Saturday, October 13, 2018

Author Interview: Aldrea Johnson {The Battle for the Four Realms: Dragon Bone}

The Battle for the Four Realms: Dragon Bone
By Aldrea Johnson
Genre: Fantasy/Young Adult/Fiction

Brief Description

Siblings Aliedori and Maldar, heirs to the throne of the Southern Realm are attacked by an unseen assailant while camping in The Sacred Forest. Aliedori's brother Maldar and his golden dragon, Keidrop, are trapped by a powerful binding spell; a spell that leaves Aliedori strangely unaffected. In an attempt to track down their unseen attacker Aliedori uses her natural gifts and casts a "Seeker" charm enabling her to pursue a chase to a shadowy figure through the dark woods until he mysteriously disappears without a trace...and the adventure begins!

As the trio sets off in the direction the mysterious figure disappeared they encounter mysterious creatures formed from dark magic, a mage powerful enough to incapacitate dragons and other threats only ever spoken of by the Chronicler.

As they journey East more of the Chronicler's prediction come true, Aliedori's destiny lay ahead along with ... the battle for the four realms!



Interview with the Author

What inspired you to write The Battle for the Four Realms?
I had this story in my head for a very long time; it feels very different from the story that first took hold of my sixteen year old imagination all those years ago. The main protagonist was always female, the prettified forest, old gnarled and cursed was also always there, and there was a prince to be rescued. I completed the first chapter at sixteen in an old school exercise book, and kept the rest in my head for a very long time.  What inspired me to write The Battle for the Four RealmsMy sixteen year old self, who loved to read, but could never find books that reflected or represented how I or my friends looked.

How long did it take you to write your book?
A very long time; as I’ve said the story has been going around my head in one form or another for a very long time.  In actually it took me about two years to write, about six months to pluck up the courage to get it edited and about six to eight months to agree to send it to Imzadi Publishers

How long have you been publishing your work?
The Battle for the Four Realms is my first work to be published

What does your writing environment look like?
I usually sit in my living room, with my laptop on my lap and write; sometimes I sit at the kitchen table. A lot of Battle was written at my kitchen table, and my kitchen and garden even makes an appearance in the book.

Do you have any routines to help you write?
I don’t have a routine; I am very undisciplined and can go for weeks without writing a single word. At other times I often sit up until 2/3am writing because ideas are flowing and I know if I go to sleep all my creative juices will sleep also.

About the Author

I was brought up on stories, tales of adventures of far off places, of princesses in peril and their princes rescuing them, they filled my head and sparked my imagination from an early age. I have very fond memories of “Lloyd Brown” or “Lloydy” as he was known to us children, telling the most wonderful stories. The only time he didn’t stutter was when he was telling stories, I would travel with him to those far off places from the Grimm fairy tales and just around the corner of the “Anansi” stories of Jamaican fables, these were amongst my favourites. By the time I had to swap the Jamaican sunshine for the winter “watery” sun of England at the age of almost eleven years old. My head was already crammed full of stories to accompany me on my very own adventure to far off England.

I may have spent my formative years in the Jamaican country side with the wild green woods and perfectly clear rivers but I grew up in London. Long winter days and darkened evenings would find me with my head in a book, the Lion the Witch and the Wardrobe, Arabian Nights and closer to home Enid Blyton’s Famous Five were later replaced but not forgotten by Mervyn Peake’s Gormenghast, and Sterling E Lanier’s Hiero’s Journey.

I was a shy introverted child but while at school I was regarded as one of the “cool” kids; I was a real Jamaican with the accent to prove it.  Libraries became my playground; they helped to fuel my imagination where adventure after adventure played out again and again in my head.  I could be anywhere, any place, anytime from my little corner of the local library. I lived in my head; my stories gave me  a sense of belonging, they sustained me and now somehow one of my adventures found its way onto the page and is about the be shared with others.

