SILENTLY IN THE NIGHT
A collection of tantalizing tales with more twists than braided hair:
Here you will find mystery, murder and mayhem – plus a moment of romance. All the stories will make you stop and think, even question your role in the world and the universe. Just what are we doing here, and where are we going? Easy questions with problematic answers.
This anthology of sixteen short and thrilling tales of unusual, extraterrestrial and conspiratorial stories is the latest compilation from Clayton Graham, the author of science fiction novels Milijun and the soon to come Saving Paludis. The characters in this eclectic collection are mostly ordinary people whose reactions to their fears and to unexpected events will have you guessing at every turn of the page.
This collection is intriguing reading which, among many other things, encourages the reader to:
Sympathize with a doomed husband and connect with an altruistic robot. Explore an isolated Scottish isle and touch down on a far-flung asteroid.
From the light-hearted to the darkest depths of the human psyche you would be hard pressed not to find something to like about Silently in the Night.
Many different visions of the future are within these pages. And as a bonus, there is an excerpt from the soon to be published Saving Paludis, which introduces the reader to two of the principal protagonists in this tale from the edge of mankind’s known universe in the year 3898AD.
If you love mystery with a hint of the paranormal, and the interplay of human foibles, grab this smorgasbord of short stories then get yourself a copy of Milijun, the mind-bending sci-fi novel by Clayton Graham.
With the daily discord taking place worldwide, I wonder if the United Nations is up to the task of calming the numerous threats and wars that are occurring. From my vantage point, I’m skeptical that the U.N. members can maintain peace. Due to the numerous agendas maintained by the membership, I believe that their self-interests have created an atmosphere of apathy concerning issues that conflict or fall outside of their own agendas.
In contrast, any actions the members do take, often serve to enflame the existing conflicts without resolving the underlying issues that exist.
In addition, I believe the cost to the United States in membership dues is prohibitive. When you understand that the U.S. pays for 22% of the annual U.N. budget as compared to the nearly 8% provided by both the Republic of China and the Russian Federation combined, I become angry while realizing that our country is once again being taken advantage of. Understanding that the United States is considered a pariah nation by many of the U.N. members, I wonder why we continue to maintain our membership in such an ineffective and biased organization.
In my novel, “Conflux Threat from the Troika” the U.S. ambassador to the U.N. and her staff are discriminated against by members of many foreign governments. As a result of the overbearing discrimination and disrespect displayed toward the U.S. delegation to the U.N., the United States ultimately withdraws from the United Nations, producing panic and shock among the remaining members.
The actions taken next by the U.S. are completely unexpected and result in utter chaos worldwide.
What steps do you think our country should take in the future with regard to our membership in the U.N.?
Find out more about Bill Brazzel at http://www.scifiauthorbrazzel.com/
Why would a multibillionaire create a customized vault that is controlled by watch mechanics inside and have a self-destruct mechanism inside to destroy the billion dollars worth of artifacts inside?
Simple, because he can.
On paper, Sam Montgomery is your typical eccentric philanthropic pharmaceutical billionaire whom has literally mailed five dollars to everyone in the US so they can “pay it forward.” But what people didn’t know when made a rare public appearance was that he was announcing he had leukemia. And more shocking was that when he said, “I’d rather die than give my sister the opportunity to save my life,” no one even knew he had a sister.
Elena Diamante nailed the sit down interview – at his small home on the tiny island of Antikythera in Greece. She was only planning on getting the scoop about Sam and his apparently estranged sister but she was also going to be the first journalist to see inside Sam’s custom made vault. It was built using watch mechanics, so it was completely self-sustained, and only opened once a year. It was even rumored that if it were ever tampered with, everything inside would be destroyed in a custom acid.
Come to find out for Elena, there would be one item inside Sam’s vault that could save his life, or end it even quicker, it was just a matter of whether or not the vault would open in time.
The vault explores Sam’s family dynamics and how they inspired him to become the successful man he is. The story is also told using Sam’s own family photos growing up, as well as text messages and Facebook/Twitter. There are even hyperlinks within the novel as “Easter Eggs” for those readers that want to explore even more of Sam’s personal life, further blurring the lines of fact/fiction.
CHRIS TURNER @MagicInnersky
#scifi author of THE TIMELOST
Human vs Alien
A pilot stranded on a faraway planet, timelost. An alien seeking symbiosis.
Visceral alien battles, planetary wars. Experience the adventure...along with edge-of-the-seat SF audio in this Star Wars meets Alien thriller.
In 2014, I started sequencing original SFF to audio using the Booktrack free studio tool, and it offered up a unique, creative experience. I was amazed at how the placement of some well-crafted audio, synced by word, sentence or paragraph could make a story come alive—in the same way a soundtrack makes a movie come alive. To date, I have produced a few dozen, text-and-audio renditions of my stories, drawing on the wide variety of sound clips from the Booktrack audio library.
The Timelost, my most recent production, is a gritty, dystopian foray into the macabre.
