THE FRUGAL FIND OF THE DAY: Jimmy Stu Lives!, Kent McDaniel {$0.99}

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Kent McDaniels Frugal Find Under Nine:

Description of Jimmy Stu Lives!:

Jimmy Stu Lives! is science-fiction. It involves an elderly leader of a mega church in present-day Nashville, who loses his faith and convinces his followers that God wants him preserved by cryogenics when he dies–for a mission to the future. He gets his wish and 140 years after dying is reanimated. One has to be careful, of course, what one wishes for: His church has become a major faith, and millions of faithful view him as a prophet. Further, the US has fragmented into spheres of influence controlled by various faiths. And, oh yes, the leaders of his church view him as a threat, had no desire to reanimate him–it was done illicitly–and wish to return him to “suspended animation”. Into the ensuing adventure story, the novel weaves reflections on faith and its corruption, along with satire on efforts to erode church/state separation.

 

Accolades:

“A quick read and a thought provoking book.” review from Amazon.

“…artfully combines both Sci-Fi and Thriller to make it impossible to put the book down once started.” The Kindle Book Review.

“…fascinating depiction of a possible future.” Review from Amazon.

“a slam-bang adventure story, very well paced, with engaging characters…” Review from Amazon.

“…a pointed, albeit tongue in cheek, look at what can happen when a country allows a church to insert itself into the governmental seat of power.” Windy City Reviews

Reviews:

Jimmy Stu Lives! currently has an Amazon reader review rating of 4.5 stars from 17 reviews. Read the reviews here.

 

An excerpt from Jimmy Stu Lives!:

A voice croaked, “He’s alive. Isn’t he?”
A softer voice responded, “His signs are stabilizing. We can’t predict his mental condition.”
Alive. Through the dim consciousness, the word swam up. But – no.
Again, the fierce whisper: “He’s alive.”
Alive, then, but who? Jimmy Stu? Jimmy Stu Sloan?
He seemed to be lying down, his back pressing into a firm mattress. He could feel his body! He opened his eyes enough to peek through his eyelashes. He opened his eyes! Rows of circular lights floated just below the ceiling ten feet above him. A torso in a white lab coat stood beside him, lustrous black hair falling to its waist. Another torso, clad in a coat of orange brocaded cloth, pressed close behind the first.
A third, deeper voice, rumbled, “His eyelashes just fluttered.”
“Really?” The hoarse voice asked. A lean handsome face lowered itself to the level of Jimmy Stu’s head, and dark eyes peered at him.
Jimmy Stu closed his eyes.
“You’re right,” the voice cried beside him. “He’s waking!”
Hands shook Jimmy Stu’s shoulders. “Uncle, wake up!” It was the hoarse voice, choked with emotion, Jimmy Stu realized then. The hands shook him again. “Wake up!”
The soft voice, a woman’s certainly, cried, “Careful, Peter.” The hands fell from Jimmy Stu’s shoulders, and he could hear feet shuffling.
Jimmy Stu opened his eyes and turned his head. A tall lean man, who appeared to be in his late thirties, stood three feet away. A beautiful woman with long black hair, full lips, and dark, glittering eyes held the man’s left arm with both hands, knuckles taut. Behind her towered a golden behemoth of a man, brown hair curling down to his massive shoulders.
“You’re awake!” the lean man – Peter? – cried, his face aglow. He wore loose white trousers, brown sandals, and a Nehru shirt of orange brocade. Something in his bone structure – the high cheekbones and noble brow – reminded Jimmy Stu of someone. Jimmy Stu cleared his throat. “So … it would seem.”
He moved away the sheet covering him. He moved! Naked, he pushed himself to a seated position. Vertigo rocked him, and he swayed. Patches on his arms and chest the size and shape of fifty-cent pieces pulled at his bare skin.
The woman rushed up and steadied him. “Are you all right?” They all had a strange accent – not American, not English, nor Australian … maybe a combination, with a hint of a lilting drawl.
He took a breath. “I think so.” He glanced right and left. What seemed to be a monitor with undulating lines flowing across it, floated at the end of the gurney. A machine as wide as the gurney floated between it and the wall. The woman pulled the patches from his chest and arms, and the lines on the monitor disappeared.
He stared at her. “Are you with Thorne Cryogenics, then?”
She looked over her shoulder at the lean man who hurried over, hand to his jaw, eyes averted. “Well, uh, not exactly, uncle,” he said. “Actually, this is lab is owned by SynthaLife, Incorporated.” He tipped a hand toward the woman. “Shama is a senior researcher here.”
“SynthaLife?” Jimmy Stu stared at him.
Shama touched Jimmy Stu’s arm and looked into his eyes. “We develop and manufacture synthetic life – biological androids. I’m a biochemist and an officer of the company.”
“Androids?” Jimmy Stu blinked. “Robots?”
“Synthetic life.” Her tone was patient. “Our product is organic.”
He shook his head to clear the cobwebs. “What’s all that got to do with cryonics? Or Thorne Cryogenics Labs?”
“Actually,” Peter said, stepping closer to him, “Thorne Labs was bought by the Church of the Living Lord over eighty years ago.”
Jimmy Stu drew back like he’d been tazed. “My church? Bought Thorne Labs?”
Peter nodded.
Jimmy Stu pointed at Peter. “You’re with the Church of The Living Lord?”
Peter grimaced. “Not … exactly.”
Jimmy Stu sputtered, “Well, what-what the hell’s going on? Who the hell … who the hell are you?” He stared around the chamber almost as large as a basketball court, its walls and floors spotless, gleaming white. Opposite them, five doors stood along the far wall, a window beside each door. In the room’s middle were a couple tables with drawers underneath, and beakers, flasks, and test tubes on top. On his side of the room, another table stood at the far end, longer than the others, with a sink. In between it and him floated a metallic device the size of a large suitcase, lights oscillating across it. High on the walls, large windows revealed the black of night above.
The bronze giant lumbered up to Jimmy Stu with a set of clothes much like hospital scrubs, only royal blue. “Why don’t you try these on?” he rumbled. “Looks like they might fit. I’m Joachim,” he added. “It’s an honor to be here tonight, Your Holiness.” He held out the clothing like a communion bowl.
After a few seconds, Jimmy Stu took the garments. Not knowing whether to laugh or cry, he slipped them on, marveling at how smooth and muscular his limbs were. Dizzy again, he sat back down on the gurney and whispered, “I was dead.” He stared at the dark, lean man. “Who are you? Where am I?” He put his hands to his temples.
“I’m Peter Alvarez,” the man said gently. “Your great-great-great-great-nephew.”
Jimmy Stu stared.
Peter nodded at the dark-haired beauty in the lab coat. “This is Shama Besic.” He pointed at the giant. “And this is Joachim Davis.”
“Great-great-great-great?” Jimmy Stu’s voice came out as a croak. “It … it worked? It actually worked?”
As he’d been dying, apprehension had nagged him about Thorne Labs’ use of the ‘neuro’ preservation option. It’d seemed too fantastic. They’d assured him all they needed was his head, that they’d someday be able to scan and record his DNA, and use organic material to produce an exact replica of him – head, torso, limbs, organs, nervous system … everything. They promised technology would someday exist that could map his brain, record its state, run a simulation indistinguishable from his original mind, and imprint it on his newly generated brain. Even to him, the hope had seemed desperate and pathetic. “It worked, then?” he repeated.
“Yes.” Peter beamed. “You’re alive and, it would seem, well.” He put his hands on his hips and leaned toward Jimmy Stu. “Do you feel well enough to travel? We’d like to take you Joachim’s place outside the city.”
Jimmy Stu looked around the lab, at the night sky in the windows, then at the three people. “Why am I here? Not at Thorne Labs?”
Peter clasped Jimmy Stu’s shoulders. “Please, uncle, we need to go – now. We can use an aero-chair or auto-stretcher if you need. I’ll explain on the way.”
Jimmy Stu drew back, but his shoulders remained in the Peter’s grip. “Yeah, I’m sure you can.” Jimmy Stu looked inward. “But can I believe you?” His voice fell. “What do I know, really? I’m here. Alive. With you. How do I know who you are, what you want?”
Peter looked horrified. “Uncle, we’ve risked everything to bring you back. We would never harm you! The will of God made flesh! But we need to leave now. Your life could depend on it.”
There was a beep. Peter and Shama blanched. The beep sounded again and repeated every three seconds.
“Who?” Peter glared at a large oblong rectangle of opaque beige light that appeared on the wall. Beside the rectangle, a red light blinked in sync with the beeps.
Shama jabbed a finger at a door across the lab. “In my office! Quickly!”
Jimmy Stu stared back and forth between her and the screen. Joachim jumped over and wrapped an arm around his torso, hefting Jimmy Stu like a sack of potatoes. He trotted toward the doors across the lab, with Peter at his side. They scrambled through a door, and it slammed behind them. They were in an office with a large window facing the lab. Shama stared wide-eyed at them through the window, moving her arms up and down in short jerks. Peter tapped the window, and it became opaque. Joachim set Jimmy Stu on his feet and tapped a black plastic strip on the wall. A screen of light like the one on the lab’s wall appeared.
Peter’s voice was shrill. “We’re not transmitting?”
Joachim folded his arms across his chest, then glanced at Peter. “Just receiving. Relax.”
Lightheaded, Jimmy Stu stared at the screen. Abruptly a red-haired woman with high cheekbones and slightly tilted cobalt eyes appeared in the hologram. She wore a jumpsuit of black leather.
Shama’s voice said, “Hello?”
Peter growled, “Fuck!”
The woman appeared to be standing beside a large semi-circular desk in a spacious lobby, two brutes in black jump suits like hers lounging ten feet behind, at the edge of the screen.
“She’s here!” Peter spat. “Downstairs!”
On screen, the redhead smiled icily. “Dr. Shama Besic?”
“Yes?”
The redhead inclined her head and shoulders in a sort of mini-bow. “Phuong Blake, with the security department of the Church of the Living Lord. We have reason to believe that you possess an item stolen from the Church of the Living Lord.”
Jimmy Stu glanced at Joachim, then spun around to Peter and whispered, “You stole something from them?”
“Yes!” Peter hissed “You!”
A sharp inhalation from Shama came over the holo-phone. “What are you talking about? Stolen item?”
Phuong Blake’s cobalt eyes took on a sardonic sheen, and her full lips twisted slightly to one side. “Oh, I think you know what I’m talking about.” She craned her neck as if trying to better see into the holo-screen. “And where, by the way, are Peter Alvarez and his good friend Joachim Davis? They’re up there with you, aren’t they?”
“Oh,” Shama said, going for nonchalant and missing, “they’re around.”
Blake nodded. “We’d like to come up and speak with them, and you, if we might.”
Shama sounded incredulous, furious. “You think I’ll let you bring your goons up here?”
Blake’s cobalt eyes seemed to burn into the screen. “We’d like to keep the police out of this, if we can.”
Beside Jimmy Stu, Peter snorted. “Of course.” He jumped to Joachim’s side and pointed at Jimmy Stu. “Stay with him.” Peter cracked the office door just wide enough to step through, and strode into the lab.
On screen, Blake’s eyes widened for a fraction of a second.
Peter’s voice came over the holo-phone, an angry bark. “What’s the meaning of this, Phuong?”
Jimmy Stu edged closer to Joachim. “What’d he mean, of course, they’d want to keep the police out of it?”
Joachim closed his eyes for a second. “We stole your head back in April, and it’s June third. They still haven’t reported it to the police. They don’t want anyone to know.” He put his finger to his lips, then pointed at the screen.
Blake sighed through her nose. “Congressman Alvarez.” Irony dripped from her voice. “As I said, we’d prefer to keep the police uninvolved. But I can have them here in no time, rest assured. If necessary.”
Seconds ticked by as Blake’s hologram stared into the screen, her impassive face somehow more menacing than if she’d glared.
Peter’s voice, sounding strangled, came over the holo-phone. “We have nothing to hide, Phuong. You can come up. Your strong-arm guys stay put, though.”
Blake glanced over her shoulder at the two thugs, looked back at the screen, and shrugged. “No problem. I have your permission to come up, then?”
Maybe Peter had nodded, because the picture changed. A middle-aged man in a security guard’s uniform, complete with brimmed hat, stared slightly down into the holo-screen. A vee formed between his eyebrows. “Officer Blake has permission to enter your facility then, Dr. Besic?”