Website: www.imzadipublishing.com


Monday, October 8, 2018

Book Review & Excerpt: A Dancer's Guide to Africa by Terez Mertes Rose

A Dancer's Guide to Africa
By Terez Mertes Rose
Genre: Women's fiction (with a crossover into romance)

From the author of OFF BALANCE and OUTSIDE THE LIMELIGHT comes a novel bestselling author Sarah Bird calls “hilarious and poignant.”

Fiona Garvey, ballet dancer and new college graduate, is desperate to escape her sister’s betrayal and a failed relationship. Vowing to restart as far from home as possible, she accepts a two-year teaching position with the Peace Corps in Africa. It’s a role she’s sure she can perform. But in no time, Fiona realizes she’s traded her problems in Omaha for bigger ones in Gabon, a country as beautiful as it is filled with contradictions. 

Emotionally derailed by Christophe, a charismatic and privileged Gabonese man who can teach her to let go of her inhibitions but can’t commit to anything more, threatened by an overly familiar student with a menacing fixation on her, and drawn into the compelling but potentially dangerous local dance ceremonies, Fiona finds herself at increasing risk. And when matters come to a shocking head, she must reach inside herself, find her dancer’s power, and fight back.

Blending humor and pathos, A DANCER’S GUIDE TO AFRICA takes the reader along on a suspense-laden, sensual journey through Africa’s complex beauty, mystery and mysticism.


About the Author 

Terez Mertes Rose, author of Off Balance and Outside the Limelight, is a former Peace Corps Volunteer and ballet dancer. Her writing has appeared in numerous publications, including the Crab Orchard Review, Women Who Eat (Seal Press), A Woman's Europe (Travelers' Tales), Literary Mama and the Philadelphia Inquirer. She reviews dance performances for Bachtrack.com and blogs about ballet and classical music at The Classical Girl. She makes her home in the Santa Cruz Mountains with her husband and son.

Twitter: https://www.twitter.com/ClassicalGrrl (@classicalgrrl)
On Amazon: http://a.co/cwkZOIN
On Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/13853310.Terez_Mertes_Rose

Review

I’m impressed with this book. I was worried I wouldn't be drawn into the story because I don't know anything about ballet but it wasn't necessary to have that knowledge to enjoy the story. The author had great descriptions of Africa and gave a clear look at how different their culture is from American culture. The story had enough drama, romance and action. I didn’t like the main character Fiona that much in the beginning, but her character development was strong and I began to soften up to her. A Dancer’s Guide to Africa left me with hope for love. Overall, I would give this book 5 stars.


