice, friendly, flamboyant and savvy", Marica embraces those accolades and flourishes in every role she undertakes. She was the station manager, a member of the board of directors, on on-air presenter and program manager with WOWfm 100.7 for five years and was the producer of her television show 'Unsigned & Inspiring' on CH31 in Sydney. Music serves as an endless source of motivation and inspiration to her. As the owner of The Cake Pop Emporium Pty Ltd in 2013, she had the honour of serving political dignitaries, the Former Prime Minister Julia Gillard and MP David Bradbury in her store.

Marica is not influenced by other's opinions and expectations. When the calling came to start over in life again, she embraced the opportunity. She is guided from within and will continue to bring her ideas to life with the influence of God and her Angels. A strong will, tenacity and compassion are virtues which enabled her to begin again and she is thriving.

She currently lives in Sydney with her beloved pup, Ellie Mae. When not writing or furthering her skills, Marica enjoys hanging out with her adult children, traveling, the beach, cooking, movies and pampering sessions. 

While she continuously grows as an individual, passing on the gift of creativity and self-discovery is important to her.
Please visit her Facebook Fan Page - 'Marica Love' for news and updates.

'Family Secrets' by Donna M. Jadunajsky

Inspiration to my writing:

Besides the many authors I adore and love to read. My family and friends are my inspiration for writing. Though, there is a huge part of me that is my own inspiration. I push myself to try harder and to do better. That’s a part of writing; you keep writing every chance you can, and you’ll achieve those goals and be a great writer.

Women's Drama / Suspense / Mystery
Date Published
: December 2014

Alexis has had big dreams all her life, and she’s worked hard to make them happen! After college she married and had a beautiful baby boy, living her dream as “Mommy” until Colton was safely entrenched in grade school. She lands her dream job at NASA, and her supportive husband, Jay, takes the lead on raising their son. The perfect family, right?

Twelve years later with no warning and no reason, Jay commits suicide. Colton goes into denial and blames his mother; Alexis buries herself in her work.

Seven months later, Alexis’s biggest dream comes true. She’s going to be on the next space shuttle! Her victory is short-lived when she finds out she has breast cancer. As her health declines, Colton delves into the dangerous circumstances of his father’s death.

“Family Secrets” crept into Alexis’s life when she wasn’t paying attention. Will she and her son ever find out the truth? Or is it too late?

Read an excerpt:
Alexis drove out of the parking lot and headed towards the Martin Andersen Beachline Express. When she arrived at Cape Canaveral, she drove to Canaveral City Park. There she sat and stared at the Atlantis Space Shuttle in the far distance. Imagining the day she would climb inside one just like it and soar through the sky towards the unknown; to a whole new universe where she didn’t have to think about her life and everything that had gone wrong.

Now, it would take years before she received another chance. IF—and it was a very big “IF”—she ever received another chance. That is, IF she could beat breast cancer. This opportunity was something she wasn’t sure she could pass up. Her health was important to her, but so was her job, and if her boss found out, there would be no flying into outer space.

Reclining her seat back, she closed her eyes and rubbed her temples, trying to calm down enough to ease the tension headache. Her thoughts involuntarily went to her late husband, and she wished Jay could be with her. Jay would’ve known what to do. He could always comfort her in a way no man had ever done before or since. He was thoughtful and kind, always putting her needs above his own. God, how she wished he was here with her now!

There was never a day she didn’t think of him and miss him. She asked herself as she did all the time, “Why did he have to die?” Then, she wondered how she had been able to cope with his death. Of course, she had continued to mourn, but she really couldn’t remember how she’d got through the loss and pain of losing someone so close to her.

After the funeral seven months ago, she’d concentrated on raising their seventeen-year-old son, Colton, but she’d jumped straight back into her work. She wasn’t thankful Jay had died when he did. She’d been glad at the time that Colton was almost old enough to take care of himself, but she wasn’t sure if he grieved the way she did. So many nights of lying in bed crying herself to sleep; then one day she climbed out of bed and moved on with her life as if nothing had ever happened

Buy links

About Donna M. Zadunajsky

Donna M. Zadunajsky was born and raised in Bristolville, Ohio, and resides in Homer Glen, Illinois. She has written seven children’s books that are about her daughter and all the adventures she has done in her young life. They are currently on the Barnes and Noble website, at, and at Available in eBook and paperback.