 

Jimmy Stu Lives! is available for purchase at:

 Amazon Kindle for $0.99

 

Connect with Kent McDaniel:

Website: www.kentmcdanielwrites.wordpress.com

Facebook: Kent McDaniel

Twitter: @dickmoby

Trust: The Hero Chronicles (Volume 2) , Tim Mettey {$0.99}

Nicholas Keller has come to terms with his Thusian heritage and has finally achieved some normalcy in his life. But when new neighbors move in next door at the beginning of his junior year, everything changes. He is launched into an impossible search, uncertain of who to trust, and this time it’s not just his own life that hangs in the balance—it’s the lives of countless others and everyone he loves.

What readers are saying:

True to its title, book two of The Hero Chronicles delivers a powerful reminder that TRUST is a key factor to the success of any and all relationships – dating, friendships, parents/children, teachers/students, neighbors etc. Mettey does a good job of keeping readers in suspense — wondering who we should TRUST — with twists and turns throughout the story hinting that people and situations aren’t always as they seem.

I have enjoyed both books in this series. They are easy to read and the characters are quite likeable. I find myself thinking about Nicholas and Elle sometimes even though I finished reading the book weeks ago. I look forward to reading more about the Thusians and the Seekers in the next book.

The average Amazon Review is currently 4.4 stars {8 reviews}.

Click here to read more about and purchase Trust: The Hero Chronicles (Volume 2)  for $0.99  from Amazon!

Secrets: The Hero Chronicles (Volume 1), Tim Mettey {FREE!}

The Midwest lies in complete ruins after a catastrophic disaster kills tens of thousands and leaves hundreds of thousands injured. Nicholas Keller emerges out of the devastation as a shining light of hope for all. But his newfound fame comes with a price that his aunt will not let him pay. They flee into the shadows in order to protect his secret. However, as Nicholas begins his sophomore year at his fifth school in five years, strange and unexpected things begin to happen. He soon tumbles into a web of doomed love, extraordinary talents and a secret past, which threatens the lives of everyone he cares about. It’s up to Nicholas to confront the truth, even if it means his own death.

Stay tuned for the release of book 2 in the
series, TRUST, coming October 10, 2013!

What readers are saying:

After reading Secrets, I am highly anticipating the continuation of The Hero Chronicles, and more of Mettey’s dynamic writing. I would recommend this book to many.

The average Amazon Review is currently 4.2 stars {107 reviews}.

THE FRUGAL FIND OF THE DAY: The Silver Sphere, Michael Dadich {$3.99}

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Michael Dadich’s Frugal Find Under Nine:

Description of The Silver Sphere:

Shelby Pardow never imagined killing someone. That’s about to change.

While hiding from her troubled father in the local library, Shelby stares at a flashing instant message on her computer: YOU ARE NEEDED. She discovers a portal that opens and teleports her to the planet Azimuth, where soldiers await. Here, she is not a child but a warrior, Kin to one of the six Aulic Assembly members imprisoned by Malefic Cacoethes, the daunting leader of the Nightlanders.

Malefic, the evil spawn of the demon Biskara, razes towns and cities in his quest to rule Azimuth, and yearns to turn his forces against Earth. Yet every time Biskara gets close to achieving his malevolent goals, the Assembly uses the Silver Sphere, a sophisticated armillary device, to thwart him.

With the Assembly deposed, Biskara directing Malefic’s conquests, and the Silver Sphere out of reach, Shelby is thrust into an unforgettable quest with her fellow Kin. She must learn to kill and lead an army into battle, or Azimuth—and Earth—will fall.

Winner of the prestigious Mom’s Choice Gold Award for Young Adult Fantasy.

Winner of the Wise Bear Books Gold Award including best in category for Young Adult Fantasy-Adventure and Young Adult Fantasy-General.

 

Accolades:

“A vivid mind has most definitely brought back the Technicolor that’s been missing since Potter made his last stand.” ~ Feathered Quill Book Reviews

“This is definitely a book to watch as it has all the right elements to be the next Hunger Games-type phenomenon.” ~ Wise Bear Book Reviews

“This fresh twist on the quest fantasy novel is done with charm and humor.” ~ Foreword-Clarion Reviews

“As a warrior, Shelby must learn how to kill, and how to lead an army to preserve the light of hope, in this captivating and highly recommended saga of life and death on the battlefield.” ~ Midwest Book Review

Reviews:

The Silver Sphere currently has an Amazon reader review rating of 4.7 stars from 91 reviews. Read the reviews here.

 

An excerpt from The Silver Sphere:

“Your world will be over soon, won’t it, dear Bianca?”
The cloaked creature rasped out the syllables one at a time, and each sound pushed Bianca closer toward the cold stone floor. Moonlight splashed across the room from a wall of windows. Even if she could have yelled, no one would have heard her. Pain made her dizzy.
As the assault on her consciousness raged, she struggled to her feet against the heavy stupor overtaking her body. Her limbs shook. The long table in front of her provided only a moment of support before she collapsed upon the solid oak board.
Her vision blurred from the pressure, and a murmur gurgled from her throat as she tried to call out to the Assembly members hunched in their chairs. The maroon wine spilled across the table told of their downfall. Were they unconscious or dead? She couldn’t begin to guess. Her goblet remained almost untouched.
“How easy this was….”
The din of his words made her gaze upward, where a hood surrounded his darkened features. Screams echoed in her head, though no sound broke from her lips.
He knelt beside her and whispered, “Dear Bianca.” His hands caressed full chunks of her raven hair, and he started pulling the strands through his fingers.
Horror traveled down her spine and numbed her. She felt the escape of fainting descend upon her, fogging her mind; how she wanted to drift off and shun the maddening fear. Yet he would not let her. She tried in vain to pull away, but his power over her was too great.
“Don’t.” She must have said it aloud because his grip tightened and he jerked her head back, forcing her to look at him. She gasped as he pulled the cowl away.
Her tormentor had a pallid complexion and a high forehead. Long, wiry auburn hair framed his narrow face, at the center of which sat a nose snubbed like a snout. It was the piercing glare of his eyes that caught her, though. Their intensity made her skin crawl.
“Malefic,” she mouthed, her breath releasing in a terrified wheeze.
He loosened his grasp and eased her to the floor. Then he stepped over her body and slithered to the head of the table, admiring his handiwork.
Bianca’s legs and arms stiffened. Malefic oozed power, and as she watched him, her mind reeled. What had led to such laxness in their security? Where had he come from?
We were betrayed, of course, she thought, as unconsciousness bid her closer to blackness.
Malefic turned and glared into her eyes, a sneer twisting his expression into a grotesque mask. “The Aulic Assembly is mine.” His harsh voice pulled her to the brink. “Father will be pleased.”