Book Excerpt
  
Chapter 1


The first thing I noticed was the AK-47, cradled in the arms of the Gabonese military checkpoint guard. That, and the fact that the man looked angry. He sprang to attention as our dust-caked van rolled to a stop, clutching his rifle close, arms at rigid angles. A steel bar, supported by two rusting oil drums, stretched across the unpaved road, preventing us from passing without his permission. Since my arrival in Gabon seventy-two hours prior, part of a group of twenty-six trainees, I’d discovered military checkpoints were common in Africa. At the first one, outside the Gabonese capital of Libreville, the guard had waved us through without rising from his seat. At the second, a soldier was sleeping in a chair tipped against a cinder-block building. Only the noise of our honking had awakened him. But this third official took his job seriously.
Inside the Peace Corps van, I glanced around to see if anyone else noticed the danger we were in. No one was looking. Animated chatter filled the overheated van. “Um, excuse me?” I called out over the din, my voice abnormally high. “Someone with a big gun out there looks very angry.” My seatmate and fellow English-teaching trainee, Carmen, leaned over me to peer out.
“Whoa,” she murmured, “he kind of does. Cool!”
Her fascination shouldn’t have surprised me. Carmen seemed to embrace the gritty, the provocative, evidenced by her multiple piercings, dark spikey hair, heavy eyeliner and combat boots. Although we were the same age, twenty-two, I would have given her a wide berth back home. Here, she’d become my closest friend.
Together we watched the guard draw closer. His eyes glowed with a fanatic’s fervor, as if he were drunk on his own power. Or simply drunk. The authorities here bore little resemblance to the clean-cut police officers back in Omaha who patrolled the suburban neighborhoods, stopping me in my dented Ford Pinto to politely inquire whether I was aware of how fast I’d been driving. That world seemed very far away.
Our van driver, a short, wiry Gabonese man, stepped out of the vehicle and waved official-looking papers at the guard. By the determined shake of the guard’s head after he’d perused them, it clearly wasn’t enough.
The two began a heated discussion. When the driver held up a finger and disappeared back into the van, the guard scowled, tightening his grip on his weapon. Restlessly he scanned the van windows and caught my worried gaze. And held it.
I am going to die. The thought rose in me, pure and clairvoyant.
I pulled away from the window in terror. “He’s staring at me!”
“What are you talking about?” Carmen peered closer out the window.
“No, stop.” I yanked her arm. “I don’t want him to look this way.”
“Fiona. He wasn’t looking at you. He was looking at the group of us.”
“No, he wasn’t,” I insisted. “He was looking for someone to single out.”
Someone to pull from the bus and shoot. The thought, however irrational, made my gut clench in fear.
Carmen studied me quizzically. “You know, they say taking your weekly dose of Aralen gives you weird-assed dreams. Even violent dreams. You didn’t just take your Aralen, did you?”
“No! And are you saying you don’t find this angry military guy with a gun more than a little scary?”
“I do not. I mean, I would if it were just him and me on an empty road at night. But we’re a van full of Peace Corps volunteers and trainees. How sweetly innocent is that? This is Gabon, not Angola. And besides, do you see anyone else in this van getting anxious?”
I glanced around to see if anyone else was bothered by the danger. Conversations had continued without pause. Aside from the occasional idle glance out the window, no one was paying the drama any attention.
“No, I don’t,” I admitted.
Our van driver returned to the checkpoint guard. He said something that made the guard relax his grip on the rifle. He opened one hand and accepted the two packs of cigarettes our driver offered him. Pocketing them, he gestured to a structure adjacent to his building, and the two of them strolled toward it.
“You know, I’m not sure who won,” Carmen said.
I released the breath I’d been holding. “At least he didn’t shoot off his gun.”



Friday, October 5, 2018

Book Spotlight: Heartache & Sin by Charles Soto

Heartache & Sin
By Charles Soto
Genre: Suspense, Drama

When a Midwestern farming town is hit hard by a crop-destroying drought, people are willing to put their faith into anything that might bring them some relief.

Steven Wheaton is burdened by the effects of the drought on his farm, and heartbroken knowing that the chances of starting a family with his wife Karen have been damaged by her recent diabetes diagnosis.

Devastated, Karen turns to the new pastor in town, looking for faith and guidance…but even her relationship with God cannot fill the void in her life.

When ulterior motives collide with harrowing miracles, where does the line between good and evil begin?

About the Author 

Charles Soto is a moving and unconventional fiction author of Heartache & Sin, The friend Request, Pride and a Prayer and the ghost writer of the Auto-Biography, Frias with Love (Where we come from, where we went).

Along with his diversity as an author and his capabilities of writing in a profound array of genres, his talents as a sculptor and expertise in the painting and decorating field has enabled him to supervise such projects as the MGM Grand Casino and Hotel in Las Vegas, NV., Pantageous Theatre in Downtown Minneapolis, MN., as well as many more iconic Structures.

Charles Soto was born in Las Vegas NV., and throughout his childhood was raised in the Bay Area of Alameda County on the outskirts of San Francisco, CA. He now lives in Northern Minnesota with his wife of thirty years and their two daughters. 


https://www.twitter.com/CharlesSoto



Monday, October 1, 2018

Book Blitz: Ribbon of Light by Claire Yezbak Fadden

Ribbon of Light
By Claire Yezbak Fadden
Genre: Women’s Fiction

Book Description

Julie Rafferty’s life-long dream is within her grasp. But just as the toy company she founded verges on becoming a multi-million-dollar enterprise, her husband abandons their marriage.