The world-building was intense, as I tried to incorporate elements of ‘galactic empire’, the theme of ‘a few struggling against many’, and extraordinary alien adversaries. I also wanted to develop the concept that an ordinary person, the pilot Miko, when plunged into a hostile, colonized, or uncolonized world with chilling advanced alien technology, could become a hero. And not just by circumstance.
The movie Prometheus, even though I had seen it after writing The Timelost, deeply moved me and confirmed my fascination with a SciFi, man-vs-alien conflict. Human and alien genesis theories intertwine as the characters scramble to survive many bizarre and unexpected hostile encounters. The story took on overtones of fantasy horror as it gained momentum, with elements not dissimilar to the Cthulhu mythos a la Lovecraft and the imaginative works of R.E. Howard.
I invite you to enter Miko’s distorted world in The Timelost. The Booktrack text-and-audio based format thrusts the reader into the terrifying unknown of planets of deep space.
BLOG TOURS ANGEL LEYA @AngelLeya #CLEANREADS author of RUNNING TOWARD ILLUMIA #booksgosocial #indieauthor
ANGEL LEYA @AngelLeya
A CLEAN READS author of RUNNING TOWARD ILLUMIA
Hi, I’m Angel Leya, and I write clean young adult stories with (at least) a touch of magic and romance. My latest story is Running Toward Illumia, Astrea’s tale of finding herself while running from the one thing she wants most: To find her sense of belonging.
Astrea’s lived in the Mist all her life, and she loves it there. In fact, she’d do just about anything to feel like she fits in with her Rudan people, even hunt a unicorn to feed her starving tribe.
Illumia is the first city beyond the Mist, just past the Dragon Range. Astrea’s come up with 10 reasons to never go to Illumia. I’ll let her tell you more.
Top 10 Reasons NOT to Travel to Illumia10. They don’t have fog.Who needs sunshine? I’m a Mist girl. Great for concealing movement, comfortable like an old blanket, and you never have to worry about dry skin.
9. They don’t all have red hair.That’s why this tribe is here, despite being sent to the fog to die. And why we call ourselves the Rudan, rather than the Banned.
Wish my hair was redder. And I could use a few more freckles. But I’m one of the Rudan, I swear. I’d be dead if I wasn’t.
8. They’re weak.Fog weeds out the weak. And if the fog doesn’t, the Lynx, ogres, or Rudan will. Illumians live the easy life. They have no reason to be strong.
7. They’re not very welcoming.The Rudan take in anyone who can survive the fog. Illumians kicked us out (or at least my parents, but children of the Banned are no less welcome).
6. Illumians are idiots.Everyone says so.
5. Big government.I know all five of my council members, and they earned their spot. Like Seneca, first huntress—my mentor. Illumians probably have no idea who runs their council.
4. The journey’s dangerous.Even if you can navigate the fog, streams filled with flesh-eating fish, and ogre-infested swamps, there’s the dragon range. There’s one pass, guarded by Illumians. The rest is mountain. Treacherous, dragon-housing mountains. No other way around it. Going to Illumia is a fool’s errand.
3. My family’s not there.If you think getting one person into Illumia is hard, try five. Two brothers, plus Mamaa and Pawpaw.
Course, the whole tribe’s basically family. I’d want to take them all.
Except maybe Mavin. He’s a jerk. (Kidding. Sort of.)
2. I can never come back.Going to Illumia is a one-way trip. Illumians and dragons ensure that.
1. I don’t want to.Do I need any other reason?
Thanks for reading! If you’d like more, click for an excerpt from Banned, Part 1 of Running Toward Illumia.
Get all 4 parts of Running Toward Illumia today:
BLOG TOURS DR. ERIC COLE @drericcole Author of ONLINE DANGER: HOW TO PROTECT YOURSELF AND YOUR LOVED ONES FROM THE EVIL SIDE OF THE INTERNET #booksgosocial #indieauthor
DR. ERIC COLE @drericcole
Author of ONLINE DANGER: HOW TO PROTECT YOURSELF AND YOUR LOVED ONES FROM THE EVIL SIDE OF THE INTERNET
3 Things Every Parent should do to Protect Their Children in Cyber Space
Online activity is second nature to today’s kids, but most of us with children didn’t grow up with the Internet. So it may be difficult to know how to advise them and monitor their safety online, especially when a lot of their school work and social life is centered on being connected. There is a lot that’s great about the Internet and the educational and recreational opportunities out there, but there’s also a lot that’s dark, evil, and dangerous. As parents, we need to help our kids make the right decisions and stay safe online.
In his new book, Online Danger: Protecting Yourself and Your Loved Ones from the Evil Side of the Internet, cyber security expert, Dr. Eric Cole, devotes an entire chapter to the ways that parents can safeguard their kids’ online activities. Here are some of his top suggestions.
Know What Apps They Use
Kids are not going to be as careful when it comes to downloading and installing apps that they want – particularly games. But just because an app (for phone or PC) came from the Google or Apple store doesn’t make it safe. Many of today’s apps – by default – ask for access to the device’s camera, microphone, and location services. This means that your child’s phone might be spying on him or her or making it easy to abduct them based on knowing their location. Review the apps on your kids’ phones, and together determine whether they still use the app and how the permissions are set.