 

The Silver Sphere is available for purchase at:

 Amazon Kindle for $3.99

 

Connect with Michael Dadich:

Website: www.thesilversphere.org

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/AuthorMichaelDadich

Twitter: https://twitter.com/michaeldadich

Next History: The Girl Who Hacked Tomorrow, Lee Baldwin {FREE!}

An Epic Contemporary Fantasy Adventure

Wounded… by an absent mother, adrift in her maturing sexuality, a young woman conjures a supernatural being into the heart of the U.S. Pentagon and humanity is about to be reprogrammed.

When she finds in her deepest being a secret twin, the future is due for an attitude adjustment. Will there be a collective, agonizing dive into chaos and depravity? Will it reveal humanity’s true purpose? Or, will nothing change at all, except for the dark fate of one luckless girl?

Whatever comes, reality will be rebooted!

Next History weaves big-iron predictive knowledge, a plugged-in world population, Sumerian creation myth, and a demonic presence with a hip sensibility to launch us beyond the hyperdata age toward a shifting and dangerous event horizon.

The story is a head-changing whirl toward a future world so outrageous, the survivors will be forced to adapt, or die.

What readers are saying:

A unique voice in story telling. “Next History” is humorous, a cliff hanger, a marvelous love story, and perfectly executed. ~ Ernie Smitty on Amazon

What a great novel. Picked this up because I had enjoyed Baldwin’s prior book, “Angle of Attack: An Adventure in Aviation, Love, and Crime.” I enjoyed this much more and think it compares to “Even Cowgirls Get the Blues” by Tom Robbins. Pick this up and enjoy the read. ~ Jed M. Wells on Amazon

Hope… The reading of this book reinforced beliefs I have held for some time. Thank you for hope. I loved the book… I recommend it. ~ Dragonviolet on Amazon

What a Find! Absolutely AWESOME book! I was looking for escape fiction, and while the book provided that, it is so much more. It made me think, and it is changing my life. If you want to know the deepest secrets of the universe, this book won’t spoon feed you, but will give you lots of terrific hints. Look over there! Consider this! What would you choose? And last, best, what will I choose? Now I need to find another book by LeeBaldwin! ~ Maggie Uh-O on Amazon

The average Amazon Reader Review Rating is currently 4.8 stars {12 reviews}.

 Click here to read more about and purchase Next History: The Girl Who Hacked Tomorrow for FREE!

Secrets: The Hero Chronicles (Volume 1), Tim Mettey {FREE!}

The Midwest lies in complete ruins after a catastrophic disaster kills tens of thousands and leaves hundreds of thousands injured. Nicholas Keller emerges out of the devastation as a shining light of hope for all. But his newfound fame comes with a price that his aunt will not let him pay. They flee into the shadows in order to protect his secret. However, as Nicholas begins his sophomore year at his fifth school in five years, strange and unexpected things begin to happen. He soon tumbles into a web of doomed love, extraordinary talents and a secret past, which threatens the lives of everyone he cares about. It’s up to Nicholas to confront the truth, even if it means his own death.

Stay tuned for the release of book 2 in the
series, TRUST, coming October 10, 2013!

What readers are saying:

Tim Mettey’s Secrets starts off with a resounding bang. 
Nicholas’ life is an exciting one, and witnessing his interactions, actions, and knowing his thoughts is an enjoyable experience.
After reading Secrets, I am highly anticipating the continuation of The Hero Chronicles, and more of Mettey’s dynamic writing. I would recommend this book to many.
I would describe Tim Mettey’s SECRETS as a paranormal teen romance with a hint of apocalyptic spiritualism. That sounds like a complicated mix, but it’s actually a fairly straight-forward story.

This is ultimately a supernatural story, and there are suggestions that Nicholas’s ultimate purpose in life may have spiritual connections. SECRETS is the first in a proposed series called THE HERO CHRONICLES, and Nicholas’s heroism has many levels. Is he just a kid who has a knack for being in the right place at the right time? And why is he suddenly so good at football, so strong, so fast, and so able to do things no ordinary fifteen-year-old can do? Stick with the novel and you’ll find out.

I do recommend SECRETS to teen readers looking for a mix of romance and paranormal adventure. Bottom line, it’s a good story. And I do think future installments of THE HERO CHRONICLES could be very interesting. It wouldn’t make a bad TV series, either!

Secrets is the perfect title for this book as it is mostly about the secret that Nicholas Taylor finds out about himself. I like books with a twist ending and this book did not disappoint. I was held captive by the foreshadowing which didn’t actually unfold as I thought! I think a good movie could be made from this book as I envisioned a cross between the Matrix and Friday Night Lights. A good juvenile fiction series for sure.
The average Amazon Reader Review Rating is currently 4.2 stars {100 reviews}.

 Click here to read more about and purchase Secrets: The Hero Chronicles (Volume 1) for FREE at Amazon

Limelight: A Golden Light Anthology {$3.99}

Limelight: A Golden Light Anthology features tales of new worlds and old worlds and worlds yet to be. These stories twist and turn with adventure, intrigue, and wonder. This anthology of short stories brings science fiction and fantasy out of the shadows and into the limelight.