Trevor had no choice but to walk away from Julie. How else could he show his wife that the business was her priority, not him and their three children? His drastic stunt backfires though, jeopardizing the family business and seemingly pushes Julie into the arms of a younger man.

Just when Julie and Trevor find their way back to each other, a ruthless competitor escalates a bogus lawsuit. Together they plot to reclaim control of the toy company, only to uncover a shattering betrayal that puts them in unimaginable danger.

Can they overcome their dreadful mistake and reclaim the passion, trust and commitment that once drew them together? Or will the greed of an evil man irreparably destroy everything they hold dear?

About the Author

When she’s not playing with her granddaughters, Pennsylvania native Claire Yezbak Fadden is writing contemporary women’s fiction. Her books feature strong women who overcome life’s challenges, always putting their families first. 

There's a special spot in Claire's heart for carousel horses – quite possibly the result of watching “Mary Poppins” 13 times as a young girl. She loves butterflies, ladybugs and confetti! Just ask anyone who's received a birthday card from her.

The mother of three lives in Orange County, California with her husband, Nick and three spoiled dogs.

Claire’s work as an award-winning journalist, humor columnist and editor has appeared in more than 100 publications across the United States, Canada and Australia. Ribbon of Light is the third novel in her Begin Again series. 

Buy Links


Follow Claire @claireflaire,
Email her at claire@clairefadden.com,
Like her Facebook Fan Page
Visit her at clairefadden.com.
Join her mailing list.



EXCERPT

Before Julie placed her purse on the desk, Leanne handed her three phone messages, two from Gary and one from a local reporter.
“Oh, and I thought you might want to read this,” Leanne handed over an article printed off the Internet. “After your meeting with Bennett Burnside, I remembered reading this from two years ago.”
The story recounted the case of a family from Georgia. The parents of a ten-year-old had won $100,000 in compensatory damages and $9.9 million in punitive damages in a lawsuit against MaxOut Toys. The suit claimed their son permanently lost partial use of his right hand after playing with BlastAway, a handheld video game manufactured by the start-up company. The article read in part:

“Because of their negligence, this young lad is unable to perform any of the normal activities a boy of ten would enjoy,” their attorney said, arguing that MaxOut management knew the dangers of overuse of their product and was required to provide consumer warnings. “Young Benji is now designated as a special needs student. On the Little League field, Benji can’t pitch, play first base, or even bat properly.”

Julie remembered Mort Gunther’s appeal to the ruling. An appellate court upheld the original judgment, forcing the fledgling toy manufacturer to file for bankruptcy.
Funny. She hadn’t seen Mort since he lost his company…until he introduced her to Bennett Burnside.
Leanne handed Julie a copy of another news item dated months later from the Global Business Briefs section of the Wall Street Journal,announcing Game Masters’ acquisition of bankrupt MaxOut Toys for an undisclosed amount.
An icy surge ran down Julie’s back. She set the papers on Leanne’s desk and clenched the journalist’s phone message in her hand.
Roberta Perkins, San Marcel Mercury News. Please call before 2:00 p.m.
Julie recognized the name and the same byline on the patent-infringement lawsuit article.
While placing the call, Julie licked her lips, a nervous habit she had since a child, waiting for the phone to connect.
“Ms. Rafferty, thank you for returning my call.” Roberta Perkins’s monotone voice replied. Julie pictured her more as a Helen Thomas-style journalist than a wide-eyed Lois Lane.
“An unnamed source on the San Marcel Narcotics Task Force claims the US attorney’s office is requesting a court order to confiscate your company files. Would you care to comment?”
Julie collapsed in her chair, her legs no longer able to support her. “What did you say?”
“Is FunWorks actually a front for money-laundering?”
“I don’t understand the question,” Julie said, her voice shaking.
“It’s the first step before the Narcotics Task Force initiates an investigation,” the reporter said in a matter-of-fact tone.
Nervous energy soared through Julie’s veins. “The Narcotics Task Force? What is this all about?”
“The task force received a tip that FunWorks launders money for drug traffickers.”
“What a ridiculous allegation.” Julie’s pulse quickened, and her hand flew to the silver crucifix dangling on a thin chain around her neck. She fingered the cross and took in a deep breath.
“May I quote you?” 