She spends her time writing short stories as well as novels. She published her first novel ‘Broken Promises,’ in June 2012 and has currently finished her second novel ‘Not Forgotten.’ Besides writing, she enjoys spending time with her daughter and husband, their dog and two cats. She enjoys reading and working on crafts and scrapbooking. She graduated from The Institute of Children’s Literature in spring 2011.




Friday, March 27, 2015

A Day in Stephanie Erickson's Writing Life and excerpt from 'The Dead Room (Vol. 1)'

A Day in Your Writing Life

Well, my writing days are all different, as much as I like routine and structure. I have a toddler, and am a stay at home mom. My husband is a pilot so when he’s working, I’m on 24/7. I also have a part time job as a graphic designer, so my days are full, that’s for sure. But, they go something like this.

When I’m behind, I get up early and work before my daughter wakes up. Those are usually writing days. So I try to catch up on words I should’ve written the day before, or maybe get ahead if I have a busy day full of nap time meetings scheduled.

8 am to 1 pm is my daughter’s. There’s no work that happens during this time. None. We play, we go to music class, or the library, whatever. It’s about her.

1 pm to 3 pm is nap time, so it’s mine, all mine! Most days I have a short graphics meeting, then I can start writing. At this stage, I have two books that I’m juggling. So, at any given point, one is in the writing or outlining phase, and the other is in the editing phase.

For example, today I’m working on outlining The Dead World, and Unforgiven is with the editor. I want to start writing TDW this week! So, during naptime, I work on tweaking the outline, setting scenes in my mind, as well as learning about the characters and who they are.

Then 3 pm to 8 pm is back to my daughter. After her bedtime I work anywhere from 2 to 4 hours if I’m really behind. That doesn’t happen too often though. Some days I have a lot of administrative stuff to do, like writing guest posts (haha), keeping up with social media, responding to comments on the Web site, and stuff like that. Some days I can just write and those are my favorite! After all, that is why I got into this business.

On days when I can get into bed by 10, I like to read for a bit. Right now, I’m slowly working on Sea of Stars, by Amy Bartol and LOVING it! It’s totally amazing.

So, it doesn’t sound like much, but that’s my day. Somehow, it adds up to 4 books so far, with three more planned this year! And I love it!

Post Apocalyptic 
Date Published: March 11, 2015

322 years after the apocalypse, the world has changed, but her people have not. Secrets, lies, and manipulations endure among a small group of survivors taking refuge on an island in the Northern Pacific.

No one knows what claimed so many lives over three centuries ago, and no one asks, except Ashley Wortham. She can feel the secrets all around her, begging to be uncovered.

But the nine elders who govern the island guard their secrets jealously. They believe the islanders know what they need to, and they hide their secrets behind a ruse of peace. But when Ashley, and her best friend Mason, go down the rabbit hole, no one is prepared for truths they uncover. What will they do when they discover the downfall of humanity lies within their own island, deep inside the dead room?

Read an excerpt:

The body lay on a two-piece metal pyre in the center of the clearing.
Nothing more than the skeleton of a table, the pyre was simply used for the display and transport of the bodies. Burning the dead was a custom from the time before.

The corpse’s blue cotton, long-sleeved shirt was buttoned all the way to
the top to hide his injuries, and the matching navy slacks had recently been pressed.

With his hands folded over his abdomen, Wesley looked rather dashing. Ashley wished her match had actually been dashing in life.

She wondered who would wear that outfit next. Nothing was ever wasted on the island. Not even the clothes of a dead man. She herself had worn the clothes off a dead woman’s back. Squeamishness was a luxury no one could afford.

Although “new” clothes were made on the island, from animal skins and the cotton grown in the farmlands, they were typically reserved for the higher ups—elders, doctors, and the like. Cotton was difficult to grow in the cold climate, and the clothes were made entirely by hand. Once it had been worn and patched a few times by those with power, new clothing was eventually passed down to the lower branches of society,

But, it wasn’t just clothing that moved on after an islander died. All of
their belongings were redistributed among those in need. The dead’s family wasn’t allowed to keep anything they didn’t need. Sentimentality was a lost emotion to the islanders. Reusing everything was essential, even if the previous owner was a dead man.