Authors Edward W. Robertson, John Grover, James S. Dorr, Ela Lond, Sergio Palumbo, Larissa Hinton, Jessica B. Zeidler, Katy Huth Jones, Alexandra Baker, Catriel Ceballos, Domyelle Rhyse, and Bill Blume spin tales of old and new, of fantasy or alternate realities. These stories wrap around the future, the unknown, and the fantastic. You may be surprised at where they’ll lead…

Take my hand and step into the light with Limelight: A Golden Light Anthology

***

Look for more books in the series -

Lamplight : A Golden Light Anthology
Christian and Inspirational Short Stories and Poems

Gaslight : A Golden Light Anthology
Historical Short Stories

Nightlight : A Golden Light Anthology
Children’s Short Stories and Poems

Limelight : A Golden Light Anthology
Science Fiction and Fantasy Short Stories

Spotlight : A Golden Light Anthology
Young Adult Short Stories

Click here to read more about and purchase Limelight: A Golden Light Anthology for $3.99 from Amazon

THE FRUGAL FIND OF THE DAY: The Forever Saga: Flash, Sean C. Sousa {$0.99}

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Sean C. Sousa‘s Frugal Find Under Nine:

Description of The Forever Saga: Flash:

Long ago, the first reign of Grigori Geist nearly destroyed the Earth.

Returned from exile, Geist is secretly rebuilding his kingdom beneath Antarctica, assembling his robotic Vaucan race to war against mankind. Only one obstacle remains: the war hero known as Brian Renney.

Yet Brian is losing a battle against his fears. Scars of heart and mind linger from his days in Vietnam, fueling his failures as husband and father. This embitters his youngest son, Jason – a star athlete torn between pursuing the love of his life, and meeting the demands of a father who is far from the storied army captain he once was.

And all the while, Geist is coming for them.

In this dark hour, Brian and Jason encounter a war to end all others… and an unexpected ally who, once meant for evil, shall forever be a force for good.


Accolades:

“This book is such a good read it’s hard to put down…it’s clear that this book is way more than just sci-fi. It’s got everything from action to romance, comedy to tragedy, and even a touch of mystery as the plot unfolds with more than a few unexpected discoveries.”

“Sean Sousa does an amazing job at creating a world unique to his story while creating very believable and relatable characters. The sci-fi is riveting; the romance tugs at your heart strings; the comedy is gold.”

“…A great first offering by a very gifted writer. Sean Sousa grabs your attention with 60 ft robots and hidden cities of 100 million people. He then weaves this tale with real people with real lives and real relational issues. Sean builds the depth in his characters until you really care about their struggles. The book is full of action, heroics, and good vs evil but it also is full of flawed people, heartache, tears and laughter…I can’t wait for book 2.”


Amazon Reader Reviews:

The Forever Saga: Flash currently has a Amazon reader review rating of 4.9 stars, with 8 reviews! Read the reviews here!

 

The Forever Saga: Flash is available for purchase at:

Amazon Kindle for $0.99

 

Excerpt from The Forever Saga: Flash:

Prince Ahya laid eyes upon his kingdom for the first time – and was desperate to escape it.

He observed his people – blissful yet enslaved, with no will of their own – and refused to let the same fate befall the Earth. That was why, despite the grandeur of the kingdom before him, the prince could not obey his king, Grigori Geist. It was Dietrich Schmidt, the prince’s only ally, who had convinced him that he could be more than an instrument of destruction; but rather, a freer of the enslaved. It would begin with an escape from the city, the exposure of Geist to the outside world, and the rallying of allies to their cause.

The prince surveyed the city of Regnum Aeturnum, a megalopolis of over one hundred million people, built from a round, basin-shaped cavern excavated beneath the continent of Antarctica. Gleaming towers, temples, ramparts, and terraces sprang from the city floor, while Aether, a second city, hung from the cavern ceiling above. This suspended series of towers comprised a glowing ceiling of blue-white light – imitating the true sky, far above, that Prince Ahya had never witnessed.

Ahya…the meaning of the prince’s name was never given to him, nor could he discern it. Frustrated, the prince stood on an open air balcony on the lower levels of the Great Spire, an hourglass-shaped fortress of gleaming white quartz that lay in the center of Regnum Aeturnum, and the only structure that reached both cavern floor and ceiling. The Great Spire had been the prince’s home for the entirety of his young life.

In the solitude of the balcony, the prince watched and waited for his opportunity. Ahead of him, the Jupiter Terrace – the primary road of the city – stretched out from the base of the Great Spire toward the castle-like Gate of Ishtar, twenty-eight miles away. It was a dangerous gauntlet to run. In his youth and inexperience, the prince was not at the height of his power, nor did he expect Geist to simply let him leave. Despite the peculiar sensation of doubt creeping from his chest to the ends of his limbs, the prince had to try. Until he succeeded, millions of citizens would remain Geist’s puppets.

The prince spoke aloud with resolve in his voice. “Is it time?”

A quiet, slightly hoarse voice answered, heard only by the prince. “It is.”

At this, the prince leapt over the railing of the terrace, falling hundreds of feet below and sliding along the base of the Great Spire as it leveled off toward the ground. Such a fall did not faze the prince, for he was not made of flesh and blood, but of metal and circuitry – his sixty-foot body adorned in shining plates of gray armor, sculpted as like broad human muscles. As the prince sprinted from the Great Spire to the Jupiter Terrace, his glowing red eyes burned with determination – like Dietrich, he wished not only to escape Geist, but to one day defeat him.

 

The Forever Saga: Flash is available for purchase at:

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Connect with Sean C. Sousa:

Author Website: www.theforeversaga.com

Author Facebook Page: http://www.facebook.com/pages/The-Forever-Saga-by-Sean-Sousa/46622244222?ref=hl

Author Twitter Page: https://twitter.com/SeanCSousa


THE FRUGAL FIND OF THE DAY: You Shouldn’t Call Me Mommy, Susan Tsui {$0.99}

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Description of You Shouldn’t Call Me Mommy:

Orphaned by his parents and his artificial mother, and abandoned by his older brother at a young age, Jay spends most of his adulthood serving as a government therapist to those like him.  He considers his own happiness proof of success in his career and life.  Little does he know that his picture perfect world, occupied by his wife, Sasha, and their two children, is not as idyllic as it seems.