“Quote me? For what?”
“For the article I’m working on. You did know you are under investigation?”
Julie didn’t respond.
“In my experience, allegations of federal law violations are taken very seriously by the United States Attorney, especially Del Evans’s office,” Roberta said, suddenly sounding supportive. “If I were you, I’d call my attorney.”
“I have no comment about the allegation,” Julie managed to say. “I will remind you, though, that a libel suit can be very expensive. In my experience, newspaper publishers fire irresponsible writers whose sloppy work costs them money.” Julie disconnected the call and threw the cordless phone across the room.
Now those jerks had gone too far.
She retrieved her phone.
Twenty minutes later, after waiting on hold, a clerk in US Attorney Del Evans’s office informed her that Mr. Evans was unable to take her call. The clerk couldn’t say anything about the allegations, but she confirmed that contacting a lawyer would be a good idea.
“How long do these investigations take?” Julie asked.
“Hard to say,” the droning voice replied. “Every case is unique. When it’s connected to money, sometimes the IRS and the DEA get involved.”
Julie held the phone receiver near her ear for a minute or two listening to the dial tone.
The IRS and the DEA?

Burnside wanted FunWorks so much, he sicced the Feds on me. Why?

Friday, September 28, 2018

Free Download: Lonesome Song by Elliott D. Light

Lonesome Song
By Elliott D. Light
Genre: Mystery

Imagine you’re in your late twenties. School is behind you.  You have money, a beautiful wife, lots of friends.  Everything you ever wanted is at your fingertips.

And then suddenly, it’s all taken from you.

Shep Harrington was a young, prosperous and happy lawyer, his bright future shining on the horizon like a beacon.  But things that shine are not always what they seem.  Contentment can be intoxicating, dulling the senses to the signs of change.

He and wife Anna were living their dream—together.  And then they weren’t.

Shep was convicted of a crime he didn’t commit and sent to prison.  Anna, believing him guilty, divorced him. Both were victims of a system created and operated by an older generation who valued power and money over fairness.

Out of prison, Shep must again contend with people who see truth in practical terms as he probes the death of a man whom he loved and who loved him.  A classic murder mystery, Lonesome Song explores the challenges of surviving injustice and of doing the right thing.
Lonesome Song is the first book in the Shep Harrington SmallTown® Mystery Series.

DOWNLOAD LONESOME SONG FOR FREE: http://books2read.com/LonesomeSong

About the Author

I am a retired patent attorney living in Florida with my wife, Sonya, and our feline, Tsuki.  I spent most of my life in the Washington, D.C. area.  I grew up in McLean, Virginia before the beltway was constructed.  Some of my classmates in grade school lived on nearby farms.  McLean had a small town feel to it.  Gossip spread without the Internet.  Party lines were common.  Secrets were hard to keep.

When I was in my early thirties, my life pivoted when I was accused of a crime I didn't commit.  My defense counsel and I discussed plans for my likely indictment and possible imprisonment.  I could expect to be handcuffed and paraded in front of the media.  This experience with the so-called justice system ended after a two year ordeal without an indictment and without going to trial. Even so, it could have ended differently. 

Sadly, I will never fully believe that prosecutors, investigators, or the government are as interested in the truth as they are in getting a conviction, an attitude that I share with the semi-fictional Shep Harrington. 