It had only bothered her once—the first time she’d seen one of her
father’s outfits on another man. Even then, at the tender age of ten, she’d understood it was bound to happen eventually. She just hadn’t expected it to happen so quickly. Only a week after his funeral, she’d spotted one of her neighbors walking down the road in her father’s clothes. She ran to him, hoping her father’s scent might still linger on his shirt. But the man neither embraced her nor offered her any sympathy. He 
only looked at her with wide eyes,the horror and disgust plain on his face.

Death on the island was such a strange thing. She’d lost track of how many
funerals she’d been to in her lifetime—at least one a month. Unexpected deaths, like that of her match, added to the average.

Only three of the losses had actually meant something to her—her mother,
her father, and now Wesley. Her father’s funeral was, of course, devastating, made more so by the fact that they’d shared the same first name. Everything the elders said about him could have also been applied to her. How they were thankful for “Ashley’s life,” how they wished “Ashley peace.”It sent shivers down her spine.

Once, she’d asked him why they shared a name. His mother’s name had been Ashley, he’d explained, as had her mother, and her father before that. On and on, down the line, the name had traveled, until it had reached Ashley. And one day, as was their tradition, it would go to her own child.

The funeral for her mother, who had been taken by a simple cold that
escalated into something much worse, was nothing more than a hazy memory. Still, Ashley missed her mother terribly and felt incomplete without her. She searched for her whenever the jasmine got caught on the wind, because her mother had loved to wear the flower behind her ear.

Wesley’s funeral was a problem. She wasn’t entirely sure how she felt
about it. The loss of her parents had left her feeling completely alone. She’d hoped to find love again with her match, but he’d left her terribly disappointed.

Now that he was gone, her emotions warred with themselves. Relief was the
biggest player fighting for space in her mind. Relief to have escaped the abuse and the pressures of being the next elder’s wife. Guilt came in at a close second, but not because she regretted killing her match.

It was because her best friend was being blamed for it.

About Stephanie Erickson

Stephanie Erickson has always had a passion for the written word. She pursued her love of literature at Flagler College, in St. Augustine, FL, where she graduated with a BA in English. She has received several honors in her writing career, including recognition in the 72nd Annual Writer's Digest Competition.

After graduation, she married and followed her husband in pursuit of his dream. The Cure and The Blackout were written to reignite Stephanie's passion, when she found the time. Now that he is settled in his career, it's her turn to devote more time and energy into writing.

Stephanie currently has 4 projects planned for 2015. Her latest release, The Dead Room, is a post apocalyptic set on a lonely island 300 years in the future.
Stephanie, of course, loves to read and write. She also enjoys living on the beach on the Florida's Treasure Coast. Most of all, she and her husband are in love with their baby girl.





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Tuesday, March 24, 2015

'The North Country Confessional' by Craig C. Charles

The North Country Confessional

by Craig C. Charles



Family roots, teachings, and tradition permeate Darby Weeks’s existence despite a two decades old decision to walk away from a life of privilege. They have given him the courage to survive under impossible conditions, but the most challenging of them all comes from an unexpected place: his return home. As heinous crimes peppered with riddles begin to plague the North Country, Darby's reappearance back home sparks an old rivalry between two families, releasing an evil to wreck vengeance upon everything around them. Darby's proposal of a truce between them not only fails to appease the rival family’s thirst for retribution; it fuels it. And the town of Bretton Woods lies between the two when old passions ignite and set forth new determinations to win an old struggle.

Reunited with an old flame and guided by a pompous blowhard, Darby sets out on a journey to learn the truth about his family’s past and their ancient blood feud with a ruthless industrialist. Darby’s quest leads him all over New England, from the rare books library at Dartmouth College to Author’s Ridge - the final resting place of the literary greats Thoreau, Hawthorne, and Emerson. Darby discovers family he’s never known and an insidious danger lurking in the arms of a rekindled love.

Read an excerpt:

Emily Baines glanced down at the streets of Midtown Manhattan from her corner office at Tither Publishing and fiddled with the single gray strand of Tahitian pearls that clung around her neck. Rush hour had already paralyzed the streets of the city as throngs of humanity struggled to reach their insignificant evening destinations. Worker ants, she told to herself.