When Jay’s older brother, Ian, returns Jay finds himself torn between the happy bubble he resides in and helping his troubled brother keep his own children out of the hands of the very institution Jay serves.  Can Jay save Ian while holding onto the loving memories of his artificial mother and all that he believes in?  More importantly, does he even want to?

You Shouldn’t Call Me Mommy is a story about the difficult journey of self-discovery, one that explores the power of truth over illusion and the meaning of a mother’s love.

 

Accolades:

“A compelling narrator drives this strong, sympathetic tale that begets metaphysical soul-searching.” ~ Kirkus Reviews (starred review) 

“Susan Tsui’s deft touch in scene after scene made me bleed for the characters.” ~ Amazon Reviewer

“This was an imaginative and thought provoking novel. It is an excellent debut that promises great future things from author. ” ~ Amazon Reviewer


Amazon Reader Reviews:

You Shouldn’t Call Me Mommy currently has a Amazon reader review rating of 4 stars, with 10 reviews! Read the reviews here!

 

You Shouldn’t Call Me Mommy is available for purchase at:

Amazon Kindle for $0.99

 

An excerpt from You Shouldn’t Call Me Mommy:

CHAPTER 1

It has been fourteen years since I last saw Ian. So it takes me a moment to recognize the slightly graying gentleman waiting for me out in the hall as my brother. At first I don’t really notice him. I take him for another patient, someone new who wants to join the therapy group. I continue to shake everyone’s hands and wish them a nice evening. It isn’t until he pulls his hands from his pockets to move away from the wall and starts approaching, and I take a brief moment to wonder what this potential patient’s story might be, that I start to realize exactly who is standing before me.

It’s a shock, to say the least.

The last time I saw my brother, I was slamming the door in his face. I glance around the wide open halls and the multitude of rooms surrounding us. There are plenty of doors here, but slamming these won’t do me any good. The hospital’s clinic isn’t in my jurisdiction to kick him out of, and watching him just standing there with hunched shoulders and an uncertain expression has me wondering why the hell he’s here.

“Hi,” Ian says. His voice is more raspy than I remember, older and more tired.

I clench my hands and nod my head, acknowledging that I’ve heard him but not trusting myself to speak.

He opens and closes his mouth several times and then swallows. “How are you doing?” he asks.

The question is so ordinary compared with the circumstances that it feels completely out of place. I don’t know how to answer it. Does he mean how am I at this moment, this day, this week? Does he want to know how I’ve been doing for the past decade and a half? I settle for a grated, “I’m fine.” I refrain from asking him how he is doing. I tell myself I don’t care.

The two of us are simply standing there. I want to walk away, and I don’t know why I’m not. Damn it, do something, I tell myself.

“That’s good,” Ian finally says.

I can’t do this. I won’t. Standing here making small talk to a brother that I haven’t seen in years and pretending that nothing’s happened between us is ridiculous. I stopped talking to him for a reason I remind myself.

“I have to go,” I say.

I start to walk away, and Ian grabs my arm. I shake myself free, while shoving down the sudden urge to raise a fist and smash Ian’s face into the wall. He must recognize how I’m feeling because suddenly he has both hands in the air. “Hey, hey, hey,” he says. All his heys run quickly together without pause, and it occurs to me that my brother is terrified. My anger dwindles down to nothing more than a smoldering burn and try as I do to re-stoke the flames, I can’t. “What do you want?” I find myself demanding.

“To talk,” Ian says. His hands are still in the air. “Just to talk.”

“I have nothing to say to you.” I start to walk away again.

“Please, I need your help.”

The word “please” startles me more than anything. I can’t recall Ian ever requesting anything of me. He demanded, cajoled, but “please” might as well have been non-existent vocabulary.

“With what?” I ask. It must be damned important for him to show up here after all this time.

He opens his mouth to speak and then shakes his head. “Not here.”

“Why not here?”

Ian glances around, and I notice several individuals walking about in the halls. Humans and humaniforms, mingling and chatting.

“The walls have ears,” Ian says.

“I don’t have anything to hide,” I say, and then realize that may be true of me but not necessarily of Ian.

“Can we… Can we go somewhere more private, maybe?”

I shake my head. No, absolutely not.

“Jay.” On his lips my name is a plea.

“I have to get home,” I say. I have to get home, and I have to forget this day ever happened.

“I’m sorry,” Ian says.

What? The words cause me to drop my crossed arms and stare.

“Is that what you need to hear? I’m sorry. I’ll say it again and again, as many times as you need. I’m sorry. Just, please.”

More unfamiliar words from my brother’s lips. Who is this person? Certainly not the Ian I knew. The “I’m sorry” burrows into me. I know it’s not real, that it’s insincere, but just hearing the apology is more than I ever expected from Ian, lie or no.

“Jay.”

“Do you have a hotel you’re staying at?” I find myself asking. I don’t know if I’m doing the right thing, except Ian said he needed my help; and I can’t but think how much he must need it to come to me like this after all this time and say please and sorry. I cross my arms, hating myself for being so weak, but unable to change it.

“Your place,” Ian says.

I hesitate, thinking about my home and my life now; and I’m not at all certain I’m ready for Ian to come back into it, much less walk through my front door.

“There isn’t anywhere else,” he says.

I can always kick him back out if I have to. I take a deep breath and nod.

He smiles. It’s painful to see the half-hearted stretch of his mouth coupled with the worried wrinkle of his forehead. There’s so much fear and hope there.

I reach into my briefcase and pull out a business card. I scribble my address onto the back and shove the card at him.

Ian clutches the card close. “When should I…?”

“Come by tonight,” I say. I want to get this over with and get him out of my life if I can. I’d bring him home now, but the thought of spending an hour alone with him in a car while I’m still trying to gather my wits about me is more than I can stand.