On Twitter: @elliott_light

Excerpt from Chapter 10 

Before his death Reilly Heartwood was a famous country singer.  Frieda was his housekeeper and Lora Jean is a teenager whom Reilly and Frieda cared for.
The open casket was at the end of the room. A stray beam of sunlight danced across Reilly’s waxen face. I watched as a male tabby cat appeared on the closed end of the coffin. He walked confidently toward Reilly’s head, his tail raised in a question mark. When the cat was half way across the coffin, his gait slowed and his tail twitched nervously. He continued to move forward in a crouched position, until he came to the edge of the opening. The cat stepped gingerly on Reilly’s chest, his head bobbing as he took in the scent of the dead body. He looked up, his mouth open—it was the feline’s way of tasting what he had inhaled. A moment later, he was on the floor, scurrying away. I could see by the fluff of his tail that he had encountered something frightening. I wondered if the brave tabby would spread the news to the others that Reilly had used up his nine lives and was no longer of this earth.
Lora Jean and Frieda gathered behind. “Who is that?” whispered Lora Jean.
“That is what Reilly looked like before you were born,” explained Frieda in a slightly louder whisper.
Lora Jean approached the casket, “What you see is Mr. Heartwood of the late fifties,” I said. “Reilly in his prime.”
“Reilly with hair,” added an uncertain Lora Jean. “I never seen Reilly wear a wig before.”
“Another of Jason Grubb’s bright ideas,” I said.
“God have mercy on us,” said Frieda genuflecting.
I met Frieda’s eyes and like the cat tasting what he couldn’t smell, I saw what I couldn’t hear. “I’m sorry,” I said. “Perhaps I should close the lid.”
Frieda shook her head. “Later.”
I took a deep breath. “Lora Jean, could you show me where you keep the aspirin?”
Lora Jean made a face. “But you know...”
Her protest ended when Frieda touched Reilly’s cheek. LJ turned quickly and walked out. I followed her to the kitchen. “I’m sorry,” said LJ. “I didn’t think about Frieda wanting to be alone with Reilly.”
“You did fine,” I said.
She studied a fingernail for a moment, then asked, “Are you going to sleep in this house with that dead body? I mean, jeze, I couldn’t.”
I swallowed two aspirin. “I’ve slept in places with a lot worse,” I said.
“Prison must really suck,” said LJ. Whether she was referring to me or to her father, or both of us, I wasn’t sure.
I put my glass in the dishwasher, then asked, “Did Reilly ever mention the name Hollinger and why he adopted it as his stage name?”
“God, no,” replied Lora Jean, rolling her eyes.
“I gather I’ve asked a dumb question?”
“The most. I asked Reilly about it once. Chewed my butt out but good.”
“Reilly had a temper?”
“Not usually,” she said.
I could see that the interaction still bothered her, but I persisted. “Do you know why he got so heated?”
“No, and neither did Frieda. He apologized—sort of—but that’s the only time it came up when I was around.” Lora Jean bit her lower lip. “It feels strange to be pissed at someone who’s dead.”
I put my hand under Lora Jean’s chin and lifted her head so that she faced me. “No matter how someone dies, people are always left behind. The dead have what comes next. The living have all the unfinished stuff, like arguments that weren’t settled, things that were never done, words that were never said. When someone kills himself, you can’t help but feel cheated, like he should have said good-bye, or you should have said something. There’s no right or wrong about it. Just feel what you feel, and let it play itself out.” I had just synthesized a few thousand dollars’ worth of therapy into a couple of sentences. I patted her on the cheek and she smiled back at me.
“Thanks,” she said. “I didn’t believe he was dead until I saw him in the coffin.” Her eyes welled up, but she didn’t cry. “I know he liked me. I hope he knew I liked him.” A single tear rolled down her cheek, then dripped onto the floor. “I just didn’t tell him.”
“He liked you very much,” I said, wiping her cheek with my finger.
I handed her a table napkin and she blew her nose.
“Thanks,” she said, then asked hesitantly, “Did someone shoot Mr. Heartwood? I heard you and Doc arguing.”
“I don’t know,” I replied.
“But you’re going to find out? Right? I mean, even if one of Doc’s old friends shot Mr. Heartwood, it doesn’t seem right that he should get away with murder.”
“No. It wouldn’t be right.”


Sunday, September 23, 2018

Character Interview: Karen Faizah Westerhof

I am delighted to interview a character from the sci-fi novel, Rings of Fire and Ice: Karen Faizah Westerhof ...