She had stayed late, disrupting her normal evening routine of pilates and a massage as she awaited confirmation that the assignment was complete. Her cell phone buzzed, announcing the receipt of the message. A smile blossomed on her face as she read the expected news. The object of her attention had paid the fee just like so many other political malfeasance, celebrities, and religious buskers that Tither had squeezed over the years, avoiding what would have been a very messy and very public scandal. Dirt was her business and business was never better. She verified the $20,000,000 transfer had been processed.

Sitting down, Emily congratulated herself as she poured another glass of Perrier-Jouët and marveled at how far she had come: building Tither Publishing into a media giant with no equal. She rarely thought about the past, but the picture and associated story on the front page of the New York Times stopped her cold in her tracks, causing unfamiliar pangs of nostalgia.

“Darby S. Weeks,” she said slowly while biting her bottom lip and caressing her pearls. She paced her expansive office for a minute, looking at the picture as memories invaded her mind. Throwing the paper on her desk, she hastily buzzed her personal assistant.

“Olivia, I’m going home to Bretton Woods for a little vacation. Make the necessary arrangements. I want to be in the North Country by tomorrow.”

Ready or not, here I come, war hero.

AUTHOR Bio and Links:

I'm a native New Englander. I grew up in the sleepy shoreline community of Madison, CT. After graduating from high school in the late 80's, I headed out West and spent a wonderful six years living in, exploring, and getting lost in the deserts of Arizona. After earning my B.S. from Arizona State University, I headed back East trying to find my path in life.

I found myself trying out MANY different careers. I learned the art of audio engineering and worked at a major recording studio in Manhattan for a while. I learned the nuances of fine wine from a wonderful South African man and sold libations in his high-end store. I sold power transmission equipment as a manufacturer's rep in the Northeast. Next I ventured into the publishing world when I signed on with Yankee Magazine working in their Community Partners Program. It was here at Yankee's headquarters in Dublin, NH that I fell in love with the art of writing and beauty of the Great North Woods of New Hampshire. I met tremendous people and embarked on my own quest to write an engaging mystery novel set in New England. However, I couldn't ignore the internal pull I felt to work with young people. I went back to school and earn a Masters of Education degree and embarked on a career as a special education teacher working primarily with autistic children. This has been my main profession for the past 14 years as I continued to write and work towards mastering the craft of writing. I love the creative process of writing and editing.

In short, I'm a life long learner who continues to absorb all I can about the world around me.

Author Website:


Craig will be awarding a $15 Amazon or B/N GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour, and a $10 Amazon or B/N GC to a randomly drawn host. Follow the tour for more chances to win!

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'EMP (Struggle for Survival)' by Wilson Harp


by Wilson Harp



In a flash of searing light, the world changed. A massive solar flare has crippled the modern world and brought chaos and destruction. David Hartsman is stuck in the remote farm town of his youth on what was expected to be a short visit to check on his ailing parents. While his wife and his daughter are hundreds of miles away at home in Chicago, David must face the dangers associated with his own survival and the pressures of not being with his family. In a worldwide catastrophe, every struggle is personal.

Read an excerpt:
The rains came in little pulses over the next several days. Storms tore through the first night, darkening Kenton in a way I had never experienced. The northern lights were blocked out by the heavy clouds and the wind howled all the louder for the loss of sight.

The next two days saw a series of short showers. It brought plenty of fresh water to us, but delayed construction of individual latrines and outhouses. It also brought a melancholy that combined with worry and uncertainty.

A bright dawn greeted us on the third day and the sky looked clear in the north and west. The northern lights which had hung in the sky like specters the first two days were gone. Occasionally I would see a ribbon of color out of the corner of my eye, but it seemed more like a phantom feeling one would experience when they saw a bug and then lost track of it. A sensation would run along your leg or shoulder, but you knew it wasn’t really there.

Anne arrived about an hour after sunup with Clyde for me to ride. The gelding was starting to get used to me and for the first time seemed to recognize me as I approached.

“Not wearing your coat and hat today?” Anne asked. She smirked as she kept any tone of mocking out of her voice. I had been forced to wear an old jacket and baseball cap from my high school years during the last couple of days just to stay somewhat dry.