Ian smiles at me again, and I realize the wrinkles around his eyes resembles the beginnings of crows feet. We’ve gotten so old, and I’ve missed it. I force myself to turn away and start walking.

***

My wife, Sasha, is waiting for me at the door when I get home.

“Hey, Jay.” She dusts the rice flour from her hands and gives me a peck on the cheek. “How was your day?” she asks.

I close my eyes and place my head on her shoulder, burying my face against the base of her neck. I feel the warmth of her wash over me. I shudder and instinctively her hands wrap around my back, and she’s suddenly squeezing me tight. She coos softly into my ears and runs her fingers through my hair, and for a moment nothing else matters but the sweet lullaby of her.

“That bad, huh?” Her voice is a ghost of a whisper.

I let out a tiny hysterical laugh and find comfort that for her that’s all I need to say.

 

You Shouldn’t Call Me Mommy is available for purchase at:

Amazon Kindle for $0.99


Connect with Susan Tsui:

Website: http://www.susantsui.com/

THE FRUGAL FIND OF THE DAY: Night of the Purple Moon (The Toucan Trilogy), Scott Cramer {$2.99 or Borrow FREE w/Prime!}

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Description of Night of the Purple Moon (The Toucan Trilogy):

The epidemic strikes everyone who has passed through puberty.

Abby Leigh is looking forward to watching the moon turn purple. For months, astronomers have been predicting that Earth will pass through the tail of a comet. They say that people will see colorful sunsets and, best of all, a purple moon.

But nobody has predicted the lightning-fast epidemic that sweeps across the planet on the night of the purple moon. The comet brings space dust with it that contains germs that attack human hormones. Older teens and adults die within hours of exposure.

On a small island off the coast of Maine, Abby must help her brother and baby sister survive in this new world, but all the while she has a ticking time bomb inside of her — adolescence.

 

Accolades:

Cramer creates a picture of our world that’s both frightening and inspiring in this heartfelt story that both young adults and adults can enjoy.A heartwarming but not overly sentimental story of survival.” KIRKUS REVIEWS

“Outrageous and completely ‘out of the box’.” MY HOME AWAY FROM HOME review blog

“Three words: Gripping. Palpable. Well-developed.” WORD SPELUNKING review blog

 

 

Amazon Reader Reviews:

Night of the Purple Moon (The Toucan Trilogy) currently has a Amazon reader review rating of 4.5 stars, with 104 reviews! Read the reviews here!

 

Night of the Purple Moon (The Toucan Trilogy) is available for purchase at:

Amazon Kindle for $2.99 or Borrow FREE w/Prime!

 

Excerpt from Night of the Purple Moon (The Toucan Trilogy):

DAY 1 – THE COMET

Thick fog rolled in and swallowed Abby whole. Unable to see her outstretched hand, she clenched her jaw to stop her teeth from chattering. Homichlophobia — fear of fog. Millions had the phobia, but how many of them lived in the fog capital of the universe?

“Abby.”

Her father’s voice sounded far away. He’d been next to her a moment ago. She reached for him and grabbed damp air. A chill rippled through her and she started flailing her arms.

A hand pressed down on her shoulder. “Hey, sleepy.”

Abby opened her eyes and blinked at the silhouette, tall and lean with a curly mop of brown hair. “Dad!”

“Swimming somewhere?”

“Yeah, Cambridge.” Abby always found a way to let her dad know how she felt about moving from the city in Massachusetts where she had grown up—where her friends still lived—to a small island twenty miles off the coast of Maine. Her mom also shared part of the blame for going along with his crazy idea to move here.

“Tonight’s the night!” he said with a gleam in his eye and headed off to wake up her twelve-year-old brother Jordan.

“A purple moon?” she called out. “I’ll believe it when I see it.”

Abby sat up in bed, still shaken by her dream. Just then the long blast of a horn signaled the 7 a.m. ferry arriving from the mainland. She had to hurry to get in the shower first.

She entered the hallway at the same time as Jordan, and together they raced for the bathroom. She ducked inside first, but he blocked the door from closing. Each pushed for all they were worth. Abby, a year older and stronger than her brother, slammed the gap shut and locked the door.

“Come on,” he said, banging. “I need to take a shower.”

“Me, too!”

“Save some hot water!”

“Can you say please?”

He banged again.

Abby kicked aside Jordan’s dirty socks and underwear he’d left on the floor and turned on the shower. She stepped into the warm spray and sighed. Sunday, two days from now, could not come fast enough. Abby would spend spring break with her mother in Cambridge. For the first time since moving to Castine Island three months ago, she would hang out with her best friend, Mel.

When Abby stepped out of the bathroom, she found Jordan camped in the hall. He pushed his way past her. “Jerk,” he said. “There better be hot water.”

“Grow up!” she fired back. “And get your dirty stuff off the floor!”

Later, Abby placed her backpack on the kitchen floor, ready for breakfast. Her two-year-old sister, Toucan, sat in her highchair eating Cheerios, grinning, and babbling. “Abby, Comet, Cheeries.”

Abby planted a kiss on her face. “Morning, Touk.”

Dad was washing dishes piled high in the sink—Power cleaning, he called it. Preparing for Mom’s arrival on Saturday, he always started picking up the house the day before.

Abby poured a bowl of cereal and studied the newspaper. The front page had a big picture of the comet Rudenko-Kasparov, named for the two amateur comet hunters who first spotted the fuzzy blob in the Andromeda constellation. The headline declared: GET YOUR BROOMS READY. That was a joke — nobody would be sweeping up space dust, but when Earth entered the comet’s tail for the first time tonight, astronomers predicted weeks of colorful sunsets and sunrises and, best of all, a purple moon.

Not everyone was looking forward to the comet. One cult believed it signaled the end of the world and were hiding out in a cave, as if a hole in the ground might offer some type of protection.

Abby didn’t worry about the world coming to an end, though she was quite curious what space dust smelled like.

* * *

At school, Abby’s seventh grade teacher, Mr. Emerson, told the class he had a story about hippopotami in Africa. “There’s a connection to the comet!” he said, looking pleased. He’d spoken enthusiastically about the comet for months.