Bio of Karen Faizah Westerhof:

Ms. Westerhof prefers going by her middle name, Faizah, Swahili for “she who is victorious.” She spent her early years in South Africa until her mid-teens when the family moved to her father’s homeland, England. After attending university, she apparently entered government work, though in what capacity is unclear. She later left the government job for a position with InterCorporate Resources, a firm specializing in corporate intelligence. One of her clients was 4th Orbit Enterprises. She eventually travelled to Mars aboard the interplanetary tug Cydonia Zach. That was was when she first met the tug’s pilot, Ed Ferald, nephew of 4th Orbit’s founder. Life hasn’t been the same for either of them since. Faizahy currently works solely under contract as a “business consutlant” for 4th Orbit.


What do you think of Tom Chmielewski?

He strikes me as the kind of romantic who thinks he was born 30 years too late or 40 years too early. He’s done well as a journalist writing about his own time, but reveals a different passion when he’s peering far ahead in his writing, or looking back. Not more passionate, just different. He’s more eager and wistful with his fiction. Tom’s non-fiction has a wide range of curiosity, and depending on the topic, determination or even anger.

What did you want to be when you grew up–and what did you end up becoming?

Anything but my parents. My mother was a member of South Africa’s Parliament. My father is a British lord and diplomat. They both were in the pubic spotlight in Africa, and that light followed them to England when we moved. It was too bright for me. I wanted no part of it. So I ended up in corporate intelligence where I do most of my work in the shadows. At least I did until I ended up on Mars. Mars is much too small a world to hide in the shadows for long.

Are you a leader or a follower?

People in my line of work, we’re not fond of being followed. It usually ends up in a bad way for the follower. You already know how I feel about being in the spotlight. I find it more interesting finding a place somewhere between leader and follower. Because of what I can find out outside of normal sources, I can slip little known info into a leader’s ear with significant consequences. Yet I also trigger a follower’s fear should one of them get dangerously close.

What music do you listen to?

For that, I have to give some credit to our author. Tom claims that at a classical music festival in the 1990s he had the opportunity to ask Yo Yo Ma what his favorite top-down driving music was. Ma told him it was Led Zeppelin and Beethoven. Just give that a thought for a moment. Beethoven’s Fifth and Led Zeppelin’s  “Whole Lotta Love.’ It’s a brilliant mix, in a weird sort of way. I still find both stirring and invigorating, even in the early years of the 22nd century.

What do you think happens after we die?


If it happens anytime soon, I know what I hope happens after I die, that the coppers nail the s.o.b who did me in.

CHECK OUT Rings of Fire and Ice by Tom Chmielewski!!

Ed Ferald prepares to fly the Cydonia Zach on the fastest trip ever from Mars to Saturn, revolutionizing interplanetary travel time from months and weeks into days. So why are so many corporate execs, lawyers, politicians and thugs determined to stop the Zach from getting there?
Even if the Zach reaches Saturn Science Station safely, Ed doesn’t expect the Titan staff to welcome him and his crew with open arms. Open rebellion seems more likely, for the mission of Zach's is to evict the staff and close the station.
But what haunts the captain most are his own memories of what occurred at Saturn. Worse is his fear of repercussions should a reporter on board finally unravel the 15-year mystery behind the wreck of a legendary ship, a mystery buried among the dark reaches of Saturn’s frigid moons.
There are some secrets that best stay buried.
The story is set in a plausible science fiction setting of the early 22nd century, yet the plot doesn’t delve into the nuts, bolts, and protons of the technology involved. The author, after all, is an English major, not a physicist. Instead, the story focuses on the people who live and work on Mars and elsewhere off Earth, interjected with humor, and sharpened by the dangers they face. Ed and his uncle’s “business consultant,” Faizah, an expert in corporate intelligence and who knows what else, struggle to keep one step ahead of forces trying to stop them. They face the threat through wit and guile, and a few sparks between them, along with help from unexpected sources.
Rings of Fire and Ice is a complete story in itself, yet continues the arc that began with Lunar Dust, Martian Sands, and will continue in a third novel. 

Barnes & Noble: https://bit.ly/2OgOQo8