“No, it’s going to be a beautiful day,” I said.

AUTHOR Bio and Links:

Wilson Harp is a writer based out of the American Midwest. As a military brat, he traveled and met people from many cultures and backgrounds. Exposure to so many different views has led him to an appreciation of an eclectic collection of music, film and literature.

His sense of wonder at stories and folklore started young and continues to this day, often affecting the themes and ideas in his writing. In his works you will find the old fashioned ideas of virtue and honor as the lifeline that pulls many of his characters through the situations they often find themselves.

@WilsonHarp on Twitter

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Monday, March 23, 2015

Shaun W. Patterson's 'Terminal Dawn (Rise of the TAR Squad)'


“When time and space collide, so do the worlds we know…when there is nothing left to lose, there is still life itself.”-TDU’s official TAGLINE.

Under the Global Union, the race of mankind hurdles towards its apex—that pinnacle of human achievement. They have accomplished much, including having shattered the barriers of time. Now, with the past perpetually kissing the future, imperceptible changes to the timeline have initiated a chain of devastating and unintended consequences.

A movement to abolish time-travel is afoot, but there are formidable opponents to this budding faction, including the very powerful Baldacci Space Corporation.

An intensive political battle ensues and the Global Union is on the verge of voting on legislation that is destined to forever change the course of human history. On the eve of the vote, Global Union senators mysteriously vanish. It is NOT the first time.

The planet advances toward the precipice of implosion from within its very foundations as weather systems and technological failures become exponentially devastating. But those are the least of mankind’s woes. Perched on the edge of Sun’s solar system is an awaiting apocalypse, and it is one of man’s own doing.
The human race find themselves with no good options—Perish by the planet’s implosion or face the onslaught of that which sits, panting, knocking at the door of deep space.

There is but one hope…the last hope…they are The TAR Squad.

Read an excerpt:

PROLOGUE—The End of The Beginning

TIME STAMP: October 5, 2285 A.D.
Location: Pacific Horizon Deep-Water Complex

The alarm sounded!
It is a blaring, high-pitched repetitive sound that comes with the capacity to jar the dead back into the world of the living. It is the alarm that nobody wants to hear…especially here in The Pacific Horizon Deep-Water Complex (PHDWC) community. It is not a strange sound. Everyone has heard it before. Every month, the Emergency Alert System (EAS) is tested to verify its operational readiness. Everyone knows when the test of the system is due. It occurs on the 3rd of every month…and when it sounds, no one really pays attention. The population continues their normal routine.
Today is not the 3rd.
It is the 5th…two days past the last test…and every soul living within the hemisphere of the Pacific Horizon Deep-Water Complex immediately knows this is abnormal. It is either a glitch in the system, and therefore they will expect that within five minutes the all-clear signal will be broadcasted, or this is Event Horizon—the doomsday scenario for this thriving ten-year old underwater community located 1,200 miles southeast of Hawaii on the floor of the Clarion Trench. It is situated about 2.5 miles deep, along the rugged mountainous volcanic terrain which extends into the Middle-America Trench off the South American coast. The current census numbers placed the population at a couple million.
The west-wing outdoor courtyard, with its girder free massive overhead translucent glass-like dome remains a touchstone of human engineering. It covers the courtyard—an area of 90,000 square yards—and soon, within an hour, below the dome will be teeming with life. It is the center of the evening ‘hotspot’ with its shops, restaurants, and high-end designer stores. Most of the residents are in the process of returning from the day’s work. They have not yet arrived in Pacific Horizon. But this specific area of the PHDWC is the preferred location to simply ‘chill’ for anyone who is anyone here in Pacific Horizon. And that just about included everyone who lived here on the west half of PHDWC. It is the perfect spot to ‘people-gawk.’ It is an ultra-rich exclusive sub-terrain community living on the frontier of human advancement. It is electric coupled with snootiness. The PHDWC was the first of its kind, and still remains the premier of the five existing underwater communities. All five communities are on par with the space colonies throughout the Milky Way galaxy as well as the two smaller isolated colonies—each located in the two closest neighboring galaxies. The Pacific Horizon Deep-Water Complex is the place to be for those who desire the frontier experience without the travel distance issues.