Several of her classmates rolled their eyes. Toby Jones blew into his hands and made a loud noise. “The hippo farted,” he cried.

Toby, the class clown, had another black eye today. Since January he had showed up two other times looking as if someone had punched him. His friends, Chad and Glen, laughed at the lame joke.

Abby and the rest of the class—all four of them—sat in stony silence.

Mr. Emerson glared at Toby. He couldn’t send him to the principal, since Mr. Emerson was the principal of the small Parker School, which served grades one through eight. High-school students took the ferry to Portland. He did what he so often did, ignored Toby’s outburst.

“Every day hippos would come out of the jungle to drink from a pond next to a village,” Mr. Emerson began. “The village had been there for hundreds of years. One day a team of doctors arrived to open a clinic. A doctor told the villagers to kill all the hippos because they might introduce germs into the pond. The villagers did as the doctor requested. The next rainy season the pond overflowed and washed away all their huts.”

Mr. Emerson used the whiteboard to draw hippo tracks leading from the jungle to the pond. “The hippos made deep tracks. When it rained, the water overflowed down their path into the jungle. When there were no tracks, look what happened.”

“What does that have to do with the comet?” asked Derek Ladd. Derek’s father was chief of police.

“When you interfere with the natural order of things,” Mr. Emerson replied, “you never know what will happen. Tonight we’re entering the comet’s tail. Pollution has damaged the atmosphere. As a result, we’ll all be breathing space dust tomorrow. How will that affect us?” He shrugged. “Nobody knows.”

Kevin Patel’s hand shot up. He was Abby’s neighbor and he raised his hand a lot. “I heard the astronauts on the International Space Station will analyze the dust to look for signs of life.”

“That’s right, Kevin,” Mr. Emerson said. “Some scientists think the building blocks for life came from outer space millions of years ago.”

Zoe Mullen inhaled sharply. “Will it be safe to breathe space dust? I mean, what if there’s something alive in it?”

Abby tried hard not to stare at Zoe’s arms and legs. They reminded her of toothpicks.

“I’m sure we’ll be fine,” Mr. Emerson said.

“Hide in a cave,” Ryan Foster joked. Ryan, the only redhead in Parker School besides Abby, sat in front of her.

Toby made another loud farting sound. “The hippo is stinkin’ up the cave!” he blurted.

Mr. Emerson’s face turned red. “Toby, see me after school.”

Toby grinned slyly. He knew that Mr. Emerson, who lived on the mainland, had to catch the 3 p.m. ferry.

Mr. Emerson stepped to the board. “Thanks to Mr. Toby Jones, all of you are getting homework over spring break.” Everyone groaned and shot Toby dirty looks. “Your assignment…” Mr. Emerson smiled and wrote: WATCH THE COMET!!!

* * *

Abby’s father ordered purple pizza for dinner. Every business, it seemed, was cashing in on the comet. You could buy purple soft drinks, purple milk, purple beer. She guessed that the pizza’s tomato sauce had food coloring, but she had no idea how they had made the cheese bright purple. While it looked absolutely disgusting, it still tasted like regular pizza.

After her dad put Toucan to bed, he set up three lawn chairs on the back deck. Jordan took one look at this viewing arrangement and declared, “I’m watching from the roof.” Most of the houses in the neighborhood had a widow’s walk.

Abby suddenly had an uneasy feeling about the comet. She didn’t want her brother to be alone. “Jordan, stay with us,” she said in a friendly tone.

He narrowed his eyes. “Why should I?”

He’d laugh if she admitted her concern. “We can share the binoculars.”

“Who needs binoculars?” he scoffed and headed up to the roof.

Abby sat back in the chair and pulled the blanket to her chin to stay warm. She gazed up. Stars burned fiercely in the coal-black sky. The outlines of the moon’s craters were crisp. A bright dot moved slowly across the sky. It was the International Space Station; the astronauts onboard, according to her nerdy neighbor, were ready to analyze the space dust for signs of life.

“I wish Mom was here,” she said.

Dad, who was next to her, chuckled. “I’m glad I have another four hours to power clean.” Then he nodded wistfully. “I wish she was here, too, Abby. But the comet will still be here tomorrow night.”

“Dad, is she really going to look for a job in Portland?”

He trained the binoculars on the moon. “We’ll be a family again.”

“Are you going to sell the Cambridge home?”

“Yep, as soon as she finds a new job.”

“You know, there are other ways we can be a family. You could go back to work at the Cambridge Public Library. We could move back home.”

Her dad said nothing, and Abby felt like she’d be stuck living here for the rest of her life.

The comet appeared in the east around 11 p.m. The head was a dark orb with a bone-white halo. Abby heard the voices of Kevin, his sister, Emily, and Mr. and Mrs. Patel next door in their backyard. The parents worked at the marine biology lab on the north shore of the island. The Patels had moved to Castine Island in December, one month before her own unfortunate arrival.

By 11:30, the fuzzy white tail stretched across half the sky. Energy crackled in the air, like before a thunderstorm. The first color appeared at midnight. Abby and the others oohed and ahhed as a thin film of violet covered the moon and the stars twinkled purple. It seemed incredible that space dust could travel one hundred million miles.

The color deepened. The comet’s halo glowed bright purple, and swirls of lavender swept over the moon. Broad purple brush strokes painted the night sky. Abby thought her earlier concerns about the comet now seemed silly.

When she heard Jordan go inside, she glanced at her phone. 1:30! She had lost track of the time.

“Bedtime for you, too,” Dad said.

“No way!” she protested. “I’m almost an adult!”

“You win,” he said with a smile.

Not long after that, unable to stop yawning, Abby took one last look at the comet. Those crazy people hiding out in a cave didn’t know what they were missing. She drew in a deep breath. Funny, space dust smelled like nothing at all.

Abby kissed her dad goodnight and went up to bed.

 

Night of the Purple Moon (The Toucan Trilogy) is available for purchase at:

Amazon Kindle for $2.99 or Borrow FREE w/Prime!

 

Connect with Scott Cramer:

Author blog: www.nanonoodle.com

Facebook Fan page: www.facebook/authorscottcramer

Twitter: @cramer_scott

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