Follow Your Kids on Social Media
Children should have the expectation that you’ll follow them on social media platforms like Facebook, Instagram, and Pinterest. Make sure you all understand privacy settings, particularly who can see or share their posts and photos. You’ll want to check who has connected with your kids, and don’t be shy about asking about faces you may not recognize. You’d much rather hear, “oh that’s Joe from my karate class” than “oh, that’s just someone who asked me to be their online friend.” Remember that predators can be anyone they want online.
Talk Openly About Online Risks
Kids can’t be expected to always make smart decisions or foresee the consequences of their actions. That’s why, as parents, a big part of our job is to teach them these skills, encourage them to make the right decisions, and protect them – both from others and from themselves. Talking with your kids about online safety is an ongoing process that starts the minute they start swiping on your phone or tablet, and continues into young adulthood. Remember, monitoring your kids’ online activities isn’t “nosy” – it’s responsible parenting.
In addition to the chapter devoted to protecting our kids online, Dr. Cole’s book provides advice for anyone wanting to protect themselves from scammers, hackers, and predators. You’ll learn how these online villains operate and how you can safeguard your credit, identity, and personal information. Visit www.onlinedanger.com for more useful tips, videos, and purchase information. Now available on Kindle.
About Dr. Eric Cole
Eric Cole, PhD, is a recognized security expert with over 30 years of experience in consulting, training, public speaking, and expert witness testimony. A published author of 7 books on cyber security, Dr. Cole is on the cutting edge of cyber security research and development. His career has spanned industry and government roles including CTO at McAfee, Chief Scientist for Lockheed Martin, and member of the Commission on Cyber Security for the 44th President, Barack Obama.
BLOG TOURS HOWARD PETOTE Author of THE SINS OF MAGGIE BLACK, an American drifter’s tale #booksgosocial #indieauthor
Author of THE SINS OF MAGGIE BLACK, an American drifter’s tale
Release date is February 14th on Amazon
Origins: An Irish Girl Named Maggie
By Howard Petote
In 1968 the state of Missouri was blessed with the arrival of a baby girl, a one-year-old lifted from the arms of nuns in the west of Ireland. Her name was Maggie, and her adoptive parents— strict Catholics—wanted her to be perfect. But Maggie Black was not perfect, she was merely human—an earthy, feral child who one day realized she would never earn their love. Drifting into drugs, con artists and petty crime, she becomes a single mother stuck in the gritty world of door-to-door sales—dangerously tied to a bad man.
One muggy evening—while home in Saint Joe preparing for a sales jump—she endures an incident that changes her life. This incident opens my novel, The Sins of Maggie Black, the story of one young woman’s attempt to escape her past and dream of a better life. As she informs her little boy, “From now on it’s gonna be me and you—we’re gonna be a team.” Her journey will pit a fierce determination to succeed against a battered ego, a heart struggling to accept love and companionship, and a past that threatens everything.
I began this post with some backstory to introduce one theme of my novel—the mysterious and profound nature of origins. Starting with the fragile innocence of youth, we bear both the blessings and sins of the world throughout our lives. Origins can also refer to any turning point in a character’s life, such as the incident that opens my story. Maggie doesn’t dwell much on the circumstances of her birth or upbringing, but they have deeply affected her. Though she doesn’t seek her mother, she does possess a vestigial memory of her, expressed as an attraction to water. In a vision that turns prophetic, Maggie sinks deep into a river—a symbolic return to the womb.
The river also serves as metaphor for a fundamental aspect of nature—the surface and what lies below. The surface is what we can “see” with our basic senses, while what lies beneath is the nearly inexpressible, underlying reality—the murky depths from which everything originates.
I once read a book about men’s issues—more specifically, fathers and sons in modern and primitive societies. I didn’t particularly connect with all the metaphorical language (the author was a poet) but it was very intriguing. I was living in a boarding house the night I finished the book—alone in a room without a TV or phone. That night I had seven vivid dreams, nearly all about myself and my father. They were rich in symbolic meaning. What had happened? How had mere words triggered such startling dreams?
For me, writing is an exploration—an attempt to understand, to feel, to connect with others. That night in my room a connection was made—the personal stories and myths expressed by that author triggered things deep inside me, obviously important issues lurking in the unconscious mind. These issues flow powerfully below the surface in all of us, manifesting themselves in who we are and how we behave. Just as a river follows the truest way downstream, our souls seek a path toward harmony and peace. Though Maggie and the other characters in my novel are highly flawed, they share a fierce determination to heal themselves, to become whole.
I hope I’ve dramatized a compelling story, and if lucky, revealed a few things that lie below. In my next post I’ll discuss the inspiration for this novel from a brief occurrence in Deadwood, South Dakota—and why my heroine is a door-to-door saleswoman.
Find Howard Petote’s novel, The Sins of Maggie Black at Amazon. Paperback and ebook available by February 14. See his website/blog at www.howardpetote.com
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