The siren continued to blare…and now a fine mist begins to descend from above. Everyone in the courtyard under the dome can feel those tiny water droplets on the surface of their skin—that misty sensation. On the surface of the planet that would be a welcomed contact against the skin, but here in Pacific Horizon, any sight of any kind of liquefied descending element is considered a hazardous threat. It is a definitive ‘no-no,’ and you don’t need a blaring alarm to make the case.
Every six months there is ‘The Practice Drill,’ known in short as ‘The PD’...pronounced, The PEEED. During that time you are supposed to head immediately to the nearest emergency ‘deep-water transport’ units and remain there until the end of the drill. Typically, no matter where you are located within PHDWC, you are never more than ninety seconds away from a deep-water transport unit. They are the fail safe—the final option, and if anyone failed to get inside one within a ninety second timeframe, they are supposed to report it. It is the law.
The lovely folks in the western courtyard of the Pacific Horizon Deep-Water Complex all turn their heads upward en masse. There is a deep crackling rumble sound that followed—like trunk sized twigs snapping in rapid succession. We are still within that first ten seconds of the initial blaring of the alert siren—it does not abate. The deep rumble cascaded across the entire translucent glass-like dome—that marvel of human engineering and the standard of girder-less covering. All eyes are focused on above. The portals of the onlookers bulged as they go from a state of mere curiosity to fear in a nanosecond. It is in response to the vista that greeted them. There are stress cracks snaking across the gigantic dome—stretching from one end to the other. It is made unequivocally clear that the fail safe—that final option is unattainable. The entire Pacific Ocean, after years of knocking on the door and being flashed the ‘do not enter’ sign, finally reared its frothy head and like fists of blazing steel punched its way inward to violently embrace its prey.


TIME STAMP: July 18, 2150 A.D.
Location: Time Travel Immigration Gateway (TTIG)—Nevada location

A weighty man in a white full body form-fitting suit sauntered in through the wide double glass doors which automatically opened as it sensed his approach. His long faded brown hair sat below his shoulder-blades. It held a gentle wave, but is neatly trimmed—particularly the fully grayed sideburns which are cut close to his temples and tapered just short of the bottom of his ears—nothing too dramatic. Looking at him, as well as many of the bustling bodies of flesh busily heading to their respective areas of departure, it was unbelievable to imagine how fashion did not really change…it simply morphed over time from one application to another. The man’s full body spandex-type body suit was reminiscent of wet suits worn by divers in the twentieth and twenty-first centuries. His was sparkling white. Here in the twenty-second century, this spandex-type garment had become fashionable attire on land, particularly while travelling…and especially so when the voyage entailed jumping through time. Not everyone though wore them. Many around still donned what was considered the ‘classic-look’—loose hanging wrinkle-free trousers. But here in this facility, the form-hugging apparel was almost the standard look. It was the recommended garment listed on the Government’s time-travelling lists of do’s and don’ts found in Section 23.5.5 of the travel approval visa application for those who traveled to the future or more recent past—although the traveler would not be hassled too much if they chose otherwise. On a case by case basis, exceptions were made when travel was slated for eras with dramatically different styles. Some never quite understood what difference it made. It was pretty much akin to the requirement in the twentieth and twenty-first centuries not to use your cell phone while in flight. Well, here in the twenty-second century, the government, or more specifically the time-travel engineers had their reasons…reasons not fully explained to the general public. So like docile sheep, most people complied.
The man, toting behind him six travel bags which were being ferried along by his Personal Robotic Transport Platform (PRTP-2000), headed down the long hallway. Above, the ceiling vaulted up some 150 feet. Translucent glass fixtures hung on both sides of a central overhead walking platform which transverse the full length of the hallway. Underneath the platform housed recessed lights that glowed in contrast to the blue hues from the lustrous glass ceiling. The man in white strode alongside a ‘travellator,’ as the British once nicknamed it, which is a moving walkway. He wanted the exercise. His girth had begun its collection of fat, and it was in an expansion phase, inflating from east to west along his waist line. Every day for the last month, the growth stared back at him in the mirror and screamed: “How you like me now?” It dared him to change the present trajectory. Well, he’d had enough of the taunt, and every chance he had he was going to strike back at that tormentor—hence, his current snub of the ever so convenient ‘travellator’. This trip he had planned was not going to help him out in that endeavor. It was going to involve a whole lot of sitting and waiting. His business was observation…the field was science, and it was the kind of work that could put one to sleep even if you had needles being rammed in your skin by a nurse performing a venipuncture for the first time.
That was his agenda for this trip and he wasn’t looking forward to it, but it was mandatory. Every six months, the TAR Division—the environmental arm of the newly formed Global Union, working in concert with the private entity The TAR Foundation—dispatched an observer through time. The purpose of today’s specific mission was classified, even from him, which was not usually the case. It was a rushed assignment. Early yesterday, he was yanked into one of their conference rooms at his place of employment. It was one of the larger ones on the upper level—specifically the 163rd floor—that was designed with one wall that integrated the one-way looking glass as an optional feature, when triggered. Today, it was activated. There, he was informed by his immediate boss who accompanied him in the room, as well as unseen and unidentified parties on the opposite end of the viewing wall, that he needed to make this trip. His supervisor never informed him that the other party or parties were there, but he knew. By the nervous manner in which Richard’s eyes shifted toward and away from the glass wall, he knew. He was advised that his task was simply to ‘observe’ and insert ‘check-marks’ by the specific compartmentalized queries on the unusual downloaded digital form in his brand new SR-PAD—the next generation of personal portable computing. It was going to be a chore.
He finally made a left turn under the holographic overhead sign labeled ‘Immigration Control,’ and proceeded toward the entry point. There was a queue and he halted behind the last person in line.
He waited. It did not take long before he was beckoned in front of the Time-Travel Immigration (TTI) Officer. His digital ID was requested. It was scanned by the immigration control officer, who then isolated the encoded travel itinerary. He selected the projection tab and all the details are displayed in an interactive holographic screen.
“Mr. Xavier…the purpose of your trip? Is it business or pleasure?” The TTI Officer asked the question while simultaneously viewing his own private screen. His hands typed at a rapid pace as he inserted data pertinent to the traveler before him.
“And how long will you be gone?”
The man who sported the Xavier identity furred together his eyebrows in a quizzical expression. The data was obviously there, projected in the holographic image.
“It’s the same as shown in the itinerary,” he replied with a slight hint of irritation. “Is there something wrong?”
Sensing the traveler’s aggravation, the officer glanced up. His ‘smart-glass’ photochromatic UV liquid crystal display eye wear with its nano-crystal embedded coating now reversed the one-way viewing option and revealed the eyes behind the lenses. His right cheek puffed slightly in a reassuring grin: “No Mr. Xavier…it is standard procedure to double check with the traveler the details within your encoded itinerary. It is simply a fail-safe.”
The officer returned to input the necessary details. Then he added: “I see from your record that this is not your first trip…and as you know, once you leave, it will be a while before you can return. So it is best to get the destination and time element correct right here at the point of departure.”
Xavier nodded. He did know that, but he was distracted…still mentally mystified about this entire trip and the need for such secrecy. He was not sure what he was getting himself into, and it was bothering the heck out of him why the Union would send him, a high ranking scientist, to simply be a ‘secretary’ of sorts. Actually, he was peeved…and that’s putting it lightly.
“So how long is this trip?” the officer again queried.
“Two weeks.”
“Thank you Mr. Xavier.” The TTI official finally looked up and pushed himself away from the desk. He spun around to the control screen behind him, began to manipulate the window screens, and then he swiveled back to face the traveler on the other side of the immigration counter.
As Xavier awaited directions from the immigration agent, he glanced over to the family of four standing at the next terminal. They are asked about their trip. Their planned getaway is to 2652 A.D. They receive their approval and the agent then scanned their special permit digital visas. The initializing sequence began, but then froze in the midst of the process.
“Hey Bill, we’ve got another ‘freezer’ here,” the immigration agent assisting them said in a controlled yell as he looked over at his comrade who was assisting Xavier. “What did the control center say was to be done?”
The agent known as Bill chuckled: “It’s you Dale…it only happens to you, my man.”
“C’mon Bill help me out here. We’ve got to get these folks through.”
The agent turned to Xavier, excused himself and then walked over to the terminal with the glitch. He did not appear to be phased by the malfunction. “They want us to do a ‘B-circle’ bypass sequence.”
Bill proceeded to show his comrade the procedure and then returned to his station.
“Having problems?” Xavier asked.
The officer shook his head: “Nothing critical. It’s about the twelfth incident for that destination in the last two weeks. Anyway, let’s get you situated.”
Agent Bill tapped the entry tab.
A sudden static sputter occurred with the holographic itinerary. It disappeared and then immediately reappeared.
“Sir, please confirm the travel point indicated in the projection. If it is your destination then please palm-stamp it by placing your hand directly within the outer layer of the projection.”
Xavier shuffled his feet and scooted himself closer to the image: “Yeah, I know the routine,” he said as he provided his palm-stamp as confirmation.
The image contorted itself and then reset. The officer removed the personal digital ID and handed it to Xavier, the man with the flowing locks of hair that hung just below his shoulders.
“Your itinerary is confirmed and your travel visa is affirmed for travel to 2620 A.D. Have a safe trip.” The photochromatic UV-lens reset to the one-way viewing calibration and the eyes of the officer are no longer visible.
Xavier shuffled away from the booth and was directed to the scan-sector room which was the final point before departure at the gate-portal. As he walked through, followed by his PRTP-2000, his entire body was scanned and so were his bags. The door at the other end still displayed a red light above the header as he approached. It was supposed to change. A non-change meant trouble, big trouble. It was the kind of trouble that got your arm tugged by muscular men as they summarily dragged you over to the Interrogation Center a few doors down. It finally changed as he approached within three feet of the exit door, and so no such treatment was forced upon him. The green light signal finally materialized at the end of the transition cycle. A green light indicated that all was a go with the traveler and that there were no banned substances being ferried to the next point in time. He breathed a sigh of relief.

'A Dark Tyranny (Of Darkness & The Light #1)' by C.M. Pendleton

A Dark Tyranny

by C.M. Pendleton



A Dark Tyranny chronicles the onset of the savage invasion of Altaris. Wolven beasts and gorgons ravage the four realms of man. Rumors of an ancient and greater evil lay in their wake. The rule of kings is at an end. The hierarchy of class and heritage are no more, as families are torn apart and lives are forever changed. A small few find their fates intertwined, as they fight for survival and for those they love.

An exiled commander is thrust back into a world he longed to forget.

A lone Nighteye finds his curse lifted and his true image restored.

A young noblewoman struggles to escape a gorgon caravan.

A former slave befriends an ancient and majestic creature.

The afflicted brother of a traitorous king discovers a secret that could cost him his life.

A Dark Tyranny is a thrilling epic that brings readers into a vivid world full of magic, adventure, and treachery. Discover the world of Ehlür and experience the beginning of a gripping saga.

Read an excerpt:
“I can smell the ocean,” said Luras.

“Yes. It is still far off, but the open land lets the wind carry it through the hills,” replied Matthias.

“This land is beautiful. I have never been this far north. These trees look as if they could stand and walk.”

“They can … and they only eat Bourne, so they're quite hungry.”

“What an end that would be,” laughed Luras. “Make the journey north, fighting wolves and such … only to be swallowed up by a tree.”

“Don't worry. I would tell no one. I'd never admit it,” laughed Matthias.

“Why are they this way?”

“The trees … I don't know. I heard that they were uprooted from another land and planted here by Granduers thousands of years ago. They left some of the roots exposed so they could make beds on them and sleep among the trees. It's just a story though. I think this is just the way the trees are.”

“You were from the north … at one time?”

“That was a long time ago.”

“I would find this land worth fighting for.”

“Yes … but you end up fighting for a person and not the land. You will find the Northern Realm to be inhospitable. This is why it hasn't fallen to these invaders. It is as violent as it is beautiful … and its beauty is never ending.”

“What part of this realm did you live in?” asked Luras.

“I was mostly gone … traveling across this realm and the others. Fighting. My home, though, was at the sea's edge. My wife and son lived there.”

“I would like to see the ocean,” said Luras.

Author Bio:

C. M. Pendleton is the author of the epic fantasy series Of Darkness & the Light. He holds a bachelor’s degree in science and attended Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary. He lives in North Carolina with his wife and four children.

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